Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Bonaire

Beautiful Bonaire, in the southern Caribbean Sea, provides an ecological paradise for nature lovers above and below the water! The entire coastline is protected as the “Bonaire Marine Park” (up to depths of 200 feet), encompassing reef systems that provide excellent snorkeling and shore diving locations. Aside from Diving, salt production is Bonaire’s biggest industry and is quickly observed in the South. The stunning salt beds of Pekelmeer are also home to one of the hemisphere's great populations of flamingoes. In addition, neighboring excellent shore diving and snorkeling sites, are historical landmarks to Bonaire’s repressive past: African slave huts. These huts still stand in the area around Rincon and along the saltpans of South Bonaire.
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Cliff

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

beginner
(12)
The Cliff may be found off-shore from The Hamlet resort. 2.5 km North of Kralendijk, just North the intersection of Kaya Gobernador Nicolaas and Kaya Amsterdam.
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Margate Bay

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

intermediate
(12)
Margate Bay is nice, remote diving spot. 1.2 km South of White Slave.
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La Machaca

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(12)
La Machaca is located off the docks of Captain Don's Habitat. The facilities are excellent here: outside bar, restaurant, dive shop, photo shop. Please check in with the dive shop before unloading your gear. 2.5 km North of Kralendijk, just North the intersection of Kaya Gobernador Nicolaas and Kaya Amsterdam.
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Boca Slagbaai North

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(6)
Boca Slagbaai is a wonderful beach that, unfortunately, was ravaged by the extremely rare hurricane of 1999. Many of the facilities and buildings on this beach were damaged. As repairs are made and concessions begin operations again, we'll put a note in this section. This is a great beach to spend the day with the kids. See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.
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Buddy's Reef

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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Buddy's Reef is off the docks of Buddy's Dive Resort. Please check in with their dive shop before gearing up. 2.5 km North of Kralendijk, just North the intersection of Kaya Gobernador Nicolaas and Kaya Amsterdam.
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Angel City

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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Angel City offers another excellent view of the double reef system. 2.4 km North of the Salt Pier.
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Andrea II

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(23)
Andrea II is small private site just North of Andrea I. The site offers easy entry, and is just minutes away from an excellent dive. see Andrea I for the entrance directions.
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Salt Pier

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(25)
The Salt Pier is one of the most spectacular dives. The pilings harbor some interesting growth that you won't find easily elsewhere. Since you will need permission from the Cargill Salt Company, make plans early with your local dive shop to schedule this dive. 5.9 km South of the Airport. If you miss this one, you're sleeping!
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Larry's Lair

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(4)
The double reef system continuation. 1.4 km North of the Salt Pier.
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Aquarius

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(4)
Another in the series of dive sites along the double reef system. 1.7 km North of the Salt Pier.
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Bari Reef

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(26)
Bari Reef is found off the shore of the Sand Dollar Condominiums. After the tragic loss of their superb dive facility, docks, and restaurant during the Storm of '99, they put in a temporary facility on the Southern side of their property. As of February 2001, the rebuilding is in progress. 2.5 km North of Kralendijk, just North the intersection of Kaya Gobernador Nicolaas and Kaya Amsterdam.
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Karpata

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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Popular with shore divers. Karpata is located at the end of the one-way section on the coastal road. Known for its good visibility and panorama views, this site is great for wide-angle photographers. Divers can pose by huge ship anchors embedded in the coral, or over branching colonies of elkhorn, which stretch from ten feet up to the surface. Depth 20-100 feet (6-30 meters). Karpata is just to the East of the No Dive Zone, and offers some of the more spectacular diving on the island.On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.
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Eighteenth Palm

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(3)
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The Invisibles

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(23)
The Invisibles is another spectacular dive site. 650 m South of the Salt Pier.
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Windsock

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(15)
Windsock is located at the end of the airport runway. The beach is very popular for sunners, swimmers, kids, and of course, divers! At the end of the airport runway (ocean side!)
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Weber's Joy

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(12)
Weber's Joy, also known as Witches Hut, is another easy and worthwhile dive. If the current is favorable, you can even drift dive to 1000 Steps which is about 1 km away. On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.
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Calabas Reef

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(9)
Calabas Reef is off the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, just South of town. Head south from Kralendijk on the main coastal road, less than 1km from the Town Pier.
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Red Beryl

