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Dive Review of Harbour Village Beach Club in

July, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Gray, DE, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5623
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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

sunny, cloudy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
85   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
On the boat dives-1 hour dive time, max depth of 65' (I think) and descend
with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
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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