Our inaugural Bonaire Dive Trip kicked off for the week on November 5th, 2022. The core week ran for 7 days and finished 12th, 2022. The goal of this trip is to bring divers together for friendship, fellowship and the chance to experience the amazing diving available in Bonaire. Anyone on the trip had the chance to work on dive certifications if they want to. We had a second week available for those working on dive certifications that require longer than a week. For example, Dive Master certifications. Some participants wanted to stay for the second week to spend more time enjoying Bonaire’s diving opportunities. The benefit of having two weeks booked is that we can be flexible with everyone’s schedules.
Why is this dive trip different from other dive trips?
This diving event is a unique opportunity for people to join a group dive trip in a special location with local experts. Mandy and Jason Buttenshaw live on Bonaire and are keen divers. Mandy is a travel agent, while Jason is a dive instructor. Mandy arranges the dive trips, books everyone’s travel and Jason helps teach the dive certifications. Between the two of them, they’re making sure everyone is having the best dive time possible. It is a bonding time for everyone and the chance to meet new dive friends and hang out with other people sharing your dive passion.
Why is Bonaire a good dive location?
Bonaire is a superb choice of dive location for all levels of divers. The diving conditions are good to scuba dive all year round and there is fantastic shore diving. With 60 dive sites easily accessible from the shore, it’s no wonder Bonaire is known as the Shore Diving Capital of the world. You can drive from one dive site to the next on the main road, then walk in off the shore. The reef is a short swim from shore where you’ll find abundant marine life in warm water, shipwrecks to explore and very healthy reef systems. Night dives are popular, especially from house reefs. Here you can see Bonaire’s marine life in a completely different way. Everything looks different with night diving. Some fish have different colors between day and night and the guided shore UV light night dives in Bonaire are eye opening, even for experience night divers.
What marine life can you expect to see when diving in Bonaire?
You see a diverse range of marine life in Bonaire, including seahorses, crabs, turtles, barracuda, grouper, large sponges, sea-fans, eels, octopus, nudibranchs and other smaller sea life. You can get good underwater photos and opportunities for macro photography.
We like to document our dives and you can find more photos and videos of Bonaire marine life here.
Bonaire dive trip accommodation
Accommodation is at Belmar Oceanfront Apartments located on the south end of Bonaire. Four divers share classic superior 2-bedroom apartments, all with absolute beachfront. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, private porches and patios with ocean views, and air conditioning. You're so close to the beachfront you might spot a pod of dolphins while eating breakfast. The small intimate resort has a swimming pool, two piers that provide access to a private house reef, an onsite fully stocked dive shop, and extensive diving opportunities. You can shore dive from the resort any time of the day.
Dive week itinerary
See how the dive week schedule was planned. While there was a focus on diving, there was plenty of down time to enjoy Bonaire’s activities, evening meals at restaurants and watching the beautiful sunsets.
DAY 1 (Saturday, November 5th)
Everyone arrived on their incoming Bonaire flights and were met at the airport by Mandy and Jason. There was the chance to enjoy a refreshing drink before being transferred to Belmar Oceanfront Apartments. Once at the apartments people got the chance to settle in and get ready for diving the next day.
DAY 2 – DAY 4 (Sunday, November 6th to Tuesday, November 8th)
Day 2 began with an orientation about the resort and the diving facilities and opportunities. People were set up with access to rental trucks so they could shore dive whenever they wanted to or use them to explore Bonaire. After the administrative part was finished, people got on with their diving.
Depending on what diving everyone was doing, you split up into either your classes or undertaking diving opportunities around Bonaire.
DAY 5 (Wednesday, November 9th)
Today was more diving and we had an evening group BBQ at Mandy and Jason’s place.
DAY 6 (Thursday, November 10th)
Everyone had time to experience activities around Bonaire. Some people enjoyed diving different areas around the island. Others charted a boat and went deep sea fishing catching Wahoo, Rainbow Runner and Barracuda. That evening they enjoyed eating sashimi and ceviche from their days catch.
DAY 7 (Friday, November 11th)
Some people went diving in the morning at 8am. This was the last chance to dive before flying out the following day since you can’t dive within 18 hours of flying. That evening we all enjoyed a catamaran sunset cruise with Epic Tours. This 3-hour cruise around Bonaire is a pleasant way to finish the day enjoying the views while sipping cold drinks and nibbling on tasty snacks.
This was the last day of the core week for the Bonaire Dive Trip.
DAY 8 (Saturday, November 12th)
Those divers staying for the core dive week only, flew out of Bonaire back home.
For anyone staying the second week, they spent it diving Bonaire dive sites, boat dives to Klein Bonaire, enjoying Bonaire land-based activities and continuing with their dive classes. Some dive courses take longer than a week, for example a Dive Master certification. The second week is required to finish these longer courses.
Another evening dinner with Mandy and Jason at their home, a nice home cooked meal.
What were the dive goals of all the group participants?
There was a mix of dive experience within the group. The benefit of Bonaire as a dive location is that it is suitable for all dive levels. Each person got to work on their personal dive requirements. We had people working toward the following dive certifications:
Open water dive certification.
Advanced open water dive certification
Dive master certification
Full Face Mask Certification
Some people came on the trip to enjoy Bonaire’s diving but not work towards furthering their dive qualifications. Other were non divers and spent their time snorkeling, fishing and relaxing.
What Bonaire activities did group participants enjoy while they were on the trip?
While this trip was dive focused, Bonaire offers many activities for everyone to enjoy. On this trip some people chartered a boat for deep sea fishing. Others drove around the south of the island to see the Salt Flats and Lac Bay. There were some people that drove to Lake Gotomeer to see flamingos and sites in the north. We also enjoyed a sunset catamaran cruise on the final evening.
What were the food options during the week?
Belmar Oceanfront Apartments all have fully equipped kitchens. Most people cooked for themselves during the week with the occasional meals out at some of the local restaurants. Everyone also enjoyed an evening BBQ's at Mandy and Jason’s.
Are there more Bonaire Dive Trips in the future?
There definitely is! We’ve had an overwhelming amount of interest in this diving opportunity and we’re excited to be regularly offering the chance to join us in Bonaire. You can find details of our next Bonaire Dive Trip here. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Mandy at email@example.com She can also arrange all your dive travel requirements.
Our Bonaire Dive Trip was a roaring success. Everyone achieved their dive qualifications, including:
3 new Dive Masters
3 new Open Water Divers
2 Advanced Open Water Divers
1 Nitrox Diver
Full Face Mask Certification
Everyone had a great opportunity to experience Bonaire’s fantastic marine environment. Belmar Oceanfront Apartments is a top tier diving resort and the perfect location and set up for a group dive trip. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this trip to further their dive journeys. We look forward to seeing those of you who return on next years Bonaire Dive Trip.