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Divi Bonaire Trip Report - Diving and Sinterklaas

Divi Bonaire Trip Report - Diving and Sinterklaas

Jan 3rd, 2007, 07:41 AM
  #1  
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Divi Bonaire Trip Report - Diving and Sinterklaas

Overall we had a good time and a great week of diving at the Divi in Bonaire the first week in December 2006. The location of the hotel is ideal - right on the water, a short 5- 10 minute walk into town, situated on a nice reef. The oceanfront room, though small, was clean and had a great balcony right on the water. The biggest downside was the quality of the beds - ours were pretty old and sagging.

The boat diving was very good - the dive shop is well run. Daily there'd be 2 boats going out - generally one to Klein Bonaire and another headed North or South. DMs were good about trying not to duplicate sites. Off of Klein we saw typical reef fish, varied sponges and coral (including black coral, several turtles and even a black tip reef shark (rare for Boanire).

As for shore diving, on site there's a nice set up to dive right from the dock - especially good for night dives. The house reef was especially lively at night, we saw a large green moray hunting and a 4-5 foot tarpon who seemed to think he was a dolphin - spinning and doing loop de loops in our lights.

There's a Hertz right on site at the hotel so you can rent a car for a few days to do shore diving or just expore the island. We rented a Suzuki Jimmy and did afternoon shore diving. The Divi is not ideal for this as its about 100 yards to schlep your gear to the back gate to load truck, but we mangaged pretty well. We really enjoyed "the diving freedom" in Bonaire - just the two of us chooosing a dive site, figuring out the best entrance/exit and diving. We especially liked 1000 Steps, Andrea II Windsock and Alice in Wonderland. We managed to do 21 dives during our week.

The onsite restaurants at the Divi were good - the breakfast buffet was nothing too fancy but was satisfactory. The Chibi Chibi which serves lunch and dinner, was quite good for lunch (especially the catch of the day) and has a great location over the water - you can see the fish down below right from your seat. For dinner we walked to a different restaurant in town each night (Cappricio's, Donna and Georgio"s, Cactus Blue, Richard"s, Imperial Sushi, It Rains Fishes, Bambu) - all were good - but none stand out as amazing.

One highlight of the trip was seeing the Christmas party for the kids at the Divi. Quite a new experience for those of us from the US. Since Bonaire is a Dutch island, kids get presents from Saint Nicholas and his helpers on December 6. David Sedaris has a funny piece regarding the Dutch vs. US traditions at Chrismas -
http://filebox.vt.edu/j/juvandyk/pics/6to8blackmen.htm
Some photos:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/556378180tyeURe
Rumrita1 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Thank you so much for sharing. Not a lot of Bonaire trip reports on this board. Would love to snorkel there at some point.
caribtraveler is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:49 AM
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I enjoyed reading your trip report. Is the reef outside the hotel suitable for snorkeling or is it too deep?
ejcrowe is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:24 AM
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The snorkeling at the Divi is good, as there are many fish and critters around the dock and jetty, but most of the reef is in +20ft so it's too deep for prime snorkeling. We did see a spotted eagle ray while snorkeling right in front of the hotel on our last day. There's a small (30 ft) sandy bech that makes for easy entry into the water.
Rumrita1 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Thanks for your posting...we are headed there on 1/6 for a week. Sorry to hear about the beds, I won't tell my husband that before we go! and thanks for the restaurant suggestions!
mct921 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 03:12 AM
  #6  
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mct92l, If you going to snorkel, may I suggest the drift snorkel off Klein. You can take a water taxi at different times of the day to be dropped off and picked up. We liked it so much we did it twice. We were there for the first time in November and will definitely go back. Have fun. Owa
 
Jan 4th, 2007, 07:18 AM
  #7  
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Mct921 - a tip for the Divi - when you check in ask for a gate key ($25 desposit necessary). This will allow you to leave the property closest to the waterfront sidewalk that goes into town.

Also, kudos to the Hertz staff at the Divi who went to great lengths to retrieve the gate key I left attached to my rental car keys, so that I could get my deposit back when I checked out.
Rumrita1 is offline  

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