The sea around Bonaire has a fascinating variety of colored tropical fishes. Coral can be found along the whole west coast. Average visibility runs from 70 - 140 feet under the surface. Average water temperature is 80 degrees and wet-suits are used by divers for prolonged diving. Divers can also rent special underwater cameras to make superb pictures.
Since 1971 it is forbidden to spearfish or collect coral thereby protecting the sea life around Bonaire and future generations of islanders and visitors. Bonaire is a paradise for underwater photographers. Some dive schools hire special photography equipment to record all stunning beauty of coral, fishes and perhaps seahorses. Special courses can teach you how to use this equipment. Unfortunately, there is a worldwide worsening of the quality of coral because of the so-called "bleaching"-effect.
- Use a T-shirt when snorkeling to protect you from the sun.
- Try to book your dive course with your hotel reservation to start the course the next day after your arrival.
Most hotels and resorts have their own dive schools for their guests and other tourists. Most dive schools offer NAUI Scuba Diver or PADIOpen Water certificate. Both courses take about 5 to 7 days before you are certified to dive.
Before you make your first dive, you need to buy a Scuba Diving Tag (once a year). You can buy this tag (small plastic) at every dive school for US $25 for scuba divers or $10 for all other visitors (Nature Fee Tag). Both are valid for one year. With your money, Bonaire can do research and give information about Bonaire Marine Park. If you do not have such this tag, dive schools are not allowed to hire dive gear to you. Put this tag on your BCD (buoyancy control device) so you can always show it when necessary. All scuba divers also need to attend an orientation dive with the dive operator. This Scuba Diving Tag gives you also access to Washington / Slagbaai National Park. This Scuba Diving Tag and Nature Fee are strictly personal and an picture ID with a proof of payment is required whenever you visit this park.
For more information about Bonaire Marine Park, you could visit the Bonaire Marine Park.
If you're famous you dive Cozumel,
If you're rich you dive the Red See,
If you're lucky you dive Bonaire!