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Bonaire or Roatan ?

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by Shawnda, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Shawnda

    Shawnda Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Montreal/Roatan
    I am trying to decide between going back to Roatan (which I love) or to go to Bonaire which I have heard many great things.
    We like to stay in small inns or condos that have a kitchen, and don't really care of it is on the beach or not. We are active people that when we are not diving, we are hiking, windsurfing, etc. We do not sit on the beach.
    How is the diving comparable to Roatan ? From the photos I have seen the reef looks to be quite healthy but I noticed a lack of #'s of fish, and of the larger species (grouper,etc.) as well.
    The shore entry with just me and hubby is very appealing. I don't have much patience for dive operators that mix cruise ship day trippers (which we avoid like the plague) wtih other divers, and it drives me bonkers when I see people destroy the reef.
    I need to book things soon, and I'm really sitting on the wall as to where to go.
  2. RICHinNC

    RICHinNC Solo Diver

    If you dont mind another suggestion, look into Barbados. There are a couple of shore dives there, mostly boat diving, but usually not crowded at all this time of year. Plus, it isnt in the "bad weather" district.

    You indicate you like to do things other than diving. I have found Barbados more superior to Bonaire for above water activities. The hiking is unbelievable. The night life is quite varied based on your desires. I have been to Bonaire twice...just got back....and there is almost zip to do there at night.

    If you are interested in somewhere new (assuming you havent been there) give Barbados a consideration.

    Just a thought. PM me if you want more info.
  3. billmosel

    billmosel Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Rockaway NJ
    I've been to both and loved Roatan. Stayed at CoCo view and was nice diving with them or being able to do the front porch anytime you wanted. However after going to Bonaire this past March for the 1st time, it will be hard for me to go anywhere else. The diving in Bonaire is up to you of when and how many dives you want to do. The dive freedom in Bonaire is second to none. Get in your truck, pick out the spot you want to dive and just do it.

    There are many resorts and condos around the Island to choose from that have full kitchens. We had our breakfast and lunch in the condo and went out for dinner. I found the most difficult decision to make was where to stay. I stayed at Den Laman in March and I'm going back this Saturday and staying next door at Sand Dollar. They share the best reef on the Island, IMHO.

    In Roatan I was disappointed in the amount of fish life that there was although the coral life was amazing. Bonaire has a little more macro and the normal Caribbean reef fish but you aren't going to see much of the bigger stuff (sharks, dolphins etc.) although the groupers and tarpons are hanging around. The corals are also very healthy. Last year Omar came through and hurt the coral above 30' but it is staging a come back. Below 30' is fantastic.

    I'm not a wind surfer but I was talking to one on my last trip and he told me that Lac Bay on Bonaire has the best windsurfing in the world. They host international competitions.

    I might sound a little bias toward Bonaire but after 1 trip there I'm sure you will find the same thing that I did.
  4. scuba.baratta

    scuba.baratta Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NY,NY
    I'm going to go with Bonaire as well. You can dive... dive... dive.

    You and anyone traveling with you needs to enjoy diving, mountain biking, or maybe windsurfing (other side of the island), because there is not much else to do there.

    My wife and I tired Curacao a few years back, and that was great as well.

    Bonaire, we stayed at Buddy Dive (great people)
    Curacao, Royal Resorts (The Sea Aquarium Resort)
  5. DCBC

    DCBC Tech Instructor

    Since you have been to Roatan, I'd definitely recommend Bonaire. You've got great windsurfing on the east coast, so you can work that into your diving schedule. You've got the Flamingos in the south and wild parrots in the north. Coupled with this you have some of the world's best shore diving. It's secure, with a lot of friendly people. Have fun!
  6. SailNaked

    SailNaked Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: between 30° and 10°
    never been to Roatan, but Bonaire is awesome, fall out of bed on to the reef any time of day, for big fish just take a light on a night dive:D the tarpon were as big as I am swimming inches away. We did 4-5 dives a day, only complaint might be the night life, but after 4-5 dives mostly we slept.
  7. Sully3

    Sully3 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
  8. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    How will you ever know for sure if you don't do both yourself?

    I have been to both more than once and will return to both. They are different types of vacations - not good versus bad - just different.
  9. Andreas Curacao

    Andreas Curacao Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Westpunt, Curaçao
    Hi Shawnda,

    I travelled to both Roatán and Bonaire in the late 90ies till 2001, but afterwards got hooked up with Curacao, which is close to Bonaire and offers diving of at least the same quality (shore and/or boat), but much more to do while not under water. Very good hiking and mountain biking, for example.

    Nowadays I live on Curacao working for ..:: All West Curacao ::.. and ..:: Ocean Encounters West Curacao ::... You find a lot of comments on us on SB, Tripadvisor, and Facebook (we have profiles there: "Curacao - go WEST to ALL WEST", "Ocean Encounters West"). We also have a YouTube Channel: YouTube - OceanEncountersWest's Channel.

    Maybe you find some information there that makes you reconsider your trip destination completely :)

    Whatever you do, have fun and don't let anybody catch your bubbles.

  10. laurelgsc

    laurelgsc Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Bonaire Rocks! Who wants to do anything but dive anyway. The "night life" underwater is awesome!

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