Bonaire Scuba Diving

Bonaire Scuba Diving Dominates Reader Ratings Again in 2018

The Wreck of the Hilma Hookersharpnosed-pufferBonaire continues to secure its position as a premier dive destination as the island landed 12 different awards in the Scuba Diving Magazine’s 2018 Readers Choice Awards, including FIVE #1 rankings.

For the 25th consecutive year, Bonaire has maintained its first place position with the #1 Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic region. Bonaire received first place in four other Caribbean/Atlantic categories: Best Macro Diving, Healthiest Marine Environment, Best Diving for Beginners and best Free Diving!

The second place rankings include Best Visibility, Best for Underwater Photography, Best for Advanced Diving and Best for Snorkeling. Bonaire also moved up to third place as the Best Overall Dive Destination and Best Technical Diving.

Bonaire – Divers Paradise

Bonaire set the standard in reef conservation more than 30 years ago when it instituted one of the first permanent mooring systems and prohibited anchoring of boats. It also designated all of Bonaire’s waters down to the 200 foot depth an official marine park. These early conservation efforts have enabled the reefs to remain a healthy haven for more reef inhabitants than any other dive destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic.

Bonaire dive site 1000 Stepsred-frogfishAnyone who has been scuba diving or snorkeling in the waters of Bonaire knows they teem with large numbers of fish and unusually high number of fish species. Surveys conducted by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF.org)  name 7 dive sites in Bonaire among their top 10. The coveted #1 position awarded to Sand Dollar’s house reef, Bari Reef. The most recent number of species identified is a record breaking 405. More species are being discovered every day. Nearly all of these species can be found in less than 100 feet of water.  Well over 100 species are visible within snorkeling depth!

Bonaire offers shore diving opportunities unlike any found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Of the 90+ named dive sites on Bonaire, approximately 60 are accessible from shore. The fringing reef system is located a short +/- 50 yards/meters offshore, so surface swims are kept to a minimum.

Though every dive site on Bonaire has its own unique element, all generally have a fairly standard shallow and narrow terrace. The terrace gives way to a reef that slopes gradually down to a depth of 30ft/10m before dropping at about a 45 degree angle to approximately 130ft/40m. Variations occur most notably in the south where several sites are part of a double reef system.

Try Something Different

East Coast Diving

Bonaire scuba diving on the “wild” windward east coast side of the island is quite a different experience. Bonaire East Coast Diving operates a Zodiac Hurricane 920 which was especially designed for the diving the choppy windward side. Give it a go!  They can accommodate 10 passengers plus crew for two-tank morning dives.

UV Night Dive

shore divers at Jeff Davis MemorialNight dive with UV lightEven the most experienced night diver will be impressed with the new world of blue light night dives! The special light awakens a new fluorescent world popping against the dark structure of the reef.  Dive Friends Bonaire offers the night dive at the dive site “Cliff” – a spectacular site to visit day or night.

Experience Tech Dive

If you’re curious about what technical diving programs have to offer, try an Experience Tech Dive for starters. This is perfect for those who want to try something different or aren’t sure if they want to do a full course. Get out there and try a single guided dive with a full face mask, side mount system, or dive with a technical diving rig.

Shore Dive Specialty

Shore diving is quite different from boat diving, so in this course Dive Friends will teach you everything that you need to know to safely conduct shore dives. You’ll learn how to pick your dive sites (with your complimentary copy of Bonaire Shore Scuba Diving Made Easy), plan your dives, choose entry and exit points, navigate and problem-solve.