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Bonaire, a favourite diving destination

With its azure blue sea, crystal-clear water and colourful underwater world, Bonaire is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. And for good reason, as the entire coast is a protected nature reserve and boasts untouched beaches, spectacular coral reefs and thriving sea life.

Thanks to the warm Caribbean climate, the water around Bonaire is clear and calm all year round. Visibility is between 30 and 55 metres, perfect for underwater photography. Dive below the surface and you’ll find yourself in a magical world filled with brightly coloured fish. With a bit of luck, you may even meet a sea turtle. The best diving spots are located off Bonaire's west and south-western coasts.

The fabulous underwater world of Bonaire
The fabulous underwater world of Bonaire

Bonaire

1000 Steps Beach

1000 Steps Beach

The promise of a beautiful, remote beach and ocean filled with coral make the descent to 1000 Steps Beach more than worth the effort. But, not to worry, the hike down is ‘only’ 72 steps. This diving spot is perfect for divers of all levels. The average depth is 20 metres and the coral reef starts just off the coast. Once underwater, you’ll see a wide diversity of sea animals, including dolphins, basking sharks, hawksbill sea turtles and rays.

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1000 Steps Beach

A special diving spot

The locals love to dive at Something Special, not so much for the coral, but first and foremost because it’s teeming with sea life. Manta rays can be seen gliding over the sandy sea bottom and, in some places, garden eels pop up their heads – a fantastic sight to see. These unique fish bury most of their bodies in the sand and only poke their heads from their burrows, as if they are growing like plants in a garden. Something Special is suitable for beginners and easy to reach from the marina. It is also possible to go night diving here.

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A manta ray

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Something Special

A sea turtle

Get your camera ready

Karpata, in north-eastern Bonaire, is one of the most popular diving spots on the island. It is named after the country estate on the coast and divers enter the water from its pier. The water here is calm and clear, making it perfect for beginners. In some places, the reef drops straight downwards, where you’ll see a few old ship anchors at the bottom. Thanks to the clarity of the water, divers can take fabulous pictures of seahorses, angelfish, horn coral and more.

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Karpata

Photo credits

  • 1000 Steps Beach: Galen Piehl, Flickr