I’ve just returned from my 5th trip to Bonaire. As usual, I enjoyed the laid-back feeling of the island, the great restaurants, and the diving.
We arrived from Newark to a long line at customs, then the mandatory wait for luggage. After getting my luggage I waited for my roommate who was on the next flight, then we caught the AB car rental shuttle to the rental office. They had the keys to our apartment at the Tropicana Apartments. We found our apartment, got some breakfast at the Wannadive Hut just on the next street over, went to Wannadive at Eden Beach Resort to buy our marine park tags and then went grocery shopping for breakfast items at Cultimara. Thus began a week of diving fun on Bonaire.
There had been a drought for many months in Bonaire, so there were many more donkeys, goats and birds in town than usual; they came seeking water. While we were there, we had some heavy rains at night, and one part of the morning, but hey, we’re going to be underwater so what’s a bit of rain? Unfortunately the rain brought a lot of mosquitos and I was heavily munched upon by them.
Highlights of the week included exploring the engine room of the Hilma Hooker, spotting barracuda, turtles and octopus, and many yellowhead jawfish. This trip I noticed more larger fish such as groupers and cubera snappers, as well as large schools of crevalle jacks. My favourite sites this trip were Angel City, Hilma Hooker, Witches Hut and Karpata.
Restaurant highlights included my favourite, Plazita Limena. They have new Peruvian cooks with new recipes that are as good or better than the original ones. I had my fill of ceviche there, as well as at a couple of other places: Paradise Moon and It Rains Fishes. Near the end of the week we finally located another of my favourite restaurants, El Fogon Latino. It was hidden within the construction zone of the 3rd traffic circle, but we found it and had a good meal there. I never made it back to Cactus Blue for their best key lime pie on the island, but there’s always next year!
There is a lot of new construction going on and I checked in on a couple of new apartment complexes that look pretty nice. Our apartment at Tropicana Apartments was a good find. It contained everything we needed, and was very safe and secure. The walled and gated complex looks out over a field that stretches on for kilometres, where occasionally some donkeys would stroll past. The complex had a locked gate and parking within for trucks, a courtyard area with comfy chairs perfect for enjoying a day’s end beer in the cool breeze, a rinse tank and drying racks, and each apartment had a furnished porch or mini-courtyard landscaped with palm trees and flowering shrubs. Located just two (very) short blocks from the main street and to the sea and close to town, it was an ideal location, very quiet and peaceful. There was plenty of hot water and the AC in the bedroom was perfect, as was the fan in the living room/kitchen. Cable TV and wireless internet was also included. Price for accommodation including truck rental and unlimited dive package with nitrox was only $615 USD based on double occupancy. If you bring a non-diver they only pay $480. They have a sister property called BonaireFun Apartments on the next street over which looked really nice but was fully booked.
Wannadive was a great dive op. They loaned me a stage bottle to use when I did some wreck pen, and their dive staff was great. I did a guided east coast dive at Cai with them that was a good dive. I’ll definitely dive with them again.