Diving & Snorkeling

Bonaire’s dive sites are strung along the western side of the island. The closeness of the reefs, the clarity of the waters and the system of marking the sites combine to make for unparalleled access for divers. You can reach more than half of the identified dive sites from shore – and many resorts claim a 'house dive site' right off shore.

The Bonaire National Marine Park, recognized by Unesco, covers the entire coast of the island, including Klein Bonaire, to a depth of 200ft (60m). Between the two islands, there are about 90 named dive sites; look for the painted yellow rocks. Hilma Hooker is the island's best known wreck dive, while the Salt Pier is famous for the photo-worthy sponges and coral growing on the pillars. The sites vary greatly in terms of depth, currents and other factors, but there are plenty of sites that are ideal for beginners.

Before diving independently, all divers must pay the US$25 marine-park fee (US$10 for snorkelers) and do an orientation and check-out dive at a local dive shop, to get comfortable with weights, conditions and park rules.

Shore Diving Made Easy

Pick up a copy of Shore Diving Made Easy (www.bsdme.info), by Susan Porter, at a local dive shop or in town. This comprehensive list of dive sites will be your Bible for the week, providing critical information about each site, such as entry strategies, recommended depth and marine life.

Dive Operators

If you're not comfortable diving independently, there are dive operators all around the island and many resorts have in-house dive operations. They offer tank rental and refills, equipment rental, certification, boat dives to less accessible sites and guided shore dives. Most offer myriad packages, including options for snorkelers.

Recommended dive operators include Bonaire Dive & Adventure, East Coast Diving and Wanna Dive.

Cycling & Mountain Biking

Roads to the island's southern end and around Lac Bay are ideal for cycling, or head to Washington-Slagbaai National Park for off-road riding. Explore Bonaire (www.explore-bonaire) has maps and directions for four additional mountain-biking routes around Rincon and on the wild eastern side of the island.

Rent bicycles from Bike Rental Delivery.

Windsurfing & Kitesurfing

Steady, onshore trade winds and warm, shallow waters have created perfect conditions for windsurfing in Lac Bay. This is a year-round destination for beginners and experts alike. Rent gear or sign up for lessons at Jibe City or Bonaire Windsurf Place.

Meanwhile, across the island, kitesurfers have taken over Atlantis Beach, where they are enjoying strong offshore winds and equally warm temperatures in the sea. Get the scoop from Kiteboarding Bonaire.