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Dive Review of Toucan Divers/P;aza Resort in
Bonaire

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Bruce Wallace, IN, USA
Report Number 2921
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
18 of the Caribbean Islands since 2002 plus Indiana and Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
60+ minutes or 500psi, whichever came first, but not really enforced  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Comments
Obviously Bonaire is great for UWP.  Each boat had a large tub for cameras
with signage for NO MASKS - CAMERAS ONLY!  Toucan also had a phot center
with computer offerings to copy, edit (CS), burn to disc and print at a
very low cost.  On staff professional offered free advice and comments -
OUTSTANDING!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Months of research on Bonaire left us with concerns about resort
facilities, dive operations and crime.  We are serious divers with
extensive Caribbean experience.  We chose Toucan's special offer along with
the Plaza Resort package.  Arrival by AA was on time and Budget rented the
typical 4 door Toyota pickup for $220 for the week.  

The resort desk staff at 10PM on Saturday checkin was lead by Marco who was
very personable and had us in our room within 10 minutes.  The room was a
Junior Suite which was air conditioned, large, 2 queen beds, refrig, safe
and a balcony overlooking the Caribbean and pool on the upper floor (J109).
 The room was clean and comfortable.  Maid service changed the linens on
Wednesday and the rest of the week we had the Privacy Please sign on the
door.

Diving with Toucan was excellent with 8:30 departures for 2 tank and back
by 12:30 (sometimes 1PM if we overdove our sites).  Each day included a
North or South dive site on west Bonaire and a second dive off Klein
Bonaire.  Pieter as DM was outstanding at critter finding for UWP (he is a
frogfish and seahorse specialist)!  Other DM's were great to dive with too.
 Gear lockers and rinse tank were right at the dock.  Tanks were always at
3K+.  Shore dive tanks were located in three different convenient places.

18th Palm off resort beach is great dive for orientation and
afternoon/evening dives.  EVERY DIVE OF THE 12 WAS AN AQUARIUM DIVE!!
The slope starts at 20' and goes off to sand at 100' at 45 degrees.  On
every dive we were surrounded by reef fish beyond count.  Juvenile Drums
abounded as well as several seahorses and frogfish (sponges).  Trumpets of
4 different colors were logged as well as several rays, peacock flounders,
golden morays and scorpionfish.

The sites were all easy dives with average botton time exceeding 60 minutes
at depths of 60'.  Beyond 60', the fishlife drops off as does the available
light.  There is simply no need to dive deeper than 60' anywhere in Bonaire
in order to see maximum fish and coral.

Overall, Bonaire is a solid "5" across the board.  No reported
crime, great restaurant choices, clean rooms, friendly staff and a GREAT
Dive Operator.  It is the place to go regardless of your experience level. 
A true vacation!
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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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