Exploring the Mysteries of Antilla, Aruba's Largest Shipwreck Aruba's reputation as a world-class diving destination is well-deserved, with crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and a diverse array of dive sites to choose from. One of the most popular and intriguing dive sites on the island is the Antilla, the largest shipwreck in the southern Caribbean and a fascinating window into Aruba's wartime history. The Antilla is a German freighter that was confiscated by the Dutch government at the start of World War II. The German crew, fearing that the ship would be used by the Dutch to aid the Allies, opened its valves and let it sink off the coast of Aruba in 1940.
The ship now lies on its side on a sandy bottom, with its rusted hull and corroded metal fittings offering a haunting reminder of its dramatic demise. Today, the Antilla is a popular dive site for both experienced and novice divers, who come to explore its eerie corridors, rooms, and cargo holds. The ship's massive size and well-preserved condition make it an ideal location for underwater exploration, with everything that lives under the sea visible in and around the wreck. Divers can expect to encounter a wide variety of fish, coral, sponges, and other marine life, including barracudas, groupers, moray eels, and colorful parrotfish.
The Antilla is accessible from a number of diving centers and operators on the island, who offer day and night dives to the site. The site is suitable for all levels of divers, with shallow areas for beginners and deeper areas for more experienced divers. The ship's location off the coast of Aruba also means that it is shielded from strong currents and offers excellent visibility, making it a safe and enjoyable dive site for all.
Apart from its underwater beauty and historical significance, the Antilla also offers a glimpse into Aruba's wartime past and its role in the Caribbean theater of World War II. The ship's sinking was a dramatic event that reflects the complex political and military dynamics of the time, as well as the strategic importance of Aruba as a hub for oil production and transportation. Diving the Antilla is not only an adventure in itself, but also a reminder of the rich history and natural beauty of Aruba.
Dive with a guide, rent equipment, wear proper attire, bring an underwater camera, stay in groups, and please respect marine life!
Pedernales Wreck, Boca Catalina Beach, Arashi Beach.