Home » Archives for Dive Friends Bonaire

Author: Dive Friends Bonaire

Why you should discover scuba diving

If you’re visiting Bonaire, it is almost illegal to leave without experiencing our beautiful underwater world. And yes, of course, you can discover a lot while snorkeling, but the experience of snorkeling is not comparable to diving. Bonaire is the diver’s paradise, make sure you’ve been in paradise as well.

There actually are a few reasons why you should seriously give scuba diving a try. The first one: It’s a completely different world. Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface and we still don’t know very much about all the animals living in it. But the animals we do know are literally amazing. There are so many different types of marine life all over the world. And don’t forget about the corals, it may sound weird, but it is not guaranteed that we’ll always have these beautiful corals. Try to make sure that you don’t miss out on them and go for a dive in shallow water.

Diving is not just a funny activity; it is a way of life! Diving connects you to lots of new people, people who travel the world and go on underwater adventures. Always think about the next place you want to dive and meet new people, cultures and destinations. You’ll for sure meet a lot of new Dive Friends! While you’re busy exploring the marine life, you’re actually working out as well. During a 45 minute dive, you burn the same number of calories as during a low-speed run. And be honest, do you really want to prefer a low-speed run over DIVING!?

Feeling stressed? When diving the only thing you’ll hear is the bubbles rising to the surface and the sounds of aquatic organisms. If you get lucky and are on the right place at the right time, there even is a change to hear the singing of whales and dolphins. Because of neutral buoyancy, it feels like you’re flying underwater, become a pro and fly over shipwrecks and swim amongst big schools of fish. If you’re going to scuba dive for the first time, please accept that you won’t be able to feel 100% relaxed. Once the fear of being underwater disappears, you’re at the diver’s paradise, the best place to discover and relax at the same time.

Diving is a never-ending education process. It requires you to develop your knowledge and get a perfect technique. It is not only the marine life you should know a lot about, but you also have to know every detail of your equipment and how it works. Once you’re really comfortable underwater you should definitely look at the career opportunities, you’ll be able to work all over the world! Everyone at Dive Friends Bonaire would be pleasured to have you as our dive guest.


Everything you need to know about diving on Bonaire

Dive everywhere with your marine pass

Everybody who wants to go diving on Bonaire is required to pay nature fee. The waters around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire are protected by STINAPA and called the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP). The park surrounds the entire island till 60 meters deep and you have to pay for all water activities. The scuba diving fee is $45,- and runs for one calendar year.

Once you’ve paid for your nature fee, you’re allowed to literally dive everywhere on the island. On Bonaire you can just drive somewhere and make a nice dive or use one of the dive sites for your adventures. Shore diving is the most popular way of diving on Bonaire. When you’ve had enough of all the shore diving, take a look at our boat dives. Come to our Dive Friends Bonaire @ Port Bonaire location and join our one or two-tank boat dives. If you want to know which dive sites you really do not want to miss, check out our blog about The best dive spots on Bonaire.

Bring boots, not gloves

While diving on Bonaire, it is not allowed to wear gloves. If you must wear gloves during your dives, make sure to bring a doctor’s declaration, not older than 30 days. Bring your declaration to the headquarters of STINAPA at Barcadera to get a permit allowing you to use gloves. If you’re catching, collecting, or killing lionfish, you can wear gloves, but do need

Something you really do need when diving in the beautiful waters of Bonaire are boots. At almost every dive site you’ll be able to enter from shore. To protect yourself from the reef, please make sure to bring boots or buy them at our Dive Friends Bonaire @ Retail & Dive store.

Buy reef safe sunscreen & leave everything underwater

To help STINAPA we can all do our part in protecting the waters of Bonaire. Starting from the moment you arrive on Bonaire. It’s very important for all of us to start wearing reef-safe sunscreen. A lot of sunscreens are really bad for our ocean ecosystem, but did you already know that the ingredients are also toxic to our human bodies? Especially when we’re exposed from a young age throughout our lives. Not only sunscreen is destroying our reefs, body lotions and shampoos are also very bad for corals. That’s why we at Dive Friends Bonaire use Sun Bum and Vertra, their mineral sunscreens are 100% reef safe, and they also have other body-related items. We’ve got a big collection of Sun Bum and Vertra at every location, our crew can’t wait to tell you all about 100% reef safe sunscreen.

