Bonaire is the Shore Diving Capital of the World!

Bonaire is a small island located in the southern Caribbean, next to Curaçao just north of Venezuela. It is known for its pristine waters, stunning coral reefs, and incredible shore diving opportunities. In fact, Bonaire has been dubbed the “Shore Diving Capital of the World.” Now dive in and keep reading because we will explore why Bonaire is such a popular destination for divers, highlight some of the best dive sites on the island, and provide you reasons why you should consider booking a diving vacation to Bonaire.

Why Bonaire is the Shore Diving Capital of the World?

There are several reasons why Bonaire is considered the Shore Diving Capital of the World. For one, the island is surrounded by a protected marine park that covers over 6,000 acres of coral reefs and seagrass beds. This means that the waters around Bonaire are teeming with marine life, and the reefs are incredibly healthy and vibrant.

Another reason why Bonaire is such a popular destination for divers is its unique geography. The island is surrounded by a shallow reef shelf that extends out for several hundred feet, creating a natural barrier that protects the shore from large waves and currents. This means that the waters around Bonaire are typically calm and clear, making for excellent diving conditions.

Perhaps most importantly, Bonaire has a long history of conservation and sustainable tourism practices. The island has been a leader in marine conservation for decades, and its marine park is carefully managed to ensure that the reefs and wildlife are protected. Additionally, Bonaire has a number of regulations in place to ensure that divers and snorkelers do not damage the reefs or disturb the marine life.

Best Dive Sites

One of the best things about diving in Bonaire is that there are dozens of incredible dive sites to explore, all of which are accessible from the shore. Here are just a few of the most popular sites:

  • Salt Pier – This dive site is located on the south side of the island and is one of the most popular sites in Bonaire. The pier itself is covered in coral and teeming with fish, and there are often large schools of tarpon and barracuda swimming around.
  • Hilma Hooker – This wreck dive is located just off the coast of Kralendijk and is one of the most famous sites in Bonaire. The Hilma Hooker was a cargo ship that was sunk in 1984, and it now sits upright in about 100 feet of water.
  • 1000 Steps – Despite its name, this site is actually accessed by a long, sloping path rather than a staircase. The dive site is located on the northwest coast of the island and features a steep wall covered in coral and sponges.
  • Bari Reef – This site is located just off the shore of the Buddy Dive Resort and is one of the most popular sites in Bonaire. The reef is home to a wide variety of marine life, including moray eels, sea turtles, and octopuses.
  • Red Slave – This site is located on the east coast of the island and features a stunning coral garden that is home to a wide variety of fish and other marine life. The site gets its name from the red slave coral that is prevalent in the area.

Bonaire is the scuba diving capital of the world
Shore diving in Bonaire, photo courtesy of Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire

Best Dive Resorts

Plaza Resort Bonaire and Buddy Dive Resort are both great choices for a vacation, depending on your preferences.

Plaza Beach and Dive Resort Bonaire is a luxurious all-inclusive beachfront resort with stunning ocean views, a private beach, and a wide range of amenities and activities that include scuba diving. It offers a variety of accommodation options, including rooms, suites, and apartments, and features several restaurants, bars, a spa, a fitness center, a large swimming pool plus Toucan Diving, their on-site PADI 5 Star Dive Centre.

If you are looking for a relaxing and upscale vacation experience with plenty of amenities, Plaza Beach and Dive Resort Bonaire could be an excellent choice.

On the other hand, Buddy Dive Resort is a popular choice among divers, as it is located close to some of the best dive sites, including the famous Bonaire Marine Park. The resort offers a range of diving packages and services, including equipment rental, instruction, and guided tours.

In addition to diving, Buddy Dive Resort offers a variety of other activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and windsurfing, as well as on-site dining, a swimming pool, and a spa.

If you are an avid diver or interested in exploring the underwater world, that includes a PADI 5 Star IDC Centre, Buddy Dive Resort could be an excellent choice.

Ultimately, the choice between Plaza Resort Bonaire and Buddy Dive Resort depends on your priorities and preferences for your Caribbean dive vacation experience.

Things to do in addition to scuba diving

Bonaire is a beautiful island in the Caribbean that is famous for its world-class scuba diving sites. However, there are many other activities you can enjoy on the island besides scuba diving. Here are some ideas:

  1. Snorkeling: If you’re not a certified scuba diver, you can still enjoy the underwater world by snorkeling. Bonaire has many snorkeling spots, including Lac Bay, which is a great place to see sea turtles.
  2. Windsurfing: Bonaire is known for its consistent trade winds, making it an ideal place for windsurfing. There are several windsurfing schools on the island, and you can rent equipment as well.
  3. Kiteboarding: Similar to windsurfing, kiteboarding is another popular water sport in Bonaire. You can take lessons or rent equipment from one of the kiteboarding schools on the island.
  4. Kayaking: You can explore the island’s mangrove forests and lagoons by kayaking. It’s a great way to get up close to the island’s wildlife, such as birds, iguanas, and flamingos.
  5. Hiking: Bonaire has several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the island’s rugged terrain and coastline. Some of the most popular trails include Brandaris, Seru Largu, and Washington Slagbaai National Park.
  6. Beaches: Bonaire has several beautiful beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. Some of the most popular beaches include Sorobon Beach, Te Amo Beach, and Bachelor’s Beach.
  7. Birdwatching: Bonaire is home to over 200 species of birds, making it a great destination for birdwatchers. You can spot flamingos, parrots, pelicans, and many other bird species on the island.
  8. Cultural tours: You can learn about the island’s history and culture by taking a tour of Bonaire’s historic sites and museums. Some of the most popular cultural attractions include the Bonaire Museum, Fort Oranje, and the Slave Huts.

Are you ready for a Bonaire shore diving vacation?

If you’re a diver or snorkeler looking for an incredible vacation destination, Bonaire (and Curaçao) should definitely be on your list. With its clear waters, healthy reefs, and dozens of incredible dive sites, it truly is the Shore Diving Capital of the World. Additionally, the island has a wide variety of accommodations to suit every budget, from cozy guesthouses to luxurious resorts.

Consider diving Curaçao and Bonaire as a complete dive vacation experience!

Booking a combination diving vacation to Curaçao and Bonaire can be a great idea for several reasons:

  1. World-renowned dive sites: Both Curaçao and Bonaire are known for their world-class diving sites that offer a unique and diverse underwater experience. The clear and warm waters of the Caribbean Sea in both islands provide an excellent opportunity for diving enthusiasts to explore a variety of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, stingrays, and more.
  2. Convenient travel: Curaçao and Bonaire are located close to each other, making it easy to travel between the two islands. A short flight can take you from one island to the other, allowing you to experience the best of both worlds.
  3. Cultural experiences: Apart from diving, both islands offer a range of cultural experiences, such as exploring historic colonial buildings, tasting local cuisine, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife. This allows for a more well-rounded vacation experience.
  4. Affordable: Compared to other popular dive destinations, Curaçao and Bonaire offer relatively affordable accommodations, food, and activities. This makes it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers who still want to experience the best of the Caribbean.

Overall, a combination diving vacation to Curaçao and Bonaire is an excellent choice for anyone looking to experience world-class diving, unique cultural experiences, and affordable travel.

Contact Dive Travel Curaçao to start exploring the endless Dutch Caribbean dive vacation possibilities.

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1% of Dive Travel Curaçao’s net annual proceeds are donated to Reef Renewal Curaçao and Bonaire so they can re-invest it in restoring corals