Best snorkeling spots on Bonaire, our Top 5
Snorkeling is a great substitute for people who find diving a bit exciting. Most sites have excellent access from shore, and once in the water, our guests can face huge numbers of tropical fish and beautiful coral.
The perfect paradise: Bonaire. Where you can relax on the picturesque mini beaches and in the clear blue water. Or have a drink under palm trees and all in an extremely relaxed atmosphere.
There is more, however. Our guests can easily enjoy the island’s underwater ecosystem, which is well-known. These are the best snorkeling spots on Bonaire!
On Bonaire there is not only plenty to do above water, the beautiful underwater world is well worth a visit. There is a reason why the island is truly known as “Divers Paradise”.
Snorkeling is a great substitute for people who find diving a bit exciting. Most sites are easily accessible from shore. Once in the water our guests can look forward to huge numbers of tropical fish and beautiful coral.
The Sunwise teams’ Top 5 best snorkeling spots on Bonaire…
Te Amo Beach is truly one of the best locations
Located next to the airport and the well-known resort of Port Bonaire. Also known as a sea turtle nesting site, this small sandy beach offers extremely easy access to the reef. The coral gardens here are located just below the water table. You can see them in the water, on the photo below. They give our guests excellent views of the many species of reef fish and coral. This makes Te Amo beach one of the best snorkeling spots on Bonaire.
1000 Steps is worth every step
This famous diving and snorkeling spot is located on the scenic route towards Rincon and Lake Goto. The yellow stone with the name “1000 steps” on it helps our guests recognize this wonderful location from the road. The location of the beach is at the foot of a high cliff and accessed by stone steps. Fortunately, the addition of 5 more lower steps in 2021 decreased the total number of steps to 77, which is a significant improvement from the frightening 1000 steps indicated in its name. We regularly saw turtles and hefty barracudas here! Since this beach consists of coral pebbles, it’s a good idea to bring water shoes.
In the mangroves there’s only snorkeling with a guide
Another of our favorite spots is the mangrove forest on Bonaire’s east coast, around the azure Lac Bay. To experience something truly special, snorkeling in the mangrove forests can only be done through a scheduled guided tour led by an expert guide. This is to protect the fragile mangroves. Among the roots of these extraordinary trees, our guests will find that to which the mangrove forests owe their nickname (“nursery of the ocean”): thousands and thousands of baby fish, from the colorful parrotfish to the impressive barracudas.
Also one of the best snorkeling spots on Bonaire is Klein Bonaire
The distance from the coast of Bonaire to this uninhabited bounty island is about 800 meters at its shortest, but to the accessible (snorkeling) beach strip, No Name Beach, about 2 kilometers, or about 10 minutes by water taxi. The generally mild current around the islet allows our guests to take a wonderfully relaxing snorkeling trip of about 600 meters along the beach, letting themselves drift with the current. Here you may be lucky enough to encounter a seahorse or a shark.
The Saltpier is great because of the pillars
At the salt pans there is a pier with conveyor belt, to load the extracted salt into the ships. When there are no ships moored, guests can snorkel to their heart’s content between the pillars of the pier. Large schools of fish and usually several barracudas can be found between the pillars, even though the bottom is too deep for snorkelers. Between the ends of the pier and the beach are several beds of sea grass, where you can actually always find sea turtles.
Lac Cai is one of the best snorkeling spots on Bonaire too!
Our Bonus Tip: The channel at Lac Cai, which lets water in and out of Lac Bay and the mangrove area, is often a bit murky because of the current. But what lives here is generally a lot bigger than on the west coast. So are the turtles! These turtles are often the size of a “coffee table”, and one can approach them quietly after they stick their head above the water to breathe.
A firm rule that applies on Bonaire and all over the world: don’t touch anything underwater, don’t chase the animals and treat the beautiful things nature has to offer us with respect!
PS: Before going out, make sure to rub your back well with sunscreen, preferably from a brand that does not harm nature!