Buddy Diving Bonaire, Netherl. Antilles
Buddy Diving at the Buddy Diving Resort
With as many as 60 officially listed dive sites on Bonaire and another 20 dive sites on Klein Bonaire, the dive operation at Buddy Dive Resort is geared up for you to make the most out of your dive vacation. With a fleet of custom dive boats and a well stocked 'Drive Thru' offering air and nitrox tanks, every divers needs can be satisfied. To help us keep our reef environment healthy for many years to come, we do encourage all divers traveling to Bonaire to familiarize themselves with the Marine Park Regulations prior to their visit.
Bonaire's sea abounds with beautiful marine life and a fascinating variety of multi-colored tropical fish. The sea is remarkably calm and conditions are superb for both scuba diving and snorkeling.
On average, Bonaire's visibility exceeds 100 feet (30 meters) and our average water temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (29c). The fringing reef begins close to the shore, usually a short 30 foot (10 meter) swim or less, making Bonaire world renowned for its ease of shore diving.
Bonaire's waters offer something special for every diver. Novice divers will appreciate the calm waters, reefs that run parallel to shore, and minimal currents. These conditions make it an ideal location to really work on improving those buoyancy skills! And the abundance of marine life living along the shallow drop-off area of the reef slope allows for maximum bottom time, while giving new divers an opportunity to develop a level of comfort and confidence in their newly learned skills.
All levels of divers can enjoy the freedom of our unlimited shore diving package, making as many dives as they want each day, according to their own safe profiles. There are plenty of 80 and 63 cubic foot air and Nitrox tanks available at either the Drive Thru or on the dock where there are convenient benches for gear set-up and two sturdy ladders that provide easy access to the water. Rinse tanks are located at the Drive Thru as well as on the docks where there is an extensive gear storage room. This simply makes diving at Buddy's easy and enjoyable.
One can join our experienced, friendly dive staff on our morning and afternoon boat dives. Every day of the year our custom dive boats go out to explore the many dive sites on the nearby island of Klein Bonaire, a short 10 minute boat ride away, or to other spectacular dive sites not accessible from shore. Guided day and night dives are also arranged to great sites such as the Salt Pier or Town Pier, which have become a Mecca for photographers. Even Klein Bonaire is visited at night on a regular boat night dive.
Buddy's is a DAN Member, as well as a PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resort and Universal Referral Center. The Universal Referral designation enables Buddy Dive instructors to offer Open Water completion courses to students from SSI and NAUI as well as a host of other training organizations. In fact, Buddy's offers every level of instruction imaginable, conducted in several languages. In addition to all the standard PADI specialties, we also offer you the chance to become an Enriched Air Certified diver, or even try out a Re-breather!
As a full service dive center, we also have a complete inventory of rental gear available. Buddy Dive guests who prefer to purchase instead of rent will enjoy shopping at our well stocked retail shop. The on-property shop carries a wide range of dive and snorkel gear and accessories, as well as t-shirts, sandals, caps, dive lights, film and souvenirs galore!
But of all of the assets we have, it is without a doubt our incredible dive team that makes the difference at Buddy Dive. They are known to go out of their way to make every dive a safe and enjoyable experience you won’t forget. It’s this friendly, personal service that has become a trademark of Buddy Dive Resort.
Buddy Dive Resort guests can enjoy morning, afternoon and evening boat trips to the nearby island of Klein Bonaire and other sites inaccessible to shore diving aboard one of our five boats:
Dive Buddy arrived on December 24th 2009 at Buddy’s dock! Both guest and personnel were very exited to see the first glimpse of the custom designed yacht cat boat on the horizon next to Klein Bonaire.
The new boat is completely innovative and new to the scuba diving industry. This motor cat boat has room for 24 divers on a 3-tank dive. It has everything on board that a diver needs like rinse buckets, a camera table, a sundeck, a shaded area, and an easy entry platform for both going in and out of the water. After your dive, you can enjoy the sun and stunning views from a comfortable seat on the fly-bridge.