As you might know, it’s also really important to not touch anything underwater. The reason you’re not allowed to wear gloves is to keep you away from touching corals. Try to keep a good distance (with your fins too) to make sure you never touch anything underwater. Keep in mind that you are NOT allowed to bring shells home from Bonaire. Everything except garbage has to stay underwater.

Bonaire’s climate

On Bonaire, the Caribbean sun shines all year round. It is almost every day 30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water doesn’t get colder than 27 degrees Celsius/80 degrees FahrenheitAlthough the weather at Bonaire is perfect, we do have some rainy days. The ‘rain season’ runs from November till January and from may till august it’ll be windy. Which makes December till April peak season, everybody is trying to escape their cold winters.


If you don’t take a camera to Bonaire, you should go back home and get it or rent it at one of our locations. At the surface you’ll be able to shoot beautiful nature pictures, or just you with a Caribbean cocktail, it doesn’t really matter the view will make everything look great. Especially for diving we’d recommend you to take an underwater camera with you. The visibility here is perfect, so if you’re new with making pictures underwater, Bonaire is the perfect place to expand your skills. If you’re already an underwater photographer, but want to be a real expert, follow our underwater photography course. If you’re planning to do something with underwater photography, be sure to visit the photography center at our Retail & Dive location,

Rent a car

Last but not least, rent a car when you’re on Bonaire. Without a car you won’t be able to do some exploration. Of course, you can go scuba diving somewhere close to your accommodation, but if you want to get to other places, you definitely need a car on Bonaire. We offer guided shore dives or boat dives, but if you want to go for a dive yourself, no one is going to bring you to the best spots. If you’re planning on diving with Dive Friends Bonaire, we can rent you a pick-up truck at one of our partners. For more information and prices, send an email to: info@divefriendsbonaire.com. We really recommend you to be independent and rent a cool pick-up truck while visiting Bonaire, it will be worth it!






PADI Instructor Development Course – May 2021

Every quarter Instructor Candidates travel from their homes to the beautiful blue waters of Bonaire to work with PADI Course Director, Annie O., at Dive Friends Bonaire to achieve their dreams of becoming a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. This April was no different as three divers made their way across the oceans from France and the United States to successfully earn their Open Water Scuba Instructor ratings.

The Instructor Development Course ran over 11 days during which Jason, Max and Millie all successfully achieved their PADI OWSI Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor, Enriched Air Instructor and Dive Against Debris Instructor certifications. But the journey for these candidates started long before they landed on our charming island! The candidates participated in PADI’s revised DC meaning that they completed online learning and studied their dive theory for weeks before they arrived. Their pre-course preparation was only one of the reasons this course was such a huge success!

The candidates showed up and their skills and dedication to the sport of diving were evident! They were all prepared, enthusiastic, eager to learn and open to improve. Throughout their courses these candidates worked as a team to help each other grow and improve in their knowledge and skills, so it is no surprise that the laughs and good times were as abundant as the course information they were learning.

Jason, Max and Millie along with Course Director Annie O. woke up early on the morning of the 6th of May to make their way to the PADI facilitated Instructor Exam. This two-day exam is the most prestigious Instructor evaluation process in the world but the guidance and coaching the candidates received during the PADI IDC gave them all the confidence they needed to find complete success. They even managed to have FUN during the exam.

Their shared passion to become the absolute best instructors possible created a bond that we don’t think any of these PADI Instructors will ever forget!

The right BCD for you?

Finding the right BCD starts with knowing a little bit about the different options available to you. There are many different models of BCD on the market, which can be split into three main categories: Jacket-style, Backplate + Wing and Hybrid (aka Semi-Wing).

