People visit the Caribbean for a variety of reasons. Lazy days at the beach. Gorgeous sunsets. Sandy barefooted weddings or hiking trails filled with tropical flowers and breathtaking vistas – these are just a few of the reasons. There is another draw for the Caribbean, though. World-class diving and snorkeling is available in so many places along these islands.
For the-best-of-the-best, there is nowhere that compares to Bonaire for diving and snorkeling adventures. All of the waters around Bonaire are a protected marine park. No spear fishing, no breaking the coral and no collecting turtle eggs or hunting sea turtles. This means the area around Bonaire is like the Caribbean of old. And since Bonaire receives little rain, the waters are clear with no silt. Visibility is usually up to 100 feet and some days as far as 150 feet. Great for taking those underwater pictures.
Most of the reefs on Bonaire start at the shore. Walk out to the sites and snorkel along the reef terrace where fire coral, soft coral stands and reef fish are plentiful. You can expect to see goatfish, parrotfish eating the algae, and, if you look carefully, peacock flounder on the bottom.
The drop-off zone starts at around 10 meters. Here soft sponges in a variety of colors sit beside mountainous star coral which can be shaped in pillars, shingle-like overlaps, or mounds. Here you can spot schools of jacks or single grouper, as well as seahorses and rays.
Monte’s Divi is a great spot for beginning divers because the water currents are mild. Divers can see seahorses here and the depths are between 15-100 feet. Just across from the mooring is a single divi divi tree, hence the name. This area is accessible by boat.
Windsock is located at the end of Flamingo Airport in waters 30-100 feet deep. It is named after the windsock on a pole nearby. Here divers can spot turtles and rays. Snorkeling is very easy and exciting here. Visitors can access this spot from the beach.
Experienced, adventurous divers can visit the Blue Hole. Wade through shallows before reaching the drop-off. With the water levels 15-100 feet deep, divers can see rays and sharks as well as tarpons. This site is accessible from the shore and is advised for advance divers only.
Sharon’s Serenity waits for the intermediate divers with moderately strong currents. Night diving is perfect here since basket starfish love this area. The mooring is near to the shore and this is a great spot for snorkelers. The depth is 20 to 100 feet.
Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire is the largest dive resort on Bonaire and with all-inclusive packages and great diving, it is the perfect place to stay while you enjoy your snorkel/dive. The dive shop is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Get certified in Advanced Open Water Scuba. Those who want to stay dry can rent a beach chair and have a drink from the beachside bar while enjoying the island.