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

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Southwestern Kentucky
# of dives
500 - 999
Are you still free diving only, not scuba diving? I don't know if it makes any difference in choosing between the destinations, just curious.

I've been to Curacao once (all boat diving, eastern part - Sunscape Resort Curacao) and Bonaire 9 times (various places). I pulled together what online research I could on Curacao beforehand, trying to wrap my head around it as a destination, and Bonaire I've been to enough to have more first hand familiarity.

Curacao Trip Research Notes
Curacao Trip Report with SB Surge Jan. 2019
My Research Notes for Bonaire - My Research Note For Bonaire

You can do a mix of boat and shore diving in Bonaire, but many choose to just shore dive there. In Curacao trip reports, I get the impression most people do a mix. I'm told Curacao's entries are often easier (sandy beach) albeit perhaps with longer swim outs (but Bonaire's vary pretty widely, so I don't know how accurate that is), but you drive farther between sites (and the main road doesn't hug the coast like in Bonaire). On the other hand, Curacao shore divers may not hit as many sites; they might do one dive headed one way, another the other way.

In Bonaire, loading a rental pickup truck with gear and tanks (from your dive op., likely where you stay) in the back and driving along the coast and stopping to gear up off your tailgate and dive a site is practically iconic. In a thread way back, another poster mentioned that generally doesn't happen so stereotypically in Curacao; some sites have onsite amenities and divers might rent tanks there (so I'd need to plan which sites are which). Some sites are 'primitive' like Bonaire.

While I get the impression a Curacao trip could be done simply, the planning and execution sound more complex to least to make an informed decision. But my first 4 trips to Bonaire were with a group, so that got me oriented and may've biased my perception.

Topside, Curacao is larger and the eastern portion has more 'civilized' amenities (e.g.: the Sea Aquarium).

Whatever you decide, let us know how your trip goes.
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I'm a Fish!
In Bonaire there is just a few personal jet skis, there is not jet skis rental on the island because is forbidden by the Marine Park.

Our dive shop is trying to bring back the lionfish hunting to the island, since there is not that many in the common dive sites and lionfish are going deeper and deeper (below 120 feet) we are going to remote dive sites where is 80% guaranteed that we will catch a good quantity with a decent size as well.

The sea life is very similar like Curacao but I personally think that Bonaire reef and marine life is much better since we have a marine park and there is some standards and regulations to maintain the health of our reefs.


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Braselton, GA
# of dives
500 - 999
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).
I like this comparison. I’ve been to Bonaire but not Curaçao and wondered if there was much of a difference. I’ve been considering Curaçao though.

Curacao access to the water is far easier and less effort than in Bonaire.
Also good to know. As I’m getting older I’m becoming a lazy diver. I much prefer just an easy entry and relaxed dive.

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