The Sport Diver II is a custom built 42’ DELTA. It easily accommodates 27 divers on a two-tank dive. It has a camera rinse tank, dry storage and a fresh water shower. The easy access in and out of the water guarantees diving comfort. Have a chat with the captain on the bridge where you have a spectacular view over the Caribbean Sea.
The Harbour Lady is a Newton 36' Dive Special that can easily accommodate 24 divers and crew on a 2-tank. The deck area is roomy for divers to stow all their equipment without compromising space. A dedicated camera table, dry storage area, fresh water shower and a large rinse bucket add to diver comfort. There is no better place to enjoy the view of the islands than from the Captains Fly Bridge.
The Bayena, which is the Papiamentu word for "whale" is also a custom built Newton 30' Dive Special, and is ideal for smaller groups of 10 or fewer looking for personal 2 tank dives or 12 divers on a one-tank dive. She also has dry storage, camera rinse tank, a fresh water shower, and a sun roof.
The Red Tide is a 32' Island Hopper Dive boat with a swimming platform for easy entries and exits and plenty of space to move about. Permanent tank racks are installed which will enable her to take 14 divers comfortably on a 2 tank dive. She also has dry storage area, camera rinse tank and a fresh water shower, and of course all of our boats have an ample supply of cold drinking water as well as fresh fruit, a perfect post-dive thirst quencher!
High Flight is a 30 feet custom built boat used for private dive or snorkel charters (only small groups of max. 6 persons). It has easy on board access, comfortable seats and a convenient diving platform with ladder.
For your safety, all of our boats are equipped with first aid kits and O2, two way radios and appropriate rescue equipment. And there will always be two crew members on each trip, who are trained in Medic First Aid and either PADI certified Dive Masters or Instructors: the boat captain will remain on-board to assist you into and out of the water and monitor your underwater progress, and the dive guide who will accompany you on the dive to ensure your enjoyment and your in-water safety.
Washington Slagbaai Park Safari
On December 24th 2009 Buddy Dive’s new boat arrived at Buddy’s dock! Both guest and personnel were very exited to see the first glimpse of the custom designed yacht cat boat on the horizon next to Klein Bonaire.
The new boat is completely innovative and new to the scuba diving industry. This motor cat boat has room for 24 divers on a 3-tank dive. It has everything on board that a diver needs like rinse buckets, a camera table, a sundeck, a shaded area, and an easy entry platform for both going in and out of the water. After your dive, you can enjoy the sun and stunning views from a comfortable seat on the fly-bridge. With this new boat Buddy Dive Resort will be the first and only resort on Bonaire that is going to offer a 3-tank boat dive trip to the Washington Slagbaai National Park.
The price for the trip is only $129.60 per person and includes a lunch and sales tax. There will be a limited number of trips available, so sign up at the dive shop now.
The minimum amount of divers is 6 and the maximum 24. Non-divers can join the trip based upon availability.
Possible dive sites that can be dived during the trip are: Boca Bartol, Playa Bengi, Playa Funchi, Bise Morto, Wayaca, and Boca Slagbaai.
- Boca Bartol
This is the northernmost dive site on Bonaire. A good place to look for the larger fish species. The shallows offer large, unusual coral formations, and the sandy bottom provides a habitat for rays and garden eels. Depth 20-80 feet (15-20 meters).
- Playa Bengi
The experienced diver will be rewarded with some of the most pristine coral found on Bonaire. This site is also home to many larger fish species. Depth 15-100 feet (5-30 meters).
- Playa Funchi
At depths of 15-100 feet (5-30 meters), horse-eye jacks can be seen out in the pristine blue water. The shallows are loaded with many of the smaller species that approach divers and snorkelers looking for a handout.
- Bise Morto
The name means “dead deer”. Deep-water pelagics such as whale sharks, manta rays and even spouting humpback whales have been spotted here. Depth 20-100 feet (7-30 meters).
Wayaca offers divers a new site where very little diving has been done in the past. Many times, dive sites in this area are visited by larger species of animals, so keep your eyes on the blue when you dive this site, and you might be lucky. Depth 30-100 feet (10-30 meters).
- Boca Slagbaai
With depths of 20-100 feet, you may have a chance to see mantas or other smaller rays. This site is known for its moderate to strong currents and is recommended for intermediate to experienced divers.
