Why Bonaire Is A Diver’s Paradise

Scuba is a main driver of Bonaire’s tourism for a good reason. The reef is everywhere, the fish are plentiful, and access is easy. During our three months in Bonaire, we dove a few times a week for pleasure, and about once a week for reef renewal. Here’s why Bonaire is a diver’s paradise.

Diving Bonaire
Let’s Go Diving!

Ease of Diving in Bonaire

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Street Art in Bonaire

I love exploring places through the street art. It’s cool to see the local talent and what they choose to depict in their murals. Not surprisingly, in Bonaire, the artists paint a lot of marine life. Read on to see and learn about the street art in Bonaire.

The Sea

In Bonaire, locals and tourists celebrate the wonders of the sea and the fun activities to enjoy on and in it. Not surprisingly, that appreciation is reflected in the island’s street art.

snorkelers mural bonaire
Mural of Snorkelers in Bonaire
Diving Bonaire Street Art
Life is a Beach Bonaire

Donkeys

Donkeys roam freely around Bonaire so it’s no surprise to see art devoted to these sweet and ubiquitous animals.

Donkey structure Bonaire
A wooden donkey by the side of the road in Bonaire
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Driving in Bonaire

Although a relatively small island, Bonaire is worth taking the time to explore. I recommend renting a car or pickup truck as there is no public transit and it is too big and hot to walk or cycle. In our three months in Bonaire, we shared a pickup with friends from another boat. The truck was perfect on the rough roads and to transport dive tanks for shore diving. It’s not just the roads that make driving in Bonaire an interesting experience.

The Good Parts of Driving in Bonaire

Unlike other Caribbean islands, you don’t need to pay for a driver’s license in Bonaire. This is a plus because it saves you money and a trip to the police station. Seriously. In Grenada and Dominica you have to get a license at the police station to rent a car, and some places they sell it to you at the rental agent. In Bonaire, it’s much easier as there’s no license to buy!

Another plus about driving in Bonaire is the flat terrain. And the drivers are pretty polite. You don’t get honked at as much as back home. Plus, they drive on the same – right – side of the road just as we are used to back home. So for the most part, driving in Bonaire is a good experience. Here’s what makes it interesting.

Van driving in Bonaire
Our rental truck had room for scuba gear for 4 of us!
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Lac Bay Bonaire Windsurfing and More

Bonaire is a Caribbean island best known for scuba diving. If you aren’t a diver, you can always go snorkeling, they say. That’s not all! There are other outdoor activities you can enjoy in Bonaire, and one of the places to try watersports is Lac Bay. Here’s all you need to know about Lac Bay Bonaire windsurfing and more.

Windsurfing in Bonaire

Bonaire is one of the best places in the world to windsurf, mainly because of the consistency of the wind. The wind generally comes from the east, day after day. This is why you hear about people sailing to Bonaire from Antigua and not the opposite direction. The reliability of the wind, plus good weather, makes the island ideal for windsurfing and kiteboarding. As a result, many locals and vacationers participate in these sports, and Bonaire is known for creating champion windsurfers, who train in Lac Bay.

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Blokarting in Bonaire

Bonaire is known as “A Diver’s Paradise” but we’re not just diving here. There are a lot of adventure sports in Bonaire and we want to try them all! When we explored the east end of the island, we drove past what looked like a go-cart track but the vehicles had sails on them. Intrigued, we investigated and then we had to go blokarting in Bonaire. Here’s what it was like to try this adventure sport.

Blokarts Bonaire
The blokarts waiting for adventurous riders!

About Blokarting

When we drove by Bonaire Landsailing Adventures, we were right to liken it to go-karting. They even call the sport “Blokarting!” because it’s using the wind for power. Get it? The business owners are originally from New Zealand where these vehicles originate. Yes, they shipped the carts all the way from New Zealand so people could go blokarting in Bonaire. It’s a new extreme adventure sport and we like to try them all!

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A Night Off The Boat

We love our life on board Sava, but a 46 foot sailboat is not the most comfortable home. So for my birthday we checked in to a night of luxury! After a year of only sleeping on board, we spent a night off the boat in a boutique hotel in Bonaire. It was even better than we hoped it would be.

Bamboo Bali Bonaire

Brian’s birthday dinner at Chef’s Bonaire turned into a present for both of us when the owner gifted us a free night at the attached hotel. Bamboo Bali is one of the top rated places to stay on the island, for regular people, not just to grubby cruisers like us.

The resort is located north of Kralendijk, within walking distance of several restaurants, beach clubs, and a supermarket. Our accommodation had a front patio, bedroom, bathroom and kitchens and private outside spaces with seating and an outdoor shower.

All guests at Bamboo Bali have access to a pool, hot tub, free wifi, and a gas grill with outdoor dining. In our one night stay, we used all of these amenities! We don’t get a night off the boat often, so we took advantage. It was wonderful.

Pool at Bamboo Bali resort
The pool at Bamboo Bali
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Bonaire for Hurricane Season

Modern day sailors want to avoid hurricanes more than almost anything including wearing shoes and giving up drinking. We came to Bonaire for hurricane season and are happy we made the choice. Here are all the reasons we are happy to be in Bonaire for hurricane season.

Bonaire is Safe

Located in the western Caribbean near Venezuela, Bonaire is generally south of the hurricane zone. Which is a relief because 2020 is already a bad year for hurricanes and the season barely started.

Safety on Bonaire extends to crime. In some Caribbean islands, theft and worse crimes are common. In Martinique, we got our gas tank stolen out of our dinghy while it was locked to our boat, and in other islands, dinghies and more are stolen if you’re not careful. While we remain diligent about locking our dinghy, these crimes are rare in Bonaire, another good reason to stay.

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Coral Reef Renewal in Bonaire

Since we’ll be in Bonaire for a while, we want to give back while we are here. I researched volunteer opportunities and found a way to help revitalize the reefs. I especially liked that it combined scuba diving and volunteering! We enrolled in a course and are now volunteering in coral reef renewal in Bonaire.

why coral reef renewal

Around the world, the reefs are in peril due to a multitude of causes like pollution, bleaching, hurricanes and diseases. Coral reefs are very important not only to the 4,000 species of fish who live there, but to humans by providing multiple medicines, and, for tourism. In Bonaire the reefs are the main source of tourism, with the protected marine preserve a lure for divers around the globe.

The good news is marine biologists have developed a way to regenerate the reefs. It requires constant maintenance and volunteers to help with it. We learned all about it last week in our course on coral reef renewal. The 2 day course included classroom lectures, videos and 3 dives.

the class

In the class, we learned about building and caring for coral nurseries. Bonaire has several of these nurseries and now that we’ve passed the course, Brian and I can help maintain and nurture the reef nurseries.

Reef Restoration in Bonaire
Learning how to tie the coral in our Reef Restoration class
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