Established as a marine park in 1979, Bonaire National Marine Park is now a hotspot for Caribbean biodiversity and a great destination for divers.
With immensely famous and easily accessible wrecks such as the Hilma Hooker, wreck diving doesn’t get much better than beneath the surface of Bonaire.
Bonaire contains perhaps the most colorful Caribbean dive sites. With about 470 species of fish, you’ll see all the colors of the rainbow here.
Bonaire is located just north of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean. This Dutch Caribbean island has protected its marine resources for more than 35 years. Because of this, marine life abounds with more than 470 fish species found in Bonaire’s waters.
Famed as one of the best Caribbean dive destinations, Bonaire hosts amazing coral reefs and long forgotten shipwrecks. Because the island’s dive sites are protected from any currents, this is one of the best places in the world to gain a new certification.
Visitors to Bonaire can choose between boat and shore diving. Most resorts have gorgeous reefs just offshore, but those visiting the further reaches of Bonaire National Marine Park will want to book a few dives from the region’s dive boats.
Furthermore, underwater photography is a favorite activity due to Bonaire’s incredibly clear water and unspoiled ecosystem.
Bonaire’s dry season lasts from about April to November. During these months, the island will be extremely dry and sunny, experiencing practically no rain at all. Sea conditions remain steady and calm throughout the season with sea temperatures at 84°F (29°C) and air temperatures approximately 89°F (31°C). The dry season is recommended for those who value both beach time and dive time.
Finally, remember that while other Caribbean islands are suffering through hurricane season during these months, Bonaire is actually located outside of the hurricane zone and is therefore not at risk of these massive storms.
These months will bring the approximately 22 inches (59 cm) of annual rainfall and merely a brief daily downpour to the island. You can expect only slightly cooler temperatures both in and out of the water. This is the low season, so you’ll find better deals on both diving and accommodation.
When it comes down to it, any time is the best time to dive in Bonaire. The marine life is unchanged between seasons. You can feel comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll experience great diving during any month of the year.
Some of the most memorable creatures you can find on Bonaire are hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtles. Getting a closer look, you may be fortunate enough to spot a seahorse camouflaged in the reefs. Angelfish, tangs, sergeant majors, creole wrasse and butterfly fish also make the reef home. The fire corals, tube sponges and giant sea anemones that cling to the rocks are a surprising sight. Although Bonaire is not known for bigger fish, you might see some near the wrecks. Large tarpon, barracuda and several, good-sized groupers make their homes in the sunken structures.
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