GUEST ARTICLE: Bonaire is a beautiful little island located in the Southern Caribbean and part of the Netherlands Antilles. We found this little gem by typing into Google ‘best snorkelling in the world’. Being avid snorkelers this place really caught our eye and after reading all the great reviews we knew we had to put this one our hit list.
We went to Bonaire in June. As soon as we got off the plane it felt like we had stepped into a greenhouse! We were driven to our accommodations at the Coral Paradise Resort. Coral Paradise Resort is excellent and just a stone’s throw from the water and next to some great restaurants and dive shops. Our rental was there waiting for us at the resort.
After dropping off our gear we wandered down to the waterfront. What a beautiful sight! The crystal clear azure waters shimmered in the afternoon sun and was deliciously warm. There was a nice little stone path laid along the shoreline leading to some shops and restaurants. It was a really great place to take a stroll and admire the scenery.
We found a great little outside restaurant right on the water called Rum Runner’s. The food was excellent and during the day we found it to be a nice place to have a coffee and relax while looking out at the beautiful water.
There are a few friendly Iguanas that frequent the rocks along the water. We really got a surprise when we looked over the rocky edge to the water below and saw our first Tarpon. Tarpon to me look like giant sardines, and I meant giant! They can grow up to 8 feet long and have stunning silver scales that glimmer in the light. They really are incredible fish and we couldn’t wait to snorkel with them.
We bought ourselves a little detailed guide of Bonaire that marked the best snorkelling and dive spots around the island. It was a huge help because the signage around the island isn’t great.
For our first snorkel we ended up just going out to the beach in front of our hotel. The water was really warm and the visibility superb! Before long we were swimming with multitudes of colourful fish of all shapes and sizes. The articles on the net were right – this was by far one of the best snorkelling spots!
Besides the excellent snorkelling and diving the drive around the island is also a definite must do. Bonaire has many interesting sights and while you drive around you will most certainly come upon one of them – the wild donkeys! There are also lots of wild goats!
There is also a pretty impressive Salt Mine next to the water and the colours of the salt flats are stunning! Not too far from that area we saw a huge flock of brilliant pink Flamingos grazing in the shallow waters. Now that was a Kodak moment! There is also no shortage of cactus on the island –in fact there’s loads of it and some homes have even made their fences out of it.
The evenings in Bonaire were really nice and if you were lucky with the clouds you got to see some pretty incredible sunsets. I would have to say the night snorkelling was just as good as the day snorkelling. This was our first time going out at night and man what an adventure!
At first it felt a little eerie using just the light of your torch to guide you but it didn’t take long to get used to it. I think the coolest part was getting to swim with the giant Tarpons at night. They swam by our sides and used our lights as a hunting guide to catch the little fish. It was awesome!
Overall our trip to Bonaire was excellent!! Great accommodations, good eats and heaps of incredible snorkelling adventures. We really enjoyed ourselves there and especially liked the laid back, quiet feel of the island.
We find that’s something hard to come by these days. So if you’re looking for a picturesque getaway with superb snorkelling/diving and not crawling with tourists, this is your spot!
This travel diary has been written by Rob Gower, a friend who enjoys taking the road less traveled!