Overview of 1000 Steps

1000 Steps

Bonaire North
ABC Islands

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1000 Steps is probably just as famous for the grueling hike to and from the beach as it is for its world-class diving! Don't be dismayed-- there are only 72 steps from your car to the beach. If your dive buddy were a true buddy, he'd carry your tank for you!

Directions: On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk. Off the entrance to Radio Netherlands.


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11/13/2014 Brad Stan (Avg: 3.00 Review) - My first trip Bonaire. Amazing. Did shore dives at 23 different sites. The steps here really aren't that bad and make for some great photo opps. Not my favorite of the north dive sites but the coral structure and scenery were great. It is worth doing at least once.

05/27/2013 Karen from Salt Lake City (Avg: 3.29 Review) - Great dive - well worth the trek up and down stairs. Went down and put wet suits on - coming back just made the trek geared up. Beautiful plant and animal life. Several cleaner stations, turtle, schools of tangs. Very healthy reef.

01/16/2012 Jim Haggart (Avg: 2.71 Review) - This site was quite a disappointment. The reef is covered with scrunge (what looks like lots of dead leaves). Minimal fish and not so nice coral.

11/10/2010 Ann Geiger (Avg: 3.51 Review) - We found the famous stairs quite reasonable, both up and down. Easy entry right off end of stairs, mostly sand with a few rocks. Stairs provide a great landmark for return and exit. Sizable parking lot at site. Probably the most lovely topside of a dive site on Bonaire. Reef conditions here are the worst we have seen so far in Bonaire; lots of dead and bleached coral. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the marine life we saw on this dive, including a big turtle; dog snappers; tiger groupers; big and small bar jacks at cleaning stations; file clams; shrimp; and numerous juvenile fish (heading back to exit).

07/22/2010 Robert D. Hunter (Avg: 4.43 Review) - The 72 steps are really not that bad. In fact, they add appeal to the site and are worthy of a photograph themselves. Just remember that it's a few extra kicks to the marker buoy than many of the other sites, but I was joined by a turtle along the way. My wife saw three Caribbean reef sharks overhead upon our return to the buoy. Seems the marine life is quite healthy here.

12/28/2009 Bill K (Avg: 4.01 Review) - The beach entry is easy here, even though the surf was a bit high by Bonaire standards. The reef has loads of relief, with large star and brain corals; deeper areas have the plate-form star corals. The site has a good diversity of the usual fish, and the whip corals have come back on the reef crest. This is a top-notch dive site well worth the steps.

02/06/2009 Leo from Oak Park (Avg: 3.50 Review) - The challenge here is the 60-something steps from the road-side parking to the shore. Some divers would don their gear first then take the steps down. At the end of their dive they'll climb up the steps with their gear on. Others will run the gear down, gear up, dive, then take the gear off, and bring it upstairs in multiple trips. We've tried both ways. There is no easy way. Once you get over the physical challenge presented by the steps, the dive is awesome. Relatively easy entry, quick swim to drop-off, plenty of aquatic life.

12/26/2008 Bill K (Avg: 3.76 Review) - The steps are really worth it! The site is at the end of the north two-way road, so access and return are very easy. This is a very easy beach entry on coral rubble; there were often other divers or tourists swimming here. This reef seemed to have more relief than many, with lots of large corals and sponges. Tons of fish. The shallows at the edges of the sand are decent for snorkel, but damage is evident. This is one of our favorite Bonaire dive sites.

11/14/2008 Clara Rose (Avg: 3.82 Review) - I loved this site! The 1000 steps were worth it, and the coral formations were amazing. Once we were in the water it was an easy dive, and the site had a very healthy coral population. This dive site was a dream, and the pictures hardly do it justice. This is the site I dream of going back to, and will forever be my vision of paradise.

05/08/2008 Anonymous (Avg: 2.92 Review) - Excellent dive site. Isolated, shallow, great life, and the steps were fun!

01/22/2008 Lloyd Haskell (Avg: 4.74 Review) - Don't let the steps intimidate you, this is a great dive site!

05/22/2006 Jason NYC (Avg: 4.42 Review) - Other than the 72 steps down and up (not bad at all and a lovely view too) this is a VERY easy entry across hard packed coral rubble and sand, and is one of my favorite Bonaire dives. Short swim to the reef line and plenty to see in the shallows unlike some sites on Bonaire where the drop off is more like a mini wall dive. Great spot for a snorkel or a long shallow dive. Tons of the usual life and very healthy coral, too. Busy day with the locals here on this Sunday afternoon picnicking on the beach and enjoying the pleasures of Bonaire. Simply lovely view from the top of the stairs! Shore diving can't get much easier or more rewarding than this!

01/16/2006 Mike Struchen (Avg: 4.40 Review) - I had heard and read the horror stories about the climb back out. When you first come out of the water and feel your full body weight, you look up and think: "how am I ever going to do this?" BUT, with the exhilaration of the beauty of this, as with all the northern sites, it was well worth the climb!

