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Snorkelling in Bonaire

The fabulous underwater world is one of Bonaire’s greatest attractions. Nature lovers from around the world travel to the island where snorkelling is a very popular activity. With only a pair of flippers and diving goggles, you can enjoy all the unique creatures that call the Caribbean Sea home.

In many places, the coral reef extends all the way to the shore, which means you’ll find yourself in a tropical aquarium after swimming only a few metres. Take a trip to the west coast of the island to see seahorses swimming among the coral and discover the mangroves at Lac Bay.

Don a pair of fins and go snorkelling
Don a pair of fins and go snorkelling

Bonaire

Snorkelling on the west coast

The west coast of the island is especially popular with snorkellers, thanks to little wind and calm water. The beach is made up of broken coral that has washed ashore over the years. In other words, you won’t find a pearly white sand beach here; the coral reef starts right off the coast though, so fabulous panoramic views are guaranteed. Once under water, you’ll see all kinds of species of parrotfish, angelfish and elegant butterfly fish. There are 17 official snorkelling spots. The less popular locations are also great for a refreshing dip.

Both beginners and experienced snorkellers can indulge at Andrea I and II. These spots are located 1 kilometre north of the desalination plant and are easy to reach from shore: you simply walk right into the water. Between the soft coral and anemones, the sea is teeming with life. The large brightly coloured parrot fish are hard to miss. With a bit of luck, you may even see seahorses. The water here is exceptionally clear, so you can even film your encounter.

The colourful parrotfish are hard to miss
The water around Bonaire is exceptionally clear

Snorkelling at Lac Bay

Lac Bay and Sorobon Beach are popular with windsurfers, but you don’t necessarily have to stand on a board here. The bay is protected by a large coral reef that attracts a wide diversity of fish. Snorkellers enter the water at the Sorobon Beach Resort, where you swim a few metres to the snorkelling area. If you let yourself drift along with the calm current, you’ll float past exquisite horn coral in beautiful formations. The mangrove forest starts a little further down, also called the ‘nursery’ because you’ll see lots of young fish, rays, lobsters and seahorses nestling among the roots of the mangrove trees here.

Artistic coral formations in Lac Bay

Photo credits

  • The colourful parrotfish are hard to miss: waywuwei, Flickr
  • Artistic coral formations in Lac Bay: Snorkelingdives.com, Flickr