Overview of Town Pier

Town Pier

Bonaire North
ABC Islands


The Town Pier is renowned for its wonderful night dive. You will need permission from the Harbor Master to dive here, and you must be led by dive operator staff. Although sometimes difficult to schedule, if you have a chance to experience this site, just do it!

Directions: Off the one lane coastal road in Kralendijk.


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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!

12/18/2012 Todd Reimer (Avg: 3.00 Review) - As of December 2012, we were instructed that we are no longer allowed to dive here. However, the dive master insinuated that it's pretty common that people sneak out here to dive at night anyway, but you would be doing so at your own risk. We passed on doing the unauthorized dive, so unfortunately cannot say if it was worth it or not. Either way, it is a shame that the alleged 'Best night dive in the Caribbean' is no longer diveable, even if you wanted to opt to pay extra for a permit. Maybe that will change by the next visit there.

03/02/2010 Jim_CO (Avg: 3.64 Review) - We dove this site in 2002 with 12 divers and two guides. It was crowed and my wife who had less than 10 dives and no night dives, freaked out. I had 30 dives of experience and 3 previous night dives and at the time I wasn't experienced enough to know that some people don't adapt as easily to night dives. I found the diving incredible, but I would not recommend this site for your first night dive. It was a little too claustrophobic since the pier supports aren't evenly spaced and it's a popular dive. If you've done a night dive before, definitely do this, it was terrific!

09/26/2009 Shore Diving Editor (Avg: 3.00 Review) - I have heard from a reliable source that due to Hurricane Omar last year there is no diving allowed on the Town Pier. If you hear differently, please post a quick review saying that it is open again, and give the condition of the pier, if possible. Thanks!

02/07/2008 Nick 1 (Avg: 3.36 Review) - A fantastic night dive spot for all levels. For my wife, this was her first night dive and she loved it. Since the site is a working pier, dives are guided and one must get permission of the Harbor Master. Lots of flowering soft corals attached to the pillars with small critters making them their home. Sleeping Parrot fish, moray eels, arrow crabs and seahorses. Our dive guide even located two rare re-lipped bat fish. This is a "must do" dive on Bonaire

09/18/2007 Amanda from Amersham (Avg: 3.13 Review) - This was only my 8th dive, and a 'must do', even as a beginner. Our guide, Nolly from Harbour Village was fantastic. There were only 2 of us with him, which was great. We saw lots of things, including the holy grail, it seems, seahorses - 3 of them.....but....I wouldn't do it again as I just found it a bit boring, sorry, when you've seen one upright covered in coral and sponges, you've seen them all!

05/22/2006 Jason NYC (Avg: 3.98 Review) - Make sure you do this dive, 5 spotted drum, 2 sea horses, 6 free swimming eel, decorator crabs, a maze of pier pilings, tires of all sizes, macro life galore, trash and rubble piles filled with life, coral and sponge in every color and all over the place and on the pier pilings. My Wife said it was like being in a bad hood in Queens with the best and most colorful graffiti you have ever seen! I think we have been living in NYC too long. This dive reminded me of Fat Albert's neighborhood or one of those paintings JJ used to paint on Good Times. Colorful, cartoonish, and fancy in a run down way. 4 divers per dive guide, $25 per diver fee, worth every penny and then some! This dive must be arranged through a local guide, the harbor master, and/or your dive shop. Very easy entry down a few steps and onto a sandy beach to the left of the pier.

03/15/2006 Steven Vollenga (Avg: 3.85 Review) - Good dive site. Stairs on the picture are not there anymore, but the present situation is much better. Good parking with easy entrance, etc.

02/22/2006 John Keane (Avg: 4.06 Review) - This is one heck of a night dive. You need permission to dive this (same deal as salt pier). I read some other reviews about it being crowded here, but now the dive is limited, 4 divers per guide (yes, you need a guide). Our dive master (Netto from Captain Don's and his fellow dive master, Jennifer, also from Don's) each took 3 divers out in opposite directions, we barely encountered each other. Orange coral, lots of eels.. Just awesome diving, a must do, very easy and gratifying for the beginner to the pro... bring your camera. One note: wear booties as there seems to be a strange electrical current at the top of the steps (bad ground).

03/27/2005 Gary Harmon (Avg: 3.17 Review) - Great night dive or snorkel. Went with a small group of divers and 6 snorkelers. 2 snorkelers quickly dropped off. (It was a little scary, under a large pier at night). Saw lots of brightly colored sponge that only opens at night. Went back the next day, just a plain old grey pier. This is a night dive not to miss. Love2snorkel

03/05/2005 Ed Kenney (Avg: 3.56 Review) - Divers wondering about this site would get an excellent idea of the variety of conditions possible from reading the reports here. You glide in shallow water through encrusted pilings with tires and trashy piles littered around, hoping to see things that are hard to find elsewhere. I went with Linda from the Carib Inn and perhaps the most important thing I learned was to refrain from torturing the seahorses and octopi with my intense dive light. There were clouds of bait fish and a dozen moray of three different types. We lucked out and finished our dive as other groups were gearing up in the shallows.

08/11/2004 Simon (Avg: 3.61 Review) - The secret of this dive is a good dive master. Robert at Capt. Don's was great! He knew all the places to look. He took it very slowly taking exactly an hour to go around the site. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who hasn't mastered there buoyancy as you need to spend most of the time hovering between one and three metres. I'm told that before the hurricane it was superb but it still proved to be the dive highlight of my trip. The corals are spectacular growing perpendicular to the pillars. We saw among other things two frogfish, a turtle, an octopus, two seahorses and several eels. It was busy with two other groups of divers down at the same time as us but since you need to do this one slowly it wasn't a problem most of the time. We were also joined by several large (over two meter) Tarpon using our dive lights to hunt.