- Taylor Made
This site is considered to have a very pristine reef that drops from 15ft to depths beyond limits. Divers will be surrounded by very ancient coral heads and lots of fish. Its main attraction is the beautiful unspoiled coral formations.
The Dive Industry is constantly looking for new alternatives to feed the non stop demand for more and new ways to enjoy and explore the underwater world, following this idea and direction Buddy Dive Resort went deep into the developing of a new department fully dedicated to Technical Diving, after a year of intensive training, investments and improvements we were very happy and pleased to announce the opening of Buddy Dive Resort Technical Diving Department in October 2007.
Under the leadership of Dive Operations Manager Augusto Montbrun the project started first with the investment in Top of the line Tech Diving Equipment from "Palm Trading Bonaire" Local Dealer of Dive Rite Tech Gear, right after that 5 of our Dive Instructors went straight into Tech Diving Training achieving various levels of certifications from different agencies giving us the wide and complete list of alternatives for the different requests of our Tech Diving guests, today we are proud to say that in our staff we have Tech Divers from PADI- TEC DEEP & TRIMIX, GUE -TRIMIX and TDI, at the moment we are able to Tech Tech diving courses from TDI.
To close the circle of Tech Diving, Buddy Dive Resort also re -arranged the fill station area adding a complete and new Partial pressure gas blending station were we are able to fill our Tech Diving tanks and prepare custom blends at the desire of our clientele, our Technical Diving staff got the qualification from PADI & TDI gas & TRIMIX blenders keeping the safety standards at the highest possible level.
Today we are able to offer from Tech Diving Courses, equipment rentals, custom blends to guided dives to the Windjammer and other interesting sites not so often explored on Bonaire before, at the same time we can host Tech Diving Courses from Instructors that come,stay and use our facilities to teach their Tech Diving students, PADI Course Director and TRIMIX Instructor Carlos Pena Herrera choose Buddy Dive to be his Tech Diving classroom for two years in a row, and very clear said " couldn't find a better place and diving facilities to bring my Tech Diving students"
The non-stop spirit of adventure and curiosity of the enthusiastic diving community worldwide keeps pushing forward the Dive Industry and it is our job and certainly our pleasure to make sure that everyone gets what they asked for and who else better than the Buddy Dive Team to assure that !
Bonaire's one and only drive thru is located at Buddy Dive Resort. This unique two lane full service air station is equipped with 4 high pressure compressors and two low pressure compressors. Together these machines fill about 1000 tanks a day for your convenience. You can drive your car into the drive thru and our dive staff will help unload your used tanks and load new tanks so you don't waste time and can go on to your next dive!
“It is all about fun”
This 5 day program keeps children in the water every day. They will experience the rich aquatic life and friendly environment that Bonaire waters can offer. The conditions are ideal for a variety of activities including: boats snorkeling trips, field trips to explore the east coast of the island, Kayaking, and more. Prerequisites:
To take this course, you must be 5- 12, and able to swim.
PADI Bubble Maker
This 3 hour course introduces children to scuba diving in a safe and fun way. Children get to experience what it feels like to breath and swim underwater and will get to experiment with dive equipment in the pool and in the very shallow water of our house reef. They will learn what is to be a diver. Prerequisites:
To take this course, you must be between the age of 8 and 10 years old and able to swim.
PADI Seal Team
This PADI program introduces children to a variety of diving activities, developing new interests and skills, every day over 5 days. This is a great way for children to get ready to take the next step toward becoming a certified scuba diver. They will learn skills in the swimming pool in order to get comfortable with the diving equipment and diving procedures. When comfortable they will dive in the ocean and they will participate in instructional sessions such as fish ID, search and recovery, peak performance buoyancy, and much much more. Prerequisites: To take this course, you must be between the age of 8 and 12 years old and be able to swim.
© Buddy Dive Resort
Bonaire is a small island, but filled with dynamic opportunities for diving and eco-adventures. But also if you simply want to enjoy the laid back way-of-life, slow pace, and tranquility, you are in the right place.
