After packing, we headed out to Baby Beach. The furthest we had been so far was San Nicolas and I knew how to get there already, so we should be able to make it to Baby Beach with no issues.
Baby Beach is located on the opposite end of Arashi (southeastern end) and right past San Nicolas. It took us 45 minutes to get here (even with all of the construction and traffic detours and us being tourist...taking our time and snapping pictures along the way). You'll know you are getting close when you see the huge red anchor dedicated to the seaman (stop and take a picture with the ocean in the background). You might also get lucky and see the donkeys out running around in the road or on the side of the road. There was a baby donkey when we were there. So cute.
It was an uneventful trip and we stopped right before Baby Beach for a picture opportunity with the Seaman Anchor and ocean in the background and then continued to Baby Beach.
The parking lot is huge and free of course. There's actually 2 parking lots. The beach area we stayed at is the second parking lot.
This beach is absolutely gorgeous! Very nice, soft sand and it's a calm lagoon that makes this the perfect place for families with smaller children. You can walk really far out and it's still very shallow. The beach is HUGE!
You can also rent beach chairs (I want to say $10 each???) or you can rent a 2 person windscreen/canopy type of contraption that they set up for you on the beach and it's really nice with a screen in the back to let to nice breeze flow into it. It works great! We never really felt hot while sitting in it. It also comes with 2 lounge chairs. The price is a little on the expensive side, so be prepared to pay $56 for it all. But, if you plan on staying all day, it's well worth it because natural shade is scarce here.
So...As we walked out to the beach, we seen a place where another couple and child were standing and talking to a worker. I assumed this was about renting chairs. They paid him and the worker walked off to get their rental items. As we were standing there, I ask him how much for the chairs and the hut ($56) and we just started chit-chatting. Our hut was placed beside theirs and we hung out all day (they had a daughter and it gave our daughter someone to play with).
There is a restaurant, called Big Mama's Grill, with food and drinks. This place is themed from the Flintstones and the employees are dressed up with the Flintstone attire as well. You'll find "stone-age" chairs and tables and statues of the Flintstones themselves around the building. It's pretty cute.
They do have a dive shop here, but the day we were there, no one seemed to be in it (or I just walked over later in the day and they had already closed).
Now lets get to the snorkeling...I have read multiple reports on the snorkeling that were totally opposite of each other..."great snorkeling", "not the greatest", "not good unless you go out of the lagoon area, which is too dangerous" and so on. So...here's my opinion: I thought it was pretty darn good! I snorkel everywhere we go and we usually cruise 3-4 times a year and I'll snorkel in every single port (usually 3-5 ports per cruise). So, I'd say I have snorkeled around 75+ times, all over the Caribbean and Bermuda. I'm not a pro, but I can only offer my "opinion" based on all the places I have been. I think Baby Beach is pretty good for snorkeling and the variety of things you'll see. Is it the best? No, not at all, but it won't disappoint you either. It can definitely take up a lot of your time exploring and in my book, that's good enough!
So where is this snorkeling located? When you are standing on the beach looking out at the water, look to your left. You will see a small area roped off along the rocky area not far out at all. You can walk all the way out to this area. Once you go under the ropes, it gets a little deep and you'll have to swim JUST in that area, which isn't big. That's not really the snorkeling area IMO. You'll find a lot of fish everywhere and they'll swarm you with curiosity. However, if you want to see, what I would call the snorkeling area, you'll need to head between the rocks (which would be more left). There is a HUGE current right here and you'll kick and swim your heart out. It's NOT DEEP! You can put your feet down at any time AFTER checking to make sure there's no coral you might be stepping on of course. I found at one point that I would turn around (with the current to my back), wedge my foot down on a rock and lean back to keep the water from pushing me. You can swim up and down this area (head left once you are in it) and it's almost like a little stream through there. SO MANY FISH in this area and coral too! This place has some of the BIGGEST Parrot fish ever! It reminded me of Bermuda (there's are huge too), but I spotted the biggest parrot fish I think I have ever seen in my life before. I learned on this trip that the dark blue with black parrot fish seem to be the huge ones. I don't think I had ever seen this variation before snorkeling. I tried to look them up and maybe they are called midnight parrot fish? If anyone knows, let me know. During our trip, we would continue to see these monsters when snorkeling at places like DePalm as well.
