Greetings from the Caribbean! As those of you following along on Instagram and Facebook know, I’ve spent the past week on the island of Bonaire, one of the world’s top dive destinations. This Dutch outpost, neighboring more developed neighbors Aruba and Curaçao, has been high on my bucket list for quite some time due to its unique shore diving and otherworldly desert topography. I couldn’t have asked for better partners-in-crime to tackle it with than the three girls I came with — longtime friends Kristin and Angie and their longtime friend (my new one!) Steph.
Our main focus was scuba and so we managed to squeeze in seven dives throughout the week. That still did leave a decent amount of time for some topside exploring, from yoga classes to cave snorkeling to sampling the island’s food scene. Bonaire is small and we ran all over it like over-caffeinated toddlers (or in my case, literally an over-caffeinated twenty-something) — so I got a great feel for it in just seven nights. But that doesn’t mean I’ve crossed it off the list. No, I have a hunch I’ll be back to Bonaire again.
But first, an important component of any dive trip — a few days decompressing. We just touched down in Aruba where we’re soaking up some sun before returning stateside, and I think it’s going to be a tough adjustment to go back to not waking up next to the ocean each morning! I’m so looking forward to bombarding you all with future posts about both these beautiful islands. But for now, here’s a little Bonaire teaser in the form of Photo of the Week!
Colorful Kralendijk and Klein Bonaire
Snorkeling with Compass Bonaire
Exploring Lac Bay
Venturing north with Road Runners
Why we came to Bonaire! Can you spot the trumpet fish on the right?
A suspicious turtle says hello
More below the surface in Bonaire!
Which photo is your favorite? What are you most excited to read about from Bonaire?
wow, very nice pictures. what kind of camera do you use to take such crisp underwater shots? I want to go there so badly!
Check out my obsessions page, Jen — all the details are there!
Love, love, LOVE F! Great photo of such a cute little guy!
Thanks! He was pretty photogenic!
I have to admit, I’d never even heard of Bonaire until you announced you were going there but I’ve been blown away by your Instas this week! So, this weeks photo of the week is one of the toughest to date! While Photo B is a wonderful capture turtle dude has to win for me!
Thanks Caity! I always love the chance to introduce somewhere new to someone — what an honor!
Beyond beautiful! Did you make it over to Curaçao? That’s one of my many dreams! 🙂
Not on this trip — hit the other two ABC islands though!
Gorgeous! I’ve got to say, I know next to nothing about Bonaire, so I can’t wait to read more. I loooove photo D – flamingos!! But they’re all stunning, as usual.
It’s definitely one of the lesser known islands in the Caribbean. I got a lot of blank stares when I announced I was headed there!
well done,it’s full of activities, with Kristin and Angie.
your photos are stunning,
thank you so much Alex.
Thanks for reading, Hmood!
Tie between B and F! Amazingness! Your underwater photography is just on another level.
Thanks Andi! Practice makes perfect 🙂
Hi, I’m a first timer on your blog and loving it! I want to say I love every picture but if I HAVE to pick, probably D! The flamingos are too adorable!
I love when it’s a hard one to choose 🙂 Thanks Kana!
Suspicious turtle wins it for me too! I’d never heard of Bonaire either but it looks absolutely gorgeous, I love the colours in photo A as well.
So fun that I get to introduce a few people to this funky little island 🙂 Can’t wait to share more.
How could it not be B? You guys NAILED IT. Side note – this post marks the first time Alex travels to a country I’ve never heard of. Shame on me!
But exciting for me to get to share it! 😀
Photo F! I love turtles. I’m way too scared to go scuba diving but you have some amazing photos! I snorkeled with turtles on the Yucatan Peninsula earlier this year and it was quite the experience.
They are always an honor to see underwater! And we were lucky enough to see loads on this trip…
Wow, Alex, this is my first time seeing pictures of one of the ABC islands and these shots are absolutely beautiful! Especially photo B and F, they make me itch to get into the water and learn how to scuba dive. Excited about your post!
Thanks Lisa! All things I love to hear 🙂
Amazing photos! It’s such a tough choice this week, but I think I have to go with D – although I love F and G as well! I went to Bonaire on a cruise and loved it! The desert landscape and salt flats made it seem so unique in comparison to any other Caribbean island I’ve seen.
I haven’t been to many islands so not much to compare it to yet… but I agree, it’s so incredibly unique!
Photo B for me. It looked like a whole lotta fun!
Life’s a beach when you’re traveling with these girls 🙂
Am BEYOND envious of your seahorse encounter! I’m perpetually on high alert for seahorse spotting on every dive and snorkel but have yet to meet one in open water. A lifelong dream!! And a great capture 🙂
I NEVER spot them. Luckily I have great guides who point them out for me 🙂
Photo G, purely because I love parrot fish
Me too! Love hearing them crunch on coral 🙂
Photo F! Love the angry look on that turtle’s face!
Ha, “No more photos PLEASE. Ugh tourists.”
Oh they’re all so pretty! That water looks so clear, but I’m loving the parrotfish; that guy looks seriously pleased about something!
Such a cutie, right?! Love his little giggly face!
Photo F – that’s one mad turtle! Fierce!
He’s a bit uppity, for sure 🙂
I have been DYING to go diving in Bonaire! My fave photo is, of course, photo F. I have a soft spot in my heart for sea turtles <3
It’s a pretty special place — you won’t be disappointed when you arrive!
