Karpata is on the north side of the island and is the last legal dive site before you hit the no-dive zone of the marine reserve. As a result there is a stunning amount of fish here. I got the feeling not a lot of divers venture out here and the coral was in good shape.
Take the stairs down to the beach from the road and the entry is from the cement slab in the water.
Karpata is the Nothernmost named dive before you get to the oil tankers and Washington park. There are concrete stairs leading you down to the rocky beach. Coming early always ensures you will have the reef to yourself.
This dive has a little bit of everything. Lots of beautiful hard coral and wildlife. This dive was our entire groups favorite.
This was very close to our hotel at the Divi Flamingo. There is a fee but it's for the week and your supposed to wear reef friendly sunscreen. The snorkeling is nice but not as good at taking the ferry over to Klein Bonaire. Either way the only reason I can see to visit the island is snorkeling and diving.
A great dive to do after Karpata. Hit Karpata early in the morning, you have to take a dirt road to get back on the two way road and this detour spits you out right at Oil Slick. They have a nice wooden dock with a ladder for easy access out of the water. This is a great spot to kill some time in between dives.
Oil Slick get deep immediately so there are many stops to do a giant stride. Large hard coral formations and a very diverse, friendly fish population. As you exit, look under the deck for fish.
Purchase the Marine Park tag ($10.00 cash) and receive orientation about park. The waters are warm and clear with visibility averaging between 100 and 150 feet. Heaven for scuba diving or snorkeling. Bring your own snorkel for sure ... we went in rainy season in October .. the sun pretty much didn't show itself. We snorkeled in the rain and still had decent visibility. I can only imagine how great it would be to be out when it's a bright sunshiny day. However I didn't tan before going and even with sunscreen I got a bit of sun .. so if it had been more sunny I would have fried. Next time I will tan before going.
Bonaire has been called one of the top 5 dive sites in the world. There are numerous SCUBA vendors on the beach and in town. Most all are very willing to provide introductory instruction to novices that want to learn or for the more experienced divers great experiences in the Marine Park.
The crystal clear waters and frendly people certainly make Bonaire a location that you will wish to return to.