Snorkeling in Bonaire

Top 10 snorkeling spots in the world: Snorkeling in Bonaire

Bonaire is a special place for snorkeling. This place truly has my heart. I just love the incredibility and beauty of the Caribbean Islands.

This amazing Caribbean Island has a lot of unique things to do. I believe the best snorkeling in Bonaire is enchanting and breathtaking. This is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling. There with the entire coast, 200 feet (60 meters) depth, is a protected national marine preserve. This is the uniqueness of this place. I bet you can’t find it anywhere.

A large part of this Island is surrounded by a barrier reef, which is a thousand years old and incredible to enjoy. This means there are a lot of spots you can directly jump into and enjoy your snorkeling adventure, as we know that shore snorkeling is very rare in the world. And this place is also one of those rare places.

This Bonaire special location is an advantage; it’s sheltered from hurricanes. This location is tucked just 50 miles north of the Venezuela coast. All the massive storms that inevitably barrel through the Caribbean Sea always deflect away from the Island. That gives coral and biodiversity a more peaceful time to grow.

If you have never heard before about the Caribbean incredibility, I will let you know all about this hidden gem and its fantastic spots and how to get Bonaire.

How to reach Bonaire

If you are coming from anywhere in South America, you’ll mostly have to route through Curacao or Aruba. These are two neighboring islands of Bonaire.

There are regular flights to Curacao and Aruba from many locations. You can easily get a flight to the Caribbean. You can probably get direct flights to Bonaire from Curacao. But if you take a flight from Aruba to Bonaire, You would have a quick stop in Curacao.

And if you intend to get there from Europe or surroundings, you can connect from a direct flight from Amsterdam to Bonaire. Bonaire was one of the former Netherlands Antilles and currently is a special municipality of the country.

Snorkeling Tips in Bonaire

In terms of water temperature, the snorkeling at Bonaire is almost similar to snorkeling in the rest of the Caribbean. All you would do is normal safety precautions. But there are some important and helpful points you need to know before going on snorkeling in Bonaire.

Let me tell you first; there are spectacular sandy beaches in Bonaire. There are many shores that are fossilized corals or have rocky surfaces. It is essential to wear water shoe whiles roaming on the rocky beaches of Bonaire.

fossilized coral on Bonaire beaches

Another point that I wanted to let you know is Snorkeling experience is most interesting on the west sides of the beaches because the east side tends to be more winder and rockier. Therefore the conditions are not much appropriate for general shore snorkeling.

As we know that there are thousand years old coral reefs on these beaches. Just be sure that there are no reefs where you start snorkeling because you have to maintain a safe distance from these reefs for the sake of your safety and the safety of the Reef.

Another cool thing about this is that Bonaire has tons of snorkeling spots. These spots are marked with yellow stones with the name of the site on them. You can just randomly visit all these points and wade in the water to see what’s incredible.

So we have concluded that there are tons of spots in Bonaire that are worth seeing and are the greatest attraction for the snorkelers and scuba divers. There you may see many tour guides and snorkel tours. You can hire tour guides for you to enjoy solo snorkeling in Bonaire.

The Best Snorkeling in Bonaire

It can be difficult to choose the best snorkel spot on an island with over 27 km2 (10 square miles) of protected Marine Park encircling the Island. Here are the top 10 best-snorkeling sites in Bonaire.

1. 1000 steps

1000 steps are probably my favorite place on the main Island of Bonaire. It’s on 15 minutes drive from the north of the main town of Kralendijk.

You can easily find a room along the road everywhere on this spot. Or you can find someplace in the lap of trees to put your stuff. Put on your snorkel gear, and you’ll be able to wade right out in the water and start your best snorkeling in Bonaire.

1000 steps is a place where we can see most sea turtles. We can enjoy sleeping, swimming, and feeding staying over there. We can also enjoy seeing different species of the fishes like flounder, needlefish, parrotfish, angelfish, and much more.

I feel this place is calm and peaceful. You can park at the top of the cliff. Stairs are the reason why it is called 1000 steps. You can take 67 stairs down the hill and enjoy the best snorkeling experience. Corals, springs and whips, staghorn, brain, etc., add more magic to this place.

Tip: It is advised to secure your lunch while you are snorkeling. There are many species on the beach, like lizards and crabs, that can spoil your meal. After lunch, you can walk all along the sea shore and collect different stones for your collections.

[Google Maps link to 1,000 steps]

2. Karpata

This place is further north of 1000 steps and at the northernmost point of Bonaire, i.e., Washington Slagbaai National Park.

You can park in the flat area near the shore and walk down the old concrete platform where you can sit and put your snorkel gear on. This area is generally a little more open, so it is suggested that advanced snorkelers need to keep an eye on the surf conditions.

[Google Map link to karpata]

3. Petrie’s Pillar

Petrie’s Pillar is just 10 minutes north of Kralendijk. It has most of the Unique Coral Structures on the Island. The coral reefs are so dense on the Island, so it would be really tough to access from the shore. So it is best to take a boat to access this portion of the Island.

