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Bonaire or Roatan

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by kpickerell, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. kpickerell

    kpickerell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Louisiana
    42
    1
    0
    We've got a group that dives together. We're looking at the pros and cons between Bonaire and Roatan in August. Most of us have been to both, but it's been a few years. We've spent the last few years in Brac, Little Cayman, Cozumel, Curacao, and various parts of the S. Pacific. In Roatan, although I'd prefer Coco View, we're being offered Turquoise Bay because there's a promo. With Bonaire it's a toss-up between Buddy Dive and Capt. Don's. Any opinions? I know about the shore diving in Bonaire, so that's a plus, and I know about the sand fleas in Roatan, which are a negative.
     
  2. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Uijeongbu, ROK
    998
    624
    93
    Having been to both islands, I say without hesitation; go to Buddy Dive in Bonaire!

    Pros and cons:
    Bonaire-
    Pro's: Better viz, more dive sites, more freedom to dive where you wish/when you wish, more coral cover, more fish life, better nightlife/ places to eat downtown, safer environment (hey, they don't need armed guards at your resort in Bonaire, unlike Roatan).

    Con's: Expensive to get there, longer flight, have to drive yourself around to dive sites, consequently, further from aid in the event of an emergency, dealing with cruise ship tourists when a cattle boat unloads.

    Roatan:
    Pro's: Cheaper flight, cheaper vacation, less "adventerous" trip (no wrangling your own tanks, finding your dive site, and walking around in full gear, etc.)

    Con's: Less coral, fish and viz, less variety of places to eat, having to go where the boat crew chooses for that trip, less variety of shore diving, less secure/safe place, especially for smaller groups at night.

    Go to Bonaire, and you'll never regret it! Hope this helps; I'm going there in late September. Enjoy whereever you go!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
    Bryan Cunningham and kpickerell like this.
  3. kpickerell

    kpickerell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Louisiana
    42
    1
    0
    Thanks TC. I appreciate the input. You're echoing my sentiments, but I think the group needs to be sold on Bonaire. BTW, we found air to Bonaire cheaper. I'm a travel agent, so I found a flight to Curacao in the $400 range and then a round trip puddle jumper from Curacao to Bonaire for $94. it was about $200 more to Roatan, although RTB is easier to get to.
     
  4. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Uijeongbu, ROK
    998
    624
    93
    You're welcome! You're quite resorceful to make the connections to Curacao to Bonaire. I'm sure the group will appreciate having an extra $300-$500+ !

    I hope you can convince them of Bonaire, you'll all love it. I can send some pictures of Bonaire if they need more convincing, but one trip to Bonaire and they'll never doubt your destination picks again! :D
    http://www.bonairediveguide.com/
    EDIT: Wanted to share this map if you haven't been there before, you can see all the sites. You can pick up a paper copy of this map for free anywhere in Bonaire. Don't worry about the Beginner/Experienced ratings; my sister went to many "experienced" sites, and this was her first dives after her OW training.
     
  5. giffenk

    giffenk Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: toronto
    2,429
    1,050
    113
    They both have good diving. A big plus for Bonaire (for me) is that it has some very excellent restaurants.
     
  6. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year with
    9,186
    1,853
    113
    You're not really comparing Bonaire to Roatan,
    you're comparing Buddy/Dons vs Turquoise Bay.

    Go to Bonaire.

    You have previously been to Roatan's best. Your group rejects
    that because of the cost, so that has to be taken as
    a benchmark and starting point.

    I often am asked to compare the Island Nation of
    Bonaire to the Roatan resort of CocoView. That is
    a much fairer comparison.

    When people relate their experiences on Roatan, they do
    this most often from a very narrow snapshot of a perspective.
    There are huge differences on Roatan between operations and
    the highly localized dive zones that they serve.

    In Bonaire, comparatively, every dive visitor can get similar
    pictures of the environments available. There is pretty much
    one perspective for most visitors.

    I would heartily agree that non-dive diversions abound on
    Bonaire. Again- you have to decide just exactly why you
    are going to paradise and what they want out of it.

    There is no one place for everybody, and when you are
    booking for a group- it's like herding cats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    kpickerell likes this.
  7. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,273
    755
    113


    Herding Cats on Vimeo

    :idk:
     
  8. diversteve

    diversteve mod

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    20,338
    2,850
    113
    Show them these: http://www.bonairepanoramas.com/ - there's even some dive sites featured in the u/w link.
     
    kpickerell likes this.
  9. chauncy19

    chauncy19 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Cod MA USA
    495
    42
    28
    If anyone is blood donor Roatan is a no go. You will have to wait at least a year to give blood. this is due to heighten risk of Malaria.
    unfortunately will not be able to go back to Roatan because of that. Bonaire is therefore clear winner for me.
     
    kpickerell likes this.
  10. kpickerell

    kpickerell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Louisiana
    42
    1
    0
    The cost for both trips is the same. Land is less in Roatan, air is less for Bonaire, so price wasn't a determiner. Actually the group is pretty easy and some of us have been diving together for 15 years or more. I usually go to DEMA every year and a decision is made based on what's presented by the resorts, wholesalers, etc. I didn't go last year and it's to my disadvantage. Most of us have been to both islands with the majority having visited Roatan more. I'm not familiar with Turquoise Bay and have heard mixed reviews. I guess I'm leaning more towards Bonaire for several reasons: 1) more opportunity to dive; 2) no sand fleas; 3) no drift dives, which is important when half the group is taking pictures. Also, I remember last year several of the Roatan resorts offering some pretty sweet deals that we could take advantage of later down the road because I'm sure they'll offer them again. One was to AKR when they were offering a buy one and get one half off. It came out to be about $1200 with air, food, diving, and accommodations.
     

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