Bonaire, one of the Dutch Antilles located in the Caribbean Sea, is one of the most popular destinations worldwide for scuba divers.
The diving industry makes up almost all of Bonaire's thriving tourist industry, and so it is a great place to visit if you want to live and breathe diving and mix with others who do the same for a week or two.
If you are planning on diving Bonaire, or deciding whether or not Bonaire is where you'd like to go for your next big dive trip, here is what you need to know.
Lets go dive Bonaire
The Best Time of Year for Diving BonaireThe good news is, there is no right or wrong time to do it – diving Bonaire is great all year round! Like most Caribbean islands, Bonaire enjoys temperate waters and sunshine all year round, and doesn't really have distinct seasons.
Where Bonaire is different from a lot of other Caribbean destinations is that while most places in this region can be unpredictable during the hurricane season (late August to September), Bonaire remains pretty much unaffected by hurricanes.
This means you can plan your trip to Bonaire around what suits you best, regardless of when that is in the calendar year. It also means you can take advantage of off peak deals if you are able to travel outside of the conventional “vacation seasons” where you live.
Photo Credit: actor212
Regulations You'll Need to Follow When Diving Bonaire
The reefs that make up the 60 official dive sites around the island of Bonaire are all part of the Bonaire Marine Park, and as such are very carefully protected.
To be allowed to dive here at all you have to pay a minimal fee for a permit, which your dive shop or resort will be able to sell you, and which comes in the form of a tag you clip to your gear.
You also have to observe certain rules as you dive, for example you can't interfere with environments by taking any specimens away, and you aren't supposed to use a knife. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the guidelines before you do your first dive – they aren't restrictive, and shouldn't stop you getting a rich full experience, but you don't want to accidentally do something that is forbidden
Photo Credit: Capt Kim
What You Can See and Do When Diving Bonaire
Bonaire is well suited to all kinds of diving, and one of the great things about it is the ease of finding good shore diving sites.
Most dive resorts have their own reefs, so you can generally go straight off the beach to a full, beautiful reef environment without having to work around dive boat schedules or drive.
When you do want to get out and explore, there are loads of fantastic sites suited to divers of all levels, from the beautiful lagoons of neighbouring Klein Bonaire, easily accessible by boat, where you can see sea turtles, to the stunning reefs that surround the main island.
Planning a scuba trip to Bonaire? Then you should download the ultimate scuba dive checklist just like 5000+ other divers already so you will not forget to bring anything.
What are your thoughts about scuba diving Bonaire? Let us know in the comments below
This post is written by Rutger Thole is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.