Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
This spot has been added by
Last updated on July 20, 2023
1000 Steps is probably just as famous for the fantastic view from the top of its limestone steps as it is for its marine life. While it is called 1000 Steps, there are only a scant 70. To enjoy snorkeling here, just go down the steps, put on your mask, jump in the water and enjoy the show! In and around the reef, parrotfish, grunts, chub and sea turtles glide their way through healthy patches of staghorn coral, gorgonian and sea fans.
1000 Steps is located on the northern coast of Bonaire, less than 4 miles north of Kralendijk. The spot is marked with two yellow stones on the left side of the road. Park your car, enjoy the view from the top of the limestone steps, and then head down to the beach.
1000 Steps shore is mostly rocky, but you will find several sandy splits between the beach and the reef where you can enter the water. Two of these splits are located on the left side of the beach, in front of the best snorkeling area (see map above).
The area to explore covers the approximately a 90 yards-wide area between the beach and the reef drop-off. Starting from the beach, you will first cross a dozen yards of mostly sandy seabed (↕2-5ft/0,5-1.50m), where queen and stoplight parrotfish feed on the few rocks.
After several meters, the seabed starts to be covered with coral (↕5-10ft/1.5-3m) and the reef becomes denser and livelier until the drop-off (↕10-20ft/3-6m).
On the eastern area of the spot, which is on your left when you are facing the sea, you will find two large patches of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis, ↕5-10ft/1.5-3m). This coral is one of the most beautiful, but also endangered, coral in the Caribbean.
Schools of brown chromis surround the coral, creating a beautiful, spectacular sight. The branches of this coral are particularly vulnerable to errant fin kicks, so be really careful when snorkeling this area. This spot is also rich in other hard coral species and sea fans, although they are unfortunately damaged in some shallow areas.
The fish, including trumpetfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, surgeonfish, and tarpons, are concentrated around the coral. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, which are frequently spotted near the drop-off.
1000 Steps is in a natural setting, with no restaurant or accommodation nearby. The closest commodities are in Rincon or Kralendijk. At least bring water and snacks with you.
Check this video 👇👇👇 with the very best footage of our 1000 Steps snorkeling time!
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Reef drop off with coral and colorful fish
Free shore access
Reef drop off with fish and turtles
Small shallow fringing reef with colorful fish
Seagrass meadows with sea turtles
Shallow lagoon with staghorn coral and colorful fish
Free shore access
Reef flat with sea turtles and colorful fish