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Dive Review of Harbour Village Beach Club in

Harbour Village Beach Club: "Great, easy diving from luxury digs", Dec, 2018,

by David Stoll, NY, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10803 has 3 Helpful votes.

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 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Although I have been diving for over 25 years and have been to dozens of places, this was my first trip to Bonaire. It won't be my last. The diving is easy and beautiful. While one can rent a car and shore dive the many sites on the south side of the island, I chose a combination of boat dives and shore dives just off of the resort.

The boat dives are always nearby, no more than 20 minutes and often quite less. The resort has a small wreck at about 40-60 feet and a string of coral mounds running between two small coral structures leading from the beach. A larger reef is about a 7-10 minute swim away. I went to that reef on my last dive day for the sake of it and enjoyed myself, but I was always happy checking out the little wreck and coral mounds, both day and night.

All dives featured healthy coral and lots of the usual Bonaire fish, including many of my favorites (scrawled filefish, spotted drums, cowfish, black durgon, and more). Bonaire does not attract many large fish, but everyone saw turtles, and tarpon are always happy to join you on a night dive. The usual suspects are present on night fives, including eel, lobster, urchins, crabs, and the like. The currents were minimal. Be sure to request a boat dive to the northern end, where the reef structure is more dramatic.

The boat dives are guided, but the dive masters aren't micromanaging you at all. Dive masters are happy to point things out or keep an extra eye on you if you ask, but they will also leave you to decide on your own depth profile. They are all super nice, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.

There are dive lockers, and the resort will take your gear to and from the boat. If you want to shore dive, just grab a tank and go in. (Or grab a tank and drive somewhere.) To dive or snorkel, you must buy a marine park pass, which I believe is about to go up from $25 to $40 for a year. The healthy reef and fish are a testament to the marine park's protection.

My two non-diver friends enjoyed snorkeling off the beach. Some snorkelers went on the boat, which dropped them off at a shallow area near the dive site. They reported having lots of fun.

I took the PADI rescue diver course on this trip and loved my instructor, Andrea, who was clear and encouraging, and also ensured that I mastered each skill. I feel 100% confident in my rescue skills.

One nice touch: there is no added charge for Nitrox! All fills came in at 31, 32, or 33%. Air and Nitrox tanks were always filled to about 3000 psi.

Harbour Village Beach Resort is on the expensive side, and it feels high end. I went with five other people, so we chose one of the villas, which allowed us to hang out and cook the occasional meal. The beach is lovely. There is a pool, which I glanced at on the last day--it seems nice.

The restaurant is causal, serving local fish, burgers, pizza, and the like. If you need a change of pace, there are plenty of restaurants on the island. If you like middle eastern food, I strongly recommend Mezze. Having been to some great restaurants in New York, I can say without reservation that Mezze could hold its own in New York and deserves a Michelin star.

I really had a wonderful time at a beautiful resort with a top-notch dive operation. I can't wait to go back.
Websites Harbour Village Beach Club   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean: Cayman Islands, Bonaire. Bahamas, Cozumel, Honduras, Belize, St. Lucia, Saba, St. Kitts
Pacific: Cocos Island, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand
Closest Airport Getting There There is a non-stop United flight from Newark Airport, but I am not a big fan of United or that airport. Next time, I'll fly Delta and change planes.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions A dive master led all boat dives. No one, including myself, asked whether we could go off on our own--probably because the dive master always said you can dive deeper or shallower, turn around earlier or later, etc. Boat dives are limited to one hour, whlch is fine for me and most people.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Each boat has a dedicated rinse tank for cameras but otherwise isn't set up for photography. Nor are the shore facilities. No one seemed to mind--certainly I didn't--but I assigned stars based on the fact that some photographers have lots of equipment and can be high-maintenance (not judgment!). The visibility and colors of the fish and coral lend themselves to photos and video. Do keep in mind that Bonaire is not known for pelagics.
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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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