Our Bonaire Snorkel Trip November 2015
by Tom & Jan Turner
Staghorn Coral in Lac Bay
My wife and I had the great opportunity to spend a couple of weeks on a snorkel trip in Bonaire November, 2015. This is certainly some of the best snorkeling that we have had in our travels, this being our second time to be able to spend some time there. We happened to hit it during a windy period, with almost every day having 18 to 24 mph winds. The wind died down some during our last couple of days, during which we headed over to Lac Bay and spent two days taking advantage of low numbers of wind surfers.
Galen and Nicole's Bonaire Snorkeling Guide is pretty much a necessity if you want to be able to focus on the best spots on the island.
We stayed right adjacent to Bari Reef, so we snorkeled this area several times, entering at Den Laman Condos, swimming north to Buddy Dive, then heading south to the marina, then back north to Den Laman. Some of the area is kind of empty and bland, but overall, this is a great swim with many things to see at various places along the way. We always saw tons of fish, several different kinds of eels, octopi, a big Green Moray Eel, several turtles, first time seeing a Bandtail Puffer, and numerous Spotted Drums. This was a great place to stay with great snorkeling right there when you didn't have time to drive to a different snorkel spot.
In all we snorkeled at Bari Reef, Front Porch, Karpata, Red Beryl North, twice we did the drift snorkel at Klein Bonaire from dive marker "D" up to "A", No Name Beach, drifted from Petries Pillar up to Andrea 1, then from Andrea 2 down to Andrea 1, and then back to Andrea 2, Salt Pier, Kaya Playa Lechi just south of the marina entrance, Margate Bay, 18th Palm, Lac Bay, and Cliff.
Whereas every place we went had wonderful snorkeling and all kinds of entertaining sights, I would say that Lac Bay has the best overall snorkeling, as far as great coral, great wildlife, and great opportunity to see nature at its finest. There is a stand of Staghorn Coral on the north side of the coral area of Lac Bay that is the largest and most healthy stand that we have ever seen.
We were able to do three night snorkels: one at Bari Reef, one at Divi Flamingo, and one in front of the Venezuelan Consulate.
We went on a Woodwind Cruise snorkel trip, which was great in that they took us to places around Klein Bonaire that you cannot get to without a boat. Dee, who owns Woodwind Cruise and is your guide, does a wonderful job guiding and showing things that you might miss otherwise.
We also did the Mangrove kayak and snorkel tour, which was very interesting and informative, but greatly overpriced in my opinion. The snorkeling though was very murky so that you could not see much, the current was so strong going down that you flew past the few things that you might want to look at, and then the swim back against the current without fins was a real chore. If you really want to take the kayaks, we suggest that you skip the snorkel.
All in all, we had a great trip to Bonaire. We have not been to all areas of the Caribbean, but we have been to many and Bonaire is the best that we have found, closely followed by Grand Cayman. We look forward to our next opportunity to go to Bonaire.
Read Tom & Jan's 2018 Report