Just landed in Bonaire

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ReadyTo Dive

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We landed a little earlier today and I thought I would share our entry experience in the hopes that it might help someone else. These are solely our experiences only, YMMV.

The new protocols were a little stressful/confusing but not difficult. We left DFW (late of course) on AA for MIA and not a single document or test result was asked for to board.

We boarded in MIA and again not a single document (besides our passports) was asked for. Also again, we were late to arrive in BON (thanks AA).

We both have had 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. No booster shots.

Before we left we both took the rapid test from Walgreens approximately 20 hours before our MIA plane to BON departed; we did not want to chance being denied entry because we tested too early (aka using our DFW to MIA flight times).

We uploaded pictures of our vaccine cards and our negative test results to the Bonaire Health Declaration website approximately 16 hours before our MIA to BON plane departed (and filled out the rest of the form too of course) using the same BON departure time-logic.

Once we landed in BON we took our printed tested results, our printed copies of the Bonaire Health Declarations and our Vaccine Cards to the customs official who DILIGENTLY looked over and matched up every single name/detail (again YMMV) and were then granted entry. We picked up our bags and the Ultimate Dive Truck and off we went to Den Laman. Easy peasy.

We’ve only been here a few hours but everything has been A+ so far. Mask wearing seems to be 50/50 even at the Van Den Tweel (the Kip Tukkie smoked chicken guy out front was excellent too FYI).

We’re looking forward to splashing in tomorrow and hope all of your BON entries go as smooth as ours!
 

tursiops

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Glad it went well for you. When you say you took the rapid test at Walgreens, which one? Antigen or ID NOW? Both are rapid.
 

Compressor

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Keep us posted please @ReadyTo Dive . Have a great time.
 
OP
ReadyTo Dive

ReadyTo Dive

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Glad it went well for you. When you say you took the rapid test at Walgreens, which one? Antigen or ID NOW? Both are rapid.

It was the ID-NOW test.

Edited also to say we had our test results back via email within 2.5 hours, very quick.
 

drrich2

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Thanks for the detailed, practical details on getting there in terms of testing, documentation, etc...

I love Bonaire. There are a couple of things worrying me about it in recent times based on reports.

1.) It seems the government decided they've maxed out on the benefits of pandering to dive tourism and they want more money coming in, so they're branching out. Bonaire is getting more built up. Be 'interesting' to see where that goes.

2.) I read that lately some dive sites like Salt Pier have been quite crowded. Hope you'll let us know if you see more crowding than usual.

I hope these changes don't ruin the Bonaire experience I love. Otherwise, I'll have to start reading more trip reports on the Westpunt area of Curacao.
 

DiveFans

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Glad you had an easy time arriving, @ReadyTo Dive.

We just left yesterday on the United flight to EWR and found their 'Travel Ready' app worked better on the way home - tho we still had to show all paper/cell phone info so not sure it was worth the time to update to the app.

Had to check out at 10 am so left our suitcases at our Div'Ocean dive op and headed for brunch at Windsock The Beach, to enjoy a few last hours in the breeze & sun.

Check in went fairly quickly but of course crowded seating at the gate. THEN we heard there was an OUTDOOR seating area and headed out there - lots of space, seats and a bar - highly recommended !
 

DiveFans

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Well I’m 71, not very strong and so we only do boat dives now, always with Div’Ocean where I slide over for an easy backroll and they lift my equipment at the ladder at the end of dives.

We do some moorings like Cliff and the number of shore divers there and other places didn’t seem crowded. 2 others spotted a manta there out in the blue but I missed it. My fave dive site was Carl's Hill on Klein - absolutely magical with so much to see. And favorite fish was the Slender Filefish - first time I saw one swimming !

Glad that Donor Station is still open - such tasty chicken pita sandwiches. Very busy and we should have called ahead.

Agree with your concerns about overbuilding - the Chogogo resort on Bari Reef is already open and we saw several other places where they'll be building apartments. The roads and town will be overwhelmed.

But we'll be returning in May and can't wait - want to keep diving as long as possible :).
 

DiveFans

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@drrich2 I just tried to donate here as a supporter - but the only option was PayPal. I'm no longer on PayPal due to an issue they had - is there any other way to donate ?


Maybe Venmo or something ?
 

Soloist

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I read that lately some dive sites like Salt Pier have been quite crowded. Hope you'll let us know if you see more crowding than usual.
Three weeks ago we saw the most activity ever. We have been diving Bonaire, typically twice a year, for the last eleven years…with the exception of two cancelled trips due to the Covid Debacle of 2020.

Understand this is not a complaint, but merely an observation. What stood out to me was the sheer number of newbie divers. And how do I know? Here’s one example. We were entering the water and noticed two guys flopping about at the shoreline attempting to exit with their fins on. One of them was in six inches of water violently twisting on his back with his legs in the air like a dying cockroach while desperately grabbing at his fin tips. At the same time his buddy was on all fours in eighteen inches of water ripping at his heel straps like he was being attacked by a herd of cats. With absolute dread I quickly looked towards shore and thankfully saw they were part of a large group and someone (appearing rather irritated) was already running down to help them. Whew! So we casually made our way into the water while glancing over at the grim train wreck taking place a few feet away. Sadly this event and others we witnessed could have easily been avoided with a little research right here on ScubaBoard.

Additionally, we ran across a large discover scuba class at Invisibles. It was early afternoon and the site was crawling with people. We were about to leave and head further south, but decided to do the dive it. Turned out to be a great decision and considering we dive the outer reef we didn’t see anyone until we returned to the buoy. There were also tons of people snorkeling, sunbathing, running, bicycling, kiteboarding and watching sunsets at or around many of the dive sites, so things are definitely changing.
 

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