Bonaire packing list for your upcoming Bonaire vacation.
It’s November, and everyone is beginning to contemplate their upcoming Bonaire winter vacation. There are those who begin packing well in advance (the anticipation is half the fun!), while others will be throwing their luggage together the night before they travel. This Bonaire packing list will ensure that you don’t leave home without something crucial!
1. Snorkel and/or Dive Gear.
Over 50% of Bonaire’s visitors come to dive…….or windsurf…….or kite. And the rest will be sure to snorkel on their leisure vacations. Having the proper gear for these pursuits will ensure an enjoyable time.
Pack your snorkel for shore diving.
Many experienced divers forego their snorkel as it’s just not a necesssary item…….sometimes. But if you plan to enjoy Bonaire’s wonderful shore diving, pack that snorkel! Some swims from shore to the drop-off are a minute or two, but others could be longer, and you won’t want to waste your precious air or nitrox swimming along the surface.
Get a pair of hard-soled booties for shore diving or shore snorkeling.
If you’re planning to dive or snorkel off a boat, or at the resort, full foot fins are supple, light, comfortable, and easy to pack. However, if you plan to explore on your own, remember that Bonaire’s shoreline is often rocky, and a really good pair of booties with open-heel fins will be appreciated! Add in a pair of lycra socks for inside those booties, to help avoid any blisters (you’re feet, which will be wet for long periods of time, will thank you).
Reef gloves are a no-no, so don’t pack them!
The Bonaire National Marine Park regulations say no to reef gloves, so don’t bring them. If gloves are required for medical reasons, be sure to bring a doctor’s letter stating why you must wear gloves while diving or snorkeling, and then be sure to check in with STINAPA before using them.
2. Sun protection.
Savvy divers and snorkelers know that even one drop of sunscreen can have devastating effects on the reef. An easier way is just to cover up. Use a wetsuit, rash guard or other light-weight, long-sleeve shirt when you dive and snorkel and you won’t be mistaken for a pink flamingo that evening. Besides, a nasty sunburn can ruin your vacation. Just cover up.
Use reef-safe sunscreen, if you don’t cover up.
It’s now been proven that sunscreens which have oxybenzone, as well as similar-named chemicals, can destroy the reef. And here’s a tip: As endocrine disrupters, they aren’t so good for you, either! If you must use a sun screen, be sure to use a reef-safe sunscreen. Don’t count on those marketing tags that tell you their product is reef-safe, read the label to be sure. Here’s how to read the label so you know your sunscreen is safe.
3. Re-usable water bottle.
The world’s oceans are jammed full with plastics, and plastic water bottles are a big problem. If you haven’t seen the plastic soup that is floating around in the world’s oceans, take a walk on Bonaire’s eastern windward coastline, and you’ll see what washes ashore from the open ocean. So, plan to bring a re-usable water bottle, or plan to buy one here upon arrival. Bonaire’s tap water is clean, safe, and tastes really good, so go ahead and enjoy our “Eskimo Punch” with your own re-usable water bottle.
4. Other footwear on your Bonaire packing list.
Hard-soled booties? Check. Now, for your other footwear.
You’re going to want to explore all of Bonaire. Bring your flipflops for sandy environments, bring something else for your evenings out, and don’t forget good hiking shoes or sandals. Bonaire has some lovely trails that you might want to walk, and good hiking footwear will make your feet smile.
5. Cameras, phones, cables, and chargers.
One of the most “forgotten” items that visitors query here at InfoBonaire is where they might find specific chargers or cables etc. for cameras, phone, or other electronics, because they forgot theirs at home. Be sure to pack them all, as those items might not be available for purchase on Bonaire.
6. It goes without saying……but we’ll say it anyway.
Tame the glare of the tropical sun by bringing your shades. If you forget them, there are multiple optical stores in Kralendijk which will sell you a pair.
Beach towels and swimwear.
For those who are packing in a hurry, it’s easy to overlook the obvious. Get your swimwear and beach towel into your suitcase. Do be aware that larger resorts will provide beach towels, but if you are staying in a small boutique resort, private home or condo, you might need your own.
Eco-friendly bug and mosquito repellant.
Be kind to your body and the environment, and use an eco-friendly type of bug and mosquito repellant. Bonaire’s rainy season is September throught December/January (which means we might get a shower or two a week), but it does cause the mosquito population to jump for several months. Bonaire has mosquitoes which may bite during the day or at dawn or dusk, so be sure you use protection!
Trust me, you’ll use them. If you don’t pack them, you will wish you had. Binoculars are great to have handy, especially the small field-type binoculars which are now very reasonable in cost. You’ll use them at dive sites, you might find them useful when exploring, and perhaps you might want to diversify your nature knowledge by checking out Bonaire’s birds–the avian diversity is amazing for such a small island!
Of course, the Bonaire packing list cues you to pack the essential items. If you find this helpful, you may wish to have a more detailed packing list. Enjoy your vacation!
(Source: Bonaire Insider Reporter)