When you think of Bonaire, you think of diving. This stunning island in the Dutch Caribbean has plenty to offer in terms of beaches, nightlife and land based wildlife, but the thing that makes it a truly world class travel destination is the Bonaire Marine Park.
“Bonaire Marine Park” is the name given to the reef environments surrounding the island, which are all protected.
While this means this is a special conservation area, it doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and explore it pretty freely, you just have to treat it respectfully when you do. In this post we take a look at what you need to know about diving the Bonaire Marine Park.
Shore diving in Bonaire is common and easy
Photo Credit: Chika
Why is the Bonaire Marine Park Different from Anywhere Else I Can Dive?
The Marine Park status is there to ensure that the sea life (which includes the coral reefs too) around Bonaire is looked after carefully.
This is important from a conservation point of view as there is a wealth of species here as well as fragile reef eco systems, and it is also very important to Bonaire itself, as a lot of their industry is dependent on the divers who come to diver here every year.
The Bonaire Marine Park has about 60 official dive sites within its area, and all of these can be accessed reasonably easily by boat or from the shore.
Some of the best dive sites in Bonaire start at such shallow depths that even snorkeling alone will get you very close to some spectacular fish and coral.
Do I Need a Permit to Dive the Bonaire Marine Park?
When you are diving within the marine park in Bonaire you will need a permit and you will also need to follow some guidelines when you are out in the water.
The permit is easy to get and inexpensive, and you will normally buy this from your dive shop, dive school or from the resort where you are staying. When you dive with one of the dive centers on Bonaire the fee will be included in the package price
It comes in the form of a plastic tag which you are expected to wear attached to your gear every time you dive in the Marine Park.
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This article is published by The Scuba Page, the online magazine for Scuba Dive lovers around the world. The Scuba Page is part of RUSHKULT : the online booking platform for adventure sports. Visit the RUSHKULT platform to book your next Scuba Dive training, guided trip and accommodation.