Snorkeling Bari Reef is like many spots in front of Kralendijk town on Bonaire. There are fish to see, mostly using the docks for shelter, but the shallow reefs were storm damaged and are only showing the beginnings of recovery. Choose Bari Reef if it happens to be a very windy day and the waves are up at other spots around the island, because it is often quite calm and provides a place to snorkel on a day you can't go other places.
This spot is actually in front of the Den Laman and Sand Dollar Condominiums. Unless you are staying there, you are not welcome to use their dock to enter and exit the water for snorkeling Bari Reef. The public entrance is just south of the Den Laman Condominiums (see driving directions below).
Note: This page is a sample from our popular Bonaire Snorkeling Guide eBook available here.
There are the remains of a concrete pier running into the water in front of where you park your car. You want to enter the water in the sandy zone to the left of those. Footwear is recommended. There is a sandy patch, with a step down into some rocks. You need to navigate through these slabs of rock and coral, so be cautious if there are waves. Once you are in deep enough water to float, change into your fins.
For snorkeling Bari Reef, swim to the right of the water entrance. The old concrete pier you walked into the water next to is the best spot along here for snorkeling. There are lots of fish and interesting corals and sponges on and around it. You will want to spend some time here. The visibility is decent and the depths are 3 to 7 feet. We have seen this spot called the aquarium.
Then, swim over to the dock at Den Laman. There is not too much in between, but you might see a few fish. Once you get to the dock though, there are a lot of fish to see hanging out in the shade under it, including some bigger species. Watch for boats coming to the dock when you are exploring here. It gets up to 10 feet deep under the dock and the visibility is ok.
Past their dock, near shore in front of the Sand Dollar Condominiums, there is a rocky area that has some nice live Elkhorn Corals, and in the sandy zones in a little deeper water there are some patches of Fire Coral and sponges. The stuff to see here varies in depths from 3 to 10 feet and unfortunately suffers from low visibility because sand gets kicked up.
You could swim back to the entrance along the top of the drop off of Bari Reef. You can see some live reef, but it starts at about 30 feet and is a little beat up at the top edge. You could skip it and go back by the dock instead.
This is a good place to see fish. We saw a turtle which is always fun. The shallow corals are very sparse.
There are some trees you can use for shade on the beach.