Dive Into a Bonaire Vacation for Less

Posted January 21, 2010 by Jamie Moore

Bonaire-fish-def Feel the island vibe in Bonaire, one of the world's top dive destinations. Underwater enthusiasts rave about the color and diverse marine life down below, but there's plenty to see and do topside, too. Sit on the terrace of a brightly colored Caribbean restaurant and stay at a sprawling resort that runs everything from snorkeling tours to mountain biking excursions.

Eat
Cactus Blue: Feeling hot, hot, hot? Test your taste bud tolerance on spicy Caribbean cuisine and potent drinks at this festive hangout in downtown Kralendijk. The outdoor grill sizzles with fresh wahoo, served in a sweet chili and mustard sauce. Try a gourmet pizza with a zing: jerk chicken topped with pineapple and cheese. Cool off with one of Cactus Blue's famous high-octane potions. The mixed drinks come with four shots of liquor per half-liter carafe.

Play
Scuba diving: All kinds of scuba magazines rank Bonaire tops for diving. Why? The island is home to more than 85 marked dive sites, most of which are accessible by shore or a quick 15-minute boat ride. Deep sloping reefs teem with parrot fish, tangs, and angelfish. Turtles, nurse sharks, rays, and dolphins make appearances, too. The fact that visibility is 100 feet year-round doesn't hurt, either. The island's fragile reefs are protected within Bonaire National Marine Park. To find a dive operator, visit InfoBonaire.

Stay
Buddy Dive Resort: With its three pools, thatched-roof poolside bar, and oceanside setting, this resort looks like something right out of the pages of a travel magazine. Sure, it caters to divers with an on-site dive center, but you can sign up for several other outdoor pursuits—including kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling—at the resort's activities desk. Stay in a hotel room (starting at $121 per night) or an apartment with up to three bedrooms. Each one overlooks either the ocean or the resort's lush gardens.

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(Photo: iStockPhoto.com/John Anderson)

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Reader Comments

I've often heard that divers love the Great Barrier Reef more than truly schon' Bonaire.

As a Caribbean destination does Bonaire have anything to offer ( that is also. mind expanding ) to world travelers culturally ( which would also/ might make it a good place to mingle, smooze & live ) ?

And for relaxation - how attractive are Bonaire's beaches ?

Posted on January 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM by Peter

Im thinking of going to this place. You said for less, how less?

Posted on January 26, 2010 at 09:19 PM by kara

Ooh, i love water and beaches. I should try there. I love it more because of the colorful creatures.

-liz

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 03:16 AM by cheap vacations

very boring island bonaire they get you with best dive spot that because there is nothing else to see on land not such a guilligan island island very scrub land dry and parched

Posted on March 05, 2010 at 07:14 PM by john

Bonaire is a wonderful dive destinations. Shore diving is the best. (5 stars) Beaches are poor except pink's beach in the national park. Culturally it is (1 star) Barri Reef, 1000 steps and Karpata, Helma Hooker are some of the best dive sites. Sand dollar is good place to stay. Right next to buddy dive. Condo's have lots of room and are a favorite with divers. Good luck! have fun

Posted on April 11, 2010 at 12:21 PM by Rescue diver

Bonaire is one of the lesser-known, highest profile destinations for divers. The shoreline waters are chock full of massive populations of colorful tropical fish and coral. You don't even need to take a boat out, and then dive. You can do it from at least one of the piers, just dive in and there is a glorious, beautiful underworld, which can be snorkled. It also has great swimming beaches, and is missing the tourist invasions some of the other islands have. Nice place, you won't be disappointed!

Posted on May 02, 2010 at 12:00 PM by dallyawhile

Scuba diving bonaire sounds like a great vacation spot. When I go I am excited to see all of the diverse marine life. I don't know how anyone can pass up this opportunity.

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