DIVING / SNORKELING
If you are lucky to arrive Bonaire by day, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by the turquoise and deep blue water –a delicate ring of coral, in fact – surrounding our island. Low rainfall means our water is tantalizingly clear and it’s no wonder that early divers fell in love with Bonaire.
Forty years of protection have played out beautifully for Bonaire where marine life abounds, more so than other Caribbean destinations. Just jump in and see for yourself – you will have no shortage of places to try! At Tori’s Reef, find yourself snorkeling in the middle of massive bait balls. Go diving and surprise a hawksbill turtle resting on the Invisibles reef. See the jewel-colored parrotfish in the shallows at Sweet Dreams. Or dive the island’s southern tip at Red Slave and encounter amazing numbers of groupers, barracuda and groves of fan and soft corals. If you’re lucky, maybe a manta ray will visit you on a dive at Something Special or Klein Bonaire.
Bonaire really is a diver and snorkeler paradise – today, guidebooks describe over 100 places to enter the sea from the shore, including Cliff, our house reef that’s in walking distance from Hamlet Oasis. Bonaire’s easiest diving and snorkeling are on the west, leeward side, where you can literally drive up in your rental pickup and roll off the tailgate and into the sea! Or, maybe you prefer to explore the underwater world from a boat, which you can easily arrange. Our local dive operator, Dive Friends Bonaire, offers all our guests an attractive 20% discount voucher on air/Nitrox, dive packages and courses (terms and conditions apply, of course).
Are you feeling a bit more commando? Then try diving Bonaire’s wild and windy east side! Arrange a boat trip with Bonaire East Coast Diving out of Lac Bai to Funchi Reef – a fantastic drift dive where you can see spotted eagle rays, big groupers and large shoals of scad and black durgon, or the White Hole, full of tarpon and lobster. Lac Bai is home to hundreds of sea turtles, so a good chance you will see them.
Maybe you’re just feeling humble and want to give back to the sea? Help Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire with their snorkeling surveys and beach cleaning efforts, or even adopt a turtle nest like Hamlet does every year! Or volunteer dive for Reef Renewal Bonaire to maintain their “garden” of clippings of staghorn and elkhorn corals and help transplant them out to the wild. You can also attend clean-up days on our beaches or underwater throughout the year.
Please remember to use coral-friendly sun cream or rash guards for protection from the tropical sun – you can purchase this and any snorkel or dive gear you need on the island.