Tres Trapi

Tres Trapi (meaning “three steps”) is a tiny sandy cove nestled in the rocky northwestern shore of Aruba. The 10-meters long beach is accessible by three rustic steps carved into the rock, after which the site have been named. Tres Trapi has white sand, grey cliff and pristine placid waters, where hundreds of red cushion starfish lay on the seafloor, making it one of the favorite and most photogenic snorkeling spots of the island.
How to get there?

Tres Trapi is located a few hundred meters north of Malmok Beach, on the northwestern tip of the island of Aruba. It is next to Ocean 105 Apartment, settled on the left side of the coastal road. From Oranjestad and the high-rise resorts in Palm Beach, drive to the north side of the island, following the “California Lighthouse” signs. Driving time is approx. 20 minutes from the capital city, and 5 to 10 minutes from Palm Beach. The area is also serviced by bus from Oranjestad. See Arubus website for details.

Water entrance

The few steps going down to the tiny Tres Trapi beach provide a convenient access to the water. Just go down the steps and jump in!

Aerial view


The area to explore covers the sandy seabed that extend from the beach to approximately 100 meters offshore. The first 20-30m from the beach are sandy and poor in sea life (↕3-10ft/1-3m), although you may come across some bar jack, Bermuda chub and trunkfish. Beyond this area, you will start to see dozens of red cushion sea star (oreaster reticulatus) laying on the sand (↕10-13ft/3-4m). It is the most common seastar in the shallow waters of the Caribbean. They are growing to about 40 centimeters in diameter, and their color is some shade of red, orange, brown or yellow. Cushion stars are inoffensive, but don’t take them out of the water.

Tres Trapi Aruba
Tres Trapi steps

Boca Catalina, located some 300 meters north to Tres Trapi, is also a great snorkeling spot.

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no restaurants or snack nearby, so bring you own drinks and food with you. The high-rise resorts area, only a 5-10 minutes’ drive from Tres Trapi, is full of restaurant, fast-food and shops.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
  • Maximum depth
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos