Bonaire lies just north of Venezuela and is widely recognised as one of the Caribbean’s premier diving destinations. This crescent shaped island is just 21 miles long and together with its uninhabited sister island, Klein Bonaire, forms part of the Dutch Antilles.
It rarely rains and the waters surrounding the island are rich in nutrients, giving rise to its fabulous marine diversity and beautiful fringing reef, that runs the length of the islands west coast. Over 300 different fish species flourish in the seas off Bonaire. In 1979 the island recognised the importance of its natural marine habitat and created the Caribbean’s first protected Marine Park, which has effectively looked after the islands coral and marine life, both of which are very impressive.
There are over 90 dive sites around Bonaire, the majority of which are accessible from the shore. On average, underwater visibility exceeds 30 meters and average water temperatures range from 26°C in the winter months to roughly 29°C in summer. The fringing reef lies close to the shore, at usually no more than 10 meters. Although boat dives are available from all our centres, most divers hire a vehicle to dive and snorkel in their own time and at their own pace. Bonaire is the home of uncomplicated, stress-free diving. Dive packages start with unlimited air access, which is made available 24 hours a day. Shore entry dive sites (of which there are over 55), are generally not crowded or exposed to strong currents.
Diving and Snorkelling for Everyone
Bonaire is one of those rare dive destinations that will appeal to divers of all qualification levels. Novice divers will appreciate the superb training facilities, the lack of currents and clear waters. Experienced divers will enjoy the freedom of unlimited access to diving, day or night and the challenges presented by dive sites off the small island of Klein Bonaire. Keen photographers will appreciate the visibility, excellent bottom times and the lack of currents. Snorkellers can benefit from access onto one of the world's most accessible reefs, which invariably has a shallow upper reef shelf brimming with marine life.
Non-diving partners can enjoy a range of other active pursuits that includes the world-class windsurfing, available on the east coast at Lac bay or walking in Washington Slagbaai National Park. There is also kite boarding, mountain biking, cave excursions and bird watching available. Alternatively, sit back and enjoy the relaxed laid-back atmosphere of this friendly island.
Bonaire’s seas abound with beautiful marine life and a fascinating variety of multi-coloured tropical fish. The sea is remarkably calm and conditions remain superb year round for both scuba diving and snorkelling. Divers often encounter Turtles, Jacks and inquisitive Tarpon. Seahorses, the islands emblem, thrive in Bonaire’s waters, alongside rarely seen Frogfish. The Island’s corals are recognised world wide for their healthy state of preservation. Management of the extensive in water and on land Bonaire National Park system is under the supervision of STINAPA www.stinapa.org, who receives your National Park fee.
Some of our accommodation options include diving - please check with the Regaldive team what each resort offers. Individual hotels operate an in house dive centre that is an integral part of the hotel. Please see below for each hotel's dive facilities.
All divers, regardless of experience level and diving frequency, must participate in the short orientation programme before taking part in any boat or shore dives. Divers are required to complete a compulsory check dive on arrival, after their dive centre briefing. This is part of the Bonaire Marine Park (STINAPA) requirements.
Guests staying at Buddy Dive Resort should refer to dive centre information at Buddy Dive Dive Centre
Guests staying at Harbour Village should refer to dive centre information at Great Adventures
Buddy Dive Dive Centre
Buddy Dive is a PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre, offering unlimited shore diving and boat diving to PADI Open Water qualified divers and above. The centre is very well organised and training facilities are second to none. It is also an excellent place to learn to dive. A range of PADI Tec courses and photography workshops are also available.
At Buddy Dive, the dive centre is located on the water's edge and a jetty provides easy access on to the house reef. Nitrox fills, a large selection of specialty courses and technical equipment rental are available locally. Boats depart the dock 3 times a day to explore those sites not accessible from shore. The unique 2 lane “Drive Thru” filling station makes it very easy for divers to stock up on their tanks (2 tanks per person per time) and explore the island’s many dive sites.
