Overview of Cabez Reef

Cabez Reef

Cabez Reef
ABC Islands


Site Review by
 Elgin Z.
Date: 03/09/2009


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Elgin Z. Entry:    1.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    3.00
City:   Oranjestad Reef:    5.00
State:   Animal:    4.00
Country:   Aruba Plant:    3.00
Diving:   3 years Facilities:    1.00
 Dives:   250 Solitude   5.00
    Roads:    4.00


*Average:    3.36
Cabez Reef is the holy grail of Aruban (shore) diving. Diving conditions are usually difficult because of the location of this dive site at the Southernmost tip of the Island. Currents are usually strong and at times simply brutal. At those times when the currents are very strong, divers get the exhilarating feeling of flying at high speeds over the reef. Entry is either at the South side of the island (also the exit point), over slippery rocks and through a heavy surf zone or off of a 15 feet cliff at the Eastern side of the island. The leap off of the cliff can be seen on this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sr9WVxkdx0. The leap off of the cliff makes for an easier dive as you drift with the current for most of the dive as opposed to fighting the current to get to the reef and then drifting back. The downside of the leap is the inherent danger such a leap poses and the fact that divers have no reasonable way to exit the water, should the current be pushing the wrong way i.e. pushing North instead of South. Make no mistake about it, this dive site has all the ingredients for disaster. That's why only strong divers should attempt this dive, and they should only do so under the guidance of an experienced Cabez Reef guide. As far as I know, JADS at Baby Beach is the only dive operator with extensive experience diving Cabez Reef (Jair is the undisputed King of Cabez). The reef itself is like nothing I've seen elsewhere. The reef is in pristine condition, lies at a depth of about 70/80 feet and is for the most part comprised of a lot of soft corals and sponges, growing on a rocky substrate. Esthetically this reef equals or surpasses anything I've seen in Bonaire. This reef is also known for the shark cave, where Nurse Sharks are often found resting. Eagle Rays are also often spotted here in large numbers (I can confirm a school of 9) as are (lone) Manta Rays a few times a year. All of this makes for a truly spectacular dive. The cuts, scrapes and bruises you sustain from the entry and exit, are quickly forgotten.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    1.00
Beginner:    1.00
Intermediate:    3.00
Advanced:    5.00
Night diving:    1.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    2.00
Surf:    2.00

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