Watersport activities at Bonaire
Bonaire is a Dutch island in the Caribbean and is known for the many watersports activities on and around the island. Especially, the great diving and windsurfing spots attract many visitors every year. But besides diving and windsurfing, there are much more watersport activities to do. For instance, Bonaire typically has great conditions to go kite-surfing or wakeboarding. Also, sliding through the mangroves in a kayak is great fun, or paddleboard or snorkel in the area around the island on calm waters.
The sea surrounding Bonaire and “Klein Bonaire” is a national marine park. This marine park, together with the Washington Slagbaai National park, situated North/West of the island, is run by a foundation.
When you go diving, you need to purchase a “Nature Tag” for a fixed fee. This Nature Tag is valid throughout the year and provides access to both national parks on the island. In case you do not want to dive, but want to swim, surf, kayak, kitesurf or perform any other watersport, you need a Nature Tag as well. You will get the Nature Tag for a lower price though if you are not going diving.
TIP: Take the Nature Tag, including the receipt with your name on it, with you at all times. Checks are taking place regularly and fines are being given if you are not able to show the right documentation.
Bonaire also known as “divers paradise”. The Bonaire marine park consists out of 86 diving spots. 54 of these are easy and accessible shore driving places. The West coast of the island is the most popular as there is not as much current at the West coast, in comparison with the East coast. The diving locations are marked by a yellow rock, with the name of the diving spot.
If you like to see turtles swim in the wild, you will have the biggest chance to spot one around Klein Bonaire.
A personal top 5 of most beautiful places to go diving on the island has to be:
- Karpata (great views and much coral and fish)
- Alice in Wonderland (double reef)
- Hilma Hooker (ship wreck dive)
- Salt pier (Big groups of fish)
- Bari Reef ( voted the no 1 dive spot in the Caribbean)
|Picture: Sea horse||Picture: Washington Slagbaai|
The island is designed to fit divers needs. Typically, on almost every corner of every street you can find a dive school. Every hotel or apartment typically have a cleaning tin for your diving gear and a diving gear storage room. Furthermore, when you rent a car, there are sufficient pick-up trucks available in which your dive gear can be put in the back. If you like underwater life, Bonaire is a perfect place to go to on your holiday.
Bonaire is not only known for its beautiful under water life. The island is also known worldwide for its outstanding wind surfing conditions. On Bonaire, a constant Passat wind blows, it is always a summer day (warm) and the waters surrounding the island are shallow. Therefore, Bonaire is the perfect place to learn how to wind surf. Although the conditions are perfect for beginners, more experienced windsurfers can have a great time surfing too. THE place to windsurf is Sorobon, a beach located at Lac Bay. It is a lagoon with shallow sea water (average 1 meter depth).
|Picture: Windsurfing Sorobon||Picture: Windsurfing Sorobon|
There are 2 spots where you can sign up for lessons or to rent material; Jibe City & Bonaire windsurf place. Both places have a small beach with beach beds and a lovely lunch menu.
Due to the continuous passat wind, kite surfing on Bonaire is also possible almost 365 days throughout the year. Atlantis (kite-beach) belongs to the 6 best kite-spots in the world and is situated at the South-West side of the island. It is about 15 minutes ride from the capital of Bonaire “Kralendijk”. Because of the warm temperature of the water and the sky, you do not need a wetsuit. Ideal!
At the kite school, you will find some beanbags where you can sit down, relax and order a drink. It is also the perfect place to watch other kite surfers at the water. There are two kits-schools on the island: Bonaire Kiteschool & Kiteboarding Bonaire.
In the South East of Bonaire, you can find the mangrove vegetation of Lac Bay. It is a nature reservation and breathing place for all kinds of exotic birds. There are many tropical fish and exotic plants. Kayak tours are limitedly offered to ensure that the vulnerable ecosystem will not be damaged.
If you want to go on a kayak trip through the mangrove, you can contact Mangrove Info & Kayak center. They have single and double kayak’s available. During the trip, you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling too, through the tunnels of the mangrove. So don’t forget to bring your swimwear!
|Picture: Lac bay||Picture: Bonaire from the air|
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