Good news for all of your wanderlust, ocean lovers out there! Bonaire and Curaçao, two of the best conservation destinations, are open and accepting tourists again (certain entry restrictions apply)! Hooray!
We’ve put together all the info you need for the best conservation-based holiday to these Caribbean gems, where you can relax, adventure and care for the oceans all in one.
So pack your snorkel and swimsuit and get those tickets booked! Let’s go!
With 86 dive sites, Bonaire is a diver’s paradise and one of the best conservation destinations! You can explore Bonaire’s coral reefs right from the shore and see a wide range of sea life including yellowfin tuna, colourful parrotfish and if you’re lucky, huge sailfish. The entire coastline has officially been declared a reef sanctuary. Another thing that makes Bonaire so unique for lovers of wildlife is the 200 species of birds that have been recorded.
Bonaire banned spearfishing many years ago and makes huge efforts to protect turtles and corals. It was one of the first islands in the Caribbean to join the Reef Renewal Foundation which has programmes to cultivate new corals and is dedicated to educating younger generations and preserving the reefs for them to enjoy for years to come. Bonaire’s mangroves are also internationally recognised as essential wetland areas.
Bonaire is doing their share in the Caribbean for marine preservation and conservation and is considered one of the top tourist destinations for sustainable travel.
With vibes similar to parts of Europe, Curaçao is one of the busier Caribbean islands with lots of restaurants and art galleries. But it also has a beautiful, undeveloped coast with caves and secret beaches you can find and explore – It’s the best of both worlds! Plus, it’s an amazing conservation destination.
And when we enter the underwater world, it gets even better, with crystal clear visibility most of the time, healthy reefs and thousands of fishes. Not to mention, warm waters all year round and options for both shore and boat diving. What more could you ask for?
The diving community on Curaçao take marine conservation very seriously, holding regular reef clean up events and being active members in the Project AWARE ‘Adopt A Dive Site’ programme. For the programme, they make sure to conduct monthly “Dive Against Debris” surveys and act as role models to new divers, educating and informing them of the importance of marine conservation. It’s because of dive communities like this one that hope is restored for the future of our oceans, and more and more people realise the importance of doing their bit for the sea.
Ready to dive into conservation? Check out all the best dive destinations with eco-friendly dive resorts and liveaboards on PADI Travel. Not ready to travel yet? Sign up to become a PADI Torchbearer for the ocean now.