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Dive Review of Buddy Dive Resort in
Bonaire

Buddy Dive Resort, Jun, 2005,

by Diane Kipp, FL, USA . Report 1818.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Florida, Bahamas, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Mandatory orientation/checkout dive at Buddy Dive
on house reef. We did not do any boat diving; only
shore diving without a dive instructor. Must purchase U/W marine park tag and wear on BC.
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 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Finding big pelagics to photo might be difficult. Tons of
reef critters and nice corals. Not much current; great vis/clarity.
I used a Sea & Sea 5000G housed digital camera with a Y-25 strobe; my first U/W digital. I'm not a very experienced photographer, but I thought the quality and variety of U/W life on Bonaire would please just about anyone. Adequate rinse tanks, and electric for rechargers.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Pack light, quick dry stuff, only a dive skin or .5mm (no sea lice
encountered). Water shoes/booties a must for sharp coral. Casual, laid back. Don't bring dressy stuff. We took Amer.Air from Miami and a fast connector from Curacao. No problems with security, luggage or flights. We reserved 6 nts. at Buddy Dive in a 3 br. unit w/kitchen.
Only upstairs brs. are AC'd. No AC in living room/kitchen which is
needed. Ask for a fan if you're not cool. 3br. units don't face
ocean breezes;others do. Rooms are adequate, clean, furnished kitchen. Not a 4 star, but comfortable. Housekeeping service daily. Front desk is excellent as is dive operation and instructors. Rental gear well maintained and gear storage available (we have diving family of 5 from ages 12 to 55, beginners to adv.) We recommend rental truck which has AC; vans do not. Island is easy to drive and tour. Food is expensive. Water is safe; when touring we brought water and our own snacks to avoid buying. (We pack 1 large duffel bag of food items to bring over on plane). We recommend a kitchen unit and bring over easy/fast meals to make in-room. Kids take note: pizza and hot dogs are harder to find. There's only a small refrig./no dishwasher. The a.m. buffet is nice, relaxing w/view, enough items to satisfy, but the same menu every day. Try the Dutch cheese! Buddy Dive food was ok. Next door, Lions' Den is better but more $$.
On-site dive shop well stocked and helpful. Everything you need steps away from rooms. Views/sunsets gorgeous. Nicely landscaped grounds, small but relaxing pool. What Bonaire lacks in posh upscale resorts/shopping/amenities is soon forgotten when you see it underwater!! Area restaurants are close by, good quality, but $$.
Recommend: tour Slagbaii Natl. Park (by rental truck), allow min. half day, more if you plan to dive. Remote dive spots in Park are awesome & easy to locate, but keep in mind safety, as you are far from the entrance and help. Unpaved, rough roads but worth the drive..bring your dive gear! Kids loved the surreal "old west" look, caves/bats, huge iguanas, 20 ft. cactus trees, ancient Indian carvings, wild pink flamingos, surreal terrain. The park is a
must see,especially for kids....pass on the touristy dive spots and tour the natl. pk. Last dive in the Natl. Pk. must be done by 2p.m.
We made 8 dives in 6 days, wished we had done more. Many divers we
met are "return-ees". We'd love to go back. No theft problems
topside or at the resort. In-room safe. Truck stayed unlocked.
We felt very safe; locals helpful. No traveling/communication problems. Buddy's drive-thru is unique. Dive 24/7 w/refills, air/nitrox avail., good rinse tanks, staff helpful. Kids saw nearly every variety of reef fish and coral in their ID books. No large sizes, no sharks, but saw turtles, tarpon, barracuda, eels of every variety, squid, tons of reef fish, and a scorpionfish. Touring topside is interesting: wild donkeys, goats, salt mountains, wild cactus frontiers, colorful island houses, beautiful beaches and a unique culture/history. Great for families who don't mind roughing it a little. Our 12 yr. old, recently certified, made his first wreck dive on the Helma Hooker. Watch your depth gauge...great vis.
makes going to deep depths quick and deceptively clear/easy.
Shore diving in Bonaire is the greatest..easy drive up, gear up,
walk in and enjoy! Waters are relaxingly warm, great vis to 100', full of life in every direction. A family experience of a lifetime!!
I highly recommend Bonaire if you don't need "uptown" and Buddy
Dive if you are used to the usual diving accommodations and fare. Since we didn't utilize boat diving, only shore, can't comment on that, but others seemed satisfied. Over 60 shore dive sites, all clearly marked with easy access, so if boats aren't your thing, Bonaire is for you! Check out uninhabited Klein Bonaire which
you can see from your a.m. buffet breakfast table...10 min. boatride.
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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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