Don’t let this funny name lead you astray. Tres Trapi Beach (translates to three steps in Spanish) is an awesome mini beach that provides access to some of the best snorkeling in all of Aruba.
The mini beach gets crowded with people competing for the free mini pavilions to escape the sun, but even if you can’t score a spot in the shade come here for the epic snorkeling.
There are a number of rocky coves just around the beach that are easy to swim to.
These rock coves are home to so many different sea creatures.
I don’t recommend coming here for the beach, Instead, I recommend coming here for the fantastic snorkeling that is incredible easy to access.
Basically shares a parking Boca Catalina.
Rocky only a small stretch is sand. Tours in area come – gorgeous water to snorkel.
Tres Trapi Quick Info:
- Other Names: Tres Trapi Cove, Malmok Beach (next door), Boca Catalina Beach (next door)
- Where: just minutes north of the main high rise hotel area on the northwest side of Aruba
- Facilities/Amenities: none, other than trash bins and a handful of large pavilion/umbrellas
- Best for: snorkeling
- Not So Good For: lounging on a beach and escaping crowds
- Available excursions: plenty
- Cost: free
What you can Expect at Tres Trapi
Once again, don’t expect a stunning beach experience. The mini beach is gorgeous, but there is hardly any sand, and the entire area will be overrun with snorkelers coming back and forth from the shore.
Depending on the tide, the sand goes away and comes back at different times of the day. When we were there the tide was in so the sand was completely covered in water.
It can be difficult to find a spot to lay out your towels as there are jagged rocks lining the shore.
The swimming conditions here are fantastic. It’s a kind of spot where you will want to spend hours lounging in the waist deep water.
The entrance has a sandy bottom so you don’t need to worry about scraping your feet, which is rare at top snorkel spots.
Generally, the water is calm and clear. I love the color and temperature of it as well. Even in the winter it is cool enough to be refreshing, but not actually cold.
The shore is protected enough to where you could have kids swim, though I would recommend next door Boca Catalina instead. Remember, this is best as a snorkel spot.
Tres Trapi Snorkeling
Tres Trapi snorkeling is fantastic and beginner friendly.
It is so easy to access all types of sealifts. You hardly have to leave the shore to spot tons of fish immediately.
There are a handful of rocks jutting out that you can swim around. If you go to the right you will be heading towards Boca Catalina. If you go to the left, you will be heading towards Malmok Beach.
I recommend going to the left as there are more protected coves.
In order to get into the water you have to climb down a set of rock stairs. See photo below.
Note: Of the three beaches known for snorkeling in the area I would say Boca Catalina has the easiest water entrance (sand) making it the best option for those traveling with small children. Tres Trapi is the second easiest and Malmok Beach is probably the most difficult since it has the most rocks in the water.
The area is popular so do not expect to have much exclusive space on the beach.
There will be a lot of people coming and going but there is plenty of room to spread out once in the water.
There will also potentially be your boats in the area that drop off a lot do snorkelers. You can take this to show that it’s a great snorkel spot, even if you don’t purchase a tour.
Even with the crowds there are enough coves that you shouldn’t have any issue finding your own space.
The crowds didn’t scare off the tons of fish in the areas any of the times we were there.
There aren’t any amenities directly on the beach other than the few covered pavilions.
It would be nice to have restrooms and showers, but unfortunately not.
Thankfully everything is available just minutes down the road in the high rise hotel area or up at Arashi Beach.
Where is Tres Trapi located?
On the northwest side of Aruba you will find Tres Trapi Beach. It’s about 25 minutes to the airport, or only about 5 minutes if you are coming from the main high rise hotel area.
If you are coming from the Eagle Beach area it will take you about 10 minutes, assuming you don’t run into stop and go traffic that often happens here in the evenings as everyone goes to dinner.
How to get to Trea Trapi
The drive up the coast is easy. There are no tricky turns or directions needed to be able to find this beach.
You will be able to see the sand and access points directly from the street.
There is a large dirt lot directly in front of the beach. The lot can be a little bumpy, so be careful if you rent a dinky car like we did. The lot is huge with tons of space. During our trip we visited Tres Trapi Beach three times and the parking lot never came close to being full.
If this lot fills up, which it shouldn’t, there is extra parallel parking across the street. All of the options are free and provide you immediate access.
Other beaches nearby worth visiting:
All the beaches listed below are within a 4 minute drive of each other. Malmok is the first beach you will come across and Arashi is the last. There is only a 4 minute drive from Malmok to Arashi.
Tres trapi – most crowded of the three. But amazing and worth the visit.
Boca Catalina – Easiest water entrance of the three making it the best choice if you have small children. Best for snorkeling and small children. Children can snorkel right off the shore. The fish are so close! Sandy entrance.
If you parked at Tres Trapi you will be able to walk to Boca Catalina beach. See photo below. It is only a 4 minute walk, if that. Make sure you bring some sturdy sandals as the rocks are super sharp. Or you can walk along the road if you choose as well.
Arashi – more of your traditional beach with lots of sand and amenities.
Conclusion: Is Tres Trapi Worth Visiting?
If you are looking for a beginner friendly and easy to access snorkel spot you will not be disappointed with Tres Trapi!