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Dive Review of Belmar Diving/Belmar Apartments in
Bonaire

Belmar Diving/Belmar Apartments, Sep, 2006,

by Gary Petty, CA, USA . Report 2984.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Tobago, Belize, Roatan, Thialand, So. Cal.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We were 9 experienced divers, with two PADI Instructors and three Dive Masters, so were allowed to dive on our own after orientation.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments There was no separate wash tank for camera gear, but the primary tank was kept very clean. Our photographers rinsed in the apartment bath tubs and worked on the dining room table.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This 8-day, 7-night trip was all good. Belmar apartments is a great place for families or groups large and small if you don't want the cattle boat experience. Huge ocean-view apartments on the water and a great staff. The nine of us took two 3-bedroom apartments on the second floor, with a full kitchen two baths and a huge covered patio over the sea. Two 4-door rental pickup trucks (a part of the package) and 60 & 80 cu.ft. tanks (Nitrox, too) available 24/7 made it an experienced shore divers paradise. Not recommended for beginners, as the shore entries can be a bit tricky with rocks, sharp coral, a bit of surf, and swims of up to 300 yards to the reef, at least at the south end of the island. On the northern half, you can practically fall onto the reef from shore. Boat dives are available through an affiliation with Buddy Dive Resort, but nearly everything you would want is available from shore.

The entire reef around Bonaire is a Marine Preserve and it shows - with a very healthy reef system and a huge variety of marine life. We identified dozens of tropical fish, saw spotted eagle rays, stingrays, sea turtles, cuttlefish, jumbo (!) seacucumbers, barracuda, large tarpon, a variety of eels, a few anemones, many shrimp, and an eye-popping number of amazing fish of all sizes and colors! Huge gorgonian fans, hard & soft corals, and sponges of all colors abound.

The people of Bonaire are warm and friendly - the atmosphere is "small-town", laid back, and carefree, but with enough weekend nightlife for the young at heart. The weather was warm, 85-90F, but a steady breeze made it comfortable all day and night.

The only down side was that the Great Escape Restaurant across the street from Belmar no longer serves lunch and dinner, so we bought groceries and ate in or went to town (about 3 miles) and dined at an international assortment of restaurants.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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