Bonaire - where to stay?

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SandyUT

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my wife and I have been 2X and stayed at Belmar apartments - LOVED IT!

But, we want to go with a friend or two who want a couple boat dives...trying to talk them out of this but...what ever.

So the question - where to stay. needs to be closer to bars and restaurants and have a dive boat.
-Buddy Dive Love the drive through tank swap and location
-Captain Dons? read some recent iffy reviews that concerned me.
-where else should we consider?

Many thanks!
 

drrich2

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Buddy Dive Resort has a bar, as I recall. Do they need to be close to one bar, or do they like to go around? If the latter, it shouldn't be a big deal to drive into Kralendijk in the evening and find bars. BDR has 2 restaurants; the main one, and the fancy one (I'd imagine more expensive). When I was there a few years back, I was okay with the main one (not great, but okay, and I'm not picky). But people who haven't been a few times may want to hit different places. From Buddy Dive Resort, you could walk north to eat at Rum Runners at Captain Don's, or south to eat at Eddy's by Sand Dollar Condo.s.

If you want to be in a position to walk around town a bit from the resort, Divi Flamingo gets mentioned in this context. Looking at Google Maps, you could walk to some places - At Sea Restaurant, Jasmine Garden, Roos Surname Food, Mezze Restaurant and Sebastians, maybe?

Note: You may be able to do boat dives with an operator even if you aren't staying at the specific resort the boat is based out of. If they want to do a couple of boat dives one day, that might be an option. If they want boat dives every morning, maybe less so.
 

scubadada

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Dive Friends boats leave from the pier between Sand Dollar and Den Laman. This is a little south of Buddy Dive and Captain Don's at the circle. We cook nearly all our meals do don't care too much about restaurants and bars. We eat at Eddy's and Breeze n' Bites occasionally. I believe there are a few new places in the neighborhood, we'll see starting Oct 20. House reef is Bari
 

agd

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If you liked the apartment experience, you could have that very close to central Kralendijk and all the restaurants and bars if you looked at a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment at places like Playa Lechi, Seaside or Elegancia del Caribe. They are all very near Dive Friends Yellow Sub location for boat diving, too. The shore dive at Something Special is right out front as well. You can rent them through Sunbelt or Island Time rentals, among others.
 

rmorgan

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Everything is close, and boat dives are pretty much interchangeable (so you don't need to worry about staying someplace which has boats). Dive Friends now has eight locations. I believe they have discontinued boat dives from Yellow Submarine; I know their boats leave from Port Bonaire (basically across from the airport), and I think they also leave from the Den Laman dock. We have done several boat dives with Div'Ocean, also located in the Port area--a well-fitted, good-sized (28', maybe?) outboard (the hull of the original East Coast Divers RIB without the inflatable part), and a big motor, with no more than 4-6 divers.
 

Brodydog

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We enjoyed our stay at Buddy Dive. I’m a lazy diver so I thoroughly enjoyed the ease of the boat dives from Buddy over to Klein. I thought the dive sites at Klein, at least the ones we hit, were better than the the dives on Bonaire itself. Being able to do boat dives in the morning and then dive on our own later in the day was a good mix for us. I would highly recommend Buddy Dive for this.
 
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SandyUT

SandyUT

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good info and thank you. much to work out and decide.

looks like Bonaire is at a level 3 (reconsider travel) out of 4 (do not travel) on the CDC for high levels of COVID. I am pretty sure at least one in our group will be stopped by this. I hate COVID... Vaccines required, PRC testing before and after 5 days on the island.
 

drrich2

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I am pretty sure at least one in our group will be stopped by this.

Actually, shore diving, a number of dining options with outdoor seating, the option to buy groceries and prepare meals at home, what if I recall correctly from another thread is a pretty good vaccination level amongst the populace (and testing required of your fellow plane passengers)...think about it. Does that really stack up as much less safe than what you face in your home community? The achievable degree of isolation looks pretty good.

If that perceived risk level is unacceptable, it's hard to plan a dive trip with confidence these days, as this variant may show up, or that government agency may change a level, etc...
 
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SandyUT

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I agree 100%. I am just pretty sure not all of our crew will agree.
 

drrich2

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Then the questions become...

1.) Are you and your wife willing to go alone?
2.) If not, what is the minimum # of others who must accompany you?
3.) If people bail, will you be left 'holding the bag' for deposit, housing costs, airfare, etc...?

Only you two can decide. My suggestion...you and your wife decide if you want to go, and if so, make your plans. Let others come if they wish to do so. If they don't, okay. Otherwise, you're making your precious vacation plans hostage to somebody else, who's not bound by your vision of reasonableness.
 
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