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Dive Review of Dive Friends Bonaire in

Dive Friends Bonaire: "Relaxing dive trip to Bonaire, Den Laman and Dive Friends", Aug, 2018,

by Craig A Wood, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 50 reports with 48 Helpful votes). Report 10595.

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 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My wife and I spent 10 days in Bonaire in December 2017 and has such a good time staying at Den Laman and diving with Dive Friends, that we returned for 2 weeks in August 2018

Reservations: Again, we made all reservations through Den Laman, including accommodations, truck rental (Avis), and diving with Dive Friends. The reservation process worked flawlessly.

Travel: The most noticeable improvement in this trip was our air travel. We flew on American Airlines from Philadelphia to Miami and then took their direct flight to Bonaire. The perfect flight got us to Bonaire at 3:30, plenty of time to do our first round of grocery and beverage shopping. This was a huge improvement over our trip last December when we flew to Aruba and took Insel Air to Bonaire. The return flight home was delayed a bit due to weather in Miami, but our flight to Philadelphia was also delayed and we got home in the wee hours of the morning. Our Avis dual cab, late model pickup with good A/C and manual transmission was without any problems. Pick up and drop off at the airport could not be easier.

Accommodations: We stayed in the same second floor, oceanfront, one bedroom unit that we enjoyed so much on our previous stay, the Parrotfish. This unit has a great, modern kitchen, large living/dining room, nice bedroom and bath. The kitchen accoutrements had been augmented since our last stay. We prepared all of our meals this visit. The split unit A/C in the bedroom and living room worked perfectly. As before, we really enjoyed the large balcony overlooking the ocean. It was the perfect place to sit and relax, enjoy a cold beer, and watch a beautiful sunset after a day of great diving. Housekeeping was every other day, every request was promptly taken care of.

Diving: Dive Friends, located on site at Sand Dollar/Den Laman, made the diving as easy as possible. As we had just been there recently, our Marine Park orientation took mere minutes, we obtained our weights, and were in the water doing our first dive on Bari Reef. As a customer of Den Laman, we had the use of the gear drying and storage building and access to the pier, the easiest access to Bari Reef. The pier had been significantly improved and construction was completed since out last visit. There are more than enough gear set up benches and tables. There is a nice new table next to the camera rinse tank. There are plenty of nitrox and air tanks available on the pier for both diving at Bari Reef and for boat dives. Fills were routinely good and nitrox ran 32% consistently. Dive Friends boats leave from the pier every morning for a 2 tank dive and some afternoons for a 1 tanker. Dive Friends has 4 boats, we dived mostly off the Pelican, a comfortable 30 foot Island Hopper, and a couple times off the Pascal, a 33 foot twin outboard. The boats go to Klein Bonaire and to northern sites that are not accessible from the shore. There is an easy drive up tank station in the parking lot with 24/7 access for shore diving. Dive Friends has 6 additional locations around the island.

The diving off Bonaire is probably the most relaxing, easiest diving I do, my wife’s favorite location. Water temperature was 81-83 degrees. Visibility was generally very good at around 80 feet, sometimes a little less, sometime a little more. There was generally little to no current, it was mild at most. We had 13 days of diving and ended up doing a leisurely 40 dives. My wife is less enthusiastic about shore dives so we ended up doing 20 boat and 20 shore dives, fine with me. Boat dives are said to be 60 minutes. I generally got in and descended before the group and got out following the last divers. Average dive time was about 71 ½ minutes (68-77), the crew was quite flexible.
The reefs were generally in good shape and teeming with the usual reef fish. Spotted and Goldentail Morays were everywhere along with many Sharptail Eel and their hunting companions. There were less large Tiger Grouper and turtles than we saw last December but many more Tarpon. We saw several beautiful seahorses, a single Eagle Ray, a cute little Slender Filefish. No Frogfish for us this visit.

This was our 5th visit to Bonaire, we are currently scheming on our 6th.
Websites Dive Friends Bonaire   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, Roatan, Cozumel, Key Largo, SE Florida (Boynton Beach, Jupiter, West Palm...), Maui, Oahu, Cape Ann, San Diego, Costa Rica, Panama, Cocos Island, Red Sea, Galapagos
Closest Airport Flamingo International Airport, Bonaire Getting There American Airlines direct flight from Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Boat dives loose 60 minutes
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Boats had small rinse tanks, crew very careful with cameras. Pier has large rinse tank, nice table
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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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