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

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Hugh Aaron, VA, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 2897
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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