Open post

Diving and snorkeling on Bonaire

There are very little places offering superb diving and snorkeling opportunities and even less spots that are as well maintained as Bonaire. For those who are beginners there are diving sites with easy entrance from a beach, for more adventurous and experienced divers there are plenty of difficult entries, boat dive spots and even a wreck to discover. In total 86 diving locations for all the tastes. Depending on luck you can spot various species of fish, turtles, cuttlefish, seahorses, moray eels and soooo much more.

Some think diving is superior to snorkeling but to be honest I think it’s just as good, just completely different. It offers more color, more light more visibility. But… it doesn’t make you a part of the marine environment like diving does. As a snorkeler you are always the observer, never the participant, never just another “big fish”. Still… you have a chance to spot pretty much the same variety snorkeling as diving. All depends on luck and chosen location purely… so…

Where are our favorite spots for diving and snorkeling?


Suitable both for snorkeling and diving…. if the weather is good. With a strong current, entrance to the water can be challenging as you have to slide from a rock and fire coral starts immediately.

Karpata offers the biggest variety of sea fans that come in all the sizes and colors out there. Except for those there is an incredible selection of all types of coral and a superb variety of residents from cuttlefish and pufferfish to eels.

Salt Pier

It’s one of the easiest and most rewarding sites on the island. Entrance is just a simple walk through sand with a great possibility of spotting turtles already at the very beginning. Later on it just gets better. Salt Pier is famous for its pillars encrusted with sponges and corals, surrounded by schools of fish. All that creates an extraordinary scenery. It’s suitable both for snorkel and diving. Make sure there is no boat picking up salt, otherwise it’s not allowed to enter the water there.

Little Bonaire

A heavenly spot great for snorkeling and diving. Easy entrance, beautiful reef and a great chance of spotting turtles since its where their nesting locations are.

Pink Beach

Jandirk’s favourite diving site. It’s certainly not worth a swim for a snorkel session since the reef starts far offshore and a bit deep. We discovered life when we practically lost hope and wanted to turn around and go diving somewhere else. Pink Beach was destroyed a couple of years ago in the tsunami and the reef is just recovering which offers an incredible sight that can’t be found anywhere else on the island. It’s a quite wild part of the underwater world with lots of fish and varieties of crustaceans.

18th Palm

Very easy entrance from a beach and 100% chance of spotting massive tarpons makes this our favorite relaxing dive.

Alice in Wonderland

Diving only spot offering a true underwater garden experience with a variety of reef and even a double reef formation.


It’s only possible to snorkel here with a Mangrove Center organized canoe tour but’s well worth the additional hassle and cost. After all that’s where so much of the marine life is born so you see plenty of small and big fish in great numbers as much as colorful coral attached to the roots of the trees.

Spots we haven’t visited but we wish we could

Some spots on Bonaire are possible to visit only with ideal weather conditions. Those are hard to achieve since it’s pretty windy very often there. So although we wanted to try to visit the White Hole of the other side of the island, we couldn’t. Currents there make it difficult to reach it even by boat. Nevertheless we will keep trying to get there when we are again on Bonaire. Proximity to the mangroves guarantees a lot of bigger marine life, sharks, eagle rays and every greater variety of turtles.

Another location with a great fame are diving spots around the Washington Slaagbai National Park in the North. They are really remote and so less popular among divers with great variety of marine life. We simply didn’t have enough time to visit those as well…. But if you do, don’t forget to let us know how it was!

Where to rent the equipment?

There are plenty of schools and resorts offering equipment rentals and organized dives but we always stick with only one. WannaDive is cheap, reliable and very leaned back. They rent all the gear or just parts, as you wish. They also organize boat dives to Little Bonaire and great night dives.

The fee

Water surrounding the island is a marine park up to 60 meters deep and so there is a fee involved for all the water activities. For diver it’s 25 USD for a year pass (nope, there is no such thing as a two week pass). On the bright side if you pay the fee, the entrance to the Washington Slaagbai National Park is free.

It’s possible to pay the fee in all dive shops, the tourist office in Kralendijk or at the STINAPA office.


The List
Our Equipment For The RTW

After the decision to leave everything and go travelling comes the most difficult part: what should you take with you? You start reading and buying all this fancy, new stuff but is it really worth it?

We had the same problem, we also didn’t know what to take and we had no idea if what we decided to bring would be handy or not. But now we know… let’s go through our list of handy, useless, and missed stuff


Top handy:

  1. Powerbank

We got it as a gift actually and didn’t know that it is such a life saver! We use it all the time. Our powerbank can charge a mobile phone four times and it has a light. It’s also not too scared of water which helps. Check out our powerbank the Sandberg IP54Powerbank

  1. Backpacks

Without it there is no backpacking. The most important thing is that it’s not too big because when it is you will pack it full before you notice and then you will have to drag way more kilos than necessary! Another feature that is really handy for your big backpack is that it opens like a suitcase as well as from above.

