If you’re looking to experience more than the tourist scene in Aruba and add something special to your trip, you must visit the Aruba Natural Pool. This hidden pool of vibrant blue water is nestled along the eastern shore of Aruba and is perfect for taking a quick dip. Take your beach vacation off the beaten path and head to this native attraction. Grab your sunscreen and lace up your shoes, the Conchi Natural Pool is waiting.
Cura de Tortuga
Known as Conchi, Aruba Natural Pool and Cura de Tortuga, this northeastern cove in the Arikok National Park feels like another place altogether. Black volcanic rock surrounds the cove giving it a rugged and prehistoric feel—which is fitting since it was formed about 90 million years ago, at the same time as the island itself. Facing the Atlantic, the strong wind and waves batter the rocky shoreline, and people are few and far between. A desert road lined with cacti and native reptiles leads thrill-seekers three miles to Conchi.
Although Cura de Tortuga is less than three miles from Shete, the trip there isn’t quite the same as running to the store for milk and bread. The options to get there are fairly limited and require some physical exercise—choose to take a 4WD vehicle, hike or arrive by horseback. While renting a sports vehicle is convenient, hiking to Conchi offers you a chance to earn your swim in the glimmering Atlantic pool and experience Aruba up close.
First-timers may get lost, so enlisting the services of a guide at Arikok National Park is wise. Once you have your guide, you’ll follow the desert trail past cave drawings, prickly pear cactuses and rock formations until you reach the stairs that lead down to the pool. It is also possible to hike there from Daimari Beach—about one mile—but the walk is on rugged, rocky ground. Be sure to tread carefully and help children once you arrive, the rocks can be slippery.
Have an ethereal experience as you slide into the clear waters of the pool with waves crashing all around. Only a small portion of water is shallow enough for standing so plan on swimming and cliff jumping to your heart’s content. Occasionally, the sea is so rough that waves break over the protective barrier, but most of the time the pool is calm and perfect for snorkeling and watching marine life. This attraction, however, is best for small parties as only 12-15 people can comfortably fit in the cove at once.
What to Know
When the sea is too rough, the pool is closed so be sure to check the weather. In addition, bring sunglasses and sunscreen as there’s little shade.
Although getting to Conchi requires some extra effort and planning, past visitors say this is a must-do experience on any beach vacation to Aruba. Get a glimpse of the other side of Aruba—your beach chair and Balashi beer will be waiting for you when you get back.