Photo B is definitely my favourite! I love the blue of the water and the simplicity of it.
But Photo F comes in a close second- that is one very cute turtle. There is just something about turtles- they are the quintessential underwater photo. Everyone loves a good turtle photobomb!
Seriously! When I posted this, I didn’t have to wonder — I kind of knew the turtle would win the day!
Always love your photos!
I can’t wait to read about the dive conditions of Bonaire. It’s on my short bucket list for sure. I’d like to know how it compares to other Caribbean diving and if it’s really ‘the best’ the Caribbean has to offer!
I’ll definitely be going into plenty of detail! I’ve only been diving in the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas so don’t have TONS to compare it to, unless you also count Bocas del Toro and the Bay Islands (which some would consider Caribbean, others Central American) in which case I have a larger pool to draw from 🙂
Photo B (though all of them are gorgeous!). You came to Bonaire to dive and spend time with friends. What a beautiful photo to have captured just that!
I did indeed! Success on all fronts…
Screw it…I choose all of them! They’re just too pretty 🙂
Ha, I accept your protest this week 😉
That heart is so lovely – so I choose Photo B!
Thanks Rashaad! It was such a happy accident… we were aiming for a circle!
Well, my vote ALMOST went to the suspicious turtle (why they all gotta be such skeptics?) until I saw the parrotfish that looks like it’s LAUGHING IN YOUR FACE with his big stupid buck teeth. Silly humanized animals.
Haha. Big stupid buck teeth is the best descriptor I have ever read for a parrotfish…
This is crazy unfair of you to make us try to choose between these! I love them all, but those flamingos are ADORABLE! I have to give it to Photo D because of them, I think.
Ha, they were so exciting to see Marni I agree! I was SO MAD I forgot my zoom lens back at the hotel that day though.
Gorgeous photos! I admit it’s a little strange (but cool) to see Flamingos in the desert.
We couldn’t have been more excited to encounter them! It was awesome.
Ever since I went swimming with them in Australia, Turtles are my absolutely most favorite animals!!! That’s why that picture is my favorite this week! I am going to explore Curaçao for a week in December and I can’t wait!!!
Awesome, Jana! It is now officially the final island of the ABCs that I have yet to see so obviously I’ll have to check it out someday too!
The one taken of the divers from below is rad! And I love how grumpy the turtle looks haha 😀
Definitely quite the personality on that one 😉
I refuse to choose a favorite! I love them all because they remind me of one of the best trips I’ve had in ages. 24/7 Bonaire time =)
Thanks for making me snort Diet Coke out my nose!
Alex, I would love to hear about where you stayed in Bonaire and what there is available for budget travelers as far as accommodation goes! My boyfriend and I are looking at a trip there this fall. Flight prices are good and dive prices are very reasonable from what we’ve seen, but we’re having trouble finding an affordable place to stay. Any advice would be much appreciated!
Hey Jesse! We stayed at the Divi Flamingo and then Buddy’s Dive Resort. Overall, Bonaire is known for having very reasonable accommodation compared to other Caribbean islands. If I was returning, I’d look first at Sorobon, which has a gorgeous beach. What’s your budget? Don’t forget to look into rental houses!
Thanks for the info! I’ll check those places out. We’re deciding between Bonaire and Bali for our dive trip this Fall. Looks like flights to Bonaire are cheaper, but it’s pricier when we get there. Bali flights are about $200 more, but super cheap when we get there! Tough choices! We usually try to keep our accommodation costs at $20 per person or less. I don’t think we’re going to be able to do that on Bonaire, though.
Yeah, I don’t know if that level of bargain exists outside Southeast Asia and Central America. Bonaire is indeed considered a budget island but… it’s still the Caribbean after all 🙂 Let me know if you do find something!
Excellent place for family vacations it is beautifull
I have to go with the waving turtle although the smiling fish and seahorse were close!
Such cuties, right?! Love my underwater friends 😉
Seven dives in a week? How awesome (but tiring, I imagine?). And seven photo choices? That’s not fair! A, D, F and G are all outstanding!
Definitely a bit tiring 🙂 Hence, we headed to Aruba afterwards to relax… check today’s post!
Hi Alex, I’m so excited to read your upcoming stuff about Bonaire.
I’m trying to decide where to take my parents and siblings for their Open Water certification. Do you think Bonaire is a good spot for absolute beginners? My mum is terrified but I think she would love diving. So far I’ve dove in the Philippines and Koh Tao and I’d like to do my advanced course while they do their OW. Let me know what you think. Thanks
I think it would be a pretty great spot because there is so much shore diving, and so many great house reefs. I’d highly recommend VIP diving, I think they’d be the best to do an open water with!
Oh my gosh, that blue fish in G is too funny!! Love it.
Isn’t he? I think that might be my favorite underwater shot of the trip.
Awh I really can’t choose, they are all so wonderful!
That’s a wonderful compliment Jessica, thank you!
Suspicious Turtle for the win.
Ha, he’s a cutie, right?
Hi! I love your pictures! Do you use any filter? Any suggestions on how to make a picture look amazing? Thank you :)))
Hey Alex! I edit all my photos in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. I’ve gotten several requests for a photo editing post… I’ll add this one to the pile. Stay tuned 🙂