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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive and Adventure/Den Laman in

Bonaire Dive and Adventure/Den Laman: "Den Laman and Bonaire Dive Adventure", May, 2016,

by Gregory S Bruce, OR, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 21 reports with 16 Helpful votes). Report 8908.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We had a wonderful experience at Den Laman condominiums. They were very responsive with all communications. The reservation process was seamless. We arrived in the evening after the office was closed, but they made sure to have someone there to welcome us and give us our keys, answer all questions and get us to our room. We chose a 2 bedroom/2 bath oceanfront condo. It was very well appointed and modern. The two bedrooms each had their own bath and they were on opposite sides of the condo, which created some privacy. Between the 2 bedrooms was the expansive kitchen and the dining and living area. We had a very large deck with table and chairs and the sunset and ocean views were spectacular. Maid service is every other day and beach towels were available daily at the office. We could not have been happier with our stay. We chose a dive and drive and breakfast package. We stayed 8 nights, had six full days of diving (unlimited tanks 24/7 access and free nitrox), a 4 door pickup for shore diving, breakfast at Breezes and Bites (on site). Total cost for everything was $900 per person based on 4 occupants. If we had it to do over again, we would not include the breakfast in our package. It was optional and an additional $105 per person. The breakfast was not all that good and we could have saved money and done better doing breakfast ourselves in our condo. That being said, the restaurant is absolutely outstanding for dinner. Excellent dinners and unbeatable location on the water. Den Laman sits right on Bari Reef and it is a couple of steps from your room to the water. We loved the location and its proximity to restaurants and all of the northern dive sites.
Bonaire Dive and Adventure is the onsite dive operator. You are not obligated to dive through them, but if you donít, then you donít have access to the pier or a locker room for your gear or 24/7 tank access. The pier exclusively belongs to BDA. Sand Dollar is right next door and folks staying there and diving through another dive operator can still just walk into the water adjacent to the pier and dive Bari Reef. At the end of the day, if all you are doing is predominantly shore diving, then all you really need from a dive operator is access to tanks that are filled properly. Here are my complaints with BDA: Everyone who dives on Bonaire, regardless of operator, is required to attend an initial orientation, check out dive and purchase the annual $25 marine park tag. The orientation that BDA gave lasted nearly 2 hours and didnít start until 9:30am. That was just way too long and effectively lost us an entire ½ day of diving. What was truly relevant to us could have been easily completed in ½ an hour max. The dive office and all staff closed or ended work at 4:30pm each day. After 4:30pm everything gets locked up (Locker room, pier access and tank access). All three venues require entering a number code to open up a box that holds a key that then unlocks all the venues. Separate keys and boxes for all 3 locations. This just became very tedious and time consuming and annoying over time. Our tanks were routinely only filled to 2800 psi or less and we had numerous issues with faulty O-rings and even tank valve leaks. We did 2 boat dives with BDA, otherwise, we only did shore dives. They do three 1 tank boat dives each day. One at 9am, one at 11am and one at 1pm. We did the back to back 9am and 11am dives to Klein Bonaire one day. Boat dive operation is efficient enough, but they really did not give a dive site orientation to speak of. You back rolled into the water and stayed close enough to the Divemaster to not get lost and make it back to the boat. Dive times were 60 minutes. The Divemaster was good at finding the little things that everyone wants to see: Frog Fish and Seahorses particularly.
We absolutely loved Bonaire and found the freedom of shore diving with friends at our own pace and creating our own dive profile to be so refreshing. When we return, we will definitely stay at Den Laman again and in spite of the challenges and annoyances we experienced with BDA, we will dive through them again, simply because the advantages of 24/7 tank access, a locker room and pier access outweigh the negatives. Just bring along O-rings and a tool for removing bad ones. We did 24 dives in total and the dive sites we most enjoyed were: Oil Slick Leap, Karpata, Candy Land, Nukove, Boka Wayaka 2, Red Slave, Salt Pier, Pink Beach and Hilma Hooker. On Klein Bonaire, Rock Pile was an amazing dive site. Awesome wall dive and the shallows were spectacular. Bari Reef for night and dawn dives was excellent. Big highlight of the trip was our last dive at Boka Slagbai where we came upon a massive bait ball with thousands of fish and huge barracudas and some tuna lurking around to hunt.
Websites Bonaire Dive and Adventure   Den Laman

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Thailand, Vietnam, Channel Islands, So Cal Coast, Pacific NW, Monterey, CA, Grand Cayman, Bonaire
Closest Airport Getting There From Portland, OR via Houston to Bonaire with United. Same day flights out and back

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions When shore diving, you can do whatever you want. Boat diving with BDA was pretty unclear. They gave no real briefing.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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