Bonaire is located just north of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean. This Dutch Caribbean island has protected its marine resources for more than 35 years. Commonly ranked as one of the Caribbean’s top dive destinations, marine life abounds in this scuba diving paradise with more than 470 fish species found in Bonaire’s water. Great boat dives only complement your ability to access many dive sites right from shore. Underwater photography is a favorite activity due to Bonaire’s incredibly clear water and unspoiled ecosystem. Because Bonaire is an arid island, you can also explore its desert landscape and visit protected wildlife areas to see iguanas and pink flamingos.
- 1000 Steps – This site is well worth taking the numerous steps down to the beach (not anywhere near 1000). Fantastic coral formations, barracudas, turtles and various, colorful, reef fish greet you on this pristine reef.
- Hilma Hooker – This encrusted 72-metre/240-foot freighter lies at 18-30 metres/60-100 feet and rests on the sand between two reefs. The ship is home to lots of marine life and offers many photo opportunities.
- Salt Pier – This site’s easy shore entry an accessibility makes it a popular destination for both new divers and underwater photographers. Underwater, the pier’s pillars transform in to majestic living works of art encrusted with colorful sponges and corals. The big attraction is the sheer volume of fish that take refuge in the shadows created by the pier overhead. Take time to explore the nearby reef and you may be rewarded with an eel, juvenile drumfish or even a seahorse sighting.
- Bari Reef – Boasting a large number of fish species, Bari Reef is an easy shore dive that is usually very calm with no current. You may see tarpon swim by, and can find seahorses and octopi, on the colorful reef.
- Karpata – This is a popular boat dive to a reef that starts at 6 metres/20 feet and drops down to 30 metres/100 feet. Swim along interesting coral formations and ridges, and stop for a photo with one of the many huge ship anchors embedded in the coral.
- Klein Bonaire – This small offshore island is home to hundreds of boat diving sites.Outstanding coral formations and amazing aquatic life make diving here a must on any trip to Bonaire.
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Visibility – Bonaire’s average visibility is around 30 metres/100 feet.
Water Temperature – Warm water surrounds Bonaire with average temperatures of 25°C/78°F in winter and 29°C/84°F in summer.
Weather – Air temperatures average a pleasant 28°C/84°F in winter and 31°C/89°F in summer. Rain is infrequent in Bonaire, which makes it a reliable dive destination year round. Bonaire is at the far southern edge of the hurricane belt and is usually unaffected during the Caribbean’s hurricane season.
Featured Creatures – Hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtles can be seen on most reefs. tangs, sergeant majors and creole wrasse abound, along with other brightly colored reef fish. Giant sea anemones, fire coral and tube sponges dot the reef. If you’re lucky you may spy a seahorse.
Bonaire Dive Orientation – All divers undergo a check-out dive to ensure buoyancy skills are sufficient to avoid damaging the reefs, and each diver must purchase a Marine Park Tag in order to dive on the island.
Recommended Training – The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course improves your skills for diving in Bonaire. The PADI Deep Diver, AWARE – Fish Identification and Digital Underwater Photographer courses will also help you enjoy the southern Caribbean diving.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – Dutch is the official language. Papiamentu, Spanish and English are widely spoken.
Currency – US Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Major Airports – Bonaire’s Flamingo International Airport receives flights from cities around the world every day.
Electricity and Internet: Electricity on Bonaire is 127 volts, 50 Hz. 220 volt is also available at some resorts. Internet is generally available at the resorts.
Topside Attractions – Mountain bike, hike or join a nature tour for bird watching through Washington Slagbaii Park. Check out the Flamingo Sanctuary – one of the largest flamingo breeding grounds – visited by huge flocks of pink each year. Enjoy other watersports, such as kite boarding, snorkeling and kayaking.
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