Bonaire Travel, Hotels & Lodging Guide

Snorkeling Tips

Basic snorkeling skills (reviewed in the islandwide Introduction to Bonaire Guided Snorkeling) are designed to make sure you are comfortable with your equipment and can float around the reef, completely relaxed and enjoying the underwater world. There are easy skills to master, particularly with the help of a guide. As you get more and more accustomed to snorkeling, you will feel an urge to dive down and take a closer look at the marine life. This is called freediving and consists of holding your breath, making surface dive and slowly exploring the reef. While it's not difficult, most people (particularly beginners) are not immediately comfortable doing it and most of the reasons for this are easy to sole!

The first area to consider is your natural buoyancy. Some people are floaters; other are sinkers. This has to do with the relative size of your lungs (in proportion to total body size), percentage of muscle/fat (muscle weight more than fat) and basic physique. In general, there are far more floaters than sinkers. If you are a floater and try to freedive, you will have to constantly kick to keep yourself underwater. This will quickly deplete your air and energy.

Like everything else in the underwater world, relaxation is the key to freediving. You kick only to move from place to place. How do you offset the natural tendency to float? Your guides will show you how to add a couple of pounds (not much is necessary) of lead weight to a weightbelt, which will offset the natural buoyancy. They'll also help you with your surface dive, which, when you get good, can get you 10 or 15 feet underwater with just one kick. Once you are down, you should be able to hover without kicking, a sure sign you are correctly weighted. See your Bonaire Guide for more help in this very exciting area of advanced snorkelling.

In keeping with the conservation philosophy of the island Bonaire, it is recommended that snorkellers never come in contact with the reef. If you dive down and attempt to stay down by holding on the coral, several things may happen. First of all, you might cut yourself because coral is very, very sharp. Two, the coral might accidentally snap off, destroying several hundred years of growth. Either option is not positive; the guides will be happy to work with you and make you an effortless freediver.

As you get better and better, you will also learn something called the finger touch technique. There are parts of the underwater world safe to touch but you need to know exactly which parts. These are noncoral areas and you can closely observe corals and marine life by steadying yourself with just the touch of a finger on these parts of the reef. Again, your guides will help you! Snorkel safely (always with a buddy) and responsibly!

Snorkal & Coral


How to Select a Snorkel Mask
Fit is the most important criteria in selecting a mask. So how do you buy a mask that fits? It's easy.

Here's How:
  • Fold the strap over the front of the mask so that it is out of the way.
  • Hold the mask against your face.
  • Make sure it fits comfortably around your eyes and nose.
  • Choose another size if necessary.
  • While the mask is against your face, inhale through your nose.
  • The vacuum created in the mask should hold it against your face when you take your hand away.
  • If the mask doesn't stay put, repeat the process until you find one that does.
  • Don't settle for an ill-fitting mask.
  • If you find more than one mask that fits, compare the features before making your purchase or rental decision.
How to Clear Your Snorkel
There's no doubt about it. Water will get into your snorkel, whether you submerse yourself intentionaly or a wave splashes water into it. It's an important scuba/snorkel skill you need to know.

Here's How:
  • Allow yourself to sink below the water until you face is just under the water.
  • Take a deep breath through your snorkel.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Completeley submerse yourself and your snorkel in the water.
  • Rise to your original position.
  • Blow a sharp blast of air through your snorkel.
  • Slowly inhale to see if there is still water in it.
  • If there is still water in the snorkel, blow another short blast into it.
  • When the snorkel is clear, continue to breath normally through it.
  • Try not to exhale all your air on the first blast.
  • When checking to see if the airway is clear don't suck in a huge gulp of air. Do it slowly.
  • Perfect this skill in a swimming pool first.
  Snorkel Locations

ShoreShore Access     Boat AccessBoat Access     Advanced DivingAdvanced Diving

  Good SnorkelingGood Snorkeling     Guided Snorkel ProgramGuided Snorkel Program

1. Boca Bartol
2. Playa Bengi   

3. Playa Funchi

4. Bise Morto

5. Boca Slagbaai   

6. Nukove

7. Karpata

8. La Dania's Leap   
9. Rappel   
10. Bloodlet   
11. Ol' Blue

12. Country Garden   
13. Bon Bini Cas   
14. 1000 Steps

15. Weber's Joy/Witches Hut

16. Jeff Davis Memorial   
17. Oil Slick Leap

18. Barcadera   
19. Andrea II

20. Andrea I

21. Petries Pillar
22. Small Wall (Web Cam)   
23. Cliff

24. La Machaca
25. Reef Scientifico
26. Buddy's Reef
27. Bari Reef
28. Front Porch
29. Something Special

30. Town Pier*

31. Calabas Reef
32. Eighteen Palms

33. Windsock

34. North Belnem

35. Bachelor's Beach

36. Chez Hines

37. Lighthouse Point

38. Punt Vierkant

39. The Lake

40. Hilma Hooker

41. Angel City

42. Alice In Wonderland

43. Aquarius
44. Larry's Lair
45. Jeannie's Glory

46. Salt Pier*
47. Salt City

48. Invisibles

49. Tori's Reef

50. Pink Beach

51. White Slave
52. Margate Bay

53. Red Beryl
54. Atlantis
55. Vista Blue
56. Sweet Dreams
57. Red Slave

58. Willemstoren Lighthouse
59. Blue Hole

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