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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The further South you proceed, the more you can be assured of a private and intimate dive. Red Beryl is no exception! 2.1 km South of White Slave.
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Ol' Blue

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(23)
Ol' Blue is a great beach for sunning. The diving is spectacular, of course, so bring a lunch and enjoy the scenery while off-gassing. On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.
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Alice In Wonderland

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(23)
Alice In Wonderland is another excellent view of the double reef system, should the other sites have more than a couple of divers! 1.9 km North of the Salt Pier.
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Pink Beach

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(13)
Pink Beach is another fine beach for sunning -- kids and divers of all ages!. Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of drinks. A few shade palms line the upper stretch. 2.1 km South of the Salt Pier.
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Sweet Dreams

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(8)
A more rugged site due to the proximity of the island's Southern most point, you'll enjoy the richness of more open-water sea life. 3.3 km South of White Slave.
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Cai

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(10)
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Salt City

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(5)
Salt City is another pleasant dive on the double reef. 400 m South of the Salt Pier.
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White Slave

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(5)
Since White Slave is approaching a bend in the coast line, it offers a slightly varied seascape. The first set of slave huts you see heading South from the Salt Pier (about 2.7 km) will be White Slave.
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Yellow Submarine

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(2)
This is a high boat traffic area so stay low. It's almost right in the center of downtown along the main road. Swim over a sand channel to the reef. The best part of this dive (IMHO) is in the shallows. Also, fish like to hang out under the boats of the marine park moorings. You can reference Susan Porter's very useful book, "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy." That's how we found it. This is an unmarked site on Bonaire and doesn't have a yellow rock in front of it but instead, it's landmark is the dive shop of the same name. Just park along the street by the dive shop and walk in the water down the small slippery boat ramp. It's also a great snorkel!
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Reef Scientifico

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(2)
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Something Special

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(7)
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Front Porch

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(7)
This reef extends south of Bari Reef at the site of the former Sunset Beach Resort (now gone). Entry is a bit north of the sandy beach in the picture. 12 degrees 09 min 59.6 sec N, 68 degree 17 min 13.5 sec W. Drive toward the beach on the very rutted dirt road from the northern traffic circle, following the new yellow marker that points to Bari Reef. Enter the water at the sand beach to the left of the sunken pier and tiny yellow cinder-block building at the northern end of the site. You can also get to the southern end of the reef at the Eden Beach Resort and proceed north on the dirt road by the water.
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Tori's Reef

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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Tori's Reef is a unique dive, as it is located by one of the water intakes for the Salt Works. 1.4 km South of the Salt Pier.
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The Lake

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(15)
The Lake offers a great peek at the double reef system that stretches along this area. 500 m North of the Trans World Radio entrance (South of the Airport).
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1000 Steps

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(25)
1000 Steps is probably just as famous for the grueling hike to and from the beach as it is for its world-class diving! Don't be dismayed-- there are only 72 steps from your car to the beach. If your dive buddy were a true buddy, he'd carry your tank for you! On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk. Off the entrance to Radio Netherlands.
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Oil Slick Leap

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(35)
Oil Slick Leap is immediate gratification! Easy location, parking and entry. About 7 km North of Kralendijk, as the main road turns right to follow the sea.
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Playa Funchi

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(4)
Playa Funchi is an excellent dive. Easy entry, a short kick-out, and plenty of sights. There is even a bit of tree shade available. See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.
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Small Wall

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(4)
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Vista Blue

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(8)
Vista Blue is one of our favorites! Beautiful scenery, an easy entry, and a dramatic drop off. 2.7 km South of White Slave.
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Andrea I

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(15)
Andrea I is a large site, with ample diving space so you won't be bumping into the one or two other divers that may share this spot with you! The entrance is about 5 km North of Kralendijk.
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Hilma Hooker

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(39)
A very popular dive site, The Hilma Hooker, is a must-do dive. The 70 meter cargo ship was purposely sunk on this location back in 1984. It's a fascinating dive, if you've never had the opportunity to explore a vessel this size before. At a depth of 20 to 35 meters, you'll need to watch your air, depth and time carefully. 150 m North of the Trans World Radio entrance (South of the Airport).
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Bachelor's Beach

