Bonaire & Curaçao - October, 2003
Picture gallery here!
Chris and I joined up with Nico and Jerry for a dive trip to Bonaire and Curaçao
in the second half of October.
Bonaire has been on the dive "to-do" list for quite some time now
and we decided to visit Curaçao while we were in the neighborhood.
Bonaire and Curaçao are part
of the Netherlands Antilles - situated just north of Venezuela in
the Caribbean sea. On Bonaire, we stayed at
Habitat. With the exception of the lackluster breakfasts,
we were quite happy with Captain Don's. The accommodations
were quite nice, the resort was situated right on the water with a
great house reef, and the dive operation was well-run. They
claimed to be the "home of diving freedom" and they were right.
We did our own thing without restrictions.
The view from our patio at Captain Don's
Bonaire is famous for having numerous excellent
dive sites accessible from shore. After our morning boat dive,
we would pile the dive gear in the pickup truck and drive to a dive
site. The reefs were a 2 to 8 minute swim from shore.
Booties were definitely a necessity for shore diving, however, due
to rocky/coral entries and sea urchins.
Shore diving on Bonaire
Bonaire had a decent selection of restaurants and
a nice downtown area. We didn't really do much in terms of
nightlife this time.
The diving conditions were excellent on Bonaire.
The water temperature was 85 - 86 degrees, visibility was generally
80 - 100 feet, and it was sunny or partly cloudy with light to
moderate breezes. The interior of the island is full of cactus
due to low rainfall.
One interesting thing about Bonaire is the
population of wild donkeys wandering about unrestrained. They
can be found in parking lots, on the street, in people's yards, etc.
After a week on Bonaire, we flew to Curaçao for 3
- 4 days, were we stayed at
Lion's Dive Resort.
Curaçao is a much bigger, more industrialized island where diving is
incidental. Lion's was also quite nice, but rather than a dive
resort, it was more a resort where you could also dive. Most
of the guests were not diving. However, the dive operation was
generally well run. We didn't
visit the house reef and made only one shore dive on Curaçao.
There were a number of bars & restaurants within
walking distance from the resort. The nearby seaquarium was
definitely worth a visit. Weather on Curaçao was also really
nice, with only one rain shower on the last day. The
waterfront areas of Punda and Otrobanda were nice and colorful.
Punda waterfront area in Curaçao
The consensus seems to be that Curaçao was nice
but doesn't really warrant a return visit. Bonaire, however,
was a great dive destination that definitely deserves a return
Picture gallery here!