Overview of Boca Bartol South

Boca Bartol South

Bonaire North
ABC Islands


Boca Bartol South makes for a good follow-on from Boca Bartol North if you just want to off-gas at this beach. If the current allows, try exploring the cliff area to the left.

Directions: See the Boca Bartol North site for Washington Park entrance directions.


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*  Andrew Kerlin (Great White) -- Been coming here for 15 years.

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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

02/09/2017 Hannah Rempel (Avg: 4.02 Review) - I've been diving at over 2/3 of the (official) sites on Bonaire and this is now in my top 5. The marine life is hands down amazing, and the reef shape is unique- one of the only places to find spur and groove formations on the west coast. We saw 1 nurse shark, 3 southern stingrays, a 1m/3' rainbow parrotfish (and another smaller one), and a juvenile turtle. Easiest entry: -By the most southern end of the inlet there's a cement square, just S of there is a nice place to walk down to the inlet. There's a piece of coral that juts out creating a little protective 'cove' at the very end of the inlet. There was decent sized surf/waves (though there were 22kt winds that day), but it was doable. For people less stable on their feet, have a buddy carry weights in for you. Snorkel out ~30', there's a channel near the S bank of the inlet. Descend in one of the spur groove channels, head out past the sand flats till you hit the reef crest and you're in for a great dive. Who should dive here: People experienced with shore entries with surf/surge and stable on their feet. Navigation skills also help- but there are good natural markers underwater.

03/29/2013 Donna Kramer (Avg: 2.68 Review) - Match 2013: We picked a day with low wind and low surf, using WindGuru as a guide. Entry easy. It is the usual Bonaire snorkel to the point you want to drop down on the reef below, usually about 25 feet below. We dove for about an hour down to 60 feet, visibility was about 40 feet. This is a little below average for Bonaire. I was very disappointed to see so much dead coral. This area was damaged by Hurricane Lenny in 1999, and has not recovered. Because there is not much coral alive, there is not as much sealife as at other sites on Bonaire. The fingers of coral that were once alive are interesting to see.

03/28/2008 Artur Gasparetto (Avg: 3.15 Review) - The entry is a little tough because of the surf, but nothing that scares. Underwater was ok, with the usual incredible visibility, the coral reef life and some barracudas. The reef conditions weren't that good, maybe because the hurricane that stormed the island some years ago left the reefs in bad shape.

06/18/2005 Bjorn (Avg: 3.81 Review) - If you don't mind a kidney-punching drive through Washington Park, Bartol is an EXCELLENT reef due to limited traffic. Unlike every other Bonaire reef we dove, it has a significant, fairly level spur/groove structure, followed then by the standard (spectacular) Bonaire steep drop-off to 100+ feet. The spur/groove reminded us vaguely of portions of the Caymans such as the Grotto. Depths there are limited to 30', perfect for a beginner if the surf and current are low. From Bartol South, angle NE to encounter the spur/groove area. Stop to explore, or better yet continue to the drop-off, go deep, then return early for an extended and very satisfying deco tour between 30 and 15 feet. All of Bonaire is well-preserved, but Bartol especially is pristine. Beware the drive, though! If you like 4-wheeling, you'll have fun (4-wheel NOT required, though, a pickup definitely is).

08/16/2001 Magnus (Avg: 3.04 Review) - A great dive. The surf wasn't that bad when we entered and the dive is probably one of the top ten official sites on Bonaire. Due to the surf and area conditions I wouldn't recommend this to a novice.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB0201


Parking at Boca Bartol South 

With the entry in the background, there is parking here for a couple of cars. There is more parking to the right, toward the North.


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB0202


Overview at Boca Bartol South 

You can tell the beach is a little rugged. The best entry is in the background.


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB0203


Entry at Boca Bartol South 

Here you have a little protection and a sandy spot for entry.




Aerial at Boca Bartol South 
(click photo for details)

The channel is a good point of reference for entry and exit.

Last Verification: February, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Boca Bartol South  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.00
Bottom Conditions:  3.80
Reef Conditions:  3.80
Animal Life:  3.60
Plant Life:  3.20
Facilities:  2.00
Solitude 3.80
Roads:  2.00
*Site Average:  3.34

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.20
Beginner Scuba:  2.20
Intermediate Scuba:  3.40
Advanced Scuba:  4.40
Night diving Scuba:  1.20

Number of reviews for this site: 5


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