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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 beach seen from the top of the cliffs

How to get to the 1000 Steps snorkeling spot

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 snorkeling map, Bonaire

Water entrance for snorkeling 1000 Steps

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).

1000 Steps snorkeling tips and recommendations

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.

1000 Steps boasts healthy coral, loaded with reef fish.
1000 Steps boasts healthy coral, in particular large communities of staghorn coral.

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.

Green sea turtle in 1000 Steps
1000 Steps is considered as one of the best locations in Bonaire to spot green sea turtles, but they are not present at the reef every day.

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.

Stoplight parrotfish at 1000 Steps
A stoplight parrotfish at 1000 Steps.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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!




  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaBonaire National Marine Park
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m on the reef flat, 20ft/6m on the reef drop-off
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.