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Bonaire is a small island with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, especially if you love to snorkel or dive. In fact, the island of Bonaire has more than 54 shore dives! If you’ve never heard of Bonaire, it’s close to Aruba and Curacao; they are called the ABC islands. Bonaire, along with Aruba and Curacao, is part of the Caribbean Netherlands.
Bonaire is different from other tropical islands. They have the best diving in the Caribbean, making it a popular destination for divers. However, Bonaire has lesser-known beauty not just below the water, but above as well. Bonaire has some of the best beaches we have ever seen.
The beaches in Bonaire are very diverse from rocky grottos to soft sand. Given the island only has 22,000 inhabitants, they are also not very busy, especially on weekdays. The best part of Bonaire’s beaches are the turquoise waters and nearby coral that can be seen within minutes of swimming offshore. In fact, Bonaire has some of the best snorkeling we have ever seen.
After spending 8 days on Bonaire, here are our 5 personal favourite beaches.
1. Bonaire Best Beach #1: 1000 Steps
Don’t let the name scare you, this beach isn’t 1000 steps away, although you might have to walk about 100 steps to get from the road to the beach. This beach sits below a limestone cliff, so expect beautiful views upon arrival. 1000 steps beach is the perfect spot to swim, snorkel, dive, and tan. The beach itself is made up of coral sand and rocks so bring a beach chair for a more comfortable experience if you’re planning to tan.
BONUS: There is a beautiful viewpoint about 100 metres down the road from 1000 Steps. It’s a must-see spot for beautiful views and photos with turquoise waters and cliffs as your backdrop.
2. Bonaire Best Beach #2: Wayaka 2
Wayaka 2 is located in Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park. This beach is off the beaten path, but absolutely worth the drive. Wayaka 2 features soft, fine sand that sometimes looks pink. Bring your snorkel gear, there are coral steps from the shore. The surroundings are also very unique with lots of rocks, making it a beautiful spot for photos.
3. Bonaire Best Beach #3: Boka Kokolishi
Boka is Dutch for “Bay”. This bay is named after the beautiful Kokolishi shells that can be found all over the sandy beach. The cliffs surrounding the bay are embedded with fossilized conch shells. This smaller beach is the perfect spot to cool off while touring Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park.
4. Bonaire Best Beach #4: Bachelor’s Beach
Bachelor’s Beach is located in a very central part of Bonaire Island, making it one of the best beaches from a convenience standpoint. The beach has fine sand and bright turquoise waters. It’s a popular spot to dive and snorkel. Note: the sand is only visible during low tide. Check the low tide report if you want to walk on the sand during your visit.
5. Bonaire Best Beach #5: Te Amo Beach
Te Amo Beach is a popular beach also due to its convenient central location. This beach is easy to access from the parking lot (no cliffs or stairs), making it the perfect spot to meet local tour operators who can take you paddle boarding or kayaking. The beach is soft and sandy making it a great spot to do morning yoga or tan. Note: this beach is across from the airport, so it won’t be as quiet as the other beaches listed above.
Honourable Mention: These beaches are worth visiting as well
- Klein Bonaire – on the uninhabited island next to Bonaire
- Playa Chikitu – in the National Park and has beautiful cliffs surrounding it
Bonaire Island has some of the best beaches we have ever seen. They aren’t the typical long beaches you might see on other Caribbean islands, but that is what we like about them. They are unique and offer a new experience for those who want something more than a sandy beach. Bonaire is the perfect spot to visit if you love beaches that offer vibrant and easily accessible snorkeling, along with incredibly warm and bright blue water. For more fun and “beachy” Bonaire experiences, check out this guide of things to do in Bonaire.
Are you ready to book your trip to Bonaire but aren’t sure where to stay? Then look no further. We stayed at Delfin’s Beach Resort. Delfin’s is a brand new resort with a sandy beachfront, dive shop, 2 pools, fitness centre, café, and an onsite restaurant by a 3 Michelin Star chef. We were also so impressed by the friendly and attentive staff. Delfin’s Beach Resort is located minutes from Bachelor’s Beach and Te Amo Beach as well. Book your stay at Delfin’s beach resort here.
Lastly, Bonaire strives to be a sustainable island to help ensure the coral reefs remain healthy. In fact, from an ecotourism perspective, Bonaire is a leader. They were the first Caribbean Island to implement a National Park back in 1969. Today, the island runs on over 40% renewable energy, 60% of the island is a protected reserve, and they even banned anchoring as another means to protect the corals. When visiting this island, consider reducing your impact on the environment by packing some zero-waste essentials like a reusable water bottle or travel mug. Check out our zero-waste packing list for a full rundown of items you can pack to reduce your waste when travelling. For more details on how Bonaire leads the way in sustainable tourism, visit their official guide here.
Want more information about Bonaire? From restaurants and accommodations, to tours and points of interest, Bonaire’s tourism board offers many resources to help you plan your trip.
Have you been to Bonaire? What was your favourite beach? Let us know in the comments