The blog article is for monohul sailors approaching Varadero Marina on the ABC Island Aruba.
Main problem approaching the marina is the water depth, because the maximum draft is 2,35m on high tide.
We have entered Varadero Marina successfully and are very happy to stay at the safest place in the Caribbean to store boats during hurricane season.
Please check out our upcoming article „Why did we choose Varadero Marina“ – coming soon.
You will need to make a reservation, because the marina is popular and normally fully booked for the hurricane season.
Please find all information about the marina on the website and welcome book https://www.varaderoaruba.com/welcome-book
I highly recommend to read all information carefully before you approach the island Aruba and download all relevant informations.
Regarding all the details and reservations please contact Capt. Paul, he is the best contact. He is so helpful, great customer orientation, great sense of humor and he speaks English and French. By the way, this is already one judge benefit of visiting Aruba und staying at Varadero Marina, you get real commitments, great response time and clear statements unlike many islands further north. The Varadera Marina team is very professional, helpful and straight forward. You will find the contacts details, Email address and phone number on the Varadero Marina website. You can call the marina on VHF channel 69 as well.
Before you enter the marina you have to sail to Barcadera Marina first with your boat to clear customs and immigration.
The immigration procedure is standard and you will not have to pay no service fees. The online ED card is mandatory for all travels to Aruba, you find the Link here. The custom officers might want to visit your boat and asking if you carry any drugs or weapons. The authorities checked our boat as well. Therefore you need to enter the Barcadera Marina, which is not a problem because it is a commercial Harbour and the depth should not be a problem.
However, when you approach the customs and immigration dock stay on the right hand side (see map below, green area) only, because further left (red area) it is very shallow. You will not be able to stay over night at the dock. We asked, but the port authorities declined to stay any longer. The pier is only for immigration check-in/out process to Aruba.
After clearing customs we left the pear and entered carefully the lagoon going north west.
You will stay about 20-30m from the Island of the left, Aruba island and airport is on your right.
The channel in the lagoon is around 5m and it should not be a problem.
Stay in the lagoon until you reach the buoys on your right hand side. The buoys are marking the entrance to cross the lagoon to the other side, where you will find Varadero marina. This is the shallow section and you should not sail outside of the buoys.
Please enter the channel only at high water ( Tidechart Aruba )with a monohul and draft of over 2m.
I recommend to go as slow as possible! In case you will hit the ground or a sand bank you will not damage your keel and should be able to reverse again.
Below you will find the best way to cross this channel with a monohul with a draft of over 2m!
You will find the green buoys on port side and the red buoys on starboard.
The redline is the best way to cross the shallow channel.
First you approach the green buoy on your left side of the channel and pass the buoy very close.
Than you should cross the channel and approach the second red buoy and leave the buoy on your starboard side.
Now you need to cross again towards the green side, do not stay close to the red buoys because it will be to shallow.
After you have passed the third green buoy on your port side, stay on this side until the end of the channel.
Turn only left to approach Varadero marina until you have passed the last green buoy on port side.
You should find now more depth and will arrive in Varadero Marina!
Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Capt. Paul or the team at Varadero Marina.
Fair winds and a nice stay on the beautiful and safe island Aruba.