About half of all vacationers who visit Bonaire come especially for diving. The island has a breathtaking underwater world that is also known as the Bonaire National Marine Park. The sea around Bonaire is a protected area to a depth of 75 meters! For decades, the fish in the Caribbean Sea around Bonaire should not be hunted. Fish see divers as inmates and sometimes seem tame. Don’t be surprised when fish swim happily after you instead of seeing you as a natural enemy!
The island’s coral reefs are home to many different beautiful tropical fish and other colorful marine inhabitants. Bonaire falls outside the hurricane zone and that is why the coral has a good quality and is almost completely intact. In some places, underwater visibility is over 90 meters. So quite special!
There are no special rules for diving on Bonaire, it is open to everyone. You can drive anywhere on the coast almost any time of the day to dive from the beach.
However, visiting the underwater world of Bonaire does have a few rules. For example, you are not allowed to touch coral, sponges, plants or living animals. This is to protect the underwater world. Therefore, wearing diving gloves is also prohibited in the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP). An exception is made for wreck divers. It is also forbidden to remove dead parts from the water and take them with you. Think of dead coral, dead animals and shells.
Are you going out with a (rental) boat? Then you can’t just anchor anywhere because the anchors can damage the underwater world. Buoys have been installed in the water where you can moor a boat.
If you are going to dive around Bonaire, you must first take an orientation course at the company or organization from which you purchase your compressed air. This short course consists of a dry and a wet part. You will learn all the rules surrounding diving in the Bonaire National Marine Park.
Every diver is required to pay US $40.00 (year 2023) for a so-called diving tag (Nature Tag). This is valid for one calendar year and is available at every diving school. The proceeds are used for the maintenance of the Marine Park. This medal also entitles you to free access to the Washington-Slagbaai Park. This source of income pays, among other things, the park rangers and park managers who work in the park, but also, for example, the protection of the coral, turtles, etc., in short, the entire underwater world in and around Bonaire.
The vignette is, in addition to diving centers, also for sale at hotels, various activity providers and at the entrance of Washington Slagbaai National Park.
For more information about the Nature Tag and a link to the Stinapa website to purchase it online, please visit the page Practical Info Bonaire
The island uses ‘drive thru fill stations’. These are petrol stations, but especially for recreational divers. At such a station you can exchange your empty diving cylinder for a full one to hop on to the next dive location.
There are 86 official dive sites on Bonaire, including 51 side dive sites. You can recognize these official locations by the special yellow stones on the side and the yellow buoys in the water. Each dive site has a unique name and its own piece of history. On the island there are a number of dive locations that can only be reached by boat, this is called boat diving. Some coral reefs and wrecks are quite far from the coast. It is almost impossible to swim there with your diving equipment from the beach. To get to the reef that is furthest from the coast, it takes about an hour by boat, but the average time to the coral reefs is only fifteen minutes.
Respect the reef!
In the underwater world of Bonaire there are a lot of and breathtaking coral reefs. These reefs are the natural habitat of more than hundreds of colored fish and other marine animals. All divers are asked to respect and preserve these fragile coral reefs. For example, you may not take pieces of coral or shells home as a souvenir. In addition, you will find a number of wrecks in the sea that are accessible to all divers.
There are a lot of diving schools on Bonaire. Certified diving instructors who have good knowledge of the underwater world on the island work here. If you are an experienced diver you can rent or buy complete diving equipment at diving schools or dive shops. Don’t have a diving certificate yet? Under the guidance of an experienced diving instructor, you can make a trial dive or take a course to obtain your diving certificate.
When diving you should pay close attention to the danger of decompression or caisson disease. You get this when you rise to the surface too quickly. Symptoms include itching, vomiting, severe pain, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If you experience this, it is important that you are immediately treated in a “decompression chamber”, also known as a pressure tank. There is such a room on Bonaire next to the hospital in Kralendijk. Taking a hot shower or intensive exercise after diving is also not wise, this increases the chance of getting a decompression. Finally, it is important to take into account that there must be at least 24 hours between your last dive and flying. Pay close attention to this!
Are you not such a fan of diving? No problem! You can also snorkel very well on Bonaire and still enjoy the beautiful underwater world. At the diving schools and dive shops you can rent or buy your snorkeling equipment. There are also various “snorkeling trips” organized by the schools.
Are you interested in a stay in holiday villa Caribbean Dream, Cas Maya, or renting another holiday home, villa or apartment on Bonaire?
Go to Vacation Rentals Bonaire, or go directly to the availability calendars of Vacation Villa Caribbean Dream Bonaire or the adjacent Vacation Villa Cas Maya. On Vacation Rentals Bonaire – More Villas & Apartments for rent on Bonaire, you will get an impression of even more possibilities for renting a holiday accommodation on Bonaire.
Maybe you are not time bound for your holiday to Bonaire and you are interested in offers or Last Minute Discounts. On Offers & Last Minute Discounts Bonaire, you can see what special offers are currently available for renting a holiday accommodation on Bonaire
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