Jacket-style BCD

This is the most common type of BCD in recreational diving and preferred by dive schools as they are easy to use and fit different body types. We can recognize the Jacket-style BCD by the airbladder which fills at the back as well as the sides (like a jacket). This feature allows Jackets to be comfortable as well as easy to handle on the surface.

Being such a common style, we can find many different models with different characteristics; light and minimalistic specifically designed for traveling, simple and economical for rental or beginner divers. As we increase in price, we find characteristics such as extra padding, additional stainless-steel D-rings and a tougher outer shell which makes them more comfortable and suitable for more frequent divers. This higher price range are the kind used every day by dive professionals.

Backplate + Wing setup

This type of BCD is back-inflated only meaning that when inflated, the air is directed only to the back part of the BCD also known as “the wing”, making it very comfortable under water and perfect for maintaining a good position while diving. However, for some people, they are not as comfortable on the surface since, when inflated fully, they tend to push the body forward however with a little practice it can be controlled for instance by not fully inflating the wing, correct body position as well as being weighted properly.

This kind of BCD is the most customizable as they are made up of three separate modules: The Harness, the Backplate and the Wing. This allows it to be highly customizable, not only with regards to size, volume of bladder and comfort level of harness but also in its appearance and function. It can be as streamlined and as minimalistic as necessary, adding or removing parts like pockets, D-rings, a crotch strap, etc. to really make it your own. This modular approach will also make it easier to replace parts if and when needed. All of this makes them ideal for any type of diving, especially technical diving.

Hybrid BCDs or Semi-wings

As the name implies the hybrid BCD shares features of both the Backplate + Wing and the Jacket-style BCD. These are back-inflate BCDs that come as a complete preassembled package. Most commonly they will have an integrated weight system with adjustable straps and comfortable padding similar to the Jacket-style however they have the streamlined feeling of freedom that is associated with a Backplate + Wing setup. This kind of BCD has a good balance between the two previous styles, making them the number 1 choice for experienced divers and dive professionals that want comfort, good performance and streamlining but don’t need the full customization of the Backplate + Wing.

When it is time for you to choose your next BCD remember to talk to your sales person about what needs and characteristics are important for you. At the Dive Friends Retail store, we have a crew of experienced instructors and highly trained service technicians that can help guide you in your search. We also have a large selection of styles and sizes so we are sure to have something you like.

Quarterly Clean Up – January 2021

Happy New Year, welcome in 2021!

Good resolutions and time to start the year with a thorough clean up of the town’s center. The town center’s reef to be precise!

As you might be aware Dive Friends Bonaire is not only the biggest dive center on Bonaire but also we are the leading dive center on conservation and clean up actions on Bonaire. Next to our 6 adopted house reefs who get a monthly clean up, keep an eye on our agenda for this planning. We also host the biggest underwater clean up event on diver’s paradise 4 times a year. After all the new year’s festivities we thought it would be a good idea to jump in at the town’s center Pier where also one of our main event sponsors Karel’s town pier bar is located.

With all COVID measures we had to ensure that all divers and staff of course were safe and distant so we had all our volunteers checking in on preserved times, separated 20 minutes apart to guarantee diver safety and distance. After checking in, gearing up and briefings our buddy teams hit the water in their own teams. 24 divers means 12 buddy teams searching about 250 m2 and gather a Debris collection of 65 kilo’s!

All debris was counted, reported and separated and in the end handed over to our proud sponsor Selibon for recycling! Afterwards we had a drink sponsored by Karel’s town pier bar and then we continued into an online raffle, with several beautiful prices handed to us by our sponsors!

The price winners were:

Henk & Angela Diters
Adam Ward
Tadzio Bervoets
Maaike kosmis
Vicky Hoflack
Virginia Knight
Anita vd Wal
Marlies Wolters.

All prizes were donated by our proud sponsors:

Bonaire Automation
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
Tropical nature Bonaire
Dee Scarr
Karel’s Beach bar
Selibon Bonaire


For the detailed information about this clean up, check out the event page: