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