Options available include 6 days unlimited shore and/or boat diving packages. Buddy Dive also offer a Drive & Dive' package options, which include your diving and rental vehicle; this is the most popular option. Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
Extras in Resort
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Marine Park fee: $25 per person paid in cash
- Nitrox fills: 32% mix - FREE
- Private guide fees: Normal dive $45pp per dive
- Private guide fees: East Coast dive $55pp per dive
Equipment rental, payable in resort (USD) per week:
- Mask & Snorkel: $30
- Fins: $30
- BCD: $60
- Regulator: $60
- Wet suit: $60
- Dive computer: $65
- Dive light (without batteries): $30
- Full set incl. computer: $225
- DIN tanks - it is recommended that you take DIN adaptors with you
Local sales tax payable in resort:
Great Adventures is a small, well-run PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Resort with a concierge dive service that concentrates on providing a personalised service to divers. Located on the resort's beach next to its own jetty, the centre runs morning and afternoon boat dives, with a range of dive packs and courses.
Diving can be done directly in front of the resort, on a small wreck called the 'Our Confidence', which sank close to the beach in August 2003, while the dive site 'Something Special' is a short, 5-minute swim from the resort's shore. All shore dives on the island are designated by coloured markers at the side of the road.
The dive pack inclusions will depend on which accommodation/dive package you have booked. Harbour Village and Great Adventures offer 2 fantastic value for money dive-inclusive packages. The two packages available are 'Club Dive' and 'Dive into Luxury' which provide excellent value for money if you wish to dive every day of your stay. In all other cases, diving and courses will need to be booked and paid for locally. Local prices will incur 6% sales tax.
Club Dive Package: (minimum 7 night stay)
Includes: Courtyard room (or Marina room), welcome drink, American breakfast, 1 boat dive per day with refreshments, complimentary concierge dive service, unlimited shore diving (diving does not apply on arrival and departure days), air tanks, complimentary Nitrox upgrade for Nitrox-certified divers, weights and belt, beach towels and loungers, use of kayaks and paddle boards.
Dive Into Luxury (minimum 7 night stay)
Includes: 1-bedroom beachfront suite, welcome drink, American breakfast, 1 boat dive per day with refreshments, complimentary concierge dive service, unlimited shore diving (diving does not apply on arrival and departure days), air tanks, complimentary Nitrox upgrade for Nitrox-certified divers, weights and belt, beach towels and loungers, use of kayaks and paddle boards.
If you would like your diving to be more flexible, the dive centre offers a variety of boat dives and unlimited shore dives. Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
Extras in Resort
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Bonaire Marine Park fee: $25 (annual)
- DIN tanks - it is recommended that you take DIN adaptors with you
- Snorkelling: 1 boat trip including drinks: $27 & 6 boat trips including drinks: $111
Equipment rental, payable in resort (USD):
- Buoyancy Compensator: $21
- Regulator with Gauges & Alternate: $21
- B.C. and Regulators Combo: $34
- Dive Computer: $24
- Wet Suit Shortie: $21
- Mask, Snorkel & Fins: $21
- Mask & Snorkel: $16
- Dive light: $20
- Fins: $13
Local sales tax payable in resort:
All dive centres offer a range of diving courses for those looking to learn to dive. Please enquire for details.
Bonaire is a small island in the South Caribbean, with approximately 17000 inhabitants. The atmosphere of this small island is tranquil and laid back, although there are numerous bars that provide great live music, some first class restaurants and plenty of fantastic activities.
The locals pride themselves on their friendly welcoming attitude, which combined with the wonderful environment goes a long way to explaining the large number of repeat visitors to the island. Bonaire has long been renowned for its pioneering role in marine conservation, which has kept the reefs of the island in immaculate condition for future generations. The island remains relatively untouched by outside influences both above and below the water, making it an attractive option for those looking to escape from a mainstream holiday destination.
Our chosen hotels are all within easy reach of the Dutch influenced capital, Kralendijk. Here you will find a variety of shops, restaurants and bars with live music and entertainments.
Bonaire is -4 hours behind GMT.
The US Dollar is Bonaire's official currency.
There are ATM’s in Kralendijk. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Banks opening hours: 8am - 5pm Mon–Fri as a guideline.
Bonaire is outside the hurricane belt and the annual rainfall is very low. Average temperature annually is 27.5°C. July / August is the hottest period reaching up to 30°C. Conditions are normally warm and humid with a fairly constant, cooling sea breeze.
Water temperature rarely drops below 26°C. A 3mm long suit is recommended (the long suit provides extra protection on shore entries/exits). Those carrying out multiple dives over a longer stay may prefer to add a vested hood or 5mm.
One of the best ways to enjoy Bonaire is to hire a vehicle locally. There are a number of vehicles available for rental in Bonaire. Should you be travelling over a peak period you should consider pre booking your vehicle prior to departure.
