You can actually snorkel four named locations from the public entrance just south of the Den Laman Condominiums. If you swim to the right, you are snorkeling Bari Reef, and it continues halfway to the Buddy Dive dock. You can also snorkel to the left of the same public access, which is called Front Porch. You can continue in that direction and explore in front of Eden Beach Resort. And if you continue swimming to the south, around the last dock, you will be in front of the Harbour Village Beach Club resort.
We are including all of these spots here because you access it all from the same entrance, but also because there just isn’t a lot to see. There are only a few areas with corals in the shallows, but you do get to see some fish.
If it happens to be a very windy day and the waves are up at other spots around the island, this spot is often quite calm and provides a snorkel spot on a day you can’t go other places.
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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. Harbour Village Beach Club allows public access for a fee, but it is not worth it for the snorkeling. If you are staying there, and are a strong swimmer, there are some fish to see.
There has been some development in this area and it looks like more might be planned, so the public access to the shoreline may change if construction begins.
Water Entrance for Snorkeling Bari Reef
There are two entrances to the water for snorkeling Bari Reef. Both have yellow rocks marking the entrance.
To the right of the parking lot, looking from shore, in front of the Den Laman Condos, there is a good sand, coral rubble, and rock entrance, just to the left of their dock.
Or, you can enter the water in front of the Chogogo Dive and Beach Resort that is to the left of the parking lot, past the remains of the concrete pier that runs into the water. The bottom here is also a mix of sand and coral rubble.
Footwear is recommended. Once you can float, switch to your fins.
Where to Snorkel
For snorkeling Bari Reef, the ruins of the concrete dock that are just to the left of the parking lot is the best spot along here for snorkeling. The remains of the dock extend offshore a little ways underwater. There are some fish, and some corals and sponges on and around it. The visibility is decent and the depths are 3-7 feet. We have seen this spot called the aquarium.
The other place where snorkeling Bari Reef is good is past the Den Laman dock to the right. On previous visits we saw lots of fish under the dock, but we found few on our last trip. If you keep swimming past the dock for another 300 feet (93 m), close to shore you will find a rocky point that has a nice healthy stand of Elkhorn Corals, with lots of fish around it. The depths here are up to 10 feet.
The area to the left of the dock ruins is known as Front Porch. If you swim over in front of the Chogogo resort, close to shore there is a long shelf of rock with a decent amount of fish that like to feed on top of it, and also some fish under the ledge, although there is little coral.
If you keep heading to the left, as you get toward the point, there are some planted corals near the drop-off, and floating stands for new coral growing. We also saw a big Tarpon in this area. If you keep going until you are in front of Eden Beach Resort you may find some big parrotfish in the shallows like we did. There are a couple docks along here too, so look into the dark under those. We saw a few fish.
And if you keep going around the corner, you may encounter some stronger currents, so be cautious. In front of the beach at Harbour Village Beach Club resort you will find a series of rock piles in about eight feet of water, with a small amount of coral life, and some fish and eels. There are planted Staghorn Corals around them and more floating stands growing baby corals on the drop-off.
Don’t go any farther left because the entrance to the Harbour Village Marina is next, and boat traffic could hit you if you attempt to cross it.
Unfortunately there is not much life on top of the drop-off along this entire snorkel and it is a bit deep for snorkelers too. So we recommend staying close to shore.
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Blurry Fish, Rotten Colors, Garbage Pictures
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What We Saw While Snorkeling Bari Reef
At Bari Reef and Front Porch the corals are few and sparse, but we saw some brain, star, fire, Pillar, Elkhorn, Staghorn, starlet, and Mustard Hill corals. There were also some sponges scattered around.
As for fish, we saw a decent amount including: hogfish, damselfish, chromis, parrotfish, wrasse, schools of grunts, needlefish, large school of Keeltail Needlefish, schools of blue tang, lizardfish, goatfish, filefish, trumpetfish, Bar Jacks, Palometa, mojarra, butterflyfish, cowfish, trunkfish, Tarpon, flounder, moray eel, Web Burrfish, squirrelfish, and French Angelfish.
Driving Directions for Snorkeling Bari Reef
1. Drive north out of Kralendijk on the main road, Kaya Grandi. The name of this road changes to Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot when it turns a little left at Kaya Neerlandia.
2. Take your third right from the traffic circle on the north end of town into the dirt parking lot.
3. Head straight to the water and park.
There are no facilities here.