Bonaire is the number 1 shore diving destination in the world. Nowhere in the world you’’ll find so many shore dive sites, next to each other and with a coral reef so close to the entry point. And what’s more, Bonaire’s coral reefs are still in excellent condition and visibility is legendary. Bonaire is appreciated as diving paradise all over the world.
Diving holiday on Bonaire
Who chooses Bonaire chooses for the ideal diving holiday. Why? There is a number of reasons. Clean healthy coral as said, is one of them. You’ll find them all over Bonaire’s coast in large areas. Hurricanes, which have a devastating effect on coral reefs, are rare to Bonaire. and the so called 'bleaching effect’, is very limited. Furthermore, Bonaire’’s coral reefs are well protected. All entry and exit points at scuba diving sites in Bonaire, with exception of the dive sites on the island of Klein Bonaire (Little Bonaire), are marked by yellow stones to prevent coral divers to damage the coral reefs.
Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP)
Not only is the coral on Bonaire is protected, its surrounding waters are an official national park, with official park rangers and park managers. Anyone who wants to access the Boniaere National Marine Park (BNMP pays an 'Nature Fee'. Divers pay $ 25.00 per calendar year, swimmers, snorkelers, sailors and other recreators pay $ 10.00. The vignette is available everywhere on the island. Divers receive the tag after an orientation course, explaining the rules of the BNMP.
Snorkeling and diving on Little Bonaire
Klein Bonaire (Little Bonaire) lies west of Bonaire. It’s beautiful coral reefs are an irresistible attraction to divers and snorkelers. Small Bonaire is an important nesting ground for five species of sea turtles, such as the green sea turtle and the leather turtle. The leader tortoise is extremely rare. These prehistoric animals can get very big and dive extremely deeply. Protection of the coral is, just as on Bonaire itself, a priority on Klein Bonaire. Buoys mark all dive sites in the sea around the little island to prevent boats to anker on the reef.
Diving zones on Bonaire
Bonaire’s dive sites are devides in several zones. The Nationaal Park Slagbaai in the north is the decor for a large number of dive sites. Centrally located on the island are the dive sites which locals refer at as 'the house reef dive sites' as many of them are located virtually in the backyard of the houses and hotels. Dive sites in Bonaire’s salt winning area are located in a wonderful surrounding. The large salt pans and salt pyramids form a breathtaking spectacle that illuminates purple in the tropical sun and is populated by large colonies of flamingos. A very special area is Lac Bay. This is an 8 km2 shallow lagoon on the southeastern side of Bonaire. The azure-colored inland bay is bordered on the northern side by a unique mangrove forest and closed at the east end by a coral dam. It is a beautiful area which is also great for snorkeling and canoeing.
Great diving facilities
The dive facilities at Bonaire are great. The hotels, resorts, guesthouses and lodges are very diver-oriented. Almost half of all holiday makers come to Bonaire for diving. There are diving schools, diving shop and scuba filling stations every where. Renting material, buying diving gear, booking a boat trip, its all as easy as it gets on beautiful Bonaire.