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Gerry

Where to Stay In Bonaire

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I am planning a 2 week trip to Bonaire and I would like some recommendations about where to stay. Shore diving would be nice right from the hotel, but it's not required. Looking for a "nice" place that caters to divers.

 

Also, any things I should know about? Any times of the year better/worse than others? How big is the theft risk while shore diving?

 

Any input would be appreciated.

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The Plaza Resort is a very nice place to stay. Accomodations range from rooms with twin queen beds to junior suites, to a one bedroom with kitchen and living room. I've been there for the last three years. First stayed in one of the one bedroom units and did some of our own cooking. The last two years we stayed in regular rooms because the island is relatively inexpensive and there are several good restaurants around. See posts about where to dive today. Toucan Diving (at the Plaza) is a great operation. Three boats, good, friendly staff and there is diving out front. I go Labor Day week and it's like a ghost town. Plaza also has a breakfast buffet and two restaurants, one on the water (a bit more bar-like), but a nice spot. e-mail me if you have any specific questions.

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The group I travel with stays at Lion's Dive Club. I would say the accommodations are adequate, though not great, and the folks at the in-house dive center (BonBini) are good (especially Mañanita, who found me my orange seahorse!). The restaurant there is good and you can walk next door to Captain Don's for dinner as well. As far as theft goes, we never had any trouble on our last trip, though you are constantly warned never to leave anything in the car you don't want stolen (and for Pete's sake, leave them parked with the windows down and nothing in plain sight) and not to leave anything drying overnight on your balcony (this recommendation, in particular, is tough for divers and was never followed despite the fact that many of the sliding screen doors had the corners peeled up). When theft occurs, they'll take whatever you leave in the car, no matter how little value you ascribe to it (T-shirts, old ratty tennis shoes, torn dive bags). Perhaps to combat this, many of the rental trucks now come with lockable bed boxes. That appears to be at least some deterrant. Whatever you do, accept the rental company's insurance on the car. The group had one person a couple years ago get their car dented -- the rental company wouldn't let them off the island until they paid an outrageous price to fix it. The next year, someone had a window smashed (they left a new pair of Nikes in plain view in a locked car). The rental folks were drooling all over themselves as they added up the cost but had to back off when told that their insurance had been accepted when the vehicle was rented!

 

Mike

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(especially Mañanita, who found me my orange seahorse!).

I was pretty happy to see them in Roatan too. Where's the pic I'd love to see another.

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