Trips for Divers
Oakland, CA 94602
510-638-3448 / 800-345-7159
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Bel Mar Apartments ✩◊
Buddy Dive Resort ☺◊
Captain Don’s Habitat ☺◊◊
Caribbean Club Bonaire
Den Laman Condos ☺◊
Divi Flamingo Beach Hotel☺✩◊
Harbour Village Resort ☺◊◊
Lions Dive & Beach Resort ◊
Plaza Resort Bonaire☺◊
Port Bonaire ◊
Sand Dollar Condos ☺◊
Seaside Apartments ◊
Legends: ☺kids friendly (kids program or kids rates available); ✩ wheelchair accessible; ◊ internet access (◊◊ free)
|BONAIRE, Netherlands Antilles
The coral grows right up to the shore on this desert island which is probably the “shore diving capital of the world”. Photographers delight in the diverse life found in these rolling coral reefs. Every dive package includes unlimited tanks for shore diving. Bring your computer, study your repetitive tables, and get ready for a major nitrogen experience. South of the hurricane belt, this is a favorite destination all year around.
Bonaire's pristine reefs and diverse marine life are unique to the Caribbean. Because the waters around Bonaire have been protected by an actively managed marine park for the past 25 years, Bonaire today ranks amongst the top four best diving destinations in the world*. The island's location in the south Caribbean gives it an arid climate with little rain fall; consequently, the waters are exceptionally clear of silt, calm, and diveable year round. It is an ideal destination for underwater photographers. Water temperatures average a warm 78-84°F (25.6-28.9°C), with visibility averaging over 100 feet (30m), and frequently reaching up to 150 feet (50m).
The island lies 30 miles from Curacao, 50 miles north of Venezuela, 86 miles east of Aruba, outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt. Bonaire is 24 miles long by 3-7 miles wide (112 square miles).
Klein Bonaire is a small uninhabited island located just off the coast of Bonaire (about half a mile from Bonaire at its closest point). The island encompasses over 1500 acres.
Bonaire is home to many land creatures. Some of the more commonly seen include iguanas, land snails and lizards of multiple varieties. In addition, Bonaire has eight different bat species. Donkeys and goats are seen roaming throughout the island.
Over 203 birds have been identified on the island (both permanent residents and occasional visitors). Some are Bonaire’s own Lora (Yellow winged parrot) and green Prikichis (parakeets). Watch for brightly colored Orioles, Trupials, and Bananaquits. A variety of sea birds are also present, Brown Pelicans, Osprey and Frigates. The shy Flamingo also makes its home in Bonaire.
The Bonaire Marine Park
The fringing reef which surrounds Bonaire is a National Marine Park from the high water mark down to a depth of 200 feet/60m. Every diver who has not dived on Bonaire within the last calendar year must attend a diver orientation dealing with Bonaire Marine Park regulations and information. These orientation sessions are usually held at around 9AM the morning after you arrive on Bonaire, and you are required to attend and to obtain your Marine Park tag, which is necessary to legally dive in Bonaire's waters. The cost of the tag is US$25 for divers and $10 for others, and proceeds help support park management and services.
The average air temperature is 82º Fahrenheit (30ºC) and 75% relative humidity. Average water temperature is 80ºF (29ºC). Rainfall averages 22" (52.8cm) per year. There is a constant trade wind that generally makes the evenings cool and comfortable. Average windspeed is 15 mph (25kph).
Citizens from most countries do not need a visa, and only require a valid passport longer than 3 months from the intended departure date. A return or continuing ticket is also required along with sufficient means to support yourself during your stay. Maximum stay: 14 days with the possibility of extending the visit to 90 days.
Effective, December 1, 2008, the Departure Tax for all international destinations is USD $35.00 per person, payable in cash or debit/credit card (MC, Visa, Discover, Maestro, Kompa Leon all accepted, but American Express is not) at the airport prior to check-in. Your ticket should include the departure tax. Departure taxes to Curacao and Aruba are lower.
How to get there
Delta Airlines offers their weekly non-stop flights from Atlanta to Bonaire and return.
Continental Airlines offers two non-stop weekly flights. The first is a round-trip flight between Newark and Bonaire, and the second is from Houston.
Insel Air operates a weekly rotation from Miami to Bonaire. The flights take place every Saturday throughout the year.
127/120 volts, 50AC. Most U.S. appliances will work on Bonaire, though slowly. Many dive shops have adapters for charging lights, strobes or delicate equipment.
US dollars. Traveler's checks and credit cards are widely accepted.
No malaria risk exists in Bonaire. Visit CDC for more information.