You’ll find a lot of sponges, the enchanted eponymous coral pillars, sea turtles, frogfish, parrotfish, and expensive coral reefs.

[Google Maps link to Petrie’s Pillar]

4. Bari Reef

Bari reef is a place rich in various species. You may find over 300 species of the fishes more than anywhere on any Island of Bonaire. It is a great spot for taking your GoPro underwater photos and videos. You will enjoy many types of coral reefs, shrimps, crabs, sea sponges, and much more.

It is one of the easiest snorkel spots in Bonaire you can get from Kralendijk. You just need to drive a few more minutes in the north. Only because it is easy to access doesn’t mean it’s less worthwhile. This magical place is easy to dive site that will get you right into Bonaire snorkeling without making many efforts and concerns like driving too long or concerning waters waves or currents. This is the best snorkeling spot in Bonaire that is easily accessible.

[Google Maps link to Bari Reef]

5. Tori’s Reef

Tori’s Reef is a place at the southern end of Bonaire. It is an advanced snorkel spot with beautiful surroundings and stronger currents.

It could be a little trickier to get in the water here. You have to pick the right path for you to start snorkeling in Bonaire. You must pick your spot correctly to maintain your appropriate distance from the Reef because it could be harmful to you and the Reef as well.

You’ll find more eels and large fishes looking for a meal or smaller fishes; this is a sign of a healthy biodiverse reef system.

[Google Maps link to Tori’s Reef]

6. Lac Bay

If you are at the eastern leeward side of Bonaire and want to look around for the Snorkeling point, Lac Bay would be the best choice for you. Lac Bay is an area of nearly-constant breeze courses through the Bay. For this reason, this location is popular for windsurfers. This area is shallow and calm, so it is one of the best snorkeling locations in the world. Much adolescent marine life grows up in these shallow bay waters.

The water at the Bay is too shallow. You can start snorkeling from the middle of Lac Bay. Or you can select a suitable depth for you to start the snorkeling.

It has seagrass beds that are used by sea turtles. This Bay has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. It supports a huge population of restricted and threatened bird species.

Since Lac bay is too shallow, you must pay attention to the depth for snorkeling. Just make sure you do not touch any coral so as to not bump on it.

[Google Maps link to Lac Bay]

7. Klein Bonaire

This place is actually a fully undeveloped Island in the west of Bonaire. Klein Bonaire snorkeling is probably my favorite. It is a unique spot for snorkeling.

You may be wondering how to get there. Don’t worry; I’ll let you know everything about it. To get into the Klein Bonaire, you need to hire a water taxi (which costs $20/per roundtrip). When you reach there, you will experience the most relaxing and beautiful beach in the world. This beach is unique due to its pure white sand all over there.

Before you start snorkeling, you must be prepared for some things you need at the beach; it is suggested to bring as little as you can. You must bring some food, sun covering and water to drink. You must use reef-safe sunscreen. If you want to enjoy the coral that circles near the shore and swim out to the far side of the Reef, you should walk along the beach on the east side of Klein Bonaire. You can swim in and out of the coral but be careful not to touch any coral.

8. Wayaka ll

Wayaka ll lies at the most northern point snorkel spots on this list. This snorkel site is beneath the cliff of Washington Slagbaai National Park. It could be a bit challenging to find out wayaka snorkel sites in the Washington Slagbaai. However, if you follow the map and look out for the yellow stone staircase, you will be able to find the snorkeling point.

Before going on snorkeling, you should focus on your route through corals. You would be able to see the coral shadows. Gaps do exist here, but sometimes it is difficult to find them looking directly from the shore.

Since Wayaka ll is north of Bonaire, The waves and currents in the water are stronger than in other areas. So only experienced and advanced level snorkelers are recommended to join snorkeling on this snorkeling point.

[Google Maps link to Wayaka II]

9. Red Beryl North

Red Beryl North lies near the southern tip of the Island. It is more open to swimming, and water waves are stronger here, so here also only advanced snorkelers are recommended. This place is not for beginner snorkelers.

As it is a more open area so you would have an opportunity to see giant marine life like octopuses, barracudas, stingrays, and massive manta rays.

[Google Maps link to Red Beryl North]

10. Margate Bay

Margate Bay also surrounds the southern area of Bonaire.

Red Beryl North and Tori’s Reef are its neighbors. Margate Bay is calmer with fewer currents in the waters, so not only advanced but a lot of people could enjoy snorkeling here.

You’ll see many species of fish at these snorkeling points, such as butterfly fish, angelfish, parrotfish, turtles, and eagle rays. But Black Margate is the special and most common fish of this Bay.

[Google Maps link to Margate Bay]


Bonaire is an amazing destination for your snorkeling journey. The islands of Bonaire mentioned above are rich in marine life. The best snorkeling in Bonaire truly is the best snorkeling in the world.

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