My husband and I enjoyed Baby Beach on a recent trip to Aruba, but to be completely honest, it didn’t live up to some of the hype we had heard about the beach beforehand (You must rent a car and go! It’s unbelievably fabulous and you will want to pitch a tent and live on the beach forever!) Baby Beach is located on Aruba’s very southwestern tip, and it takes a good 40 minutes to get there by car. The beach is so named because the water is remarkably shallow – rarely more than 5 feet deep – and the beach is in the shape of a large half-moon. As such, Baby Beach is very popular with families with small kids, so it’s not the quietest on the island — but watching kids snorkel is very cute and entertaining (“MOMMY! Look at all the BWUE fishes!) But, the water’s shallow depths also mean that for adults, at least, the snoekleing here isn’t fantastic — I found that too much sand gets kicked up from the bottom on due to the windy summer days and the visibility was nowhere near as good as it was at Arashi or at Boca Catalina. Snorkelers used to be able to easily swim around the reefs that surround Baby Beach, but a recent storm damaged the reefs, and the waves outside of the protected lagoon area are a bit rough and choppy. Not necessarily dangerous, just not the best place to be if you’re an inexperienced snorkeler or swimmer.
With all that said — I would definitely go back to Baby Beach because it is a wonderful swimming beach. The reefs create a large, safe area to swim around in and there are often very little waves to speak of close to shore. The drive to Baby Beach is about 40 minutes from Oranjestad, and it’s a pretty drive. If you’re hungry when you get there, be sure to stop by the Rum Reef Bar & Grill for some tasty fish sandwiches! There are a few palapas to relax under, but I preferred to take a nap under the sea grape trees.
Baby Beach has a somewhat isolated feel to it, partly due to the fact that it takes a good 40 minutes to get there Oranjestad — Baby Beach is at the very southern tip of the island. It reminded me a bit of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, for some reason. If you’re looking for a more private place to swim near Baby Beach, drive over to Rodger’s Beach –though be forewarned that the setting is a bit strange and spooky. The backdrop is an oil refinery, and the towers are continuously putting out plumes of black and gray smoke. You can’t really smell it and the water looks fine, but it’s just a bit odd. Both Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach are where to go if you want to hang out with locals, simply because getting there is a bit harder than the island’s other beaches.
IF YOU GO: It’s best to rent a car to get to Baby Beach, because the Arubus doesn’t go here — it stops in San Nicolas, but that’s still a ways from Baby Beach. You could also take a taxi for about $40 each way, but car rentals are about $40 per day, so it’s your best bet. Do stop for lunch at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill, the food’s great! You can also rent snorkeling and suba equipment at the JADA shop there next to Rum Reef.
Photos: Jenny Bengen-Albert