If relaxing boat diving is your choice, then the dive resorts happily provide daily trips - normally a two tank in the morning and a single in the afternoon. The centers are good at varying the sites each week. The delight of experiencing well-managed shore diving is not to be missed. Get your hands on one of the detailed dive maps, hire a custom dive jeep, and set your sights on one of the many awe-inspiring dive sites along the west coast.
On the roadside, bright yellow painted rocks clearly mark each site, making it easy to park, check conditions, and start dive planning. Divers are advised to use sturdy wetsuit booties for comfortable shore entries and exits over the shingle and rocky beaches.
Sea conditions in Bonaire are ideal for all levels. Currents are normally weak, although some sites (such as in the very south) do experience stronger ones that can split at depth. Divers are recommended to start their dive into the current, turn around halfway, and then gently float back to the exit point. There are over 60 officially listed dive sites on the leeward coast of Bonaire, and 20 sites on Klein Bonaire - all with amazing corals, sponges and marine life. You never know what you are going to find!
Visibility averages 80-100ft, and surface conditions are generally calm. The fringing reef starts just 30ft (10m) from shore - the reason why this is the "Shore Diving Capital of the Caribbean"! Divers can choose their depth level as they dive along the sloping reef system.
Bonaire's fringing reef is classified as a National Marine Park, from the high water mark down to a depth of 200 feet/60m. Every diver (who has not dived on the island within the last calendar year) must attend a diver orientation. You are required to obtain a Marine Park tag, which is necessary to legally dive in Bonaire's waters. The cost of the tag is US$25 for divers, or US$10 for others, and proceeds go towards the protection and preservation of the Bonaire National Marine Park.
To go with the orientation, a mandatory check-out shore dive, for correct equipment and weighting, is required before diving without supervision. Your dive operator will organize this, normally on the morning after your arrival, as well as any rental equipment or last-minute gear purchases.
Top dive sites to visit are Karpata, La Dania's Leap, 1000 steps, La Machaca, the Hilma Hooker Wreck, Vista Blue, and Jerry's Reef. Marine life is abundant and diverse - over 460 species of fish have been recorded; turtles, eagle rays, eels, frogfish, and seahorses are all fairly common to find. Divers will see up to 60 types of coral, ranging from the hard corals of the shallows, to gorgonians and black corals the deeper you go. The sponge growth is plentiful, large, and very healthy. Enjoy!
The staff at Buddy Dive Resort were really helpful! Augusto, the dive shop manager, made sure we got all the spots on the boat dives that we needed. The dive operation there is great, we loved the drive through for the tanks and the shore dives were amazing. The room was big and clean.
Good location to take check out dive on your equipment before really diving. Excellent location to night dive. Ladder or giant stride entry. It is used by Buddy Dive for scuba certifications. Sandy bottom shelf down to about 35',then out to wall. Wall drops down to about 95' plus. This is great location to check equipment and get buoyancy right before real diving.