Bonaire snorkeling, much like Bonaire scuba diving, is about as good as it gets. In fact, most visitors to this small, Caribbean island come to explore the underwater world. There is good reason for this. Bonaire is essentially a reef that is surrounded by reefs, and the waters off the leeward side are especially calm throughout the year. They are also crystal clear, making ideal underwater visibility conditions. In addition to being home to a collection of colorful reefs, the waters that surround Bonaire and the neighboring islet of Klein Bonaire are teeming with marine creatures of all kinds.
The bulk of the snorkel sites on Bonaire can be found a short distance offshore. Usually, it doesn't take more than twenty minutes to swim out to a snorkeling site, and many sites take even less time to reach. In fact, some of the top snorkel sites on Bonaire take five minutes or less to reach. The Bari Reef is one of the top snorkeling sites near Kralendijk, and it can be found just off the pier of the Sand Dollar Condominium Hotel. The proximity of this reef to the shore is part of the reason why it's such a popular snorkeling site.
Most of the noticeable surges in the Bonaire waters occur in October and November, and during these months, visibility isn't at its best. That being said, it is possible to enjoy Bonaire snorkeling throughout the year. Outside of these months, visibility is usually 60 to 100 feet, if not more. This means that when you snorkel at deeper sites, including the Hilma Hooker, you don't have to dive all the way down to get a look. The reefs slope down gently at an angle of about 45 degrees in most spots, and there are some steep drops at various points. The deeper depths are understandably better suited for scuba diving.
If you want to go snorkeling in Bonaire, you can head out on your own or book a tour. The Bonaire snorkel tours come in many different forms, and if you head out in a boat, you will often get to do some general sightseeing as well. For travelers who are staying at one of the Bonaire dive resorts, snorkeling tours are especially easy to arrange, though most of the hotels can help you arrange a guided outing to fit your needs. There are a bunch of desirable destinations to choose from on the Bonaire snorkel tours, with the islet of Klein Bonaire being the most popular. This relatively flat islet off Bonaire's west coast boasts some of the best dive and snorkel sites in the area, and it is also home to some of the best area beaches.
Bonaire doesn't have the most renowned beaches in the Caribbean, but there are more than enough to choose from. Many of the beaches double as dive and snorkel sites. Such is the case with the beach at Karpata. As is true of most Bonaire beaches, the beach at Karpata is more rocky than sandy. Thankfully, there is a concrete platform that can be used for easy entry. Once you get in the water, you never know what marine life you may see. Sting rays and octopus are just some of the creatures that are known to roam the Karpata waters, and there is a reef that is especially easy to reach.
While the Bonaire snorkel tours are worth checking out, you don't have to book a tour to enjoy this popular pursuit. The bulk of the Bonaire hotels can be found on the leeward coast, and the dive and snorkel sites are numerous on this end. Should you be staying near the water, which is likely, all you have to do is walk from your hotel or vacation rental to the water's edge and wade on in. If you rent a car or a scooter, you can pack up your snorkeling gear and venture off to any number of snorkel sites on Bonaire, such as Pink Beach.
Pink Beach is one of the top places to go when it comes to Bonaire snorkeling. It is also widely considered to be the best beach on the island. While snorkeling or diving at Pink Beach, you are bound to spot some colorful fish, regardless of how deep you go. The clarity of the water offers great viewing, not to mention excellent photo opportunities, so you might bring an underwater camera. Thanks to the Bonaire Marine Park, the waters that surround the island of Bonaire are known for their cleanliness and clarity, which in turn lends to the quality of the diving or snorkeling experience.