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Diving in Bonaire

Diving in Bonaire

Bonaire is a diving paradise with good reason. The diving conditions are good to scuba dive all year round, there is great shore diving and Bonaire tourism supports diving so the infrastructure is well established. With 60 dive sites easily accessible from the shore, it’s no wonder Bonaire is known as the Shore Diving Capital of the world. You can drive from one dive site to the next on the main road, then walk in off the shore. The reef is a short swim from shore where you’ll find abundant marine life in warm water, shipwrecks to explore and very healthy reef systems. These marine reserves have been protected for many years and their pristine condition is testament to Bonaire’s convervation efforts.

Shore diving and boat diving are both popular on Bonaire, but they offer very different experiences. Shore diving provides convenient access to numerous dive sites around the island, while boat diving allows for exploration beyond the shoreline, unveiling hidden treasures. To fully appreciate what Bonaire has to offer, consider incorporating both diving styles into your adventure.

Diving tip: If you want to experience the best of Bonaire's diving opportunities, combining shore and boat diving is the way to go.

Shore diving in Bonaire

Almost all of Bonaire’s main island dive sites can be done from shore. This provides divers the freedom to dive whenever they want. This is not possible in most locations making Bonaire one of the most attractive Caribbean diving locations. The large number of dive locations means that overcrowding at dive sites is not normally an issue.

With shore diving, you drive from each dive site in your rental vehicle with all the gear you need. You can dive multiple times a day. It is at your pace and even better, it’s on your schedule. Most dive centers will allow you to take 2 tanks, then come back to drop off the empty tanks, and pick up new ones. You can dive as many times as you like, following those rules. You can’t, for example, take 4 tanks each, they will not normally allow that. This is too many tanks in a vehicle and they need to be back so they can be refilled and used again.

Enjoy a shore dive courtesy of Airmazingvideo. This dive site is not an official dive location. Instead it is directly off the shore from Mandy's house in Bonaire. This is a great example of the marine life and diving conditions you will experience shore diving in Bonaire.

Boat diving in Bonaire

Most of the boat diving sites in Bonaire are around Klein Bonaire, a small uninhabited islet off Bonaire. It’s a short boat ride to get to these dive sites and most of them are close to shore. These dive sites include several wrecks such as the very popular Hilma Hooker, a cargo ship that rests in 90ft of water. There are several boat diving options on Bonaire that you can pick from to suit your dive requirements. These range from guided single tank short trips to morning or afternoon 2 tank trips. You can do these with local dive operators or private charters.

The benefits of boat diving include access to local diving knowledge, dive gear assistance and access to more challenging dive sites. There are many dive operators that offer package deals for your diving vacation. These packages typically include boat dives, equipment rental, truck rental, and other amenities. When booking your trip, make sure to select the package that best suits your needs. Once you're on the island and enjoying your dive vacation, you can always choose to add more boat dives if you feel like it.

Bonaire Dive Sites

Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA) is the organization that manages Bonaire’s nature parks, including the Bonaire National Marine Park. They provide a couple of dive map options to pick from.

  • Interactive dive site map here

  • Dive site brochure here

Bonaire diving
Diving in Bonaire
Diving in Bonaire

"The diving and lifestyle in Bonaire is so good we moved here." Mandy

Bonaire marine life

The marine life you can expect to see diving in Bonaire includes seahorses, crabs, turtles, barracuda, grouper, large sponges, sea-fans, eels, octopus, nudibranchs and other smaller sea life. You’ll get some great photos and macro opportunities for close ups. Night dives are popular especially from the house reefs when you’re staying at one of the hotels.

Enjoy this video of some of our Bonaire dives showcasing what you'll see when you come over to this fantastic island for a dive vacation. You can see more marine life in our Bonaire Diving Gallery.


We're always documenting our diving expeditions with photos and videos.  Enjoy this selection from our underwater adventures and know that if you come diving in Bonaire this is exactly what you'll see.

With diving conditions and marine life like this available everyday you can see why Bonaire is one of the top dive locations in the world. It is the perfect dive destination for learners right through to advanced divers.

Shore Diving
Boat diving
Bonaire Dive Sites
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