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Dive Review of Great Adventures Diving/Harbor Village in
Bonaire/Netherlands Antilles

Great Adventures Diving/Harbor Village, Jun, 2008,

by Mike Elliott, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4527.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving in 2008: Dumaguete Philippines, Komodo and Lembeh Straits Indonesia. Earlier years: GBR, PNG, Exhuma Is, PG in Philippines, Belize, Raja Ampat, Monterey & Carmel, Wakatobi
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depending on other divers: 60~80 minutes, depth recommendations only usually 60' max, could choose dive site. New divers were asked to follow guides.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments No accommodations for photographers other that a clean but small rinse tank on the boat. Large rinse tank at the dive shop but not always fresh water. There is a secure table on their large boat to put cameras but no shade, the small boat had nothing so it was on the deck.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We go to Bonaire and stay at the Harbor Village because it is such a nice resort and it is where we learned to dive - sentimental I know. The house reef is pretty nice with a small wreck (El Confidance) and the entrance to the harbor we sometimes never go anywhere else. Also there is a decent site called "Something Special" just across the harbor that can be reached if you ignore all the photo ops along the way. We have tried many times only to find we got half way there and need to turn around. We would do 90~100 minute dives easily, do an interval and return for more.

The dive operation is convenient and laid back which fits our dive style. Assuming of coarse you get a room near the shop. Don't go there expecting to be catered to although they do help move gear about a little. Nitrox when the manager feels like fetching O2 tanks from the Town Pier. Aluminum 80's. Decent rental gear clean and maintained - although we bring our own I have looked at it carefully and talked to other guests.

Food at the resort is pitiful except for lunch when they make a good sandwich. But ah the food on the island more than makes up for it... Capriccio's, Donna & Georgio's, Papaya Moon, and La Guernica to name a few. Be prepared to fight the bulge.

Always a favorite is doing a bit of shore diving - we used to rent a pickup and explore. Many have praised the ease of diving here so I won't say any more than its the best value! However these days we choose boat diving because of our photo & video gear which is heavy and difficult to carry in/out of the shore break.

We have visited the other resorts like Captain Don's, Divi Divi, Sand Dollar, The Plaza and talked to divers who stayed there. I guess I am biased but from what I have seen/heard pick either Divi Divi or The Plaza. One really good way is to rent a condo for a week or two then fill at Captain Don's - apparently a good value. You rent a truck and get all the dive sites, cheap fills, and eat at all the best restaurants. Still if we were to return to Bonaire (we have been there 6 times) it would be to our favorite resort.

These days though we go to Indonesia. The cost for airfare, the time it takes, and the variety of life in Bonaire vs Indo and it is an easy pick - go to Indo, we do! The Philippines is a great pick. But then again so is Bali, Lembeh Straits, Komodo and Raja Ampat. Do the math, stay at least 2 weeks you will never be sorry.

Still we love Bonaire and have many friends there so will return someday. If you want casual diving and great food go.
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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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