Initially we took two 38 L BACH backpacks and a tiny itsy bitsy BACH. All three of them are still with us and serve us very well. Later on we bought two additional backpacks but about those you will read futher below:)

  1. Washing kit (line, universal sink plug and soap)

Another great gift we got! We didn’t even realize that we wouldn’t be able to just leave our dirty clothes by some laundry place or that in so many places it would be so expensive. It saved us from stinking so many times!Washing/Drying Kit

  1. Shoes

It’s very important to have good ones just because they should be your only ones if you want to travel light. We both trusted Scarpa and never regretted it. They are perfect for hiking, walking around cities and surviving rain. They are also not too ugly. They are our only footwear on the road except for flip-flops.

  1. Sowing kit

When your clothes break (and they will!) you will need it. We used it soooo many times.Sowing Kit

  1. Earplugs

Without those be prepared for many sleepless nights. There is always at least one snorer or drunk in the dorm!

  1. Microfiber towels

They are horrible, they give you this weird feeling that you don’t get dry. Everywhere we could, we tried to use a normal towel but it doesn’t change the fact that the microfiber ones dry way faster than the normal ones and they occupy way less space.

  1. Layered clothing

A key to pack clothes is to bring lots of layers so that you can still use seperate things depending on the weather. We each brought an underlayer, t-shirts, a fleece and a rain jacket. With all these layers we managed to survive in Patagonia in the beginning of the winter.Glaciers, El Calafate, Argentina

  1. Headphones

There is nothing more uncomfortable when the whole hostel hears your skype conversation. Headphones give you privacy and the right to listen to some music and watch a movie when everyone is sleeping

  1. E-reader

I personally love the smell of books, I like holding them, seeing how much I read but… they are heavy. When you want to have many books and some guide books it’s better to invest in an e-reader. P.S. E-books are also cheaper and you save a few trees- that’s what I tell myself to cheer myself up when missing a real book:)

  1. Hard drive

We take pictures almost every day and not every day we have internet to upload them. Besides uploading takes ages. So to have a backup we always have a hard drive.

  1. Universal plug adapter

Unless you are in the middle of a forest and you want to just enjoy the nature without any electronics...

  1. That little something for a special occasion

Every now and then it's amazing to put something on that doesn't have stains and holes. It doesn't have to be fancy but a shirt for a guy or a dress for a girl would be great. Believe me, there are times when you don't want to feel like a hobo!Astrid and Gaston, Lima, Peru


Things we missed and bought along the way:

  1. Good camera

Before we were traveling with two pocket size cameras- one underwater as we love diving and one normal compact camera. After some time of taking pictures every single day we missed something better. We had more and more the feeling that we couldn't capture what we were seeing so we went for the real deal and bought our precious Canon... and some lenses:)

  1. Other backpacks

For our camera we needed a separate backpack so we bought an amazing Lowpro one. It's absolutely perfect, it fits not only the camera but also the lenses and it has quite a big space for some food, water and whatever you want. It's also very safe because the openning of the compartment where the camera is, is at the back so when you have it on you can't even see it's a camera backpack.

Except for the camera backpack we also bought just a standard north face day pack. Our itsy bitsy was just really uncomfortable when taking big weight.

Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panama

  1. Laptop

We though we would manage only with our smartphones and an old tablet but no way! To mantain the blog and work on our pictures we bought a very simple and light laptop.Alto Bonito, Salamina, Colombia

Things we took and were useless:

  1. Merino wool socks

So we took two pairs of socks each because we were told that those wouldn’t stink and were unbelievable for hiking. We wore them at home for one week straight and they were great but during the trip they were a total miss, they stunk like normal socks do and they were not as special as you would expect from 20 euros a pair.

  1. Sheets

We read it would be super dirty in hostels and we would need to use our own sheets. That was not true except for the Amazon and The Lost City in Colombia. Except for that they were useless. Although we will give them another chance when going to Asia.

  1. Money belts

Absolutely useless really. We wore them maybe twice and they were extremely uncomfortable, not to mention that after two times they stunk like sweat. We never regretted not wearing them. We never had any unsafe situation and no one ever robbed us. Well maybe except for a dirty pair of panties that got mysteriously stolen from me.

  1. Medication

We were prepared for everything starting from bladder infection to malaria and guess what … we didn’t use most of it and we had to drag it around. We only used diarrhea related stuff and that’s what we’re gonna bring to Asia. If something happens there are pharmacies everywhere.


Stuff we missed and will buy

  1. Speaker

When we finally had a private room and wanted to watch a movie we had to wear headphones cuz we couldn’t hear a thing. Going to Asia we will definitely take a speaker to enjoy our private cinema