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Thread: Bonaire Curcao Trip report

  1. #21
    I've never been to Bonaire, but Curacao sounds about right. There are some places that I'd rather not drive to or thru near the Ring and Punda. Also, petty and serious crimes are on the rise here - many reports of tourist muggings, vehicle break-ins and home/business robberies. I heard the owner of Sol Food (near Alice in Wonderland) was robbed while biking near his house recently. It's sad since he does so much for the local kids thru Westpunt Riders. The gov't is STILL forming, even though the election was held back in Oct, and it doesn't feel like cops are doing much around here. It doesn't help that poverty rate is around 80%, and cruise ships are dumping wealthy tourists for easy pickings. I hope this doesn't keep you away from Curacao - just beware, and take proper precautions while you're visiting.

  2. #22
    Grouper
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    This happened to one of our local judges he was robbed in his hotel room this month
    Judge Robert Ruehlman Recalls Robbery That Left Him Stranded - :: Cincinnati news story :: LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati

    This is the second time I have heard of robbery at that hotel.

  3. #23

    Epl1 camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Clernix View Post
    We have made it back safe and sound from our Curacao and Bonaire trip. We had a really good time and I wanted to post a trip report. There have been so many about Bonaire Iím going to keep it short. If anyone has any specific questions post them.

    Curacao

    In Curacao we stayed at Marazul Dive Resort. Itís a nice place to stay but I think resort is the wrong classification. It does have a pool and is pretty new. Itís a group of single standing condos that are privately owned so everyoneís experience may vary.

    The one we stayed in was a very nice two bedroom. It said it was a two bedroom with a loft that slept 6. The futon in the loft did not look very inviting but we were only 4 people so it didnít really matter. Kitchen was in good shape.

    The house reef was right next to Alice in Wonderland and Ocean Encounters shop and was pretty much as good.

    We dove Playa Lagun and ate there. The food and the diving were both pretty good. We also dove Casa Abou; the beach was really nice not as nice as Porta Maria but the diving was better.

    I didnít take any pictures since I was struggling with my new gear set up and didnít want to add more stress but I have Curacao pics from last year on my Flicker account.

    Bonaire

    I love Bonaire and canít say enough about it. We got there 12/31 and went to Capt. Donís for dinner. Itís a pretty nice place and good food. All of sudden a manta shows up right off the bar wall and kept coming back all night. I wanted to see him while I was in the water but no luck.

    We stayed at Sand Dollar and were very satisfied. The condos are a little older but in pretty good shape. They are very spacious and well maintained. We did have a few issues when we first got there. We contacted the owner and management and both flew into action and it was resolved in less than 24 hours.

    We used Bonaire Adventures Dive shop which is right by the condos. This in one top notch shop, you pretty much have the run of the place. Tanks anytime day or night and a free nitrox upgrade. They also own the pier so if you use Dive Friends which is also right next to the condos you have to enter from the beach. We were advised on day one to use BA and it seemed to be a pretty good choice. I donít want to put a negative light on Dive Friends because I know absolutely nothing about them.

    We dove Angel City, Oil Slick, Tolo, Karpata, Weberís Joy,Tailor made, Candy land and Bari (house reef). We did multiple dives on Oil Slick since itís before the road turns one way and you donít have to around the whole island to get home. We also saw seahorses with a full memory card so I went back in the hopes to find them again but no luck

    Of all the dives we did ; the north end impressed me most. Tailo rMade, Candy Land and Karpata are the cream of the crop IMO. Of course Iím sure someone will disagree because opinions are likeÖ.

    I also did some solo diving for the first time and loved it!I did a solo night dive and it was a little different at first but was pretty awesome. I plan to do a lot more solo diving the next time we go back.

    Here is the part where I compare the two Curacao andBonaire. If you want to compare diving Bonaire wins hands down. It is a diverís paradise. You hear is again and again divers saying they are free on Bonaire.The reefs are in better shape, bigger fish, rays and so much more. The beaches suck the food is hit or miss and pretty pricey. You are best off shopping and cooking yourself if you can.

    If diving is not the most important part of the trip and you are traveling with non-divers then Curacao. Downtown is amazing ; beaches amazing but the diving is second rate IMO.
    All sizes | P1011671 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    All sizes | P1051775 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    All sizes | P1051778 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Not to hijack your thread, but how did you like your camera? I've been eyeing it since they are priced very competitively.

  4. #24
    Grouper
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    Going to Bonaire again this November for another two weeks and will again be using Dive Friends. Had a wonderful experience with them last time and like the fact that they have 5 places to pick up and drop off tanks north to south. Just have to remember to get them before they close for the night. Not a problem because there is no tank limit as with some other operations (2 tanks per diver at a time). Their retail shop is downtown so there's not much in the remote dive shops to buy. I'm sure that most/all of the other dive operations are great as well. After all, diving is one of the two big draws to the island. Any operation that didn't offer good service and value wouldn't last long.

    I liked diving south because there seemed to be a lot more soft coral and a higher density of fish. For ease of entry I don't think you can beat Tori's Reef (just a tiny bit south of Angel City). It's sand and you swim out through a calm channel.

    A trick I learned on Bonaire (after flubbing around on several shore entries). Watch the waves and count. Usually there will be a pattern of increasing wave height with several much smaller waves following the largest. Once you figure out the pattern you wait for the largest and then enter as it's receeding. Quickly go out far enough to float (chest high) and put your fins on. Same coming out. Takes the sting out of the iron shore.

    I was going to go to Curacao this November with my dive club till I found out how OC they are about absolutely forbidding diving solo. I dive almost exclusively solo and I don't need no nanny so changed my plans to Bonaire. Loved it last time and I'm sure I'll like it better this time, having "learned the ropes". I already have my dive plans for the first 6 days. LOL.

  5. #25
    Grouper
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    I do like the camera. It takes really nice pics. One thing to consider if you already have a dslr is that you will be buying lenses for two cameras. That' why i am getting out of it. I don't want to buy each lens type twice. Other than that issue though its a great camera.

  6. #26
    Guppy
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    Charon other thing that bothered me about returning to Curacao is you are suppose to use a dive flag on all shore dives. didn't find out about this till I read it on scuba board. was also told they "always" inform you when you go to any dive shop. anyway much happier returning to Bonaire where its all about divers and diving.
    will someday return to Curacao but I am in no hurry :-)

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