Angel City Bonaire Snorkeling Guide [Rated + Reviewed] 

by | Last updated Feb 16, 2024 | Best Snorkeling Caribbean, Bonaire

Bonaire is not all about the divers. With over 60+ dive sites, snorkelers can also have an amazing experience at most of these well-marked spots. My husband and I are avid snorkelers and explored all the recommended sites on the island. One gem that often gets overshadowed by the famous 1000 Steps and Klein Bonaire is Angel City Bonaire. Let’s chat about how to get there, where to snorkel, and what you might see!

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Bonaire Snorkeling Rating Sytem

Having snorkeled all over the world, I’ve begun to compare our experiences.

A fun way of comparison is by assigning ratings to the snorkel sites. I’ve created my snorkel rating system to provide you with an idea of what to anticipate. All of my snorkel guides will incorporate these ratings. 

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!

Angel City Bonaire Snorkeling

Angel City Beach in Bonaire

Angel City Beach in Bonaire

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RATING: 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿

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HOW TO GET THERE

Entrance to Angel City Bonaire

Yellow marked stone for Angel City dive site in Bonaire

Angel City Bonaire is located 10 minutes south of Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire. 

As you are heading south, Angel City will be on your right marked by a yellow stone. Most dive sites will be designated by these markers.

Park in the sandy lot facing the ocean. While there are not many parking spots directly facing the ocean like those at Salt Pier, we have never had trouble finding a spot here.

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WHERE TO SNORKEL

Map of where to snorkel at Angel City Bonaire

Map of where to snorkel at Angel City Bonaire

There are two fun sections of the reef to explore.

First, snorkel past the shallow reef section by the shoreline and over the sandy channel on your way to the deeper back reef.

Then head left (south) towards the direction of Alice in Wonderland. We saw several graceful eagle rays feeding in that sandy channel and the back reef!

It was one of the most incredible snorkeling experiences to be that close. We also saw a school of massive tarpons in that back reef heading north towards Hilma Hooker.

After exploring the sandy channel and back reef, then snorkel back to where you entered. Head north and snorkel around the shallow patches of elkhorn and lettuce coral tracing the shoreline. This is where garden eels and large schools of fish like to congregate. 

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ENTRY

Sandy entrance at Angel City in Bonaire

Sandy entrance at Angel City in Bonaire

There is some coral rubble to navigate on the beach, but the entry point is nice and sandy.

We always wear dive booties to protect our feet just in case.

If you are going to Bonaire, bring your own fitted snorkeling gear for the best experience.

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MARINE LIFE WE SAW

Snorkeling with an eagle ray at Angel City Bonaire

Snorkeling with an eagle ray at Angel City

We have not seen them every time we snorkel at Angel City, but the highlight of our last visit was seeing MULTIPLE eagle rays feeding along the sea floor.

In Bora Bora and the Maldives, we’ve had the pleasure of snorkeling with eagle rays, but it was a deep snorkel. Nothing compared to what we saw in Bonaire!

I could actually see their cute faces with their upturned noses. Their noses help them turn over rocks and find crustaceans to munch on.

Normally eagle rays are skittish and quickly swim away. These eagle rays let us hover over them while they fed. We made sure to keep any movement to a minimum, and they awarded us with a good 5-10 minutes of a magical underwater experience.

After that snorkeling high, we explored the shallow patches of lettuce and elkhorn coral tracing the shoreline, which looked surprisingly healthy. We saw a few spotted moray eels bobbing their head in and out of the lettuce coral.

Also included in our snorkeling adventure spottings were parrotfish, schools of French grunt, sergeant majors, Bermuda chubs, schools of blue tangs and bar jacks, a scorpionfish thanks to my husband’s eagle eye, a barracuda, and a slow-moving bearded fireworm. Los of fun fish to see and all in shallow water!

Ironically, we never encountered any angelfish, which is the inspiration behind Angel City’s name.

Eagle ray gliding by lettuce coral at Angel City Bonaire

Eagle ray gliding by lettuce coral at Angel City

Gorgeous eagle ray swimming on the sea floor trying to find a meal at Angel City in Bonaire

Gorgeous eagle ray swimming on the sea floor trying to find a meal 

Fish soup at Angel City in Bonaire

Fish soup at Angel City in Bonaire

Spotted moray eel at Angel City in Bonaire

Spotted moray eel 

Blue tang at Angel City in Bonaire

Blue tang at Angel City

Barracuda hovering over coral at Angel City in Bonaire

Barracuda hovering over coral. I never get too close! 

Snorkeling with an eagle ray at Angel City in Bonaire

Snorkeling with an eagle ray at Angel City

Bearded fireworm at Angel City in Bonaire

Bearded fireworm 

School of bar jacks at Angel City in Bonaire

School of bar jacks at the back reef at Angel City

Scorpionfish hiding among the coral at Angel City in Bonaire

Poisonous scorpionfish hiding among the coral at Angel City … incredible how much they blend in! 

School of tarpons at Angel City in Bonaire

School of menacing-looking tarpons at Angel City. They were on a mission!

Eagle ray finding its meal on the sea floor in Angel City Bonaire

Eagle ray finding its meal on the sea floor

French grunt swimming around the elkhorn coral at Angel City in Bonaire

Yellow French grunt swimming around the yellow elkhorn coral

Eagle ray munching on the sea floor at Angel City in Bonaire

Eagle rays have unique spot patterns similar to a human fingerprint. This one has a prominent white spot on its left fin.

Eagle ray in feeding mode at Angel City in Bonaire

And this eagle ray has a distinct white spot along its spine. No two patterns are the same.

Bermuda chub posing at Angel City in Bonaire

Bermuda chub posing at Angel City 

Eel and bearded fireworm at Angel City in Bonaire

Spotted moray eel and a bearded fireworm

Sea anemones at Angel City in Bonaire

Sea anemones 

Eagle ray gliding through the ocean at Angel City in Bonaire

One more eagle ray photo! They are just so beautiful. 

Final Thoughts

We have quite a few favorite snorkel sites including Klein Bonaire, 1000 Steps, Wayaka 2, and Red Beryl. Angel City is included in that list! Do not miss snorkeling in Bonaire, which is my favorite thing to do!

If you love this type of detailed snorkeling guide, click on the icon below for all of my snorkeling guides around the world.

Our safari ranger and tracker at Lion Sands River Lodge

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