Does Bonaire have good snorkeling right off the beach or do you have to take a boat to get good snorkeling?
We are divers, but many many people come here for the shore snorkeling. You can also go out on a boat if you choose and you can also take the water taxi to Klein Bonaire for additional snorkeling. That island is uninhabited with zero facilities, so you would have to prepare accordingly. We used to spend several hours snorkeling after diving, but the shallows were wiped out several years ago from hurricane storm surge, so it’s not as great as it once was, but still attracts plenty of visitors. You can get the booklet Bonaire shore diving made easy and it lists all the shore accessible dive sites and rates them on snorkeling from shore, either nothing, good, or excellent.
Shore accessible snorkeling/diving is really Bonaire's strong suite. Other places may have a couple of better dive/snorkel sites, but no place I;m aware of has near as many good to excellent shore accessible dive/snorkel sites. The shallows were hurt by the storm, but are coming back strong and there are a number of sites that were protected and not damaged. If you want to do beach accessible snorkeling, you definitely need to visit Bonaire.
You can consider it as a bonus that Bonaire is also one of the absolute best places to practice my favorite hobby/activity, windsurfing!
Amateur, went to watch the windsurfers the other day! I saw people out surfing today, pretty neat! (By Red Slave)
I don’t think you will be disappointed coming here. A couple staying at our hotel came here to snorkel, so I was talking anout it with them the other day and they said they were now spoiled for snorkeling and could not believe the easy access they had to shore. This is the best place in the Caribbean for that for sure!
....and even if the coral isn’t the best in a spot, you will see fish galore (and other creatures) unlike any other. There are really fish everywhere
Bonaire is excellent for snorkeling, but you need to wear booties to get into the water. There is a lot of coral/rubble at all entrances (and I saw plenty of sea urchins too..) so you need to be careful. But once you get in, it is an aquarium...and the largest variety of fish I have ever seen! Absolutely beautiful.
Some of the sites that we have had good luck snorkeling at in the past include Bari Reef/Front Porch (park just south of Den Laman), Oil Slick, 1000 Steps, and Cliff
Salt Pier would be great too, as long as no ships docked. Fish are everywhere around the pilings.
Yes, there is snorkeling right off the beach! We just returned from our first trip to Bonaire and the underwater life was amazing! Bari reef offered an exceptional site off a sand beach by the Sand Dollar condos. We did take a boat trip to Klein Bonaire with the WoodWind Boat. They were exceptional in their attention to the passengers safety and enjoyment. I felt very secure and comfortable with the expertise of Dee, who I believe is an owner of the business. We saw an octopus, sea turtles, young barracuda, so many tropical fish including a peacock flounder! We were able to see all that sea life while snorkeling! It was a wonderful experience.Have fun!!