Does Bonaire have similar sea life and less boats/jet skis than Curacao?

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ahjcts

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Hello divers!,
last year I was in Curacao doing "shallow" (no more than -11m) freediving (watching sea life and lionfish hunting) and had a great time. It was up west and from a small cliff (via a sea ladder) very very close to the apartment.

The only problem were the jet skis... there were not many, just a couple from time to time, but enough to prevent me to go further from the "coast" (cliff). Even when I use a buoy to be seen, sometimes they get close and I needed to calculate where/when to surface ( not something I look for when freediving...) .

As I would like to come back this year, I was wondering if Bonaire would be a better destination (I read that Bonaire's environment protection is very high, so could that mean more sea life and less boats?)
What I like about Curacao is that I could freely go lionfish hunting (which I won't be able to do in Bonaire) and the apartment where I stayed, that only needed a few steps to get into the water...

Does anyone know if Bonaire have similar sea life and less boats/jet skis than Curacao?

thanks in advance!
 

agd

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There are definitely fewer jet skis in Bonaire and all boaters are expected to get out to the "blue water" before getting up on plane. So it is a happy place for divers, snorklers and boaters to co-exist, even in the busy area between town centre and the marina. The biggest conflict is south near Atlantis with the kite boarding activity, so it is better to let them play when the wind howls and save your dives there for when it is calm and they cannot ride.

While you cannot independently hunt lionfish, sealife viewing is similar but aguably better in Bonaire, with many great snorkling areas, some right near accommodations. My wife insists the snorkling right in front of our apartment (near Dive Friends Yellow Sub) is the best on the island. Calm waters, easy entry, close by and she sees turtles, eagle rays, octopi, eels, all the fish, especially juveniles sheltering in the mooring blocks.

Cheers

Andy
 

GrafCanuck

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Have been to Curacao 4 times and Bonaire twice over the past 5 years. Love both islands. They are very different. Bonaire is a divers island. No other island in the Caribbean is a diver's island. Sea life is pretty well the same on both Bonaire and Curacao, IMO. Significantly more shores dives in Bonaire. Seemed to be more dive shops in Bonaire. Bonaire is generally quieter than Curacao. Note I stayed 1 week in Westpunt, Curacao which is in the north west area. It was quiet, possibly too quiet, but excellent diving. If I could only pick one of these two I'd select Bonaire. Again it's a diver's island. Tons of shore diving. Tons of dive shops. Tons of restaurants. Just a personal choice. Can't go wrong either way. A win-win. lol
 

arubabob1

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Been to Curacao 15 times and 12 to Bonaire. They are really different. I like Bonaire better because you rent a truck and you just drive and when you see a dive rock, you just pull over and dive. We like Cur for hunting lion fish. But no hunting in Bonaire, unless you hire a guide. But years ago, we had 5 divers doing 3 dives a day and then I cleaned all the lionfish, early in the morning. I was doing like 150 to 200 every day. But now, its more like 40 or 50 a day with 5 divers. At least the spots I go to. But I enjoy Bonaire just for diving and taking pictures. Also Cur has alot of great diving, but its alot of driving, if you go to both ends of the Island. AB
 

JohnN

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Been to Curacao 15 times and 12 to Bonaire. They are really different. I like Bonaire better because you rent a truck and you just drive and when you see a dive rock, you just pull over and dive. We like Cur for hunting lion fish. But no hunting in Bonaire, unless you hire a guide. But years ago, we had 5 divers doing 3 dives a day and then I cleaned all the lionfish, early in the morning. I was doing like 150 to 200 every day. But now, its more like 40 or 50 a day with 5 divers. At least the spots I go to. But I enjoy Bonaire just for diving and taking pictures. Also Cur has alot of great diving, but its alot of driving, if you go to both ends of the Island. AB
Ahh but Curacao has a dive charter that goes to the untouched South end of the island. A taste of what diving must have been like 50 years ago
 

BoltSnap

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Been to Curacao 15 times and 12 to Bonaire. They are really different. I like Bonaire better because you rent a truck and you just drive and when you see a dive rock, you just pull over and dive. We like Cur for hunting lion fish. But no hunting in Bonaire, unless you hire a guide. But years ago, we had 5 divers doing 3 dives a day and then I cleaned all the lionfish, early in the morning. I was doing like 150 to 200 every day. But now, its more like 40 or 50 a day with 5 divers. At least the spots I go to. But I enjoy Bonaire just for diving and taking pictures. Also Cur has alot of great diving, but its alot of driving, if you go to both ends of the Island. AB


I have only been to Curacao 13 times and Bonaire around 4 times but Curacao access to the water is far easier and less effort than in Bonaire. I rented a truck, bought a map of dive sites and had no issues whatsoever finding the sites. Curacao is a much bigger Island and thus there is more driving but that gives you the options for more places to relax and dine in between going from one site to another. I'd love to do trips where I spend one to two weeks in each island, I have done it once and it was out of this world. Bonaire is more macro and super macro photography (mostly Nikon 105mm and 60mm lenses) where Curacao is macro to medium (mostly Nikon 60mm and wider).
 

lexvil

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Curaçao has great shore diving but it is spread out further than Bonaire, Curaçao also has the Ribs factory, I prefer curaçao.
 

wildbill9

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To each his own, jmho bonaire blows curaçao out of the water. Bonaire is for diving, curaçao beach and some diving, Aruba beach and no diving. Ymmv
 
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