07/25/2004 JoAn (Avg: 3.64 Review) - Very unique site. Wouldn't want to do it again, but glad that I've done it once. I rated lower for Beginner Scuba Divers because you need to have good buoyancy control to move around the pilings and people without bumping into the coral. There were two tugboats that started their engines then left while we were underwater. This made me nervous! But it worth it to see the Seahorses - my first.

07/18/2004 Lee (Avg: 3.98 Review) - New international port security rules - if no ship in port, must register with harbor master (he watches the groups) and dive with a dive master. One dive master with maximum of 4 divers - 3 dive master groups max. Great critters, as always. 3 frogfish, 3 seahorses, tons of eels, 1 turtle, forests of orange cup coral and sponges.

06/13/2004 Robert J. West (Avg: 3.41 Review) - We made arrangements with Eddie at Photo Tours to do this dive a bit later in the evening (we entered the water just after 9 PM), and we had the pier to ourselves for three quarters of the dive. Excellent variety of all sorts of stuff - animal and vegetable. Glad we were able to do this dive! Going later definitely helped avoid the crowds, and visibility was OK.

05/31/2004 John Beirne (Avg: 3.49 Review) - I guess my favorite part of this dive is that, by the nature of the dive (night) it makes you take a hard, close look at things. Low and behold there is a lot to see. True, it can be crowded, but it was a highlight of our trip.

12/29/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 3.70 Review) - Well, it's great for the kids, and great diving for me personaly. I don't dive much but I like the beach due to the surf.

07/10/2003 Bob Mallin (Avg: 2.79 Review) - I was a little disappointed after all of the hype about town pier. I did see some very cool sponges and orange cup coral. There is a lot of macro-life there as well. There were too many divers and saw more buoyancy problems than I care to comment about as well.

04/27/2003 Brent Houchens (Avg: 2.90 Review) - Mostly a lot of man made junk (tires, concrete blocks) filled marine life you can find everywhere else on the island in a pristine environment. We went on the night with the harbor master's permission (and crowd) only to have both tugboats start up and run about 15 minutes into our dive (you cannot imagine the noise, and they didn't leave so there was obviously no emergency). Added to my dislike for this site was the fact that my rented light flooded, and I had to go off my buddies. Seeing a tugboat prop, which I estimated to be 5 feet in diameter, spinning a mere column away with no light (there is enough ambient light near the edges of the pier to see the surface) all the while going deaf from the noise and vibration is a bit unsettling. We rode to the site with two guys from England who weren't at all bothered by the tugboats, but had some choice words for the "friend" who had told them this was a must see site. Not a single person had anything nice to say about the dive. I'm afraid this one is all hype and with so many great dive sites, who really wants to see an eel swimming around an old tire?

11/28/2002 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.25 Review) - Finally after 4 years we get to do this dive. Go later in the evening, less crowded. Wonderful colours, sponges, corals, fish. Good buoyancy control is really important on this site.

04/08/2002 Stephen Goldsmith (Avg: 3.41 Review) - "The best night dive in the caribbean", is what the book said and of course if it's called the best, I have to see for myself. We got there and saw the crowd, maybe thirty others gearing up! Once in the water our guide, Linda from Carib Inn, was able to weave us through the pilings with as little contact with other groups as possible. Through the traffic her keen eye found a sea horse holding on to a piece of trash. An octopus was spotted but that was it for the rare sightings. As most people know the pier is famous for it's orange cup coral. Yes indeed, the coral is fabulous. The next time I go I will night dive the Salt Pier. You need permission but no crowds, no guide, and almost as much incrustation of sponges and cup coral as the Town Pier. Overall, a great dive for first timers, and to have in your log book but an unnecessary expense and the crowd is laughable.

07/24/2001 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 3.71 Review) - Pre-Lenny. We were unable to night dive the Town Pier due to the Dutch Navy vessel anchored there, so we got a dive master to take us to the Roll-On, Roll-Off Ferry pylons which appear in the aerial view as two dots to the right of the Town Pier proper. We geared up at the side of the road, listening to the sounds of the waterside bars, then slipped into the water. I mean, I slipped literally, slightly twisting my ankle. Good thing for high zip-up booties. Lots of colour on these cement pylons, orange cup corals, eels, etc. Very enjoyable!

05/09/2001 Scott Chaffee (Avg: 3.40 Review) - This is a not-to-miss night dive, but try to schedule with DM when large groups will not be there as it will be too crowded. We went on a Monday with 4 of us and there was a small group coming out when we went in and on the way out a small group was heading out. On Tuesday and Wednesday there were large groups there. Frogfish, seahorses, decorator crabs, juvenile fish of all kinds, free-swimming eels and the yellow and orange colors where everywhere. Do not miss this dive!


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)



Overview at Town Pier 

Most of the time, the pier is clear of boats.


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB2102


Entry at Town Pier 

The entry is very easy, with parking nearby.


 Map     Sat
GPS: NB2103


Sign at Town Pier 

Obtain more information from your local dive operator about how to gain access to this site.




Aerial at Town Pier 
(click photo for details)

Visit the site, and explore the heart of Kralendijk, as well!

Last Verification: February, 2001  


Diver Averages for  Town Pier  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.41
Bottom Conditions:  3.14
Reef Conditions:  3.14
Animal Life:  3.91
Plant Life:  3.45
Facilities:  3.14
Solitude 2.41
Roads:  4.18
*Site Average:  3.50

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.45
Beginner Scuba:  3.14
Intermediate Scuba:  4.00
Advanced Scuba:  3.77
Night diving Scuba:  4.18

Number of reviews for this site: 22


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