ABC Islands – Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park (Bonaire)

Categories: Travel reports, Central America & the Caribbean, Bonaire

Today we arrived at the port of Kralendijk in Bonaire at about 7 a.m. with the AIDAdiva.

AIDA

Requirements for diving with the AIDA

If you want to dive with the AIDA as a certified diver, there are some prerequisites or things to consider:

1. Observance of diving safety rules and conditions of participation (see aida.de)
2. Filling in the declaration of consent incl. Current health information
3. Diving license (minimum OWD/JOWD or CMAS Bronze)
4. Proof of the last dive performed (e.g. through a logbook)
5. You need proof of insurance for diving. If you do not have diving insurance, you have to take it on board the AIDA before the dives. This costs cheap 6 euros, is for max. valid for 31 days and covers all AIDA diving trips.

It is best to clarify all these things one or two days before the first dive with the AIDA Activity team, so that you can also get your excursion tickets. In the diving trips of the AIDA, the entire diving equipment is already included. The night before, you will be invited to come to the dive center on deck 3 so that you can try on and pack your equipment. The equipment is packed in a bag, which is always assigned to a diver. On the day of the dives, the diving bags are already on board, so you don’t have to worry about anything here anymore.

The start of the tour

Today’s diving trip on Bonaire with the AIDA dive center we had already booked from home. At 8.45 a.m. we met at the pier. Most of the time there is an AIDA scout with the appropriate sign, so that everyone knows which excursion group they belong to.

In total we were 18 divers and 2 AIDA diving instructors. What was super practical: We were picked up directly at the pier – almost a stone’s throw from the AIDA – by a local submersible. The diving school with which AIDA works here on Bonaire is called Buddy Dive. On board were two other local diving instructors and the captain. Now it was time to go.

Der Bonaire National Marine Park

We have already heard very positive things from other travellers about Bonaire’s underwater world and were curious to see if it met our expectations. The island is one of the best diving areas in the world – this is due on the one hand to the very species-rich reefs and the clear, warm water, but on the other hand also to the diving freedom cultivated here. On Bonaire there are more than 60 dive sites marked with yellow stones. That means you rent a pick-up truck, load up your (borrowed) equipment and bottles and then you start – individually, without a guide and schedule, directly from the country. This definitely sounds very good and is stored on our travel list 😉

An information brochure from Bonaire National Marine Park is available for download here.

Map, Diving, Bonaire, Caribbean, AIDA Cruise, Travel Report

A map of the dive sites in Bonaire

Diving at Buddy’s House Reef in Bonaire

Bonaire is seen in the so-called Bonaire National Marine Park. This has been around since 1979 and covers the entire island from the flood mark to a depth of 60m. An annual license for the national park costs 25 US dollars and a daily license (suitable for cruise tourists) 10 US dollars. The purchase of a license is mandatory and is also controlled. At the AIDA it is almost already in it at the time of booking or is put on top, so that you don’t have to pay anything on the boat anymore, but simply gets your license here from the local guides.

We reached the first dive site Buddy’s House Reef in just a few minutes. As the name suggests, this is the house reef right in front of the diving school “Buddy Dive”, with which we were travelling. The 18-member diving group was divided into two smaller groups – each with an AIDA diving instructor and a local diving instructor, as they often know the dive sites better. During the dive we saw – directly as we went down – a beautiful flounder, which lay camouflaged on the ground and then showed up and swam away. Really funny little animals. At the end of the dive we saw a pointed-tailed snake eel, which also came out of its hiding place.

Diving in the south of Klein-Bonaire

We then took the surface break directly at the diving center and after about 30 minutes we went back to the ship and to the south of Klein-Bonaire, where our second dive site lay. Here we dived along the reef wall, had a great view and saw really beautiful corals.

Within 50 minutes we could see a turtle, firefish, cleaning shrimp, barracudas and much more. Under water – just before it appeared – we already noticed that it suddenly got a little darker and when we were on the surface, we also knew why: it was raining in torrents. When everyone was back on board, we went straight back to the ship, where we arrived around 1.30 p.m.

The video of our two dives in Bonaire

Here you can find the video of our two dives with the AIDAdiva on Bonaire.

All travelogues from our AIDA Cruise (Caribbean Sea)

If you read the list of islands that AIDA is heading for on the route Caribbean Islands, you might think it was a dream for a moment: Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua. To reach eleven islands in 14 days is already a house number. But that was also the reason for us to choose this route. A cruise is predestined to get to know the Caribbean with its thousands of dream islands in a relaxed way. Here you can find all travel reports of our 14-day Caribbean cruise with AIDAdiva.
AIDAdiva CruiseDay 01 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Short stopover before our cruise
Day 02 Dominican Republic: AIDAdiva – Our 14-Day Cruise in the Caribbean Sea
Day 03 Day at Sea
Day 04 Aruba: ABC Islands – Diving at the Renaissance Plane Wreck
Day 04 Aruba: Oranjestad – Tourist Attractions & Things to Do by your own
Day 05 Curaçao: Curacao – Island Tour, Attractions & the best Photo spots
Day 05 Curaçao: Ocean Encounters Curacao – Diving with Dolphins
Day 06 Bonaire: ABC Islands – Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park
Day 06 Bonaire: Kralendijk – Travel Guide & Things to Do
Day 07 Day at Sea
Day 08 Grenada: Diving on the wreck of the cargo ship Veronica L.
Day 08 Grenada: Molinere Bay – Diving at the Underwater Sculpture Park
Day 08 Grenada: Saint George’s – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
Day 09 St. Vincent: Kingstown & Hiking La Soufriére Volcano
Day 10 Barbados: Wreck diving in Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Day 10 Barbados: Snorkeling with turtles in Carlisle Bay
Day 11 St. Lucia: Diving in the Caribbean with Scuba Steve’s Diving
Day 12 Dominica: Dolphins, Whale-Watching & the capital Roseau
Day 13 Guadeloupe: An island tour & the town of Pointe-a-Pietre
Day 14 Antigua: St. John’s, Nelson’s Dockyard & Fort Berkeley
Day 15 Day at Sea
Day 16 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Relax one day on the Beach
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