Bonaire - Car Hire. approximate rates:
- Car: £25 per day
- Car: £150 per week
- Collision Damage Waiver: c.$11 per day
- Upgrade insurance: c.$19 per day
Bonaire is the home of easy diving, dive sites around the island are well marked and easily accessed at any time of the day or night. The fringing reefs make for brilliant snorkelling for those not wanting to dive. Other activities include windsurfing at Lac Bai, a sheltered bay that is excellent for beginners and pros alike, cave snorkelling, sea kayaking, kite boarding and mountain biking.
With over 180 bird species, the island attracts ornithologists from around the world especially to the salt lakes where a huge colony of flamingos gather. The Washington Slagbaai National Park provides an excellent way of observing these incredible birds in their natural environment. Vehicles can be hired and there is a road that runs around the island and through the park. As the island is small everything is within easy reach.
Flights from UK
Flights with KLM from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester, via Amsterdam.
NB: some arrival times in Bonaire are the early hours of the morning. Unless specifically requested otherwise, your accommodation will be booked for the night before, which allows you to check-in as soon as you arrive. Otherwise you will need to wait until 14.00 hours to check-in.
Other Regional Departures - Supplement:
Additional regional departures available from : Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Durham, Humberside, Norwich International, Cardiff, Bristol - supplement may apply.
Resort Departure Tax:
Payable in cash at the airport prior to check-in. Currently included for international departures on KLM. Subject to change without notice.
International flights: $36
Domestic flights: $9
Passengers travelling to Bonaire must have six months valid on their passport from the date of return to the UK.
No visa required for British passport holders.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Bonaire, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio. Information on Dengue fever should also be sought. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up to date advice please consult your travel clinic. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
Looking forward to going back!
"This was my third holiday in Bonaire at the same hotel. It is an idyllic and relaxing location with outstanding diving opportunities."
"The room was excellently appointed with a wonderful view. Staff in both Buddy Dive Centre and Resort were excellent and extremely helpful. Diving freedom and opportunities were so convenient, and the ability to explore the island with pickup vehicle was a great addition."
Amazing diving, fabulous weather | so much fun shore diving!
"The holiday was fantastic!
The ability to choose where you wanted to dive, when you wanted to go and how long you wanted to dive for just makes the holiday for us. We had some amazing diving, fabulous weather and we just love the place!
Transfers and ground arrangements were excellent. Lovely and very helpful dive centre staff/liveaboard staff and crew.
Plenty of dive sites to choose from and at your own leisure. We did not use the boat dives offered as we had so much fun shore diving, which is why we go to Bonaire.
The favourite memory from the holiday has to be surfacing from an amazing dive at 'Angel City'. Such a beautiful dive with so much life. It was a shame we had to surface, but great knowing we could go back the next day and do it all over again.
I always have great service using Regaldive and will be booking another holiday with you again very soon."
Laurie & Cliff
Very Impressed With all the Dive Sites
"The holiday was all we expected and more, the diving in Bonaire was fantastic.
Accommodation was cleaned every day to high standard. Apartment was showing signs of age and we had some problems with the air conditioning in one of the rooms and another room kept getting large pools of water on the floor when it rained. Both problems were reported and looked at but the air con was still a bit temperamental and the answer to the leaking windows was towel in front of them, this was fine for the duration of the holiday and nothing we want to complain about but for your reference may be worth you knowing that this be may be indicative of the age of some of the apartments.
There was a great choice of food at breakfast and the freshly cooked omelettes were worth getting up for. Two restaurant on site gave a nice mix of food an price options some other good restaurants within 10 minutes drive.
Very impressed with all the dive sites, combination of boat and shore diving meant you could explore lots of different sites. Large amount of varied marine life and very healthy coral. The house reef was great for learning divers and made a nice and easy night dive location.
Dive Centre Staff were always keen to help, instructors were friendly and patient. Some great dive leaders on the boat dives.
Great to have the drive through gas station. Boat dives got very busy from Christmas Eve and couldn't always get space on a boat unless you where there when the slots were put up.
My favourite memory from the holiday was the look on my daughters face when she experienced her first water dive!
Our main issue while we were away was a missed transfer in Amsterdam on our outward journey meaning we had a 24 hour delay. This was due to fog in Manchester that could not be anticipated, however I would suggest that the transfer time of just over an hour was probably always tight and would suggest that you perhaps give people an option of an earlier flight with a longer transfer window in future.
