On the windswept eastern shores of Aruba is a crystal clear emerald pool just begging to be jumped into. Most locals call it the Aruba Natural Pool or the Conchi Natural Pool. You’ll find this unique swimming hole in the Arikok National Park, and it’s a one-of-a-kind adventure waiting for you in Aruba.
A trip to this natural wonder isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t mind a little adventure, the Natural Pool should not be missed on any good Aruba itinerary!
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How to get to the Aruba Natural Pool
Getting to the natural pool near Conchi inside the Arikok National Park is an adventure in itself. The Aruba Natural Pool is located near the center of the rugged northeastern coastline of the country. The only access to the Natural Pool is from a dirt road that can be rather washed out and full of large rocks.
Enter the Arikok National Park at the San Fuego entrance and proceed to the main park information building. Here you must purchase passes for $11 USD per person for the day. Here you can also grab a park map. However, there are very few roads, and only one goes to the natural pool. You are given wristbands to show you have paid, and the ranger at the gates of the park will require you to put the wristbands on before driving past the gates.
We visited in the afternoon after spending the morning with the flamingos at the Renaissance Hotel on Flamingo Beach. We recommend you go there in the morning and to the pool in the afternoon.
The best way to see Aruba is by renting a car. Driving in Aruba is super easy and safe. They drive on the right side of the road, the steering wheel on the left the same as in the USA. There is very little traffic in Aruba. Renting a car gives you so much more freedom! We always rent from Discover Cars, it is super easy, and they have the best prices.
Driving to the Conchi Natural Pool:
It is possible to drive a rental Jeep or 4×4 to the Natural Pool. The drive time is around 45 minutes to 1 hour each way. Once you are inside the park, follow the signs to Conchi and the Natural Pool. You will be driving on the road that brings you around Sero Arikok Volcano.
For the first part of the journey, the road is paved and then turns to gravel to go around the volcano. After the volcano, you’ll see a sign that reads “4×4 Vehicles Only” DO NOT attempt this road without a 4×4 vehicle.
Hiking to the Conchi Natural Pool:
Some trails will take you through the park and bring you right to the Natural Pool. It’s best to do this early in the morning to beat the afternoon heat. Bring plenty of water and reasonable shoes.
From the visitor center, the hike is around 3.5 miles / 5.5 km. On our last visit, we saw some people parking near where the 4×4 road started to save around 1 mile of the hike.
Whether you hike or drive, once you make it to the Natural Pool area, there’s a long set of stairs to bring you down to the shore and the pool. There are around 2-3 flights of well-maintained stairs.
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What is the Conchi Natural Pool?
The Natural Pool is a calm swimming hole formed by a cluster of rocks that protects the pool from the rough surf on Aruba’s Northeast facing cost. The pool is an oval shape slightly wider than it is long, around 20 feet long and 25 feet wide.
There are actually two pools in this rock formation a main lower one and a much smaller upper natural pool. The upper pool is shallow and big enough for a few people at a time.
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Swimming in the Natural Pool
Most visitors come to the Natural Pool to swim and cool off during an ATV or Jeep tour. Swimming and cliff jumping are possible in the Natural Pool. The pool is mainly for swimming, and only a small area of the pool is it possible to stand.
A few cautions while swimming and enjoying the Aruba Natural Pool:
- The rocks near the water’s edge can be very slippery. Water shoes would be nice to have but not required.
- Never swim outside of the protected pool. The surf and tides can be very dangerous.
- Bring a wet bag for cameras and cell phones because waves crash over the walls of the pool and can get your things wet if you leave them on the rocks.
Make sure to get a GoPro dome for your GoPro to get fun over-under photos like the above. It’s the best $40 accessory you can have!
Aruba Natural Pool ATV Tours
One of the best ways to see the Natural Pool in Aruba is by tour. The tours to the Conchi Natural pool are a lot of fun and full of adventure. The most common tour going to the pool is by ATV. The high clearance and off-road capabilities of the ATVs are perfect for the bumpy rock-filled road to the natural pool.
Aruba Natural Pool FAQ:
Q: How deep is the Natural Pool?
A: The Natural Pool is around 5 meters or 17 feet deep at its deepest point, but this depth fluctuates with the tides. A majority of the pool is too deep to stand for the average person.
Q: Is it safe to swim in the Natural Pool?
A: Generally speaking, it is safe to swim in the Natural Pool. However, there are dangers from tides coming over the rocks surrounding the pool, and the rocks are very jagged. There have been deaths at the Aruba Natural Pool, but most could be avoided by following the simple rules of the Natural Pool. Many people swim there every day of the year. The Natural Pool is safe.
Avoid walking high on the rocks where the waves crash, and never swim outside of the Natural Pool because the waves are large and will push you into the rocks. Children swimming inside the Natural Pool are perfectly safe if they can swim and are supervised – unless storms or other phenomenon is bringing the tides far over the normal levels.
Q: How long should I plan to spend at the Aruba Natural Pool?
A: Some people spend the whole day, but for most people, 1-2 hours is more than enough time to enjoy it and continue exploring Aruba.
Q: Can I drive to the Conchi Natural Pool?
A: Yes, you can drive to the natural pool in Aruba, but a 4×4 is a must, and even then, it is a difficult drive. An ATV is the best way to reach the natural pool, but it is still very possible to drive a jeep there. We made the drive in our 4×4 Jeep on our Honeymoon in Aruba. Truly you don’t need a 4-wheel drive as much as you need a high clearance like a jeep offers because there are many large rocks on the road.
Q: Can you take a rental Jeep to the Natural Pool?
A: Some companies allow you to take your rental jeep to The Natural Pool, but others will not let you, and if you do so anyway, your insurance coverage may not cover you. Be sure to rent a jeep that allows this.
We rented with Amigo Jeep Rentals and had no issue. You can also rent an even more ‘extreme’ Jeep just for the day to take to the Natural Pool, or an ATV is a good option too.
Q: Is there cliff jumping at the Aruba Natural Pool?
A: Yes, there are a few places to safely jump into the natural pool ranging from 5 feet to 15 feet above the water surface, depending on the tides.
Q: Is the Aruba Natural Pool worth the trip?
A: Yes, the Natural Pool is worth the effort to get there. Half of the fun is getting there too. It’s an adventure, and when you get there, it’s all worth it. The Natural Pool is fun to play around in and jump from the small rock cliffs.
More things to do near Aruba Natural Pool
- Visit Dos Playa Beach – Also inside the Ariok National Park, not too far from the Aruba Natural Pool, is a set of stunning beaches called Dos Playa Beach. The beaches are split by tall sea cliffs and unique rock formations on the coast. A must-see in Aruba when visiting the Natural Pool.
- See the Natural Bridge – A short drive to the north from the park and the Natural Pool is Aruba’s Natural Bridge. On the coast sits a large stone arch formed by the sea. In the past few years, the arch has shifted and fallen somewhat, but it is still a top sight in Aruba.
- Explore the Fontine Cave – Don’t miss the otherworldly caves inside the Arik National Park. There are a few caves in the park just to the south of the Aruba Natural Pool back on the main park road.
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