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Washington Slagbaai National Park

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© Lonely Planet Publications

A flamingo tongue shell clings to a fan coral

Washington Slagbaai National Park
Schooling doctorfish swim over the upper reef

1 BOKA BARTOL
2 PLAYA BENGE
3 PLAYA FUNCHI
4 BISE MORTO
5 WAYAKA
6a BOKA SLAGBAAI NORTH
6b BOKA SLAGBAAI SOUTH

39

•
•
•
•
•
•
•

ADVANCED

Washington Slagbaai
National Park

INTERMEDIATE

BNMP’s (Bonaire National Marine Park’s)
numbered dive sites start at Number 1
– Boka Bartol on the northwest corner of Bonaire – and run south to the
island’s southern tip, with a few more
park sites extending back up the east
coast to the Lac.
Wild and remote, the beauty and solitude that comes from isolation is also a
factor to be considered when diving in
Washington Slagbaai.
The roads are scheduled to be paved
in some places in the park, but for the
most part they are one-way single
lanes little more than dirt tracks. If you
should have any sort of diving accident,

NOVICE

PARK DIVING

GOOD SNORKELING

whether it be slipping and breaking a
bone or a hyperbaric emergency, it is
a good hour from the closest park dive
site to any medical treatment. So shallower dives and favorable entry conditions are the best and safest way to
approach diving here.
There are seven sites within the park
and all but one (at this writing) are open
to the diving community by shore. The
diving here is considered to be more
virgin, as dive boats and shore divers
don’t get up here as frequently. If you
are boat diving, many dive operations
will spend two dives up in the park waters as it is considered a long way to go
for a dive, and will therefore maximize
the experience.

This park is a cactus wonderland. Lizards and iguanas warming themselves
on the road scurry from the slow
approach of your vehicle. Unlike the
developed part of the island, the park
has rolling hills, small lakes, bays and
forests of brush and cactus, thinned
somewhat by wild goats and a dwindling population of wild donkeys. Birds
of prey sit in twisted trees, while elegant
pink flamingoes wade through the shallows of broad saltwater estuaries foraging for food.

•
•
•
•
•
•
•

40 Washington Slagbaai National Park Dive Sites

Washington Slagbaai National Park Dive Sites 41

and you will see there is a sandy area
that again turns into slope and more
corals and channels.
The best diving is about 30ft to 80ft.
Since this area isn’t dived or fished heavily, parrotfish, grouper and many other
species can be larger here and more
abundant. The sand channels hold a
multitu...
This park is a cactus wonderland. Liz-
ards and iguanas warming themselves
on the road scurry from the slow
approach of your vehicle. Unlike the
developed part of the island, the park
has rolling hills, small lakes, bays and
forests of brush and cactus, thinned
somewhat by wild goats and a dwin-
dling population of wild donkeys. Birds
of prey sit in twisted trees, while elegant
pink flamingoes wade through the shal-
lows of broad saltwater estuaries forag-
ing for food.
PARK DIVING
BNMP’s (Bonaire National Marine Park’s)
numbered dive sites start at Number 1
Boka Bartol on the northwest cor-
ner of Bonaire – and run south to the
island’s southern tip, with a few more
park sites extending back up the east
coast to the Lac.
Wild and remote, the beauty and soli-
tude that comes from isolation is also a
factor to be considered when diving in
Washington Slagbaai.
The roads are scheduled to be paved
in some places in the park, but for the
most part they are one-way single
lanes little more than dirt tracks. If you
should have any sort of diving accident,
whether it be slipping and breaking a
bone or a hyperbaric emergency, it is
a good hour from the closest park dive
site to any medical treatment. So shal-
lower dives and favorable entry con-
ditions are the best and safest way to
approach diving here.
There are seven sites within the park
and all but one (at this writing) are open
to the diving community by shore. The
diving here is considered to be more
virgin, as dive boats and shore divers
don’t get up here as frequently. If you
are boat diving, many dive operations
will spend two dives up in the park wa-
ters as it is considered a long way to go
for a dive, and will therefore maximize
the experience.
Washington Slagbaai National Park
Washington Slagbaai
National Park
GOOD SNORKELING
NOVICE
INTERMEDIATE
ADVANCED
1 BOKA BARTOL
••
2 PLAYA BENGE
••
3 PLAYA FUNCHI
••
4 BISE MORTO
••
5 WAYAKA
••
6a BOKA SLAGBAAI NORTH
••
6b BOKA SLAGBAAI SOUTH
••
A flamingo tongue shell clings to a fan coral
Schooling doctorfish swim over the upper reef
39
© Lonely Planet Publications
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