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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive and Adventure/Den Lamen condos in
Bonaire

Bonaire Dive and Adventure/Den Lamen condos: "Bonaire diving 2016", Feb, 2016,

by Todd Lichtenstein, NJ, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 8863.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We flew the United non stop from Newark. It is very convenient but very crowded. The only problem is there is only one flight a week. Our first flight to Bonaire was canceled due to a blizzard on January 23. We were lucky have been able to re-book 2 weeks later. Den Laman charged us for the canceled week. That is their policy which is clearly stated on their website. They also urge people to have trip cancelation insurance which we did.

This is the second time we have been to Bonaire, the first time being in 1985. We were curious to see how the reefs fared since then. In my opinion the reefs are in very good shape. I would say that the reefs around Bonaire are the healthiest I have seen in the Caribbean. Lionfish are now abundant throughout the Caribbean, but there are few in Bonaire. I only saw 5 the whole week I was there. It could be that the lionfish eradication program they have in Bonaire works better than in other places.

The reefs are great for wide angle photography and also macro. During the week I saw yellow headed jawfish (no eggs in mouth), crabs, lobsters , turtles, sharptail eels, and a small shrimp on an anemone. We did not encounter any current underwater. The shore diving was good and so was the boat diving.

We stayed at the Den Laman condos and we liked the accommodations very much. Den Laman has a restaurant right on the premises and there are also three restaurants within a short walk.

We used the dive shop on the property called Bonaire Dive and Adventure (BDA). The advantages were that we had equipment storage right on the ground floor. We could jump right off BDAís pier into Bari reef, which was wonderful and bio diverse. The exit from the water is via a ladder back up to the dock. There were 4 rinse tanks available to us on the pier. One was solely dedicated to cameras. Tanks are stored in cages that are accessible at all hours to those who are diving with BDA, which is very convenient when either boat diving or shore diving from the pier or elsewhere.

If you were shore diving elsewhere you could pull your rental truck up to the tank storage area in the parking lot and load your tanks into your truck from there. There was a rinse tank in the parking lot for use when you came back from a shore dive but there was a problem here. Bonaire it seems is overrun with wild donkeys. They are everywhere including the parking lot at Den Laman. We noticed that the donkeys used the rinse tank as their watering hole. After we noticed that we never rinsed our equipment there. We had to lug our stuff from the parking lot down to the rinse tanks on the pier. There were no carts or wagons to put our gear in so it became an ordeal to get our equipment from the truck to the pier. This could easily be solved by having carts for us.

I donít know why the dive operator didnít devise a cover of plywood or other material for the rinse tank in the parking lot. We divers could uncover the tank when in use and then cover it again when we were done thus preventing the donkeys from drinking the water.

The tanks were not always well maintained. We dove Nitrox for all our dives. At least half the time the tanks leaked either from the shutoff valve or because the tank O rings were cracked and split. We had to abort one shore dive because we discovered a bad leak in one of our tanks. Even when we tried to listen for leaks when we were checking out our tanks before the dive it was not always possible to alleviate this problem.

The theft of items left in cars is common in Bonaire. I remember being warned about this in 1985. You would think that such a small island could have alleviated this problem, but it still exists today. I really don't know why the government of Bonaire can't solve this problem. It is really bad publicity for an otherwise wonderful island. So warning to anyone going there. Don't leave anything in your car and leave your car or truck unlocked.
Websites Bonaire Dive and Adventure   Den Lamen condos

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Lembeh, Maldives, Galapagos, Cocos, Dominica, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Papua New Guinea, Andaman Sea, Raja Ampat, Blue Heron Bridge
Closest Airport Bonaire Getting There Non stop from Newark Liberty

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas surge
Water Temp 77-79°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
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 N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments There were dedicated rinse tanks for cameras on the dock.
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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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