Author Topic: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?  (Read 25654 times)

butchfri

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2009, 16:05:02 UTC »
I hope my reply will make some sense....I went to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands last year (for less money than I spent to go to Bonaire, by the way).  I've never seen a place so beautiful or encountered a people so friendly.  Diving was expensive and the sites limited, so we limited our diving to 5 days, then went and did other things.  I loved it and have started a special account to return, but I also will acknowledge that I met people (by which I mean visitors or tourists) in the Cooks who thought they had descended to Dante's seventh circle and couldn't wait to get out of there.  (Aitutaki isn't a good place if you need "things to do," and definitely a bad place if night life is a priority.  We, on the other hand, think an afternoon walking the beach and looking for neat rocks is a day well spent.)  I didn't agree with their opinion but I never would have accused them of being a "troll," as I was in this thread, or would have challenged them about where they'd rather be.
For what it's worth, I love Cozumel - this fall will be something like the 25th visit - as well as many other places in the Caribbean, Cabo Pulmo, the South Pacific (Tahiti and the Cooks)....Mazatlan was murky and the dive operations in Utila and Panama were pretty scary (I don't like my divemaster smoking weed before I dive), so I probably wouldn't be heading back there any time soon.
Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 17:50:37 UTC by butchfri »

mikesbsc

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2009, 18:35:35 UTC »
 WE have been to Bonaire 20+ times, and have, in fact, experienced a bit if crime.  Once when we left gear on our 1st floor deck, one pair of dive goggles were stolen.  Once we had a spare tire taken from our truck!  (Now we either take full insurance, or put the tire in our room!). Otherwise we simply don't leave anything of value in the truck and keep the windows rolled down.  We put truck and room keys in our BC, and maybe a $20 if we think we might need it after diving. We are never afraid for our personal safety, and have never known or heard of anyone having been harmed.
Bonaire is UGLY.  On the surface.  But underwater it's beautiful.  I was there diving in June, 2009, and did some damage from Omar, but not too much, in my experience, to spoil the diving.  We always stay at Sand Dollar (which has security and toilet paper) and the house reef, Bari Reef, is still excellent.  Almost always see a frog fish; and the other usual suspects, of course.  There was lots of marine life at every Klein Bonaire site, and the coral looked good.  Didn't see any white blight, but did see some rubble at 20 feet or so at a few Bonaire mainland sites.
Getting to Bonaire is the biggest pain, but I took the nonstop delta flight from Atlanta.  What a pleasure.  But it can be expensive, depending on time of year.
So we just put up with some of the inconveniences to enjoy the gentle diving conditions and the sea life.

agilulfo

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2009, 18:49:47 UTC »
Bonaire is UGLY.  On the surface.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We've been to Bonaire twice, going back in October, and absolutely love it. The drive south of the airport, with the pink salt mines on one side, the ocean on the other, and the pink flamingos is breathtaking and borderline surreal. The return trip from Karpata through the east side of the island with the sheer cliffs to the right, is also amazing.

We still haven't had a chance to visit the Washington-Slagbaai National Park and that's something that we are looking forward to doing some day.

Dawn

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2009, 22:25:41 UTC »
We are in Bonaire today- diving is great as usual- getting ready for a night dive

dfreeman

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2009, 04:41:20 UTC »
I have been to Bonaire 11 times in the last 5 years.  Have also gone in all seasons.  Summer is the best for fish life.  The rest of the year is pretty good.

Dove 10 days after Omar and noticed that some sites were hit harder than others.  Karpata look untouched.  But lots of loose sand.  By Christmas diving in most places had improved, with Oil Slick and Witch's Hut being noticeable exceptions.  In March the overall visibility was poorer than at Christmas.  But the fish life was tremendous.  Huge bait balls, chromis all over the place, jacks and porgy's, and more groupers than I have ever seen.  The hurricane also helped the Moray eel population overcome a general bacterial infection problem.

I have a trip planned for October, 2009 and starting to put a plan together for Christmas.

If you can walk with your gear on, you can find 20 dive sites in Bonaire that you can dive with no problem.  Easiest is Tori's Reef after Omar.  If you can walk 20 feet with your gear and fall down, you can dive this site.  I know of no easier dive entry or exit anywhere else.

Rented trucks every time.  Have had no problem with crime.  Roll down the windows in the morning and leave them down to the end of the day.  Roll them up at night so that the rain will not make the seat wetter and colder than necessary.  Leave the doors unlocked.  On dives, we load up with tanks, at least 2 per person.  At the dive site we have had no problem with leaving shoes, t-shirts, towels, water, food in cheap coolers, mesh dive gear bags, weights, weight belts, maps, hats, sunglasses, and other stuff that we like to use but if someone needs to steal it, they can have it.  Have done this on dives all over the island and at all times of day.  Never had anything stole.  Though there were several pairs of shoes that we wish were stolen.

I have been to 4 different resorts and they have all been good.  Security at all of them and no problems with losing gear.

I hope that this is helpful.  I really like diving Bonaire.  Of course I like to ice dive and river dive in December in 32 degree water, so I may not be the best judge.

Doug

etg

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2009, 13:05:16 UTC »
Crime is a serious problem as you can tells from all these posts.
Don't go.
Do not support a community that allows such behavior.
If we all stop going, perhaps somebody will get a clue.