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(11)
Bachelor's Beach is a great little site, complete with picnic facilities. 800 m South of the airport.
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La Dianas Leap

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(14)
La Dianas Leap is a recommended guided shore dive. This site has a colorful history! Back during the pioneering days of Bonaire-diving, Captain Don led groups of shore dives around the island. This site, definitely one of the more challenging on Bonaire (due to its blind leap into the water), was a good test of a diver's nerve! On one memorable day, only Diana (the sole female in the group of divers), was brave enough to leap off the coral cliff and complete the drift dive with Captain Don. Thus, she will always be remembered! On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.
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Red Slave

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(14)
Red Slave is the last reasonable dive site on the Southern end of the island. It is more of an advanced dive due to its proximity to the point, so special care must be taken. Of the two sets of Slave Huts, (White and Red), Red Slave is the most Southern, just 3.3 km West of the Willemstoren Lighthouse.
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Jeff Davis Memorial

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(7)
Jeff Davis Memorial is another fine dive along this stretch of sites. The kick-out is minimal, so makes for a quick and easy dive to whatever depth you desire. On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.
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Atlantis

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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From the aerial you can see how close you are to the rugged Eastern shore, so you'll probably see larger species of fish beginning here at Atlantis. 2.1 km South of White Slave.
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Town Pier

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(22)
The Town Pier is renowned for its wonderful night dive. You will need permission from the Harbor Master to dive here, and you must be led by dive operator staff. Although sometimes difficult to schedule, if you have a chance to experience this site, just do it! Off the one lane coastal road in Kralendijk.
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Scenery Bonaire North

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(1)
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Blue Hole

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(1)
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Baby Beach [east side]

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(1)
A 15 knot breeze is typical, and rough surf not uncommon, and lots of little urchins in the walk-in [fall down, cant get up] area, so the entry is a challenge even for the experienced, and should not be done when it's gnarly. Briefly, you will see a gradual slope, mostly coral and gorgonians, looking a bit like a sloping desert sagebrush landscape, to about 65 feet where sand starts. There is no wall, just rises and depressions. You may see black tip reef and nurse sharks, turtles, rays, parrots, porcupines, chub, triggers, etc. Or you may not see much at all. It can be great, or dull here. Ride the current north or south. A typical dive plan is to take the current north from Baby Beach to a concrete pillar that's just south of the Marcultura fence, kadasterpaal pilar. From Kralendijk follow signs southeast toward Sorobon and Lac Bay. When you get to the Sorobon intersection, stay on the main road going to the right, south. Just ahead of you will be a fenced shrimp farm, Marcultura. The dive site is several hundred yards south in a straight section of the road with evidence of vehicles parking mostly on the east side, and not much room to park on the right, west side. If you see the waves crashing and birds flying inverted, just keep driving back around the south end of the island to Sweet Dreams or English Gardens. ;)
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North Belnem

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(6)
North Belnem is located at the Southern end of Wind Sock. Just South of the airport runway.
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Boca Bartol South

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(6)
Boca Bartol South makes for a good follow-on from Boca Bartol North if you just want to off-gas at this beach. If the current allows, try exploring the cliff area to the left. See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.
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Lighthouse Point

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(6)
Lighthouse Point is a little difficult to find, but worth the drive. The reef is a bit more varied than other locations due to its being situated on a point. 2 km South of the airport, look for the landmark below.
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Nukove

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(10)
Nukove is really out of the way, but not difficult to find with a good map. It is a beautiful cove and beach area where you'll have little, if any, company. The dive is easy and rewarding. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. You'll start your trek by turning right just before the Bonaire Petroleum Corporation storage tanks in the Karpata area.
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Boca Bartol North

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(2)
This is the northern-most shore diving spot on Bonaire. Since the rugged Northeast coast is just a few km from this site, you can imagine that the diving could be a little dodgy. Pick a good day when the winds are from the South or Southeast, and you'll be able to explore some relatively unvisited areas. Hopefully, you have a good map that will get you to the Rincon Village! Once in the village, look for the signs that will point you to the Washington Park entrance. You then will wind your way through about 4 km of well-paved roads to get to the park.
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Boca Slagbaai South

