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Lac Cai is the northern tip of the inlet of Lac Bay. This sheltered area, close to the open sea, has extensive seagrass beds that are home to sea turtles. Lac Cai is one of the best spots in Bonaire to snorkel with turtles, but due to the currents present in the bay, it is not recommended for beginners.

Lac Cai snorkeling area, Bonaire
Lac Cai Beach.

How to get to Lac Cai snorkeling spot?

Most visitors reach Lac Cai by car. From Kralendijk city center, follow the road to Sorobon (Kaya Nikiboko Zuid, then Kaminda Sorobon). After a few kilometers, turn left, following the sign “Lac Cai/Mangrove Info Center”.

The road is unpaved, but suitable for all vehicles, and offers very nice views of the mangrove and salt ponds. Keep driving until the very end of the road, where you will reach a parking lot. The spot is located in front of the parking, behind the boats moored in the bay.

Lac Cai - Lac Bay snorkeling map, Bonaire

Water entrance for snorkeling Lac Cai

Enter the water in the mooring area, between the queen conch piles, and swim between the boats to reach the seagrass beds.

Lac Cai snorkeling tips and recommendations

First, be aware that on this spot, you will have to deal with currents. The main current tends to carry you to the pass (to the left when you are facing the sea) which is a dangerous area (waves, boats entering the bay, risk of being carried out to the open sea). For this reason, the National Park recommends snorkeling this area with a certified guide.

However, many snorkelers do not follow this recommendation. Whatever option you choose, you must be very cautious not to let you drift by the currents to the pass.

Snorkeling with green sea turtle at Lac Cai, Bonaire
Green sea turtles rest and feed on the seagrass beds found off the beach.

The seagrass beds (↕2-3m), visited by green sea turtles all year round, begin just behind the mooring area, and extend for several dozen meters. By snorkeling the area, you should not have to wait too long before seeing them.

You can sometimes come across groups of two or three, feeding on the seafloor. Do not disturb or touch the turtles, and keep a distance when they are coming up to the surface to breathe.

Snorkeling with green sea turtle at Lac Cai, Bonaire
A green sea turtle takes a breath at the surface in Lac Cai. You can note the shore and the queen conch piles in the distance.

Snorkelers come essentially to Lac Cai to spot the sea turtles, but you may also have a chance to spot the Queen Conch (strombus gigas), an impressive -but endangered- species, protected in Bonaire. It is prohibited to touch or catch them.

Because of the currents and the sediment present in the lagoon, be aware that visibility is some days very poor on this spot, which can be frustrating.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The Lac Bay Bar, where you can have lunch or get snacks/drinks, is facing the spot. It is the only restaurant option on site.


  • Level required Advanced
  • Protected areaBonaire National Marine Park
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy shore
  • Potential DangersCurrents, waves, boats
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

Sea turtle watching in Lac Cai


Sea turtles are a very familiar sight in Lac Cai. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:

  1. Do not attempt to touch or ride sea turtles
  2. Stay at a distance (6 to 10ft) from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movement and allow sea turtles plenty of space when they come up to the surface to breathe

These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important - up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.

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.