Bonaire is the #1 shore diving location in the Caribbean!

Bonaire maps

The island is entirely fringed by a healthy reef system, and is widely recognized as the "fish capital of the Caribbean" because it offers the highest diversity of fish species in the region. Plan to do a mix of boat diving and shore diving: while the shore diving's spectacular (you'll be amazed at the reef right in front of your hotel) and you'll enjoy the freedom, to dive whenever you want and to follow your own profiles, you’ll need a boat to get to the spectacular sites at Klein Bonaire ("little" Bonaire) - and some people prefer the convenience of boat diving – no lugging tanks around, no walking down steps (a factor to consider, especially if you want to dive sites on the northern end like "Thousand Steps!") – and your divemaster may well show you things you might have overlooked, like an orange frogfish that blends perfectly with its sponge home.

Easy and spectacular shore diving, however, is what makes Bonaire a diver’s favorite: you can follow your own schedule, dive whenever want, and take in as much nitrogen as your dive computer will allow. There are dozens of dive sites all around the island (you’ll see them marked with a yellow rock), so all you do is load up your tanks and gear in your rental vehicle, drive a few minutes to your dive site, and jump in!

You’ll see that the drop-off is almost always within just a few yards of shore, so it’s rarely necessary to swim far. Typically, the wall will begin in about 30 feet of water and drop to 100-130’ – but each site has its own personality so try to see as many as you can. You’ll be amazed at the ease of diving and the diversity of life right at your doorstep – and you’ll discover just how relaxing and wonderful a slow-paced, unguided dive can be. Slow down, breathe deeply and notice the little things, and enjoy some of the best diving in the world.

 

DIVE GEAR - on boat dives, tanks are always provided (and you normally check out your weights from the dive shop for your entire stay, when you first check in with the dive shop on arrival). If you need additional rental gear, everything is available at additional cost. If you’re bringing your own: remember mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, BC, booties, slate, dive light, depth gauge, bottom timer or watch, computer/dive tables - we strongly recommend using a dive computer, since you’ll most likely be making multiple dives every day - camera and film (expensive on the island), logbook. A mesh bag, tucked inside your gear bag for traveling, can be handy for carrying and rinsing your gear while on the island (use the heavy-duty gear bag for travel, and the mesh bag for on-island use). Bring extra: mask and fin straps, snorkel keeper, batteries (please don’t throw away your dead batteries on the island, since there are no recycling facilities: help save Bonaire’s environment and bring them back home for proper disposal! Visitors leave behind an estimated 100,000 batteries each year, contaminating the island’s ecology).

If you’re planning on doing a lot of shore diving, we strongly recommend bringing booties and open-heel fins (not full-footed fins!) – at some sites you may have to walk on rocks or down rock steps to get to the water’s edge. Water temperature varies from about 75 in the winter to about 85 in the summer. A light tropical shorty or dive skin is great for summer and fall; you may want more thermal protection in the winter.

ALL DIVERS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE A BONAIRE DIVE ORIENTATION (USUALLY AT 8:30 OR 9AM ON YOUR FIRST MORNING ON THE ISLAND – ASK AT THE DIVE SHOP WHEN YOU CHECK IN UPON ARRIVAL) AND PAY THE $25/YEAR MARINE PARK TAX BEFORE BEGINNING THEIR DIVING. DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR C-CARD AND DIVE GEAR WITH YOU!

DIVING WELL - practice "no-touch" diving to preserve the reefs. Please also streamline your equipment and clip your gauges and octopus to your BC. The beautiful corals and marine life are what you came all this way to see; please do your part to prevent damage and save the reef for future generations. Remember that merely touching coral can kill it. Group leaders and dive shop staff are there to help you enjoy yourself, so don’t hesitate to ask questions, discuss problems, or make a request. If you feel like skipping a day’s diving to pursue other interests, don’t feel guilty! This is your vacation, so do what makes you feel happy. So what if you miss those eagle rays and sea turtles? Remember to stay well-hydrated for diving – make a conscious effort to drink lots and lots and lots of water during your entire trip. Always remain neutrally buoyant to avoid damaging the coral. Please pay close attention to your buoyancy, and always maintain proper weighting. Swimming position - head down and fins up. This position makes it easier to avoid kicking the coral with your fins, and keeps you from clouding the visibility. Don’t touch or collect marine life, live or dead.

Currents are not usually strong but pay attention and start your dive against the current. Don’t hesitate to "call" a dive if the current is strong - you can always move to another site that’s protected from the current. Sites on a "point" where the island sticks out are more likely to have stronger currents.

Stay well-hydrated; remember your safety stops and sloooow ascents, and avoid pushing your limits the day before flying home. When you’re making lots of dives, being conservative is smart diving.

Please dive safely and take care of the reefs!

 

BONAIRE DIVE SITES

1. Boca Bartol
2. Playa Bengi
3. Playa Funchi
4. Bise Morto
5. Boca Slagbaai
6. Nukove
7. Karpata
8. La Dania's Leap
9. Rappel
10. Bloodlet
11. Ol' Blue
12. Country Garden
13. Bon Bini Cas
14. 1000 Steps
15. Weber's Joy/Witches Hut
16. Jeff Davis Memorial
17. Oil Slick Leap
18. Barcadera
19. Andrea II
20. Andrea I 21. Petries Pillar
22. Small Wall
23. Cliff
24. La Machaca
25. Reef Scientifico
26. Buddy's Reef - Buddy Resort
27. Bari Reef - Sand Dollar
28. Front Porch
29. Something Special
30. Town Pier*
31. Calabas - Divi Resort
32. Eighteen Palms - Plaza
33. Windsock
34. North Belnem
35. Bachelor's Beach
36. Chez Hines
37. Lighthouse Point
38. Punt Vierkant
39. The Lake
40. Hilma Hooker (wreck dive)
41. Angel City
42. Alice In Wonderland
43. Aquarius
44. Larry's Lair
45. Jeannie's Glory
46. Salt Pier*
47. Salt City
48. Invisibles
49. Tori's Reef
50. Pink Beach
51. White Slave
52. Margate Bay
53. Red Beryl
54. Atlantis
55. Vista Blue
56. Sweet Dreams
57. Red Slave
58. Willemstoren Lighthouse
59. Blue Hole
60. Cai

*The Town Pier and the Salt Pier require a local divemaster & permission from the Harbor Master. Watch for stronger currents at sites in bold print. Sites 7-50 are less prone to strong currents.


KLEIN BONAIRE DIVE SITES - BOAT ACCESS ONLY

A. No Name
B. Ebo's Reef
C. Jerry's Reef
D. Just A Nice Dive
E. Nearest Point
G. Bonaventure
H. Monte's Divi

I. Rock Pile
J. Joanne's Sunchik.
K. Capt. Don's Reef
L. South Bay
M. Hands Off N. Forest
O. Southwest Corner
P. Munk's Haven
R. Sharon's Serenity
T. Mi Dushi
U. Carl's Hill Annex / Yellow Man's
V. Carl's Hill
W. Ebo's Special / Jerry's Jam
X. Leonora's Reef
Z. Sampler

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