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Dive Review of Harbour Village Beach Club in
Bonaire

Harbour Village Beach Club, Jul, 2010,

by Paul Gray, DE, US ( 2 reports). Report 5623.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Florida Keys, North Carolina, NJ, DE, Cozumel, Bahamas, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 85 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions On the boat dives-1 hour dive time, max depth of 65' (I think) and descend with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Large rinse bucket on dock of resort for cameras only. I'm not sure how often it was changed but a hose with fresh water was in proximity. Boat had a rinse bucket for camera sonly.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my 3rd trip to Bonaire in 5 years. I was on my honeymoon for this trip, so we stayed at Harbour Village and got pampered a bit.

The diving off of Harbour Village was disappointing. I was expecting a reef comparable to the ones at Captain Don's and Buddy Dive and instead found a very desolate area with a small wreck in 50 feet of water. That may be part of the reason I observed that most of the divers at HV were doing every boat dive they could. Boat dives are fine but I like going to Bonaire for the shore diving.

If you swim south (left) from HV and go across the harbor inlet, you will find "Something Special" which is not a bad dive site. While swimming across the inlet, the visibility gets very minimal but improves once you swim through that area. Be aware of boat traffic.

While diving North from HV I found another very small wreck laying on it's side in about 60'. I'm not sure what this wreck/dive site was called but it was an improvement from the water right in front of the resort. The current here in the afternoon was surprisingly very strong (North to South).

Things improved once I drove to other dive sites on the island. The reefs North seemed to be the most healthy-Oil Slick, Karpata, 1000 Steps, Witches Hut. The reefs in the south we're beautiful as well but it took a long swim to get to them from the shore-Alice in Wonderland, Invisibles.

As for fish life, I encountered 2 turtles (HV Reef and Oil Slick), 1 eagle Ray (Invisibles), my first Goliath Grouper (Oil Slick) and the normal tropical fish you expect to find in Bonaire.

I noticed an absence of Queen Angel fish (only 1 all week) and fortunately I didn't see any Lion fish, although I never have seen them in the past in Bonaire. I only did 1 dive with a guide so I wasn't able to see many small critters like frogfish or sea horses.

The Harbour Village Resort is a great place for a vacation. The beach is beautiful and the gardens throughout the property are very nice. Families and kids will enjoy snorkeling on the beach as it is very quiet with little traffic. It is not the most convenient place for diving in my opinion. There are only 9 lockers for divers and there should probably be more. For the first 3 days of our trip, we had to store our gear in an open storage area which was locked up for the day at 5:30 pm. If we needed our scuba gear for the evening, we had to take it back to our room before they locked the closet and left for the day.

The parking area was VERY far from the dive shop and we quickly tired from carrying all of our gear to and from our truck for shore dives throughout the island. Fortunately, tanks we're available at the front gate where you could drive your truck to and easily load your tanks. This helped, but it would be nice if we could have driven our truck to the dive shop area and saved ourselves from the long walks with BCs, cameras, weights, etc. Trust me, it was tiring and time-consuming.

The mangers at the dive shop we're only on the job for 3 weeks and they we're very accommodating and friendly. They helped me with a fin strap malfunction, gave my new wife scuba instruction with a lot of patience and they didn't flip out when I informed them that I foolishly lost my locker key while diving.

If you want to go to Bonaire and mostly do boat diving and you don't mind paying more $ for a plush resort, Harbour Village will work for you. If you wish to do mostly shore diving from your hotel and your truck, and/or you don't demand luxurious accommodations, you may do better at another less expensive resort that has a better house reef and a parking lot or drive-up area that is convenient for loading up trucks for shore diving throughout the island.
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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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