Tourism is one of Bonaire's most important sources of income, with many visitors coming for the excellent diving.
Bonaire – Been There

Go deep to see Bonaire’s best side

Photo by Chris A Crumley

Bonaire – Been There Go deep to see Bonaire’s best side

The exceptional visibility, up to 55meters, warm waters and unspoiled reefs make Bonaire a popular diving destination for all and underwater photographers in particular.

Daphne Huineman
Daphne Huineman Travel Writer

The waters around Bonaire are a marine park and the lack of rain in this southern part of the Caribbean means the ocean remains clear of run-off from the land. Bonaire banned spearfishing as early as 1971 and has had strict laws against the taking and selling of coral since 1975, long before other islands has realized the damage such practices were causing to their reefs – and tourism potential.

The establishment of a marine park dates to 1979 and protects not just the sea but also shore features up to the high-water mark such as mangroves that are essential to the ecological balance. The result is a fish population that is the most diverse in the Caribbean and several awards placing it among the world’s best dive sites.

As well as its rich fish life, and unusual coral formations such as elkhorn and staghorn, Bonaire also has a number of wrecks for experienced and novice divers. The Hilma Hooker is a 1,000-ton cargo vessel, which sank after losing power on a drug-smuggling mission. Local divers made her safe by opening larger entrances and exits for exhaled air and she now lies at 30meters, home to a large tiger grouper.

Less challenging is “The Tug” which rests on a sandy bottom at 25 meters and, as the nickname implies, was a tug called the Cavalier State.

This Truly Wonderful Hotel is THE place to unwind after a busy day of diving. Check it out!

Underwater landscape in an healthy coral reef with colorful tropical fish

There are more than 350 species of fish and sixty species of coral living in Bonaire's reef. Photo by Kieran Meeke / Alamy

Kieran Meeke

Kieran Meeke

Agency
Alamy

There are more than 350 species of fish and sixty species of coral living in Bonaire's reef.

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