Of course you'll see plenty of other fish and some coral as well. You can go way back in this little "stream-like" area and no worries, you can stand up along all of it...it's not deep...just watch where you put your feet down. On the way back out...just simply float your way back. The water will carry you back to the beginning. So much fun. I stood up many times to take some pictures of the water outside this area crashing over the rocks and my daughter was standing beside me on the rocks at the shore. LOL They could see the huge parrot fish because he would manage to get himself in smaller/shallow areas and he'd be sticking up out of the water. They stood right there on the rocks at shore watching and could see everything.
So the area that I'm calling a "stream-like" area is actually pretty shallow. It's just constant moving water. But, you can stand up in it. Here's a video of me standing and watching the waves crash over the rocks. My family was standing right beside me...only on the shore. LOL
After awhile, we decided to come in and rest for a bit. We were also getting a little hungry and ordered some food.
While we were waiting on the food, our new friends said they were going out to the "fish area" with some bread they had brought and feed the fish and asked us to come along. So, our "rest" didn't last very long and off we went.
The food has arrived. It was yummy!
What we didn't eat...the birds did.
After eating, I decided to go out in the opposite direction that I had been going (or the right hand side when facing the water). I thought others were going to follow me, but when I looked back, they were still back at the beach.
This time around, I took my goggles camera with me. Once I got out not far, I spotted a turtle.
Then all of a sudden my batteries die...just my luck. I hurried back to the beach to grab some new batteries and my camera. I informed everyone of the turtle out there (figuring it would be gone by now) and told my daughter to "come on" and we were off turtle hunting again.
It was actually still in the same location that I had left it in.
It was slowly swimming along...and so were we...right with it! I was taking pictures and then I decided to take a video. We were real close and it didn't seem to mind...until my little mermaid just couldn't take it anymore and decided to touch it and off it went!
Once we returned, I decided to walk around and take some pictures of the area.
The hubby decided he wanted to go out and see what the snorkeling had to offer. So off we went.
He was struggling a little with the goggles that he had, so I had to trade him for awhile and then he was able to stay under longer.
Parrot fish go through many stages of life and change colors. Some Parrot fish are hermaphrodites and start as females and change to males later in life, while others start as males. They are called Parrot fish because they have a mouth like a beak (or parrot) with teeth. If you are in a calm place and be still, you can hear them munching on the coral and you'll hear a crunching sound. It's pretty cool. I found one of the biggest parrot fishes here that I had ever seen before. It was so huge that at times, it was swimming in too shallow of an area and it's fins and upper body was sticking out of the water and everyone from the rocky shore could see it. It's called a midnight parrot fish.
It was starting to get a little late and we knew we wanted to at least stop by Rogers Beach to check it out for a little bit. So, we started rounding up the kids (our daughter and our friends daughter) and Sakari was also busy making "new friends"...
It was about 5:30pm when we headed out and over to the next beach.
But first, I needed a picture of my scubagirl at this beach.
I HIGHLY recommend Baby Beach for the day. It's a beautiful beach/lagoon area and you can go out really far and still touch the bottom. Most places (far out) you can even stand up and it only be waist high).
The snorkeling was a lot of fun and there are a lot of fish. There is coral there as well, so it makes for an awesome snorkeling adventure.
Yes, the price of renting the chairs and the cover is a little high, but the way the breeze blows, it's set up just right to keep you cool. Definitely worth the money if you plan on staying all day.
Of course the restaurant there is an added plus and very cute.
I hope to make it back here again the next time we are in Aruba.