1000 Steps Bonaire Snorkeling Guide [Rated + Reviewed]
After snorkeling all over the island, 1000 Steps Bonaire was one of our favorites. Due to its popularity, everyone wants to check it out. Expect quite a few tourists, especially if you arrive later in the morning. The entrance itself is simply stunning, prompting many visitors to capture a quick selfie. Yet, the true allure of 1000 Steps lies in its shore snorkeling experience! Let me guide you through how to reach this spot, what to expect upon entry, the best areas for snorkeling, and the marine life you might encounter.
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Bonaire Snorkeling Rating Sytem
I love to rate all of the snorkeling sites we visit to help differentiate them.
Please see the rating key below.
OVERALL SNORKEL RATING KEY
🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿 = World-class snorkeling and worth traveling just for the snorkeling alone!
🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿 = Incredible snorkeling and should be on your list of top things to do!
🤿 🤿 🤿 = Decent snorkeling and worth the effort!
🤿 🤿 = Worth consideration if you are running out of things to do!
🤿 = Not worth it!
1000 Steps Bonaire Snorkeling
Entrance to 1000 Steps Bonaire
RATING: 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿
HOW TO GET THERE
Parking at 1000 Steps
1000 Steps is located on the northwest side of the island, about 20 minutes from Kralendijk. There are several parking spots on the right side of the road, but it gets full quickly!
If you get a late start, you may have to drive past the entrance and find a makeshift spot off the road.
The entrance to 1000 Steps is on the left side of the road, marked by a yellow stone. FYI, if you have never snorkeled or dived in Bonaire, most dive sites are marked by yellow painted stones.
Navigate the 1000 (actually 67) stone steps to get to the coral pebble beach below. It may feel like 1,000 steps though when you lug all of your personal snorkeling gear up and down in the heat.
The entrance is pretty spectacular!
WHERE TO SNORKEL
Where to snorkel at 1000 Steps
If you face the ocean from the beach, you will notice that the water looks a little lighter in the middle. Enter here, which is the cut in the reef.
Once you enter from the middle, you’ll notice two reef shelves on either side of the beach. This is where the turtles love to hang out for a snack.
Explore both sides.
We also snorkeled along the cliff on both sides of the beach. You can also snorkel along the back reef, but I did not find it as enjoyable because it is a deeper snorkel.
An iguana pointing us in the right direction to snorkel 1000 Steps
Coral pebble beach at 1000 Steps in Bonaire
MARINE LIFE WE SAW
Turtles! Lots of turtles!
They love to hang out and munch along the reef shelves right at the shore. The only challenge watching them is keeping your body in a neutral position because the waves are breaking along those reef shelves close to shore.
I found out turtles can be quite territorial on their feeding grounds, which is seen in the photo below. One eventually gave up and moved on to another section. Don’t mess with their food.
We also saw a spotted moray eel, a barracuda, a massive rainbow parrotfish, and a few sergeant majors and parrotfish.
Two turtles battling it out on the reef shelf at 1000 Steps in Bonaire
Snorkeling with parrotfish and a turtle at 1000 Steps
Spotted moray eel at 1000 Steps
Snorkeling with a turtle along the back reef at 1000 Steps
A massive rainbow parrotfish at 1000 Steps (sorry for the blurry photo, lots of wave action)
Turtle cruising along the reef shelf at 1000 Steps in Bonaire
We love planning snorkeling vacations in the Caribbean. Besides St. John USVI, Bonaire is one of our favorites for shore snorkeling, which is my top thing to do in Bonaire! From Klein Bonaire to Lac Bay to 1000 Steps, there are so many snorkeling sites to explore. I hope this guide helps you plan a fantastic day of snorkeling at one of the best.
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Questions about our 1000 Steps snorkeling experience?
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