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Dive Review of Dive Friends Bonaire/Goood Resort, Bamboo Bali Bonaire in
Bonaire

Dive Friends Bonaire/Goood Resort, Bamboo Bali Bonaire: "A good place to get back into Diving", Oct, 2015,

by Blake Hottle, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 8691.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My wife wanted to get back into diving after a 10 year hiatus raising the family. I hoped that the shore diving experience of Bonaire would be a good way to ease back into scuba diving with her. It was.

We didn't want the all inclusive resort experience, so we opted to stay at two different small places during our two weeks. More on that in a bit.

After much research on the internet, I chose Dive Friends Bonaire as our outfitter, and I am pleased that I did. We only needed tanks and weights, but they have everything. They have 5 different fill sites on the island, with a two tank max at any given time. Our "home base" was the shop at Hamlet Oasis, run by Robert, who typified the culture of DFB, in that he was laid back but efficient and safe.

There is an initial mandatory bouyancy check when you start diving on Bonaire, and the staff there had a watchful eye on my wife, without making her feel like a complete idiot.

While we did mostly shore dives, we did go out on 3 different morning boat dives to Klein Bonaire, and up the coast. The Klein Bonaire dives were excellent, with the reefs in great shape, and the visibility at 100 feet. The entire boat staff was superb. Good orientation, but not too much. Safe, but fun. Always in English, though most of our dive group members were Dutch.

While we loved Klein Bonaire, the island off Bonaire, I would not recommend the trip north along the shore of the main island. The day we did it the two sites were south of the BOPEC terminal, and could have been shore dives, with less fuss in my humble opinion. Not worth it, it think.

Most divers to Bonaire probably opt for a full resort package, but we stayed at two places not on the water, that offered more privacy, and perhaps, more luxury. The first place was Goood Resort. That's right, with 3 "o"s.
My wife and I stayed in the biggest room, Cloud Nine, and loved it. Huge walk in closet, great bed, quiet air conditioning, auxiliary water heater in case the solar is challenged by a cloudy day. Super clean.

I gently explained to the wonderful Dutch manager, Ankie, that Goood is not really a resort , at least In the American understanding of the term. But it's a great place and we wanted to stay longer.

It's really more of a Bed and Breakfast, or a boutique inn, with 5 rooms, and a pool. We took the breakfast package, served between 7 and 10 or so, and we're glad we did, as Ankie will make pretty much anything you want in addition to the self serve cereals, fruit and coffee. Not a fancy breakfast, but good.

As divers, the dunk tanks and gear lockers were appreciated. It's about a 10 minute drive up the hill from the shore.

Why this place was a good fit for my wife and me:

Up on a hill, with a constant breeze this place seems cooler outside then down by the water. Nice view of the bay and Klein
Bonaire. 0n a quiet dead end road. No traffic. Ankie the manager is a thoughtful and gracious host, who reads the guests well and is helpful , but never in a cloying way. We look forward to returning.

The second place was Bamboo Bali Bonaire. It's a compound of sorts across the street from Captain Don's, and it's beautiful. The whole place looks like something out of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. In fact, maybe a bit too beautiful, in places, as we sometimes struggle to find places to put things down, what with all the shells, and nic nacs. Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful place, and the great reviews on Trip Advisor are accurate. We stayed in the fanciest cabin: "Heaven can Wait" The outdoor shower is wonderful. Yes, they have rinse tanks and places to hang your gear.

Lastly, I have to mention East Coast Divers. We booked through Dive Friends Bonaire, and the diving was so good we did it twice. They run a fast and stable rigid hulled inflatable out of Lac bay to some places you just can't get to from the shore.

White Hole is an amazing depression in the reef system about the size of soccer field. White sand bottom, 60 plus Tarpon in a school, morays in the walls, turtles sleeping in the niches. Then over the hump, through a field of sea fans and soft corals to Turtle City. Both times spotted in excess of 30 turtles resting on the bottom. Several Eagle rays cruised the slope.

I can't say enough how professional, helpful, skilled, and fun these two guys were who run this outfit. It's exciting diving, on the windy side of the island, but we always felt safe.

What we did not like about Bonaire:

The "threat" of having stuff stolen out of your rental pickup is always there. We were warned. We kept the windows down, unlocked. My cheap sunglasses, and rinse bucket were taken. Not that unexpected, but Really?

Smoking. These are Europeans. they like to smoke. This required strategic thinking at restaurants. Both our hotels were smoke free, though.

What we liked about Bonaire.

Virtually the entire shore is a national park. The amount of fish is truly amazing, and we had to adjust our style of diving accordingly. That means SLOW DOWN. There is just so much to see, you can easily submerge and just watch fish behavior in one place all day.

No litter. Sure, there is litter on the east side, where the prevailing winds blow in stuff from the ocean, but even the downtown waterfront has no litter. It is just not part of the culture. Love it.

Lots of emphasis on the environment, with really enlightened citizens working hard to make Bonaire a better place. Bonaire is not perfect, and there is underlying resentment from the non Europeans about the Dutch control of the island, but there is much to like, and we look forward to going back in the future.




Websites Dive Friends Bonaire   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bay Islands Honduras, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Belize, Oregon, Washington.
Closest Airport Flamingo Getting There Los Angeles to Houston. Houston to Bonaire

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78-83°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-110 Ft/ 15-34 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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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