Diving in Bonaire
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10 Tips for shore diving Bonaire
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If you prefer to dive from a boat, there are plenty of opportunities to experience boat diving while in Bonaire. Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island across from Bonaire, is home to a variety of reefs. These dives are only accessible by boat and are beaming with life. Hilma Hooker, a historical wreck sunk in , is also located off the coast of Bonaire. Resting in feet of water, sitting between two coral reef systems, the Hilma Hooker is frequently visited by divers of all skill levels.
Measuring over ft in length, the wreck offers a lot to explore. We recommend bringing a dive light with you to explore all the wreck has to offer. Use your Nova to look in port holes, light up swim throughs, and to search for critters. Having a HUD style dive computer like the new Galileo HUD really can make all the difference by delivering easily viewable, essential dive information constantly right in front you.
Whether you are looking to replace a lost fin or upgrade to the newest dive computer , there are many great resorts, dive shops and gear rental locations in Bonaire.
With the fast drying material, and light weight design, the Hydros BCD makes for the perfect travel companion for any dive destination. The brand new C regulator was designed to be the ultimate travel companion. Underwater activities are the reason that you are planning a trip to Bonaire; however, you may want a break from diving to experience some of the other great things that Bonaire has to offer. Kite boarding and surfing are two very popular water sports, second to diving, that visitors flock to Bonaire to experience. With the constant trade winds conditions, the experience of these sports in Bonaire are unlike anywhere else.
Watch green sea turtles grazing in the shallows and get close to the gorgeous and usually shy queen angelfish as it nibbles the algae from the pier structures. These are just some examples of the numerous close encounters you are likely to have. Salt Pier is a great destination for a night dive as well. You can descend down just as the sun is setting over the iconic pier! When driving along the west coast in a southerly direction, keep your eyes open as the entrance to Margate Bay is slightly hidden and surrounded by beautiful mangrove bushes.
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The serenity and beauty on land is nothing compared to what this dive site offers under water! As soon as you enter the water, you will see huge fields of staghorn coral stretching out in front of you. Fish, crabs, snails and shrimps hide in these corals. Margate Bay gives you an idea of how almost all the shallow reefs of Bonaire looked some decades ago, as staghorn corals used to flourish along the entire west coast.
THE 10 BEST Bonaire Diving Resorts - Jul (with Prices) - TripAdvisor
Nowadays, to reach many dive sites you are required to cross a large sandy patch, but here, the corals have resisted many challenges and appear healthy and fierce. Behind the stretching coral fields lies the beginning of a steep drop-off marked by waving soft corals. Current can be a challenge here, but Margate Bay is a great choice when conditions are calm! This dive site is only for experienced scuba divers and also only accessible during rare and unique calm conditions due to its exposed location at the southernmost tip of the island.
Because of this limited access, it boasts some of the most pristine coral growth of any dive site on Bonaire. After entering the water, divers will cross healthy fields of huge waving sea fans, gigantic gorgonian soft corals, and large healthy sponges as make their way to the sloping reef drop off.
Once there, massive elk horn coral and even towering stony coral heads that are easily hundreds of years old and still thriving. The marine creatures also do not disappoint. Sea turtles, giant green morays, queen and oceanic triggerfish, eagle rays, and even the occasional dolphin pod has been spotted passing by in the blue! As for macro life, this dive site has it all from sea horses to lettuce slugs, and the healthy soft corals hosting juveniles of all species that can be hard to spot in other parts of Bonaire.
Tip: Ask a local diver or someone with experience diving this site for information or guidance on how to best plan this dive as it is not for the Bonaire diving beginner due to the rough surf and strong current that normally make it inaccessible. The White Hole and Turtle City being one such site.
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In the hole, it is not out of the norm to find schools of at least 40 tarpon, a nurse shark or two under a ledge, and even large conch scooching across the sandy floor. From the hole, divers will be guided up one of the sides and cross a vast and beautiful meadow of sea fans gently moving with the powerful surge. Once divers reach the reef drop off, the scenery changes to enormous 8m 24ft tall hard coral towers, big barrel sponges, and huge stove-pipe sponges longer than a person.
As difficult as it is to turn attention away from the reefside filled with turtles, giant green morays, lobsters, eels and other numerous critters, divers will usually be heavily rewarded by a glance out into the blue where passing spotted eagle rays and oceanic triggerfish are the norm, and even manta rays and ocean sunfish have been spotted. The reward for braving the wild side of the island more than pays off when you visit the White Hole!
Bonaire is best known for its shore diving, but to take a day or two to hop on a 10 minute boat ride to the small uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire is a must-do during any visit. More than worth the visit, the reef surrounding the island is in fantastic shape since diving here is a bit more limited.
Of these sites, The Forest stands out with beautiful healthy soft corals and was so aptly named due to the abundance of black coral that grows at this particular corner of the island. The bright sandy shallows welcome turtles and eagle rays. And there are even two friendly resident French angel fish who, having been fed by boats in the past, have never given up their hopes that someone will toss a scrap or two their way though this is strictly prohibited by the Bonaire Marine Park!
Divers looking out to the blue will also likely see schools of barracuda and black durgon triggerfish. If you are a scuba diver I highly recommend adding Bonaire to your list. And if you end up traveling here make sure your trip is long enough to at least unclude several of these best dive sites in Bonaire! Also read my other articles about traveling in the Caribbean.