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Thread: Bonaire Trip Report: Thanksgiving Week 2007

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Bonaire Trip Report: Thanksgiving Week 2007

    My girlfriend and I spent last week in Bonaire.
    SHE: Open Diver
    HE: PADI MSDT - Tech Diver.

    HOTEL: Plaza Resort
    DIVING: Toucan Diving - Plaza Resort's Dive Shop
    Weather: Great expect Saturday, our last day...It rained !
    Water Temp: 82 F and 84 F on the BOTTOM.
    Visibility: Between 60 and 100 ft.

    It was my first trip to Bonaire. We flew from Newark, direct to Kralendijk with Continental. This is the greatest !!! It makes going to Bonaire so quick and easy,... 4h45min to get there.
    We rented a pickup truck for the week and had an unlimited beach diving package with free NITROX upgrade for the Plaza Resort Resident.

    I have to say that it was just easy, great diving. The corals are in great shape. There is a huge diversity underwater and it's well preserved.
    It was my girlfriend's first dive trip. It's made for new or occasional divers.
    Backup the pickup truck on the beach, get geared up and there you go...
    AWESOME !!!

    We saw: Barracudas, Tarpons, Scorpion fishes, Eels (several kinds, sizes), Drum fishes, Angel fishes, Turtles, Porcupine fishes, Cow fishes, Trunk fishes, Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays...

    Beach diving there is really relaxing, you wake up on your schedule, dive as many times as you want. It's great. We dove in front of the hotel (18th Palm) several times, we saw different fishes every single time.

    Toucan Diving is very convenient. We did 3 Boat dives, the Staff was friendly and nice but i think ONE 2-TANK DIVE for the week is enough.

    We also went NORTH to Washington Park and dove a couple of sites there.
    I have heard about Larry's wild side...but I did not get a chance to go with him.
    He takes divers to the Eastern Shore where the are more waves, currents --> Sharks and bigger stuff. Next time !!!!

    It is convenient, greatly located, close to the airport, to the village (for restaurants).
    I liked the fact that it has a pool, a beach to relax. Most rooms have just been renovated too. Some of them are still being renovated.
    I would recommend to get the breakfast included but not lunch and dinner. There is a buffet for breakfast, that's cool.
    But the two other restaurants: Tipsy Seagull and Banana Tree do not offer a great diversity. I am not the Burger Kind of guy so... and the staff is not really friendly and so slow (that's the NY guy talking).
    The best places to eat were: It rains Fishes and La Guernica.
    We liked the food at Salsa but what an attitude from those Dutch waiters.

    Anyway, the result is: I will go back without any hesitation and hope that CONTINENTAL offers a mid week flight to go for long weekends.
    I like my wrecks (cold, deep, dark) up here in the North East but Pretty fishes are nice sometimes to relax.

    If you have questions and comments,... feel free.

  2. #2
    Registered Users Sarah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Wow, what a GREAT trip report!

    And welcome to the SMN Community!

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by iDiveChick View Post
    Wow, what a GREAT trip report!

    And welcome to the SMN Community!
    You are welcome !!!

  4. #4
    Moderator lottie's Avatar
    Milton Keynes
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Sounds like you had a great time down there. I've heard alot of things about Bonaire - and they have all been good.

    and welcome to our little space on the web.

  5. #5
    Wreck Diving Moderator acelockco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    See Lottie,

    I told you we should have our group trip to Bonaire. It sounds like easy fun dives for everyone. Plus no boat schedules to worry about!

  6. #6
    Registered Users
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    where in NY are you. I'm from massapequa

  7. #7
    Registered Users Pax's Avatar
    British Columbia
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default More about Bonaire Please

    I was hoping to do a trip to Bonaire this Sept. I see a few posts re Hotel etc. Can someone offer info as to other resorts (preferable ones that have direct access to shore dives. Also my wife is doing her open water confined and exam for OW but will do an OW referral in Bonaire- any recommendations. I can't convince her to do her on BC westcoast hmmm.
    What is the weather like in mid to end Sept.
    Thanks kindly!

  8. #8
    Registered Users
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    Pax, we went to Bonaire a few years ago and had some great diving. I agree with all "arnomsdt"s comments about the reefs and ease of diving, good to hear its still as good as it was 6 or 7 years ago. We stayed at Buddy Dive and would be very happy to go back any time. The house reef is right in front of you and you can dive there day and night, just drop off the dock and head out a few fin kicks across the sand to the reef. Along the same stretch of the coast is also Captain Dons which has a good reputation and I'm sure there are others. Most dive operations will happily accept a refferal for your wife, however, my opinion, free and worth every penny. Get the certification out of the way before you go, otherwise her first few dives will be limited and will require the skills etc. rather than just being able to go out and enjoy the reefs. Just my view.
    One good thing about Buddy Dive when we were there was the drive through air station. Like "arnomsdt", we rented a pickup as part of the deal and could simply pull up, take out the the empty tanks, put in a couple of full ones and head off to one of the many dive sites around the coast. Unlimited shore diving and its easy to do 5 dives a day if you want to.
    You can get a map or book showing the sites around the island and describing what's there, the entry points etc. Basically you drive around until you see a big yellow rock with the dive site name painted on it. Pull in, gear up and in you go.
    As part of our package we also did 2-tank boat dives every morning over to Klein Bonaire to some great sites, only accessible by boat.
    The reef in front of the hotel was good, I particularly enjoyed the "changing of the guard" dives at dusk. Go in as the light is fading, watch the day critters punching out and the night shift punching in and finish with a very easy, relaxing night dive. Its pretty shallow, so you can spend as long as you like enjoying the undersea sites. There was a small boat upside down on the reef in front of Captain Dons which was fun to visit on the way past and always had a big Green Moray in residence.
    Bonaire has abundant small stuff, not great for big pelagics, when we were there the reefs were in good shape as the whole place has been a marine park since the 60s (I think, maybe 70s). Other parts of the world could learn from that!
    Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth, hope it helps and hope you have a great trip.

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