During our Bonaire scuba diving trip, we pretty much spread our dives out all over the island - some to the north, some in town, some to the south and some off of Klein Bonaire.
It was good to get a taste of everything and it was all good. Our dives in the southern part of the island included the dive we rated as our best dive on Bonaire. You'll just have to read below to find out which one it was!
Not that we encountered a really bad dive while doing our Bonaire diving, just a matter of the least preferred of the good (it that makes sense).
Not matter where you go, you are sure to enjoy it. Below you will find our reviews of the dives we did off the southern part of the island.
(For more information on Bonaire diving, check out the links to all our pages on Bonaire at the bottom of the page.)
This is a double reef dive. You can stay and explore on the first reef or swim over the sand (perpendicular to the shore) to the second reef and explore that reef. We spent a bit of time on both reefs and I will say I enjoyed the second reef a bit more.
While this wasn't a fantastic dive, we did see quite a bit here. There was a big permit when we first went down. We also saw garden eels, porcupine fish, spotted moray, huge trumpet, arrow crabs, queen angels, gray angel, rock beauty and more.
Our maximum depth on this dive was 62 feet and visibility was around 60 feet.
This is probably one of the most popular dives on Bonaire. The Hilma Hooker is an old cargo ship that was sunk in 1984.
The actual sinking is the stuff of local legend - was it on purpose or did someone from the dive industry purposely sink the ship to add another attraction for Bonaire diving? You'll hear the stories when you are there, so you can decide for yourself.
This dive can be done as either a shore dive or a boat dive. We did this as a boat dive (happened to be where the boat was going) when the weather left something to be desired. It was our only bad weather during our entire Bonaire scuba diving trip.
It was raining pretty heavily when we left the dock and there was lightening in the distance. It actually worked out well since there were only 5 divers on the boat and there was noone else diving the Hilma Hooker that morning. I can imagine it could get fairly crowded at times. And to top it all off, the sun was shining when we surfaced.
The boat itself is located at the beginning of the double reef system and as luck would have it, it fell right between both reefs and landed on its' side in the sand between the reefs (a small piece is touching the first reef). Probably couldn't have done better if it was all planned.
The ship itself is 242 feet long and the top of the ship is in about 60 feet of water while the bottom is approximately 100 feet. So keep an eye on your gauges here.
There are two buoys attached to the ship, one at the bow and one at the stern.
I am not a big fan of wreck diving, but I really enjoyed this dive. You can circle the whole ship and see all the new growth forming on the hull. The doors are off of the cargo space and you can go in and explore. There is a small door opening you can swim through - just watch your buoyancy.
While we dove the Hilma Hooker, we were followed by 2 barracuda. Made it interesting. Also saw tarpon, creole wrasse, juvenile tobacco fish, drumfish and more.
I recommend adding this dive to your Bonaire scuba diving itinerary. Even if you are not into wrecks, I think you will enjoy it - and, if not, the reef is right there for you to explore.
Our maximum depth was 91 feet and visibility was aroun 75 feet. Water temperature was 84F degrees.
Here's a video of diving the Hilma Hooker so you can get an idea what it is like:
This dive site is right next to the Hilma Hooker heading south. It is also a double reef dive. While Alice in Wonderland (the next dive site south) usually gets all the praise, we enjoyed Angel City more than Alice in Wonderland.
Not that we encountered any bad Bonaire scuba dive sites but some sites you just prefer more than others. That's what makes the world go 'round I guess.
We saw quite a bit here: school of tangs, tarpon, trunkfish, school of silverfish, big schools of black durgeons, scrawl tilefish, 2 scorpion fish, huge green moray, sand diver, high hat and more.
There was also a huge coral head on the second reef with large fish (I can't recall their name, unfortunately) hanging out underneath it. I could have spent all day looking at those fish and everything else hanging out in/around/underneath the coral head.
Our max depth on this dive was 69 feet with visibility around 60 feet. Not the best visibility but I've had alot worse (not during Bonaire scuba diving though).
This site is right next to Angel City heading south. It usually gets high praise when you read reviews online.
As I said above, however, while it was an OK dive, we actually enjoyed Angel City more. This was our first Bonaire shore dive so maybe that had something to do with it.
It was a bit rocky entering the water but not too bad. The water was calm which helps. This is again a double reef system.
We spent time on both reefs and I will say I preferred the first reef more. The second reef was pretty much brown and there was not alot of life that we saw. So we headed back to the first reef. Our depth on the second reef was about 70-80 feet.
Unfortunately, we really didn't see anything memorable during this dive. Hopefully you will have a better Bonaire scuba dive here than we did.
Our maximum depth was 86 feet and visibility was in the 50-60 foot range. The water temperature was 85F degrees. Nice.
We all thought this was a great dive. I highly recommend you add it to your Bonaire scuba diving itinerary.
This is the most southern dive we did. We parked near the road than walked through a shallow pond to reach the shore. There was a small step to get in the water but not a bad entry at all.
We swam over alot of staghorn coral before we reached the dropoff at the buoy. We went south into the current to begin the dive. The current did get pretty strong at one point but nothing unmanageable.
We saw several spotted drum, huge green moray, 2 turtles, porcupine fish, big tarpon, 2 barracuda (came out of the blue to check us out), sharptailed eel, 2 spotted moray and more.
Between all the marine life we saw and the formations, we rated this as our top dive of our Bonaire scuba diving trip.
Our maximum depth was 69 feet with visibility of around 65-70 feet.
Enjoy your trip and all of your Bonaire scuba diving!
For more info on Bonaire scuba diving, check out our other pages on Bonaire:
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