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Dive Review of Toucan Divers/P;aza Resort in
Bonaire

Toucan Divers/P;aza Resort, Sep, 2006,

by Bruce Wallace, IN, USA . Report 2921.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving 18 of the Caribbean Islands since 2002 plus Indiana and Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 84 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60+ minutes or 500psi, whichever came first, but not really enforced
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Obviously Bonaire is great for UWP. Each boat had a large tub for cameras with signage for NO MASKS - CAMERAS ONLY! Toucan also had a phot center with computer offerings to copy, edit (CS), burn to disc and print at a very low cost. On staff professional offered free advice and comments - OUTSTANDING!

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Months of research on Bonaire left us with concerns about resort facilities, dive operations and crime. We are serious divers with extensive Caribbean experience. We chose Toucan's special offer along with the Plaza Resort package. Arrival by AA was on time and Budget rented the typical 4 door Toyota pickup for $220 for the week.

The resort desk staff at 10PM on Saturday checkin was lead by Marco who was very personable and had us in our room within 10 minutes. The room was a Junior Suite which was air conditioned, large, 2 queen beds, refrig, safe and a balcony overlooking the Caribbean and pool on the upper floor (J109). The room was clean and comfortable. Maid service changed the linens on Wednesday and the rest of the week we had the Privacy Please sign on the door.

Diving with Toucan was excellent with 8:30 departures for 2 tank and back by 12:30 (sometimes 1PM if we overdove our sites). Each day included a North or South dive site on west Bonaire and a second dive off Klein Bonaire. Pieter as DM was outstanding at critter finding for UWP (he is a frogfish and seahorse specialist)! Other DM's were great to dive with too. Gear lockers and rinse tank were right at the dock. Tanks were always at 3K+. Shore dive tanks were located in three different convenient places.

18th Palm off resort beach is great dive for orientation and afternoon/evening dives. EVERY DIVE OF THE 12 WAS AN AQUARIUM DIVE!!
The slope starts at 20' and goes off to sand at 100' at 45 degrees. On every dive we were surrounded by reef fish beyond count. Juvenile Drums abounded as well as several seahorses and frogfish (sponges). Trumpets of 4 different colors were logged as well as several rays, peacock flounders, golden morays and scorpionfish.

The sites were all easy dives with average botton time exceeding 60 minutes at depths of 60'. Beyond 60', the fishlife drops off as does the available light. There is simply no need to dive deeper than 60' anywhere in Bonaire in order to see maximum fish and coral.

Overall, Bonaire is a solid "5" across the board. No reported crime, great restaurant choices, clean rooms, friendly staff and a GREAT Dive Operator. It is the place to go regardless of your experience level. A true vacation!
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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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