This 112-square-mile island just off the coast of Venezuela provided vital salt for the Dutch in the 1600s, and salt pans, including some bright pink ones, still cover its southern end.
Bonaire has 60-plus shore dive sites, easily found thanks to the yellow painted rocks marking each one. Most start from beaches worth lingering on. For more than 35 years, the waters around this island have been protected, meaning the diving is not only easy, but top-notch as well, with abundant and diverse reef life. In fact, according to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, which has collected fish surveys from volunteer divers since 1990, Bonaire is its most species-rich survey site in all the Caribbean. Don't miss 1,000 Steps, Country Garden, Andrea I, Something Special, and Tori's Reef dive sites.
A Marine Park tag is required when entering the water here and can be purchased at any dive shop. The U.S. dollar is the official currency, English is commonly spoken, and you can drink the tap water.