Bonaire is the undisputed shore diving capital of the world.

If you like diving on your own schedule, anytime and anywhere, Bonaire is your paradise found. Some of the island’s most spectacular dive sites are mere steps outside your resort room, as the house reefs offer an abundance of marine life and beautiful coral reefs. With its accessible and well-marked roads and ample parking, you can cover dozens of dive sites on the island’s leeward side via rental trucks, which are equipped with built-in racks for carrying tanks.

But the shore diving isn’t the only draw. Bonaire is well-regarded for having some of the healthiest — if not the healthiest — coral in the Caribbean.

bonaire scuba diving

Photos courtesy of BUDDY DIVE

Scuba Diving in Bonaire

You might consider Bonaire for your next dive vacation if you…

bonaire scuba diving

If You Love Shore Diving

Bonaire has a whopping 54 dive sites accessible from shore. You can rent a truck, load it with your gear and scuba tanks, and drive to whichever dive sites tickle your fancy. No boats or divemasters required. [Plus, you’re not required to wake up at 7 AM on your vacation!!] Most of the reefs are shallow enough to enjoy longer dives.

bonaire scuba diving

Mixing in boat dives is no problem, either and you’ll definitely need one if you want to explore the reefs ringing Klein Bonaire, a small island to Bonaire’s west, where there are excellent dive sites.

If you’re an experienced diver who can brave the strong currents, catch a boat to check out Bonaire’s “Wild East” side, where you can spot schools of tarpon and a few scattered rays.

bonaire scuba diving

If You Enjoy Self-Guided Diving

What makes Bonaire so unique is the do-it-yourself shore diving. Although Bonaire has some great boat diving, you’ll have the most complete experience if you feel comfortable planning and executing your own shore dives, or if you’re traveling with a dive buddy who can. Alternatively, this might be a great destination if you’re looking to practice your underwater navigation or gain experience diving without a guide.

bonaire scuba diving

If You Want to See Healthy Reefs

Divers generally agree that Bonaire has some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean. There are three reasons for that. First, the island was made by coral rising up from the seabed. Second, the island gets very little rain, so there’s not so much runoff polluting the reefs. Third, the island has a long history of underwater conservation.

bonaire scuba diving

Orange cup corals, tube sponges, eels, sea turtles, and angelfish are just a few of the common marine species you’ll spot underwater. Bonaire also has a couple wrecks that are well-worth your time.

bonaire scuba diving

If You Love Topside Adventures

From the place names to the pastel-colored buildings of Kralendijk, you can easily spot the Dutch influence in Bonaire. Blend and stir Caribbean, Latin American, and African influences to match the European vibe and you’ve fairly well captured the flavor of the island. Don’t skip out on rock-climbing, windsurfing, biking, and blokarting — a speedy new extreme sport.

bonaire scuba diving
A drive-thru tank pickup at Buddy Dive Resort.

Our Favorite Dive Resorts in Bonaire

Belmar Oceanfront Apartments

South side of Kralendijk

belmar bonaire

Buddy Dive Resort

North side of Kralendijk

Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire

North side of Kralendijk

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort

Central Kralendijk

Plaza Resort Bonaire

Central Kralendijk

Travel Turtle says:

"Want the perfect mix of shore diving and boat diving? Scuba Travel Ventures can customize a Bonaire dive package just for you, at the best possible rates."