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1000 Steps Dive Site

Caribbean Netherlands

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

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Dive Site Last Edited by:

Polly Philipson

PADI Master Instructor

Scubatech Ltd.


Advice for diving 1000 Steps in Caribbean Netherlands

1000 steps is situated along Bonaire's north-west coast and clearly marked by a painted yellow rock and ample parking area. Some divers choose to kit up fully at their vehicle and walk down the steps to the beach, whilst others prefer to take their time and make a few trips. I personally prefer doing it in one go (and you always have your buddy to assist!)

The entry and exit is what gives this site its formidable name. Not quite 1000 steps, but a manageable 72 to walk up with your full dive equipment on (although I'm sure I only counted 68!) This site is definitely worth the effort due to the gorgeous topside scenery, pleasant snorkeling, and diverse coral reef. Make sure you wear sturdy boots or reef shoes to enter/exit the water as the beach consists of pebbles, rocks and rubble.

The reef topography at 1000 Steps is typical of this section of the coast. The rubble-covered sandy sea floor extends out from the shore at an approximate depth of 5-6 meters (15-20 feet) until it meets the drop-off and coral reef. Divers choose their own depth level, but may reach a maximum depth of around 30-35 meters (100-130 feet). The reef is less steep than further up the coast at Karpata, but has a more dramatic incline than sites further south.

The current was minimal when I dived this site. However, we checked which way the current was going, and followed the general advice to dive into the current at the beginning of the dive, and turn around at our personal halfway marker to drift back to our exit point.

Colorful, good sized sponges decorate the reef slope. This is also a great site for the diversity of corals which included mustard hill, yellow pencil, blushing star, staghorn, and brain coral.

As we swam along, a large green moray welcomed us with a flash of teeth. Juvenile spotted drums danced above the coral, and fairy basslets fluttered alluringly in the shadows. All the regular reef fish came out to play including pufferfish, blue Creole wrasse, scorpionfish, schools of blue tang, grunts and snapper.

Back up in the shallow water, peacock flounder jostled for position alongside giant anemones, which were home to dainty squat anemone shrimp. We did see turtles on this dive, although there are rumors that larger species such as whale sharks have been spotted here.

1000 Steps is a very nice dive for all levels of certification and confidence. Take your time on the entry and exit and don't forget to look out into the blue for larger fish!

Environment: Activities: Dive Type: Marine Life:
Ocean Tropical Salt Water Training Reef Dive Underwater Photo & Video Underwater Research Boat Dive Beach Dive Drift Dive Multi-Level Training Dive Deep Dive Anemone Shrimp Blue Tang Green Sea Turtle Hawksbill Sea Turtle Spotted Moray Spotted Scorpionfish Whale Shark Green Moray Eel Boulder Brain Coral Staghorn Coral Yellowtail Snapper

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Revision History

Polly Philipson

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Advice on Diving in Caribbean Netherlands

...naire and the uninhabited sister island Klein Bonaire are the furthest south in the Caribbean – just 50 miles north of Venezuela. Saba and St. Eustatius are in the northern Leeward Islands, with Saint Maarten lying further to the northeast. Bonaire and Saba are considered to be scuba diving Meccas, although St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten have good diving too. All of the islands have a good infrastructure for tourism and travel and they are known for being well managed. Cruise ships regularly call at Bonaire and Sint Maarten. Bonaire is regarded as the “Shore Diving Capital of the Caribbean” ...

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Read "Part 2: Dive Sites, Marine Life & Environment in Caribbean Netherlands"

Read "Part 3: Dive Shops, Airports & Logistics of Diving in Caribbean Netherlands"
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