Family Scuba Dive Adventures in Bonaire

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Kids diving in Bonaire. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.
Kids diving in Bonaire. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.

Here’s a surprisingly little-known fact: kids as young as 10 can become certified open-water divers.

Concerned about what that means? Here’s an expert thought: “I would recommend scuba diving to each and every family as practice in creating peace, relaxing, having fun and doing something joyous together,” says Margo Peyton, founder of Kids Sea Camp, which inspires children and their families to explore beneath the waves.

And here’s a tip for parents worried about strong currents, cold water, low visibility, long boat rides or other factors that might impact young divers: the southern Caribbean island of Bonaire is a perfect place for family scuba adventures.

Fair Bonaire

Bonaire is an uncrowded and peaceful Dutch island 50 miles north of Venezuela. Well below the hurricane belt, Bonaire boasts 365 days of sunny skies – but also tempering tropical trade winds – outstanding windsurfing and snorkeling, and arguably the world’s best shore diving.

Thriving Diving

A family prepares to head underwater in Bonaire. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.
A family prepares to head underwater in Bonaire. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.

Diving is Bonaire‘s economic backbone. Most of its 86 dive sites are within 100 feet of shore on the 24-mile leeward (west) coast, assuring calm, clear and warm (family-friendly!) waters. Short boat rides and easy land access drop into shallow terraces and sloping walls, with scattered coral heads teeming with life.

Conservation Nation

Parent and child at ease below the waves. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.
Parent and child at ease below the waves. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.

A top diving destination in the world, Bonaire works to conserve its precious natural resource. Since 1979, all water users pay – currently US$25 – to enter Bonaire National Marine Park, which protects the surrounding ocean and its underwater inhabitants.

Clan Plan

Kids can really appreciate submarine life. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.
Kids can really appreciate submarine life in Bonaire. Photo courtesy of Kids Sea Camp Inc.

Bonaire is a fantastically safe place for families to dive and learn about marine biology and conservation. Numerous resorts and qualified dive operators are alert to the needs of all ages, including Buddy Dive Resort, which annually hosts Peyton’s award-winning Kids Sea Camp.

 

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About the Author: Ethan G

Ethan Gelber is a professional freelance writer and editor who specializes in family travel, responsible and sustainable travel practices, keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. He founded The Travel Word, and is the editorial director of the Family Travel Association. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Pinterest.

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