Overview of La Machaca

La Machaca

Bonaire North
ABC Islands


La Machaca is located off the docks of Captain Don's Habitat. The facilities are excellent here: outside bar, restaurant, dive shop, photo shop. Please check in with the dive shop before unloading your gear.

Directions: 2.5 km North of Kralendijk, just North the intersection of Kaya Gobernador Nicolaas and Kaya Amsterdam.


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*  Andrew Kerlin (Great White) -- Been coming here for 15 years.

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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

11/13/2014 Brad Stan (Avg: 4.00 Review) - My first trip Bonaire. Amazing. Did shore dives at 23 different sites. Great dive and a definite 'must-do' just like Buddy's. Saw several new species of fish here. There is so much aquatic life and activity here that I feel like you see something different each time. Saw a sharp-tailed eel slithering along the sand, looking for food. Also saw a massive Nassau grouper lying in some willow coral.

12/08/2008 John from Ohio (Avg: 4.14 Review) - Just returned from Bonaire 12/7. I just finished my PADI certification and have found a sport I will love the rest of my life! The boat wreck was hiding a very large porcupine fish this time. As a new diver I simply loved the area. But also had veteran divers with me and they enjoyed it too. Bonaire recently had a rare bad storm that covered parts of the reef with sand, but it was still spectacular and abundant with sea life. There is an octopus living close by that we saw all week. Follow the line out to a bottle covered by a sock. Next to it is his small hideaway marked clearly by a small conch shell just outside his lair. Enjoy!

05/22/2006 Jason NYC (Avg: 4.40 Review) - We stayed at Buddy Dive but a 5-10 minute swim along to the drop off towards the north (right from Buddy) will bring you through Reef Scientifico and then to this upturned wreck in 30-40 feet of water. Nice large grouper under it and Charlie the very large Tarpon may visit you to hunt by dive light. This is a fantastic night dive! Very slight current, 50-75ft viz, and plenty of life along the way and around the wreck.

02/22/2006 John Keane (Avg: 4.40 Review) - I was not staying at Captain Don's but I did all my diving through their shop. The only shore dives that I was charged for were dives for my Nitrox Certification. The facilities there are awesome. This dive is an easy dive, and goes deeper than the limits of recreational diving. I did not try this dive at night, but I'm sure it's great.

01/16/2006 Mike Struchen (Avg: 4.46 Review) - I stayed at Capt Don's, so maybe that makes me biased, but this is one of the best overall sites on the island! I dived it at all different times of the day and every dive was awesome. There was always something new to see. The facilities make it a breeze. There is a line all the way out to 114 feet so you really feel safe doing even night dives here (for those of us who are "navigationally challenged" ;-} Plus the entire area is lit up. Everything about this site is diver oriented.

07/14/2005 Tony Leona (Avg: 3.38 Review) - Is Capt. Don's still charging to dive this site? When we were there, they wanted to charge per diver unless you stayed there. That is very UNLIKE Bonaire... We actually dove in at Buddy's and headed north to get to the site. By the way, Buddy's has a nice restaurant and bar for post dive!

01/18/2005 Alan Shepard (Avg: 4.57 Review) - I have dove La Machaca dozens of times and never get bored with it. The upturned small wreck harbors a large green moray that can scare the bejeezus out of you at night if you don't know its there. At night also expect to be followed by large tarpon looking for an easy meal scared up by your dive light. I've found a number of frogfish and plenty of other fish life on this site.

08/12/2004 Simon (Avg: 4.65 Review) - I was staying at Captain Don's so dived it several times over the week. It was so convenient for us as we could get from our bedroom to the water in about 45 seconds. It is the best 'House reef' I've dived. The coral is in excellent condition and it has an abundance of fish. Loads of parrots, angels, blue chromis, bigeyes and grunts. I also saw eels, mainly spotted moray but also one big green one, lizardfish, porcupines and scorpions. At night we were joined by Tarpon longer than us, as they hunted anything our torch beams picked out. Even if you are not staying on site it would still be a dive I would recommend to anyone.

10/15/2003 Marge Lawson (Avg: 3.79 Review) - Did this as our check out dive from Bon Bini at Lion's Den Resort. Saw several spotted morays, a scorpion fish, a porcupine fish, etc. Also did this dive with a friend who joined us a week later when she did her check out dive. That time we saw a large tiger grouper at the wreck with his mouth wide open getting his mouth cleaned.

07/24/2001 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 3.98 Review) - Pre-Lenny dive. We were staying at the Sand Dollar, and decided to check out Captain Don's house reef and swim back along the reef to Bari. Got as far as the Machacha wreck when a fairly strong current attempted to blast us north instead of south to Bari. Changed the dive plan to macro observation of the Machacha...

04/01/2001 Cynthia Brown (Avg: 4.26 Review) - Easy shore dive off Habitat baby dock. Habitat has set a guide rope to direct divers to a safe area away from boat traffic. There are always lots of fish and eels.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1801


Entrance at La Machaca 

You can't miss it!


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1802


Parking at La Machaca 

There is ample parking; you may drive further in to unload your gear.




Overview at La Machaca 

Looking out from the bar, the first dock is for boat divers, and the furthest dock is for your entry.


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1804


Entry at La Machaca 

Take a giant stride off the dock, and use the stairs to return.




Aerial at La Machaca 
(click photo for details)

Your dive is but a minute away!

Last Verification: February, 2001  


Diver Averages for  La Machaca  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.73
Bottom Conditions:  4.09
Reef Conditions:  4.18
Animal Life:  4.45
Plant Life:  3.73
Facilities:  4.36
Solitude 3.55
Roads:  4.00
*Site Average:  4.19

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.82
Beginner Scuba:  4.64
Intermediate Scuba:  4.45
Advanced Scuba:  3.64
Night diving Scuba:  4.55

Number of reviews for this site: 11


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