scuba diving bonaire

Bonaire has earned the nickname “the Shore Diving Capital of the World”. This is because this Caribbean nation has the highest number of accessible coral reefs that are worth diving for. It has also contributed to the popularity of Bonaire as a diving destination in the Caribbean.

bonaire diving

Bonaire boasts of pristine reefs and a marine life known for its diversity. The establishment of the marine park near the main diving sites of Bonaire has helped in the preservation of the natural and marine resources.

Today, Bonaire is ranked as one of the top and world-class diving destinations. The waters in Bonaire are calm, warm, and clear of silt. Aside from being known as a year-round diving destination, it is also noted as a popular destination for underwater photographers.

The water temperature in Bonaire is at an average of 25 to 28 degrees Celsius. In terms of water visibility, it can range from 30 to 50 meters. These averages can change depending on the time of year and the location of your dive.

There are several types of diving opportunities available in Bonaire. This makes it easy to switch between different types of diving. The following are some of the most popular shore dive sites in Bonaire: Karpata, Angel City, Oil Slick, and 1,000 Steps.

Boat diving is also the preferred type of diving for those who visit Bonaire. This gives divers the chance to seek out dive destinations that are located a bit deeper into the ocean and for the opportunity to encounter various marine species.

Finally, there are many wreck diving sites that also vary in terms of the type of dive that you may experience. Most of these shipwrecks have transformed to artificial reef environments or offer light swim-throughs.

BEST DIVE SITES

Bonaire is composed of 63 official dive sites with an additional 26 on Klein Bonaire. It is clear that Bonaire is an underwater paradise. These are the top diving sites that you need to add to your list:

Bari Reef

This dive site is an easy shore dive. It is calm with no current, which makes it suitable for beginners or intermediate divers. You can also encounter a wide array of fish species on this site. Aside from the colorful reefs, you will likely encounter octopi, seahorses, and tarpons.

Hilma Hooker

This is one of many shipwrecks in Bonaire that you have the opportunity to dive. It is a 72-meter freighter that sits on the sand in between two reefs. This shipwreck is famous because of the variety of marine life and excellent underwater photography conditions.

Salt Pier

This is another shore dive site in Bonaire that is easily accessible. It is popular with beginning divers and underwater photographers. This dive site sees the pillar of the pier transform into a vibrant reef system with plenty of corals and colorful sponges. It is also noted for a vast amount of fish species that thrive in this site. There are also seahorses, juvenile drumfish, and eels that are spotted here occasionally.

1000 Steps

Despite its name, this shore diving site is actually not 1,000 sets of steps. Nonetheless, you need to go down the steps to reach the beach and discover vibrant coral formations and a colorful reef. There are also fishes, turtles, and barracudas that can be spotted here.

Klein Bonaire

This is a small island located offshore from Bonaire. This is a popular destination for many boat diving trips because of the impressive aquatic life and breathtaking coral formations.

Karpata

Another popular boat dive destination is Karpata, which offers a diving depth range of 6 meters to 30 meters. In this dive, expect to find impressive ridges and coral formations. There is also a ship anchor that is embedded among the corals that you can stop by and have your underwater photos taken.

BEST TIME TO DIVE

Bonaire is one of the dive destinations that offer great conditions all year round. But the official diving season in Bonaire is from December to April.

You must avoid diving during the rainy season (November to January) as the light rain showers can affect the water visibility.

COMMON TRAVEL QUESTIONS

Planning a diving trip to Bonaire? You might have a few questions in mind to help prepare for your trip. Here are some of the things you need to know.

What types of diving are available to Bonaire?

There is an abundant array of diving sites in Bonaire. Each of these sites are unique and offer a different kind of challenge or experience for divers. Shore diving is the most common with a huge area available to explore for shore diving and an abundant coral reef environment.

Boat diving is another great option in Bonaire. It is recommended for those who want to go deeper and explore as many reefs in Bonaire as possible. Finally, wreck diving is suited for those who want to take their experience to a whole new level. There are many shipwrecks in the area and each offer different levels of difficulty.

How to find dive gears in Bonaire?

Since Bonaire is a popular diving destination, you should have no problem finding dive gear shops or scuba retail stores. Depending on where you are diving from, you should be able to find one to buy or rent these gears from.

Why is Bonaire considered a diving mecca?

As mentioned above, Bonaire has earned its reputation as the shore diving capital in the world. But this is just one of many reasons why it is considered a diving mecca for dive enthusiasts. The island is 24 miles long and 5 miles wide. This gives plenty of opportunities for diving for all levels of divers.

The variety of diving sites available also contribute to its popularity. And the year-round diving conditions make it a preferred choice for many.

What to do in Bonaire if you are not into diving?

Even if diving might not be your favorite activity, Bonaire is still a great choice of destination as there are plenty of other things to do. Surfing and kite boarding are two other adventure-filled activities that are offered on the island. Meanwhile, you can also try sailing and snorkeling.

If you want a different kind of adventure on land, you can try horseback riding and caving.

GEOGRAPHY

Bonaire is rather small and a flat island located at Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Along with Aruba and Curacao, they are called the ABC islands near the western part of Venezuela.

These islands unlike the other Caribbean regions, the ABC islands lie outside the hurricane belt. The total area is 294 km2 with a population of 18,905. Bonaire is a perfect place for scuba diving because of its fringing reefs.

Capital city of Bonaire: Kralendijk

Closest neighbors to Bonaire: Neighboring countries are Aruba, Curacao, and Venezuela.

Best times to visit Bonaire: Best time of year to visit Bonaire is from May to October where fewer crowds, pleasant temperature, and cheaper hotel rates. It is also breezy enough to have some outdoor activities.

How to get to Bonaire: Direct flights are available from US, Europe and even Canada. You can also take connecting flights from Mexico.

Visa requirements for Bonaire: No visa required for US citizens, however, a passport is required which is valid for at least 6 months.

Currency of Bonaire: United States Dollar (USD) is the currency of Bonaire.

Official Language of Bonaire: Dutch is the official language of Bonaire. ,

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bonaire

There is 1 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bonaire.

  • Bonaire Marine Park

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