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Dive Review of Carib Inn/Sunblet Realty - Rental Villa in
Bonaire

Carib Inn/Sunblet Realty - Rental Villa, Jul, 2006,

by Hugh Aaron, VA, United States (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports). Report 2897.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Roatan, Mexico, Bahamas, Florida, Britsh Virgin Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Start back towards the boat (but not the surface) at 1500 psi, no gloves
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments We did mostly boat dives. The Carib Inn boats are small (which is nice). However, there was no secure place to store camera equipment on the way to and from the dive sites. Also, there was no fresh water rinse tank on the boats. However, we were usually back at the shop before the salt water dried.

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 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We (two middle age adults and our 13 year old son) rented a private villa (i.e., house) through Erika at Sunbelt Realty (www.sunbelt.an/rental_homes1.htm). The house was called Villa Zoe and is located in Belnam about 5 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the Carib Inn and downtown. Erika at Sunbelt was incredible - friendly, helpful and responsive. For about the same price as a hotel room, we had two air conditioned bedrooms, a full kitchen, a driveway with an electronic security gate, plenty of room to store and wash down our gear, a flat screen TV and high speed internet access. When we return to Bonaire, we will definitely rent a house again through Sunbelt.

We had made advance arrangement to do all of our diving through the Carib Inn. We also rented a pickup and had planned to do a lot of shore dives. However, the Carib Inn boat trips ($15 a person) turned out to be a lot more comfortable, so with the exception of our checkout dive on the reef behind the Carib Inn and one night dive on the same reef, we ended up doing all of our dives as boat dives with the Carib Inn. Carib Inn is one of the oldest dive operations on the island (Bruce, the owner, apparently started with Captain Don in the early days). Carib Inn runs like a well-oiled machine. Although they are very serious about diver safety we did not find them to be overly restrictive. We thought the Carib Inn was a bit short on the warm and fuzzies, however, we were quite pleased with the service and would dive with them again without hesitation.

As an aside, the hotel rooms at the Carib Inn looked a little tired from the outside. However, everyone who was staying there seemed content.

In addition to the diving, we really enjoyed Bonaire topside. We found many unusual restaurants that we liked (the European flair was fun). Somewhat surprisingly, most of the restaurants were very reasonably priced. We particularly enjoyed the Wednesday night barbecue at the wind surfing shop/bar at Sorobon. It doesnt get much more Caribbean than that place. I am an avid cyclist. I rented a bike in town and really enjoyed the 20+ mile loop from Belnam around the south end of the island. However, cyclist should be prepared for big wind, intense sun and no place to get fresh water for miles.

Finally, we spent our no-diving day before our flight home touring National Slagbaai National Park. It was quite interesting. A truck is required (although 2WD would be fine). Allow a full day.

Our family does a fair amount of vacation travel. There are very few places that we have enjoyed more than Bonaire.
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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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