We followed the 'rules' and left the cars unlocked with nothing in them.
But somebody broke into 2 of our rooms while we were sleeping (apparently we were sleeping well, and the A/C was providing white noise).  They stole a computer, 3 cameras, dive watch and sunglasses.  Ouch.  Left all the dive gear which was more readily available outside the room.

To add insult to injury, when we returned the trucks they had stolen the spare tires from both of them.

Everybody there knows this is going on, and the police even told us they know who's doing it! The rental agent speculated that "they usually come by water".  Closer examination of the door jam shows it had been 'attacked' many times.  And surely the tires are simply returned to the rental car places for the next sucker that rents them.

SO DON'T SUPPORT THEM WITH YOUR TOURIST DOLLARS.   There are plenty of other places to dive.  Try next door in Curacao if you want shore dives.

dfreeman

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2009, 21:24:14 UTC »
If you are going to , be aware.  This is from an article about

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/mentorsforexpats/4211426/Life-in-Curacao-Netherlands-Antilles---Telegraph-Mentor.html

"Life in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles - Telegraph Mentor
Graham Walker says Curacao is a very cosmopolitan island attracting expats from all over the world and boasts representation of 50 nationalities...."

 "Crime: Petty crime is a fairly big problem in Curacao. Cars left at secluded beaches are often targeted. It is advisable not to walk around on your own at night and even during the day in some areas.

Burglaries are a common occurrence but some simple safety measures will go along way to deter the would be thief and protect you. A burglar alarm, a dog and bars on the house window are a common feature of life in Curacao. The alternative, for peace of mind, is to live in a gated community that has 24 hour security.

Curacao, due to its direct flight links with Europe, has proved to be a popular route for the drug smugglers. Over recent years the Dutch government has worked hard to stamp out the traffic and has, to a large extent succeeded."

I guess you have to be careful everywhere.

Doug

divergal

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2009, 02:58:02 UTC »
We loved Bonaire when we went 5 years ago. We stayed at Buddy Dive resort and rented a truck from them and never had a problem. When we went shore diving, we brought towels, water and some suntan lotion, and never had anything taken. The locals were just about the friendliest people we've ever met - after one dive at Sunset beach, one local guy helped us load all our gear and when we tried to pay him, he adamantly refused. He told us he knows tourists are pretty much the lifeblood of the island so he wanted tourists to have a good impression and return or tell their friends. I would hope most locals would also understand this too, but I think no matter where you go, there will always be a few bad apples.
We hope to return some day.

seasaw

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2009, 02:00:45 UTC »
Been to Bonnaire several times and liked the diving very much, especially the salt pier. When several rooms were burglarized at our groups hotel, the night before our departure, we became convinced that the hotel staff and police are involved. This was 4 years ago. I have not been back since and will not go back until I hear from other divers that the crime problem has been solved. To me, "oh don't leave anything of value in your truck" is no answer. There are too many other beautiful, friendly and HONEST places to visit. I won't go back.

mike1

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2009, 11:28:09 UTC »
What is Deep blue? on the Island of Bonaire. I only know of the Deep Blue View ( a B&B ) that has to be one of the best anywhere in the world!!!! They would never put down the Island of Bonaire! As far as crime is concerned , if you don't want to loose it , don't take it with you. My wife & I have spent 3 months on the Island & have never lost a dime. When it comes down to it, what do we take on a dive? Nothing that we don't take underwater with us. I have a pouch that my room key, car key, & credit card fit in, my camera is under water with me what else do I need? Do we really need to take the family jewels with us?

millermed

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2009, 01:16:48 UTC »
I have been to Bonaire several times, as early as this Feb, and never had a problem with theft.  Car rental companies will tell you to leave the windows down and the car unlocked to prevent break-ins.

Don't leave valuables, cameras, money etc but certainly towels and water is ok.  In fact on one trip I left a disposable camera at the hilma hooker site and two hours later is was still there.

Bonaire is great, food, diving and people are all good.
Have fun and don't worry.
Mark


agilulfo

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2009, 16:32:11 UTC »
I am in Bonaire right now and it's great as usual.  ;D

clownfish

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Re: On Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2009, 00:04:56 UTC »
Please don't let one person keep you from experiencing one of the most beautiful islands for diving I have been to.  Not being able to leave items in your truck is a minor issue.  Dive sites and most lodging are close together in case you need something. I've been to Bonaire several times in the past 10 years and have never had anything stolen (eg., towels, water, food and extra tanks). I wouldn't leave your diamonds and Jimmy Choos in cab! But otherwise, please rethink your dive vacation and try Bonaire.....the shore diving is the best around! Have fun.  The only place better to dive is Taveuni, Fiji!!!!

agilulfo

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Re: Crime on Bonaire -- a vacation spoiler?
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2009, 11:27:39 UTC »
Update:

While I make sure to hide even my t-shirt, sun glasses, and flip fllops when I am diving, I've been diving with a couple for the past week who leaves towels, shirts, glasses, books, lunch bags and the likes in plain sight on the back seat and nothing went missing so far. I know it's just an anecdote, but so are the hyper hyped reports of crime.

I am still in Bonaire and everything is still as beautiful as it should be.

 

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