11/13/2005 Dave D (Avg: 4.65 Review) - The 69 steps down are easy. If you can't do the steps---maybe you shouldn't be diving at all. As for theft from your truck, leave it open and carry your valuables down---thieves are lazy. Very nice dive in every way.

08/01/2005 Mary (Avg: 4.31 Review) - This was my second time doing this dive, and I really enjoyed it. Once down the steps, the entry/exit is a breeze. It's not too long of a kick out, and you're there. Very nice viz, and an overall relaxing and fun dive. I would definitely recommend it. And don't be put off by the steps! Honestly, it's just not that bad!

06/07/2005 Noreen (Avg: 5.00 Review) - I did my open water certification in Bonaire & in 12 days of diving, I did 39 dives. We did 1000 Steps three times, we liked it so much. Awesome site. There are actually "only" 67 steps.

03/27/2005 Gary Harmon (Avg: 1.80 Review) - There are a lot of steps down and back up. Not worth the trip in my opinion. Definitely not, if carrying a tank. Love2snorkel, but not here.

03/15/2004 Doug Terry (Avg: 3.98 Review) - 1000 Steps is a great dive and the 72 actual steps are short steps too. I enjoyed everything about this site but was particularly impressed with the stag horn coral growing on top of the reef, piles 3 to 4 feet high. You pick your way around it to get to the drop off. I had a great encounter with an octopus on the way to the drop off.

01/14/2004 Marge (Avg: 3.95 Review) - We enjoyed this snorkel site very much. There was lots of coral and numerous fish. We saw a lovely queen angelfish and lots of other species. The steps really weren't all that bad.

01/03/2004 Deborah Norton (Avg: 3.31 Review) - This site is only average. The sites just to the north of it are much better without the effort of the steps. Also, robbery is an extreme problem here - do NOT dive it if you are the only vehicle parked there. We had nothing of value in the van, so the thief took island maps, printout of dive site reviews, prescription eye glasses, t-shirts, dive logs, and anything else he could find and scattered it along the road for several miles. The thief was spotted (but unfortunately not caught) by some divers we met later and it was not kids.

10/14/2003 Marge Lawson (Avg: 4.29 Review) - This was one of our favorite dives. Always saw some interesting things. Saw the tail of a HUGE green moray under a coral mound right at the drop off one day. I love to take moray pictures, and part of me was wishing it would come out so I could take pictures, and part of me was very glad it didn't. They say green morays can grow to 8 feet, and judging by the back 3 feet or so we saw, I would guess it was 7 - 8 feet long. We took some non-diving friends with us one day, and they enjoyed the snorkeling.

09/26/2003 Tom Steiner (Avg: 4.31 Review) - 1000 Steps is a must dive in Bonaire, the dive is really nice and you can discover a lot of interesting things on the reef there. Just watch the return for those with a lot of heavy equipment is a bit ....:-) heavy.

06/28/2002 Dan Benson (Avg: 4.47 Review) - The horrors of the walk up and down the One Thousand Steps are greatly exaggerated! IT'S NOT THAT BAD! And the dive is well worth it. Just don't push the computer, as the walk back and heat may increase your risk of DCS

07/26/2001 Mark Mondul (Avg: 4.75 Review) - Great fun, and a wonderful photo-op topside. Others diving nearby saw small blacktips; we had a huge green moray race up from the depths to meet us, startling us pretty good. Here and Weber's Joy nearby were our favorites. Returning there in 1 1/2 weeks and can't wait!


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Site Photos

Maps
(what is GPS?)
Photo
(click photo for a larger version)
Comments
Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1101
N1212.6436'
W06819.2774'

 

Parking at 1000 Steps 

Suit up and wear your tank for your hike down to the beach. Ensure your tank strap is tight and secure.

Sign

 

 

Sign at 1000 Steps 

This is an historic site-- take a moment to soak it all in.

Overview

 

 

Overview at 1000 Steps 

The pristine beach with the infamous stairway to the right!

Right Entry

 

 

Right Entry at 1000 Steps 

The coral makes for an easy entry.

Left Entry

 

 

Left Entry at 1000 Steps 

You can dive either direction-- just watch your current.

Aerial

 

 

Aerial at 1000 Steps 
(click photo for details)

With Radio Netherlands in the background, you can see the steps and the spectacular diving that await you.

Last Verification: February, 2001  

 

Diver Averages for  1000 Steps  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.54
Bottom Conditions:  4.17
Reef Conditions:  4.25
Animal Life:  4.17
Plant Life:  3.71
Facilities:  2.83
Solitude 3.58
Roads:  4.08
*Site Average:  3.89
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.42
Beginner Scuba:  4.00
Intermediate Scuba:  4.17
Advanced Scuba:  4.04
Night diving Scuba:  3.08

Number of reviews for this site: 24

125-2-2-11


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