Located in the southern Caribbean, outside the hurricane belt and just over 500 miles from Miami or a nine-hour flight from Amsterdam, Bonaire is part of the Netherlands Antilles, along with its sister island, Curaçao, and close to Aruba, which are only respectively forty and eighty miles (64 and 129 kilometers) away.
Click here to enlarge the map with Bonaire marked red
Constantly rated as the top dive destination in the world and as a pioneer in preserving nature, Bonaire is indeed the dream for every diver. Over eighty dive sites, many of which are easily accessible by shore, truly make Bonaire the “shore diving capital” of the world. But this boomerang-shaped island, 24 miles (39 kilometers) long by five miles (8 kilometers) wide, also offers a variety of activities for those who do not dive.
The eastern mangroves, the “nursery of the reef”, are best discovered by kayak, while on the western part of the island, several caves are open for guided tours to explore this unknown and mystic side of Bonaire. Lac Bay in the south has near-perfect windsurfing conditions, making the area ideal for beginners and advanced windsurfers alike, whereas the hilly landscape in the north is every mountain biker’s dream. Klein Bonaire, a small deserted island a mile off Bonaire’s coast, is a well known turtle hatching area and its beaches and clear waters are ideal for snorkeling and sunbathing. Diving, kayaking, caving, snorkeling, mountain biking, wind- or kite-surfing, bird watching, hiking, or just relaxing and re-energizing from the real world’s stress: you name it and Bonaire will make it happen.
Constant trade winds from the east ensure a pleasant breeze over the 112-square mile (290 square kilometers) island. Although influenced by a dry climate, Bonaire has three distinctive land types. The central region is semi-arid, while the southern region is flat and wide open with a unique mangrove system and salt pans. The northern part is more green and hilly. With a height of 714 feet (218 meters), Brandaris is Bonaire’s highest point. An average annual rainfall of 22 inches (56 cm), an almost constant water temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), and a slightly higher air temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), makes Bonaire a pleasant environment in which to vacation.
Bonaire’s population is a rich mixture of several cultures and goes back to around 1000 AD, the era of the Awarak Indians, when the Caiquetios sailed across from what is now Venezuela. Traces of their culture still can be found on various archaeological sites. Today’s population is a direct result of slavery. Slaves were brought from Africa in the early 1600s. Historical landmarks from this dark period in the Dutch history are still visible on the island. Most eye-catching and impressive are, of course, the slave huts on the southern tip of the island. Although defined by diversity, Bonaire’s rich culture is heavily influenced by African elements. Songs and dances of the slaves, created to deal with their inhumane treatment, are kept alive by the people of Bonaire. African styles have been successfully mixed with cultural influences of the island’s occupants, such as the Spaniards and the Dutch. Friendliness and an almost pleasant shyness are the best ways to describe the persons behind the smiles for which Bonaireans are so famous.
While Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages, English is widely spoken by the majority on the island. The Antillean Florin, also called the Guilder, is the official currency and has a fixed ex-change rate against the US Dollar, which makes dollars widely accepted in shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels.
There is no public transportation system on the island and renting a car is highly recommended. Taxis are available at the airport or can be arranged by your hotel as well.
For many years, Bonaire’s government has played a leading role in preserving and protecting the nature on the island, both under and above the water. Most significant and well known, of course, is the Bonaire National Marine Park, initiated over thirty years ago at a time when marine parks were unknown. At the moment, the island is still a part of the Netherlands Antilles. However, Bonaire soon will have direct and special ties with The Netherlands itself, and thus guarantee even more than the island already enjoys: good education, justice, and a stable financial structure that serves the wellbeing of both Bonaire’s population and its visitors.
© Buddy Dive Resort
As of 2010, the Netherlands Antilles no longer exist; it was formerly a constituent state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The term is still used to describe the various islands in the Caribbean that were formerly Dutch colonial possessions. The Netherlands Antilles ceased to exsist on October 10, 2010.
The Netherlands Antilles consisted of the following islands:
 Lesser Antilles
 Leeward Islands
Sint Eustatius ***
Sint Maarten **
*Now a constituent state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (since 1986)
**Now a constituent state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (since 2010)
***Now a public body ("special municipality") fully integrated in the Netherlands (since 2010)