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Bonaire is a Dutch island in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, one of the ABC islands it is located 50miles off the Venezuelan coast.  The warm, dry and sunny climate year round attracts many visitors and Bonaire is especially well known for scuba diving.   On land temperatures range from 19-35°C, while the water temperatures range from 26-30°C.

Bonaire is a small island 24 miles long by 5 miles wide and surrounded by fringing reef, and the islet of Klein Bonaire is located just 0.5 miles to the West.  The two main towns are the capital Kralendijk and Rincon which is to the north of the capital.

The beaches and reefs are part of the Bonaire National Marine Park managed by STINAPA.  Bonaire is a leader in conservation and has had a marine park, Bonaire National Marine Park, since 1979; a flamingo nesting sanctuary Washington Slagbaai National Park was established in 1969 and the island is currently home to a diverse range of wildlife including the yellow-shouldered amazon parrot.

Klein Bonaire’s north and western beaches are important turtle nesting sites, the coral reef is pristine and the island itself is home to red flamingos.  Over 70 species of plant and over 50 animal species can be found here in just 700 hectares.

The near constant trade winds mean Bonaire is world famous for wind surfing in and around Lac Bay.  The bay has a well preserved mangrove forest popular for kayaking and snorkelling.  There are a wide range of accommodation options for all styles and budgets and beautiful beaches to enjoy when not appreciating the nature or out on or under the water.

Fact File






Dutch, Papiamento



International Dialling Code



US Dollar, USD

Tourist Board


International Airports

Flamingo Bonaire International Airport (BON)

About The Diving

The Bonaire National Marine Park has 86 named dive sites, over 57 species of coral and 350 fish species.  The whole island is a preserve so it is not allowed to cause damage or remove anything  from the water.

The islands tourism sector is set up to cater for scuba divers, with most resorts and hotels offering on-site dive shops or having an affiliated dive operation for guests.  The surrounding coral reefs are easily accessible from shore making Bonaire one of the best shore diving locations in the world.

The reef is a short swim from shore, the sites are clearly marked and have permanent moorings.  The main road runs the length of the island making all 60 shore dives easily accessible.  Renting a 4WD vehicle is a great way to get out and explore all the sites.


Dive Highlights

1000 Steps

This site is down 67 steps, which feel like a whole lot more on the way back up!  However this dive is certainly worth it, with stunning towers of star coral attracting a wide variety of marine life.  Turtles, manta rays and whale sharks have all been sighted here.  The site is suitable for all levels going from 3-30m depth.

Alice in Wonderland

This double reef offers lots to see and nice conditions for underwater photography.  Healthy coral and a wide range of species make for an engaging and beautiful dive.

Andrea 1 & 2

These two sites are fantastic for snorkelling and for less experienced divers.  Friendly parrotfish, anemones and soft corals provide a kaleidoscope of colour and interest.  Seahorses are seen regularly and both sites are easily accessible.

Bari Reef

Home to over 300 fish species Bari Reef is known as one of the best dives in the Caribbean for biodiversity.  It is an easy shore dive accessible from the pier via a set of steps.  The site boasts lots of macro life including seahorses and is suitable for snorkelers and beginners with little to no current and shallow depth.


This site on Klein Bonaire is home to a forest of gorgonians, which enjoy the moderate currents which can sweep the area.  A large cave at 23m is often frequented by loggerhead turtles, nurse sharks or a green moray and at 30m divers can see black coral.  This site is suited to advanced divers.

Hilma Hooker

The Hilma Hooker is a 72m long freighter wreck at 18-30m depth.  Seized for illegal smuggling, she fell into disrepair and sank in 1984 and is now an artificial reef full of life.  She is dived by shore or boat and is a very popular site for advanced divers and underwater photographers.


This site can be dived from shore or by boat and goes from 6-30m with good visibility and excellent panoramic views.  The large ships anchors embedded in the coral make for good wide angle photos.  Karpata has many elk horn corals and is a very popular site for turtles and the occasional pelagic.

Munk’s Haven

On the west of Klein Bonaire Munk’s Haven features a cleaning station on the coral formations beside the 30m drop off.  Large groupers can be seen and the soft corals are home to lots of life.  This site has an abundance of tropical fish and is excellent for underwater photography.


Nuke has some of the most pristine reef in Bonaire, located in the northwest of the Washington Slagbaai National Park.  This more remote site is reached by a drive along an unpaved road to the beach where divers can walk into the water.  Larger staghorn coral gardens provide a resting area for nurse sharks and are home to numerous fish species.

Ol’ Blue

This site is located north of 1000 Steps, off a coral beach.  You can get a decent depth easily, whale sharks and other pelagics have been seen here, while schooling fish and friendly angel fish are commonly seen swimming around the huge plate corals.

Red Slave

At the southern end of the island this site is located next to the orange slave huts.  This site is challenging and for experienced divers and in good conditions only.  The strong currents which make the diving more difficult also bring in the larger life, schools of bait fish attract predators.  Horse-eye jacks, turtles, manta rays and eagle rays can be seen on this exhilarating dive.

Salt Pier

This 12-21m deep site is suitable for beginners with calm conditions and has excellent opportunities for photography.  Accessible by boat or shore, permission must be sought from local dive shops if you are planning a shore dive.  The pillars of the Pier are encrusted with sponges and corals, large numbers of fish shoal in the shadows and turtles, reef squid, eagle rays and octopus are often seen.

When To Go

Bonaire has a warm, sunny climate and good dive conditions year round.  The hurricane season is June to November, however Bonaire is located just south of the hurricane belt and so often has nice conditions even in these months.  May to October offers lower prices and fewer crowds outside the peak winter season.

Dive Centres & Resorts