Bonaire is a small island located in the Dutch Caribbean, just north of Venezuela. The island is well-known for its gorgeous reef and has proudly earned the nickname Divers Paradise. This is not without reason, so let us give you our top 5 reasons why!
1. Protected marine life (STINAPA)
We believe that nature is a treasure. The foundation STINAPA ensures that we keep our ocean clean, untouched, protect our underwater wildlife and do no harm, by making everyone aware on how to dive/snorkel safely on the island.
STINAPA has (among other things) arranged for there to be yellow stones placed at all dive sites. Maybe you’ve seen them before, not knowing what they were? These are the entrance and exit locations for divers, snorkelers, and swimmers. These yellow stones are there to ensure the damage done to the reef while entering and exiting the water is kept to a minimum, so be sure to look out for them. They also mark the safest and eastiest entry and exit points.
STINAPA is a non-governmental, non-profit foundation dedicated to the protection of our marine park and the Washington Slagbaai National Park. Its mission is “to protect and manage the island’s natural, cultural, and historical resources sustainably.” Therefore, as you come explore Divers Paradise with us, we want to do so in the most aware way.
To ensure STINAPA can continue managing and maintaining the parks, there is a mandatory nature fee for all users of the marine and the national park. As we have mentioned in our Tips for Shore Diving blog post, there are a few important rules outlined while diving in Bonaire’s marine waters to allow for a great and aware diving experience, one being the required orientation dive. Book your orientation dive on Bonaire with us now!
Therefore, we put this as our first reason as to why Bonaire is the perfect diving destination. When you come dive here, you can expect an abundance of species, clean waters, and more.
2. Marine life
Following the protection of our marine park, our marine life! Being surrounded by a great variety of marine species, it is hard to keep track of the abundance of life you see in one dive.
”Did you see that rainbow parrotfish, or that squirrelfish hiding under the corals? And what about those two butterfly fish, the small school of surgeonfish, or that free swimming spotted moray eel?” Not only is there always a long list of things we saw, but sometimes a diver isn’t even quite sure what species they’re looking at while underwater. We don’t blame you, Bonaire has over 350 fish species and close to 50 different corals across our dive sites. Every dive (whether at the same or a new dive site), is different, you come across new species each time. So, this is only the beginning, after every dive you will start to recognize more marine life species and learn their names step by step. Before you know it, you will have extended your fish identification list to unimaginable numbers.
3. Shore and Boat dives
While on the topic of dive sites, Bonaire is a true snorkeling and diving mecca, as it has more than 85 official dive sites. Whether you are a complete beginner or already have many dives under your belt, the reefs of Bonaire amaze divers from all experience levels. Most of Bonaire’s dive sites can be entered from shore, allowing divers to easily drive around in a rented vehicle and explore the dive sites along the coastline. Nonetheless, for the ones that would love to explore the dive sites by boat, Klein Bonaire offers many great diving opportunities that can only be accessed by boat. Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post on how to prepare for your dive vacation on Bonaire!
4. All year-round diving
Any time is the best time to go diving in Bonaire. Throughout the year there is only a slight change in water temperature, ranging from 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) in February to 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) in September. Dependent on the person, during the colder months, you might want to switch to a slightly longer or thicker wetsuit to make the dive as comfortable as possible. As for marine life, this remains unchanged and allows divers to adore the beautiful marine life and its unique species at any time.
For those who love to combine diving with beach time, Bonaire’s dry season would be the best time to visit the island, due to there being less rainfall. Dry seasons run from the months April to September. As our little island is located outside the hurricane region, it is at a lower risk of being impacted.
5. Relaxing Vibe
With approximately 20,000 citizens, the vibe of Bonaire can most likely be compared to one of a village. In comparison to its vibrant neighboring island Curacao, Bonaire is the perfect destination to relax and unwind. Most visitors love to combine diving and other water sport activities in the morning with a laidback afternoon chill session under the sun, which is the perfect combination of spending your time on the island.
Although we could list many more reasons why Bonaire is the perfect diving destination, these are our top 5. We hope to welcome you to our little island soon, we would love to show you all the underwater sites!