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Info needed for Aruba and Bonaire

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by pm3009, Apr 25, 2001.

  1. pm3009

    pm3009 Nassau Grouper


    I think we have narrowed down our next trip to either Aruba or Bonaire. We're going in mid-July, so I thought that we should head somewhere that's not in the hurricane belt (Is mid-July the start of hurricane season?)

    We need recommondations on lodging, and a dive shop.

    We're fairly new to diving. Have done 28 dives (to 133 feet) since we started diving a year ago. Will try to get the Advanced Certification before this dive.

    For a Dive Shop, we want someone small and personal.
    Someone who preferably, doesn't take out more than 8
    divers at a time. When we dove Cozumel, we dove just the two of us all week, and in Grand Cayman, we dove just our group of 4 all week! One thing we want to keep away from, is the cattle boats.

    For Lodging, it must be right on the beach...a REAL beach.
    I think we'd prefer all inclusive. Definitely don't want a high rise. Something more "Islandy".

    And, do you have a preference of Bonaire or Aruba?


  2. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    Hi Pam,

    Welcome to the board. Can't help with Aruba, Bonaire on the other hand I can. We have stayed in Bonaire the last 2 years and are returning in late july. We stayed at Buddy Dive http://www.buddydive.com last year and are going back. I like their "Dive and Drive" package which includes a full condo, rental truck, unlimited shore diving and a breakfast buffet. There are a lot of good places to stay on Bonaire, let me know what you are looking for, ie, price, package deals,on beach, condo, simple room. If you are looking for a lot of night life and shopping (ie touristy stuff) Bonaire might not be your place, I hear Aruba is better for that kind of stuff but I go to dive and sleep so Bonaire suits me better. Other good sites to check are http://www.infobonaire.com and the bonaire board http://www.bonairetalk.com/newsgroup/ (which I am on a lot as well) are excellent places to find out more about Bonaire. Drop me an email from the board if you would like, be happy to answer any qusetions if I can. If you happen to decide on Bonaire and are there at the same time we are, you are welcome to fall in with us(2 diving couples). And, again, welcome to the board.
  3. SubMariner

    SubMariner C'est Moi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A Canuck Conch
    We enjoyed our stay so much last year that we'll be back with them at the end of May.

    Bonaire is excellent diving for ALL experience levels. :)

  4. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

    Hi pm3009,

    I'm with herman & SubMariner. In term of diving, Bonaire outright waxes Aruba. Only reason to go to Aruba is if you need glitzy casinos, upscale restuarants & lots of shopping, none of which Bonaire has. And Buddy Dive will do you right.

    Bonaire is a super venue for relatively inexperienced divers, although you will want to practice, or at least read up on, your shore diving skills.

    Have fun.

  5. kenny

    kenny Angel Fish

    If you want Miami Beach, Cruise Ships every 10 min and so so diving go to Aruba. If you want the best diving, Bonaire blows it away...........Most of the diving and lodging is on the somewhat rocky coast, at least the best shore dives are rocky enters and exits, but most divers including you can do it with no problems. You really DON'T need boat dives at all for a first trip. Just a truck rental. Buddy Dive, Captain Dons, or maybe the Plaza would be good choices. The plaza is on the wrong side of the street, but it's also a little bit nicer than the others. There are no real deluxe places to stay, we've checked most of them out. Bonaire is about 25 years behind Cozmel, and in my opinion shares very little with Grand Cayman.." Maybe Grand Cayman 30 years ago " Good Luck, you will have a great time.
  6. BetterLateThannever

    BetterLateThannever Barracuda

    Which leads me to my next question. As a new diver I have been taught that OW Cert is good to 60ft max, AOW is good to 100ft max and that no recreational diver should ever, for any reason go beyond 130ft. Yet as I read and research I seem to be hearing that no one follows these guidelines. What's up with that? Am I just naive or everyone else reckless? Please give me your feedback on this issue.

    Oh, and by the way, PM3009, all the research I have done so far seems to indicate that Bonaire is diver's heaven.

  7. nobends

    nobends Guest

    Let me chime in with the rest of the group. Bonaire is definitely the best choice if you are looking for a diving vacation. Aruba is Las Vegas on a beach (fun in it's own right of course....)

    Just got back from the Divi Flamingo on Bonair two weeks ago. I would choose another resort next time. I looked at Captain Don's, Buddy Dive, Plaza, and the Sand Dollar resorts. All would be good choices.

    Your question about depth limits.... Your OW training recommends dives 60ft and shallower. Take diving at your own pace. If there is a dive at Bonaire that is deeper, evaluate your skills, your buddy, your equipment, and decide if the dive is suitable for you. The 'Limits' are recommendations. Go with your gut and make the decision that make sense for you!

  8. kenny

    kenny Angel Fish

    Hey now, even though some recommend 60 ft, that can be over looked giving your comfort level. As an instructor I tell all OW students to not be afraid of depth, be cautious with depth. One way or another you must gain experience with deeper dives. The last thing you should be is afraid because someone said 60 ft is your limit without further training.......Learn those tables, learn what the bezel on the watch is for, and know your dive plan and computer. You will be amazed at how your comfort zone will be expanded. I would strongly suggest you learn how to navigate. I mean REALLY navigate underwater. That will do more for your diving then you could ever imagine. Lots of places like Cayman, just about every first dive of the day is a 100 ft plus wall dive. The so called 60ft limit will be of no use there, but Knowing how to navigate your butt back to the boat will be !
  9. BetterLateThannever

    BetterLateThannever Barracuda

    Thanks guys for clearing up that point of confusion for me. The PADI training materials I have make it seem as if those depth limits are carved in stone.

    I was afraid I might explode if I went below 60ft :)


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