This Little-Known Clear-Water Caribbean Beach Is Surrounded By Picturesque Coral Walls

If life is better at the beach, it's safe to say that life in Aruba must be pretty damn extraordinary. With more than 20 beaches to choose from dotted around, the little Caribbean island has plenty to offer its visitors in terms of turquoise waters, hidden coves, stretches of powdery white sand, and nonstop sunshine.

One of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean, Aruba is brimming with natural beauty. From the island's top-rated Eagle Beach — home to one of the most beautiful and romantic beach resorts in the country and hailed as Aruba and the Caribbean's number one beach — to the lesser-known Arashi Beach, the secluded Boca Keto, and the incredible under-the-radar Mangel Halto, the island takes beach loving to a whole new level. Because in between Aruba's most popular spots and tourist attractions, there are still some pretty spectacular hidden gems calling out to sun worshippers and beach bums far and wide.

One of these is the postcard-worthy Tres Trapi. Tucked away from the main tourist hub on Aruba's northwestern coast, Tres Trapi is what saltwater dreams are made of. With crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and enclosed by a natural wall, the stunning cove offers a perfect escape from the island's hustle and bustle.

Things to do at Tres Trapi

Tres Trapi — which translates to "Three Steps" in Papiamento, the island's local language alongside Dutch — isn't necessarily a tanning and lounging beach. In fact, most of the water is surrounded by coral formations — except at low tide, when a small sandbar forms near the steps — which means there really aren't many places to spread out a towel. However, that shouldn't stop you from visiting.

Although small and rugged, Tres Trapi's true charm starts to shine once you're inside the water. With a maximum depth of about 15 feet, the ocean here is the perfect place for a dose of swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving — especially if you're hoping to come face-to-face with some of Aruba's marine wildlife. From vibrant schools of fish to moray eels, stingrays, starfish, and turtles, Tres Trapi is a haven for animal lovers curious to see these creatures in their natural habitat. Just make sure that, if you do happen to run into one or more of them, you keep your hands to yourself and observe from a respectful distance. After all, no Instagram-worthy photo is worth disturbing or harming wild animals in their own home.

Along with this, additional safety precautions are also key. Primarily, you'll want to make sure you keep your eyes and ears peeled for any incoming boat traffic. Tres Trapi is a popular spot for day tours and boat excursions around the island, and it's always better to be well prepared and avoid any catastrophic accidents.

Planning your visit to Tres Trapi

Albeit secluded, hitting up Tres Trapi is actually easier than it might look — especially if you have your own car. The easiest way to reach the little spot is to drive north along the island's western coast toward Malmok Beach. Roughly half a mile down from Malmok, you'll see a small parking lot and the access point down to the water. From there, all you have to do is park up, grab your snorkeling gear, slip into your water shoes to prevent any cuts from the corals, and make your way down the stone-carved steps and into the water.

Along with this, it's worth noting that, since Tres Trapi isn't a "beach" per se, you also won't find any concession stands, restaurants, or bathrooms there. That said, you'll want to come prepared with everything you need for a few hours of solo fun and then head over to spots like Palm Beach or Baby Beach for all those extra amenities. As for valuables like your phone, wallet, and camera, you're better off leaving them in the car while you enjoy swimming and snorkeling (unless, of course, they're waterproof).

Lastly, in order to make the most of Tres Trapi's serenity, plan your visit for either earlier in the day or later in the afternoon. That way, you'll be able to avoid most boat tours that stop in the area, and you'll basically have the entire place to yourself!