Flight transfer was to short to allow for even minor delays. Ground arrangements were great, friendly and swift transfer car hire went very smoothly, lovely new pickup truck.
Very pleased with the service from Regaldive, from recommendation of locations options, to all the way through the holiday arrangements process. Nice, friendly tailored service!"
Probably the Best Hotel on Bonaire
We went to the Bonaire in April (2016) after spending weeks, if not months, trying to decide where to go after being in the Red Sea for 6 times in 3 years. Journey was hard work, I suggest doing your research as both transit times and stopping on the way at Aruba made it a 23 hours door-to-door journey, when if we had flown from Heathrow to Amsterdam it would of cut transit time in half and flown direct to Bonaire, that being said KLM are first class.
Hotel was fine, secure complex, the rooms good, although the kitchenette is very basic, no rings and very limited utensils. Maid service really good always kept clean. The harbour view we had was really nice, not sure if I would choose a beach front room, as privacy is limited with the amount of people walking past. We had breakfast included which was good quality-wise a choice of egg dishes, breads etc and served from 7am which is needed to be ready for the first boat trip at 9am. The evening menu was expensive, so we ate out every evening, either walking to town (about a 30-40mins walk) or to the closer restaurants. There is no snack style service available for lunch so (burgers, sandwiches etc) which i found strange. The hotel gardens are well established and looked after with an abundance of birds around the site, the beach is very quiet totally exclusive to guests and nice to relax on.
First we had to get over the strange feeling of the relaxed approach - no regime and freedom, you do what you want when you want, full tanks are sat waiting, so you kit up and shore, dive when you want to, day or night. If you are shore diving off site it means using a cart to move your gear from the shop area to the front gates to load into your pick up - bit of a trek, but shore diving is a must on Bonaire and worth it. Load your gear & tanks and drive to any site you choose, kit up and walk into the Sea. Boat diving is efficient - put your name on the board, turn up at 08:45 or 13:45, put your gear on the boat and you are back around 2 hours later. Most boat dives were to Klein Bonaire as most of the Bonaire dive sites can be reached by shore.
The diving quite easy - not too much current or waves, and enjoyable mix of life. Really enjoyed it all, marked off a multitude of fish species. Highlight for me was night diving from the Harbour Village with the Tarpin who come in to feed and are not shy - they love to hunt in your torch light. The shore dive to "Something Special" from Harbour Village is also a really nice, relaxed dive, and on our very last dive of the holiday we saw an Eagle ray. The Salt Pier (Shore Dive) the mix of the industrial and nature makes it a superb dive site. Water temp was a constant 28c so shorty was fine for the duration, although shore diving can be awkward on entry & exit, so a full length would offer more protection.
Great service offered by Regaldive - a big thank you. Great holiday - would do more shore diving next time (already looking to return). The dive shop Great Adventures offer a super service and PADI courses (we completed 3 specialties whilst there). The island is safe to venture out in the evenings, with plenty of choices to eat & drink in Kralendijk, although it is a little expensive, as everything is imported to the island. Nice to be able to drink the tap water."
A Very Good Week's Diving at Bonaire
"We had a very good week's diving at Bonaire. The sea temperature was 28C! and the dives were all easy, mostly an hour, allowing leisurely enjoyment of the marine life. It is obviously a good time to go, as the resort, the dive centre and everywhere else were very quiet. Supposedly the rainy season, but we had very little rain and plenty sunshine between passing clouds. Sometimes we were the only 2 divers on the boat, maximum (once) six. I did a night dive one-to-one with guide, and saw huge tarpons & lobsters clambering over the coral.
It's probably best to hire a car there. Tho' we had a kitchen area in our luxurious apartment, no shops were within walking distance. However, we found two small cafes for lunches and some evening meals.
One afternoon we did a guided tour of the island, visiting the sea-salt industry in the south, and the national park in the north; saw lots of flamingos, as well as other wildlife.
At breakfast there were sandpipers begging for crumbs, a resident pelican, and a 3-foot iguana eating the ornamental plants (nobody seemed to mind!); humming-birds on the plant below our balcony.
Thank you for organising it all. Everything went smoothly."
Andrea & Mark
A Great Time in Bonaire
Just to say thank you to you and everyone else at Regaldive.
Our trip to Bonaire went exactly as planned. The diving was as good as ever and we had a great time.
Martin and Angela Pickwick