|Bonaire June, 2018||
We traveled to Divi Flamingo, Bonaire in 2014, after an absence of many years, and were so impressed that we returned this June with a group of 25 divers. We did three boat dives each day, two in the morning and one in the afternoon, and enjoyed them all, especially the ones at Klein Bonaire. It was a bit crowded with 23 divers on the same 44’ Newton, but it was nice having the group together.
Divi Flamingo is spread out over a large area, with two pools, ocean front and pool view rooms, studio apartments, and three places to eat. Bill & I ended up in a second floor pool view room and were very happy with it; it was quiet, looked over the pool and grounds, and we also had a partial ocean view. The bathrooms have been re-done since we were there two years ago.
The breakfast buffets were great, with made-to-order eggs, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, fruit, toast, bagels, yogurt, and plenty more to supply lots of energy. We enjoyed the divers’ lunch buffet for a couple days, until they were ended due to lack of participation—too bad! Dinners were either on the premises or in town, a short walk away. Meals can be a bit pricey; many of us walked to the nearby convenience store and stocked up on bread, peanut butter & jelly, and other goodies to store in the room refrigerators. There are a couple more grocery stores further away, but also within walking distance. We found that full meals at lunch at Divi ran about $10 cheaper than pretty much the same meal at dinner time.
The water temperature was 84-85 degrees while we were there, with 80-100’ visibility, minimum. Air temperatures hovered in the high 80’s most of the time, but the constant breeze kept us comfortable. The room AC kept things cool.
Although we’re used to high-octane Pacific diving, the diving we did was not boring. At 18 Palms, I got in the middle of a huge baitball with jacks darting in for a snack, an unusual occurrence for Bonaire. We saw several spotted snake eels, three frog fish, a couple seahorses, several turtles, and a few lionfish. It was juvenile trunkfish season—so cute! A couple octopus were spotted. We spent half an hour watching one feeding during a shore dive in front of the resort; he changed color constantly as he moved, and frequently got attacked by damselfish protecting their eggs. The Hilma Hooker had great vis, a couple tarpon, and sergeant majors that attacked fins and other body parts that got too close to their nests. There were several eels, including a snowflake and a chain moray.
When it was time to leave at the end of our week, I wanted to stay for another! We will return.