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Buddy's Favorites

Year after year, travelers from around the world name Buddy Dive their favorite Bonaire dive resort. To dig a bit deeper into the reasons why this landmark property is a perennial first choice, we asked guests to list some of the favorite things that make Buddy Dive their go-to vacation choice. Here's the short list of answers.

Salt Pier is one of Bonaire's must-do dives.
Salt Pier is one of Bonaire's must-do dives.


There's a lot to like on Bonaire's 80-plus dive sites, and everyone has their personal favorites. That said, there are some places in particular that stand out, and shouldn’t be missed 

Buddy’s Reef – Right in front of the resort and just a few fin kicks from shore, this site is home to a huge diversity of marine life. There's easy access day and night, and while exploring the shallows you can check out the coral nurseries and transplanted corals of Reef Renewal Bonaire. 

Invisibles – There's plenty of fish of all sizes on the double reef line of this south-side favorite. And as a bonus, the sandy plateau leading out to the reef line is alive with potted eagle rays, peacock flounders, jawfish and garden eels.

Karpata – This site is known for clear water and pristine coral growth that extends right to the shoreline. As you swim out towards a  wall you'll likely run into some of the site's resident turtles.

Salt Pier – This dive takes you underneath the sponge-encrusted pilings of a massive cargo loading dock. Sallow depths give you plenty of time to swim among the schooling fish that hang out in the shadows of the pier. It's also a great night dive. 

Something Special – You can gear up right on Kralendijk's downtown waterfront to begin an exploration of this local favorite site. The terrain's mix of sand, rubble and hard and soft coral play host to a divers collection of marine life. Easy dive at the Kralendijk Boulevard, garden eels, the perfect place to look for critters. 

A Spinyhead Blenny And A Frogfish.
A Spinyhead Blenny And A Frogfish.


Bonaire’s reefs are home to over 470 fish species, and it's a destination known for an outstanding collection of cryptic critters and macro life. Here are some that are particular favorites with photographers and fish waters.

Blennies – More than 15 species of blennies can be found in the waters of Bonaire. These cute and sometimes comical little fish are fascinating to watch as they pop in and out of their hiding places and engage in ongoing turf wars with their neighbors. You don't have to go far to find blennies, as many varieties can be found on Buddy's House Reef.

Frogfish – These masters of disguise take the lazy approach to grocery shopping by camping out on a sponge or coral and deploying a small “fishing pole” from their forehead. When unsuspecting prey are lured close enough, they are swallowed in one huge gulp. Because frogfish take on the color and shape of their surroundings, they can be hard to spot, but Buddy's dive guides usually know where to look.

Turtles – Sea turtles are frequent companions when you are diving in Bonaire, and they are most often seen when diving or snorkeling a shallow reef. There's something about watching these graceful animals glide across the reef that never gets old.

Tarpon – The big fish known as the “sliver kings” patrol Bonaire's reefs and can often be seen right under the Buddy Dive docks. Tarpon sightings become a bit more exciting during night dives, as these fast-moving fish may swoop in to nab something illuminated by a diver's light.

Seahorse – These exotic miniatures are actually quite common on many Bonaire dive sites, but they aren't easy to find. A bit of diligent searching and maybe some help from a keen-eyed dive guide usually does the trick, and the species you are most likely to find is the long-snout seahorse.

High Tec Diving And Coral Restoration.
High Tec Diving And Coral Restoration.


Bonaire's calm seas and easy water access from Buddy's docks make this the perfect place to try new things and enhance your scuba skills. The Buddy Dive Academy offers interesting courses for everyone, from Discover Scuba Diving experiences and Peak Performance Buoyancy seminars to Trimix diving and Instructor Development Courses. Here are some favorites.

Reef Renewal Specialty – This is your chance to be part of the solution. You will spend a morning or a day learning coral restoration techniques and then get in the water at Buddy's coral nursery as a volunteer diver for Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire.

Dive Master Course – Ever wanted to become a pro? With this fun, intense, and rewarding course you will learn how to guide divers, assist instructors and work at a dive operation. There's even an optional internship at Buddy Dive!

Discover Tec – This is an easy entry into the world of technical diving. You will be introduced to the gear and learn the basic techniques of extended range and technical diving. It's a great way to see if you are ready for the excitement and challenge of becoming a tec diver!

Lionfish Hunter Course – This is another way to make a difference and have fun doing it. Buddy's lionfish hunters will show you how to safely eliminate invasive lionfish from the reef, then it's time to go on a lionfish hunt. Bonus: you’ll get to enjoy your catch for dinner!

Riding The Winds And Paddling The Mangroves.
Riding The Winds And Paddling The Mangroves.


It's the reefs that bring people to Buddy Dive, but even the most avid divers can stay underwater all the time. Fortunately, Bonaire has a lot more to offer in the way of recreational activities. Here are some favorites that turn surface intervals into memorable adventures.

Windsurfing – Bonaire's Lac Bay has an ideal combination of sheltered, wave-free waters and steady easterly trade winds. This creates world-class conditions for windsurfing and attracts wind-riding pros from around the world. You can take a lesson or just hand out at one of the cool surf bars and watch the pros do their thing while you enjoy a libation.

Mangrove Kayaking – Not to be missed is a paddling tour of the mangroves of Lac Bay. These guided kayak safaris take visitors through the winding tree-lined channels of a nature preserve. There are also stops in clear-water bays where you can swim and snorkel with the many species of juvenile reef fish that shelter among the mangroves.

Hiking Brandaris Peak – Put on your walking shoes and head up to the island's highest point. The trail leads through prime birding territory, then becomes a moderately challenging uphill scramble as you arrive at a viewpoint that delivers 360-degree views of the island.

Sunset Sailing – This is a great way to relax and get into the island vibe with snacks, drinks and friends after a day of diving. You'll set sail in late afternoon and cruise along the island's calm western shore as you watch the sun sink towards the horizon.

Local Eats And Ocean Views From Blennies.
Local Eats And Ocean Views From Blennies.


Memorable meals make a good vacation even better, and Bonaire is a place that will tempt your tastebuds. This culinary crossroads of the Caribbean serves up everything from food truck fare to find dining experiences. Here's some of our dining favorites, and the Buddy Dive staff is always happy to recommend an eatery and make reservations.

Ingridients – Located above the Buddy Dive dock with the best view on the island, this Mediterranean-inspired dinner destination sources fresh, local ingredients for an innovative menu that's a favorite with locals and visitors alike. 

Rose Inn – Take a road trip to the village of Rincon for an authentic taste of Bonaire. Try the Piska Salu (salt cod) or a savory goat stew paired with Caribbean-style rice and beans or get adventurous and order the “island chicken” (roast iguana).

Mi Banana – Join the locals at this unpretentious downtown eatery for Caribbean favorites and the piquant flavors of authentic Krioyo food. Daily specials usually include one or more fresh fish dishes, plus Columbian-inspired dessert treats.

Capriccio – Hands down, this is the best Italian food on the island, and it comes with waterfront views. When traditional favorites from the Old Country are paired with an impressive wine list it makes for the perfect night out.

Blennies – This is Bonaire's favorite place to chill and grill. Located at Buddy Dive Resort, overlooking the ocean and featuring a swim-up pool bar, this casual beach bar is the go-to for an afternoon nosh with drinks. And 6 there's a full dinner menu plus theme nights and daily chef specials.

Want to create your own Bonaire favorites? Your Caradonna agent can create the perfect Buddy Dive vacation package.