View Full Version : Favorite Spots?

Wen Pederson
05-11-2011, 11:51 AM
Will some of you long time snorkelers on the island share your favorite spots - especially those with easy access? We're coming back after a 12 year lapse and suspect our former favorite sites have changed. Are there any of the resorts that will let you use their dock/ladder? Thanks!

05-11-2011, 01:12 PM
Wen Two real EZ spots for snorkeling are:
1. Donkey Beach (located by yellow hut about 100 yards south of Port Bonaire)
2. Something Special Dive site. Right in front of the Blue Water residence (abut 100 yards south of Harbour Village)..Enjoy...

Melissa Phillip
05-11-2011, 03:24 PM
Torri's Reef is my favorite snorkeling spot.
However check out book titled Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy
for very detailed information on every dive site and snorkeling sites.

Wen Pederson
05-11-2011, 05:31 PM
Thanks, Vince. Would've stayed at Vinibu but you were booked (good for you...bad for us) Maybe next time!

Wen Pederson
05-11-2011, 05:32 PM
Thanks, Melissa. Won't get to me in time before we leave. Tori's Reef is on our short list, however!

05-12-2011, 06:07 AM
Thanks, Vince. Would've stayed at Vinibu but you were booked (good for you...bad for us) Maybe next time!

Hmmm.. Sorry to hear that Wen..When you're down check out Bellevue and take a walk around the back gate if there's someone around to let you access the seaside deck. Perhaps next trip. It does pays to book early. Nevertheless, I'm sure you'll have a great time on Bonaire and enjoy la dolce vita!

Denise Johnston
05-12-2011, 10:53 AM
You can download what I think is a very helpful snorkeling e-book on Bonaire here: http://store.tropicalsnorkeling.com/bonaire-snorkeling-guide.html. It's current and provides some information that is different from BSDME. It also has some general information on Bonaire that might be helpful for someone who hasn't been there in many years (or who is going for the first time, like me).

05-12-2011, 12:30 PM
Before our first trip to Bonaire last November I bought and downloaded the e-book referenced in the previous post. It was well worth it, partly because it dealt with snorkeling only. You're allowed to download it to more than one computer, so I put it on our mini that we travel with. I didn't have to print anything out.


05-13-2011, 10:07 PM
Patsy, we did the same thing last year and really found it useful. My only objection to the ebook was that the authors don't recommend sites unless they have good coral and I'm also happy with sites that just have lots of good fish. But their directions were great, with lots of details and pictures.

Wen, the easiest entries we found were from the dock at Plaza, the dock at the Divi, and Bari reef from the beach just south of Sand Dollar (access from the dirt road off of the old roundabout). Yellow Submarine in town is an easy entry but has too much boat traffic for me to be comfortable.
Have fun! We are not jealous, we are not jealous...

05-14-2011, 02:11 AM
We love to spend our last full day when we can't dive, up in Washington Slagbaai National Park and snorkel Wayaka II. You do have to go down a set of somewhat tricky steps to get down to the beach area, but it is well worth it. We set our towels and food (we stop at Eli's Deli and get sandwiches, put them in plastic and on ice in our bags) in the "cave" area so it is out of the sun and hop in the water. There is so much to see there. Huge midnight parrot fish, angels, flamingo tongues on the corals, etc... Last August we swam with 2 green juvenile turtles for about 20 minutes.

You will also probably enjoy 1000 Steps area for snorkeling. Every dive site that is accesible by beach has great snorkeling, but these two are on the top of our list.

Enjoy your trip!!!

Wen Pederson
05-14-2011, 10:38 AM
I did buy and download the ebook and then put it on my Kindle. Read it and agree with BonnieC - I'm in it for the fish/creatures also --- we were fortunate enough to have seen the giant staghorn and sea floor displays before the devastation from the hurricanes. I'll try to fuse that memory with the fish I'm seeing at the various sites. I especially like the book's description and pictures of the sites and entries. Very helpful!

I am grateful to all for your tips and suggestions. 10 days and counting....

06-28-2011, 03:32 PM
We really love Wayaka II! On all three trips to Bonaire, we have been greeted and followed around by a pair of dinner plate size French angelfish. I love the way they sort of tilt on their side to look you in the eye!

Also really like Tori's Reef. We spent an hour there last February visiting with some very colourful squid! The entry is super easy, especially if the wave action is not too strong.


