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Dive Review of Belmar Bonaire in
Bonaire

Belmar Bonaire, Dec, 2013,

by Laura A. , VA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 7473.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We stayed at the Belmar for Christmas week, in a corner first-floor two bedroom apartment. Nice, large, and comfy (except for bad lighting) with an outstanding view and fully equipped kitchen. We arrived on the 6 a.m. flight, and were lucky to get our room right away. Unfortunately, we couldn't get our truck until the late afternoon, so we were stuck there all day--there are no restaurants within walking distance, so we had to rent a taxi just to get something to eat.

Iguanas and birds are frequent visitors. There is a very affable security guard during the evening, and he does his appointed rounds hourly. Maid service is supposedly every other day, but we actually only had it twice during the week we were there--the towel situation got a bit dire towards the end. The office closes promptly at 5 p.m., which can be inconvenient if you have questions or problems or if you need some new beach towels.

Belmar guests can get their tanks from either Belmar or through Buddy's. We didn't do any boat diving, so had little contact with the dive staff. We brought our equipment back to our first-floor room each night--they like to reserve the (small) dive locker for those on the 2nd floor. I can imagine it would be a hassle to haul your gear up and down the stairs.

We dove the house reef twice--one in the daytime for our check-out and once in the evening. Both times were very disappointing. Certainly it cannot compare to Buddy's--I think it may be the worse house reef in Bonaire. It is convenient, however--nice dock and ladder--and close to the Southern sites, of course.

This is a small place, with a lovely and relaxed vibe, but I don't think we'll be going back. The house reef is too important--particularly if you enjoy night dives, as we do--and the house reef at Belmar just isn't very good.
Websites Belmar Bonaire   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Lembeh, Palau, Sea of Cortez, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Roatan, Utila, Belize, Florida and Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 75-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We didn't do any boat diving, so we were on our own--shore diving freedom!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Craig A Woodin PA, US at Jan 02, 2014 17:27 EST  
I can't blame you regarding the house reef. I've stayed at Sand Dollar three times and have been totally spoiled by Bari Reef. For my next trip, I'll stay at Den Lamen to have the same dock and house reef. Sand Dollar has dissociated with Bonaire Dive & Adventure and no longer has access to dock. Rumor has it they will be putting in their own floating dock but that rumor has been circulating for quite a while. BD&A has nice boats to Klein Bonaire and sites not available from shore.
By report author: Laura A. in VA, US at Jan 03, 2014 10:54 EST  
Craig, I don't blame you for making the switch--Bari reef is excellent, although we didn't dive it this time around. FYI, Buddy's has repaired their pier from the last time I was in Bonaire (2011) and the orange cup coral I remember so well has made a comeback. That's also a great night dive. We were only there for one week, so didn't book any boat dives, although we had a night dive every night but Christmas Eve. IMHO, the house reef is particularly important when you like night dives--that much quicker into the shower and on to dinner!
By Craig A Woodin PA, US at Jan 04, 2014 10:53 EST  
The only night dives I've done that were better than Bari Reef in Bonaire, were off Little Cayman
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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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