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baltimoron
November 26th, 2004, 12:33 AM
alright. its that time. I am looking for a 5-7 day cheap destination in the Carribean/Mexico/Central America area. here is my criteria, can you guys help me out?

We will probably have three divers with us... a new diver, and two "hasn't dove in eight years" diver.

We will be flying out of BWI, I am willing to strech for Dulles, but Air Jamaica flies to BWI.

Our dates will be the last week in june, 2005.... don't know how long.

I want a place where I can discover the joys of diving. A Lot of different dives, not just the same reef here, reef there.... I am looking for a place I can get a lot of variety in depth, wildlife, and types of dives.... maybe some harder ones for the end, but nothings like the Andrea Doria...

I don't care if we do it off a boat, or off a shore, or whatnot.

I don't care that much for topside activities.... I just want to be underwater... however, I do want a good resturaunt that I can get a good conch chowder.

I don't mind putting up in a holiday inn, I don't have to say at a fancy hotel... I would like my hotel to be dive catered if that is a CHEAP possibility.

I don't mind travelling far.....

I would prefer to avoid sleazy tourists, if that is possible.... nothing like nassau where you have people EVERYWHERE... Less populated is better... Less known is GREAT.

Culture shock is non existent... if it makes a difference, I speak spanish. Well. I doubt that will matter.

I do have an Israeli passport, so I want to be able to get into the country... But Cuba is a possibility.

I am thinking Bonaire, but I am not sure... I have a little bit of an aversion to the Bahamas, but then again... it is an archipelago-- A lot of different islands... Maybe I will find one I like.

I want something that will take my breath away, not my wallet.

Can you guys help me out?

I would be a VERY happy camper.

Jester
November 26th, 2004, 10:23 AM
I'd suggest either Bonaire or Roatan (CCV).

Bonaire has more restaurants (excellent food) but will be more expensive than Roatan. You can dive your brains out in either location.

DandyDon
November 26th, 2004, 12:31 PM
Blackbeards is cheap. I'll know more in a month.

baltimoron
November 26th, 2004, 12:39 PM
roatan is not an option for me... airfare is a killer.... :( it was almost 1400$ to get there from BWI or from IAD (Dulles). Connections in Miami, and somewhere in Costa Rica.... I wish Roatan was do-able.

baltimoron
November 26th, 2004, 12:43 PM
wait... update.... I was looking up flights from Miami instead of Baltimore, and I found something do-able for about 453$$ that could be alright. I could fly into FLL on a cheap SWA flight, stay with my grandparents for a night, and then hike it down there to Roatan. Still, its a bit of strech for my dad.... being in a Central American country.... but we'll see.

Tim Ingersoll
November 26th, 2004, 12:48 PM
If you are thinking of Roatan I can recomend Anthony's Key Resort.

baltimoron
November 26th, 2004, 12:51 PM
I don't know much about Roatan.... What kind of variety in dives are there?

DandyDon
November 26th, 2004, 12:52 PM
roatan is not an option for me... airfare is a killer.... :( it was almost 1400$ to get there from BWI or from IAD (Dulles). Connections in Miami, and somewhere in Costa Rica.... I wish Roatan was do-able.
I know you corrected yourself in the next post, but - download Sidestep.com for better air fare shopping.

Druid
November 26th, 2004, 03:21 PM
I want a place where I can discover the joys of diving. A Lot of different dives, not just the same reef here, reef there.... I am looking for a place I can get a lot of variety in depth, wildlife, and types of dives.... maybe some harder ones for the end, but nothings like the Andrea Doria...

I don't care if we do it off a boat, or off a shore, or whatnot.

I don't care that much for topside activities.... I just want to be underwater... however, I do want a good resturaunt that I can get a good conch chowder.

...

I am thinking Bonaire, but I am not sure...

Can you guys help me out?

I would be a VERY happy camper.

Bonaire sounds as though it will meet *some* of your requirements. Lots of easy dives, do them off the shore or off a boat. The dives tend to be very similar though, and almost all the boat diving is pretty shallow - 20m (60ft) max depth. One nice wreck at 28m is the Hilma Hooker. No sea life larger than tarpon & turtles. It would be ideal for your partners though. No culture shock, they even use US$ and almost everyone speaks English.

There is some more advanced diving, the Windjammer is a wreck at 60m (200ft), iirc. Most diving is done on the west coast, sheltered from the prevailing winds, but there's a dive centre called Larry's Wildside Diving that dives the east coast which is a bit more challenging.

If you do decide on Bonaire, try the mixed grill at the Casablanca restaurant.

baltimoron
November 26th, 2004, 05:59 PM
I definately want a place where I can see a BIG variety of things... not just this reef and that reef... bla bla bla. I am looking for a variety, enough that I won't ever be bored. I mean, I don't think it would really be that easy, but I want to really get to see a lot of where diving can take me.

is this a valid concern?

Tim Ingersoll
November 26th, 2004, 06:05 PM
Go to Cozumel.

dvrliz1
November 26th, 2004, 07:25 PM
The diving on Bonaire is spectacular. The majority of Caribbean Islands have "dive with" programs. Bonaire doesn't. It is truly "au natural". When we dive we enjoy eagle rays, huge tarpon, many many types of eels, green turtles, loggerheads, dolphin, flounder, frogfish, seahorse, barracuda, stonefish, etc. There is so much to see you can't see it on 1 trip. Try diving the "wild side" (the east coast which is only done by boat), especially the "Blue Hole". Larry's Wild Side Diving can take you there. Also, dive or snorkle Sorobon. It is tremendously beautiful, puffer fish at least 3 ft big. Their eyes are stunning. Take a ride over to Klein Bonaire and dive! Go north and see huge stunning hard corals, huge green morays and various turtles. See the sunken anchors (huge and great site points). Dive the Windjammer (an adventure at around 200 ft). Head south and dive the Hilma Hooker (max depth @ 99ft), where a large group of large tarpon reside, the other dive sites have wonderful soft corals. Enjoy the "juveniles" on the south side! We have seen everything from pinkie nail size and up! Juvi, baracudda, french angels (intermediate too), queen angels, gold chain link eels, black spotted and gold eels. Dive off of Buddy Dive Resort and meet up with Charlie the Tarpon who is not afraid of humans (One time he actually pushed up against me to let me know he was there...looking for a hand out). Also see about diving with a small group town pier or salt piers. Though it is topside, enjoy driving by the salt piers where the natural condensers have water in brilliant, blue, green, pink and purple. Enjoy the flamingos as you drive by. There is so much and it is all beautiful.

QueenAngel
November 29th, 2004, 03:49 PM
You wouldn't be bored in Cozumel. Has a wide variety of reefs. Tons of Dive shops to pick from and an equally large array of lodging facilities, the majority of which, cater to divers. Yup, for what you are looking for, Coz would get my vote.


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