06-30-2011, 04:13 AM
I cannot find the 'Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy' book (searched Amazon.UK); is it still in print?? Any ideas where i might get a copy (live in England)
Thanks! Jo Mills

06-30-2011, 10:16 AM
I cannot find the 'Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy' book (searched Amazon.UK); is it still in print?? Any ideas where i might get a copy (live in England)
Thanks! Jo Mills

Try this link: http://www.infobonaire.com/bsdme/order.html

06-30-2011, 01:25 PM
Thanks Roger - looks like we could pick up a copy on island - are they big/bulky to transport home ??

06-30-2011, 02:16 PM
Thanks Roger - looks like we could pick up a copy on island - are they big/bulky to transport home ??

It's a paperback book. Easy to tote around the island... and easy to take home at the end of your trip.

There's a picture of the book at this link (http://www.bonaireinsider.com/index.php/bonaireinsider/bonaire_shore_diving_made_easy_sixth_edition_is_now_available/).

06-30-2011, 02:27 PM
Great thanks! Maybe the dive shop will sell?
Could i ask for any special recommendations for boat & shore dives? I am not too keen on clambering over rough, rocky landscapes .......
We are staying @ Harbour Village, and i believe it is Great Adventures (or something similar) who run the dive operation from there? We have a boat dive/unlimited shore pack + vehicle......
Many thanks! Your advice is much appreciated! Jo Mills

Nick F
07-01-2011, 08:28 AM
Most dive shops will probably have the book but I'd order ahead of time so you can get an idea which sites you'd like to visit. It rates sites for snorkeling too. Or follow this link:


Dives sites I'd recommend are Hilma Hooker, Something Special, and Invisibles, just to name a few. In general it seemed to me (with my limited time on Bonaire) that the southern sites were a little easier entry on average. BSDME has descriptions of the entry but probably not as in depth as you're interested in seeing. Hard boots, or soft soles with inserts (I used these and they work well) are advisable.

08-05-2011, 05:08 PM
Hi from Galen & Nicole (authors of the Bonaire Snorkeling Guide eBook)

I just wanted to leave an update about our Bonaire Snorkeling Guide eBook improvements. While we have received great reviews for it, a couple of people felt like we focused too much on locations with corals, and did not recommend places that were only good for fish.

So Nicole and I took a good look at the guide to see how we might improve it based on those valid concerns. And really we have to agree. Although we did not intend it, some of our wording may have sounded a bit negative to folks who are mostly interested in fish. We did not mean to come across like that, and we don't feel that way at all (we also love seeing fish). Sure, we definitely enjoy locations that have corals, and interesting topography. But we are not snorkeling snobs. Snorkeling is about having fun and appreciating nature.

Fortunately, since our guide is an eBook, we are able to make changes and update the guide instantly, which is what we have done. Here are some of the changes we made to make the book more useful and enjoyable for everyone.

Instead of flat out not recommending a location based solely on what we like to see, we have switched to including a simple one to five ranking system that we give to each location. Five is our highest ranking. To get five, a location has to have some of all of what we enjoy listed below:

•Lots of fish
•A healthy coral reef environment
•Interesting topography
•Clear water
•Appropriate depths for snorkelers
•Reasonably safe conditions and water entrance

Using this ranking system someone can easily tell what we think of each location, based on the items above.

But we know that not every snorkeler is focused on the same things as us. So as an alternative to our ranking system, we also provide an itinerary section that groups locations based on popular interests, like what spots have the most fish. Also, as another alternative to our ranking system, we carefully describe what we have seen at each location, including all the fish. So there are now at least three ways that someone reading our guide can figure out what spots they want to snorkel, based on the things they want to see.

While we know that no guide is going to be perfect for everyone, we think these changes help clarify what we like, while supporting the interests of others in a more positive way.

We are very interested in hearing feedback about our guides so that we can continue to improve them.

There is a form on our site for sharing your suggestions:

Our general Bonaire snorkeling info pages:

Our Bonaire Snorkeling Guide eBook

Happy Snorkeling!

Conifer Water Rat
08-08-2011, 03:10 AM
We had our first trip to Bonaire in April & used the book a lot. It was really helpful. Glad to see you've changed the rating a bit. We loved every spot we went to & realized fish weren't included in the like/dislike.