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(3)
This is another perspective of the Slagbaai Beach, from the South. The area is a wonderful site to visit, if only to spend the day relaxing on the beach. See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.
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Jeannie's Glory

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(3)
Just one notch North of the Salt Pier, Jeannie's Glory offers some of the sights you might miss if you aren't able to dive the pier. 400 m North of the Salt Pier.
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English Garden

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(4)
Typical southern site. A longer swim over the sand channel to the reef at 30 ft but nothing too bad. If you are looking for soft coral, then you have found the dive. Many sea fans and sponges here. This is an unmarked site on Bonaire and doesn't have a yellow rock in front of it. It's a bit tricky to find since the parking area is smaller than some but Susan Porter's very useful book, "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy" helped. The entry is in the southern part of Bonaire JUST south of the entry to Pink Beach and just north of the house at the white slave huts.
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Willemstoren Lighthouse

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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(5)
The Willemstoren Lighthouse dive is for advanced divers, and then only when the conditions are right. The site is on the windward side of the island, so currents can be strong and unpredictable. Ask a dive guide to assist in the evaluation and also to join you on the dive. Drive South to the tip of the island. You can't miss it!
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Playa Bengi

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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(3)
Playa Bengi is under construction as of February 2001. The park personnel are working hard to provide a good road and beach area for your enjoyment. The beach should be open to visitors by the Summer of 2001. See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.
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Punt Vierkant

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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Just South of Light House Point you'll find Punt Vierkant. 800 m North of the Trans World Radio entrance (South of the Airport).
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18 Palm

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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What makes 18 Palm a great site to dive is the nice sandy beach entry. No broken up coral or sharp rocks. Suit up on a bench, not the back or a truck, and when you get back there are 2 outside showers to rinse off. There are also 2 buoy markers at 10 and 20 feet. Underneath the 20 foot marker is a square PVC pipe to better mark the entry/exit. We've stayed at the Plaza 5 times (going on 6 in July 2009) and to the island 6 times (going on 7 in July 2009). When staying at the Plaza we often found ourselves diving the site at least 3 times or more during our stay. Found frog fish, seahorses, octopus, Southern Sting Rays, Tarpon, various eels, large puffer-fish and other usual suspects. During our stay and dives there it is very common to meet other divers from other resorts diving the site. Upon their return we often hear very positive reviews on the site. Not only condition of the reef and marine life but of the entry/exit be very easy. (On the downside) If your not staying at The Plaza the only disadvantage is the distance from car parking lot to the beach itself. Have seen many divers park on the side of the Plaza where their employees park and go in that way which cuts down the distance some of hauling diving equipment. Hope this helps, Neptune Nick 18 Palm is located at The Plaza Resort and is their 'house reef.' The Plaza is located next to the airport and divers not staying at the resort are allowed to dive it.
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Chez Hines

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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Spelonk

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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A no-kidding experienced dive only, off the beaten path. The entry point, waves and surge are very serious, but IMHO this is the best dive on Bonaire for viz, formations, variety, and isolation. You see big cuda's, morays, big parrots, a cave, and its a very cool cove with waves breaking above the vertical edges of the cove. See my review for safe entry and exit and a suggested route. I have photos of the cove from the road, the crevice entry point, the cave, and the waves crashing over the cove walls from below with Kate and a big 'cuda just below the waves very cool stuff. See link http://community.webshots.com/album/105517094jAlIwh From Kralendijk follow signs to Lagoen on Kaminda Lagun road. The road will end after going through a lakebed at a bay near Washikemba. Just before you drive off the east side of Bonaire into the ocean you will see a restaurant at the end of the road, and just before this restaurant you will turn left up a dirt road where you'll see a shack up the hill a ways. You will pass to the left of the shack up the hill, and on top of the hill you will take a fork to the right going between two old masonry gate posts. There are some forks off to the right which go over towards the ocean and dead-end, but you'll stay on the main dirt road winding your way toward the Spelonk lighthouse. There will be some more forks when you get closer to the lighthouse that end near it, but again stay on the road going past it several hundred yards north of the lighthouse. You will see some coves before this, but the Spelonk cove is closer to the road with a gradual walk down to the south edge where you enter through a small 3-foot wide crevice.
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Scenery Bonaire South

Bonaire South, ABC Islands

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Bise Morto

Bonaire North, ABC Islands

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