By David Gottlieb
I just returned from Bonaire. I snorkeled in only one location, in front of the Harbour Village Resort, where I was staying. It was raining a few of the days so I didn’t go out on the dive boat to see any other spots.
There is a very shallow remnant reef cluster right on the resort’s house beach. They have been regrowing coral on piles of coral rocks and metal frames. Based on the two year time span between my visits I can say progress is not too speedy. I do applaud their efforts.
Despite the lack of different locations I managed to find a nice sampling of critters.
We are just so sad about Galen and Nicole’s Bonaire report (linked to above). Three days ago we booked three weeks in Bonaire and bought non-refundable airfare. Oh my. These pictures cheered us up a bit.
I hope we can be pleasantly surprised.
You will be. They went in the rainy season. We have been there several times and recently this past summer. Bonaire is more a dive destination and like all islands good snorkel spots vary by season and time of day. Try a trip with SeaCow to Klein Bonaire. We have never been disappointed. The beach at Klein is not great but the taxi is very cheap. There is a building boom going on on the island which is sad to see.
We describe our experience snorkeling in front of the Harbour Village Resort on our Bari Reef page.
I agree that the daytime snorkeling right off Harbour Village Resort isn’t very good. I did enjoy the night snorkeling off the resort though; there are a lot of moray eels in the ‘rock piles’ and quite a few tarpon that drift over from the restaurant area. It was pretty fun to have three foot tarpon regularly flash through your field of view and approach within a couple of feet of you (on the restaurant end of the beach).
Similar to the previous comment, I recommend going over to Klein Bonaire for much better daytime snorkeling. I used the resort kayak to paddle over to the island a couple of times. There are offshore mooring buoys (wish they were closer to shore) to tie off your kayak and then you can swim the last ~50 yards to shore.
There are also several water taxis that take you from the resort right to the island beach on Klein Bonaire. The snorkeling around the island (I stayed on the island side across from the resort) was terrific; a lot of variety of species and topography. It was fun to walk along the beach/shore and then just drift snorkel back to the starting point.
We also took a snorkeling excursion from the resort one day that took us to three different locations around Klein Bonaire; we enjoyed all three spots (as did the divers who went further offshore and deeper).