If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

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E_Mo
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If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by E_Mo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

So I am planning a trip next year... maybe Octoberish and looking at either Bonaire or Belize. Anyone have feedback of one over the other?

I hear Bonaire may have better sites... but Belieze you tend to get more bang for your buck (set at 2$BZ to every 1$US)

I've seen in other posts that Bonaire has some fierce mosquitos... but Belieze in October is the middle of hurricane season...
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Grateful Diver
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by Grateful Diver » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:45 am

E_Mo wrote:So I am planning a trip next year... maybe Octoberish and looking at either Bonaire or Belize. Anyone have feedback of one over the other?

I hear Bonaire may have better sites... but Belieze you tend to get more bang for your buck (set at 2$BZ to every 1$US)

I've seen in other posts that Bonaire has some fierce mosquitos... but Belieze in October is the middle of hurricane season...

I've been to both places ... and I'd choose Bonaire over Belize. But it depends on what you want.

Bonaire is better if you want to just dive, dive, dive ... shore access means dive anytime. Belize is all boat diving ... at least, the part I visited (Ambergris Caye) was like that. You go diving when and where the boats go ... which is usually in the morning.

Belize will offer you the opportunity for more non-diving activities, and some nice beaches if that's your thing. You can take a deco day and go visit Mayan ruins, or find other fun non-diving activities.

Belize gives you more opportunities for diving with nurse sharks and sting rays ... or snorkeling with them at Hol Chan if that's your thing (a nice afternoon activity).

If you just want to dive your face off, there's no place quite like Bonaire. If you want more laid-back pace, and more variety of activities, then Belize is probably a better choice ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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60south
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by 60south » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:39 pm

I've been to both places too, and I think Bob about summed it up -- depends on what you want.

Note that some parts of Belize also have fierce mosquitoes. Ambergris is the only place in the world where I couldn't see down a road because the air was so thick with 'em. (I ran back to the beach and walked there, preferring the sand fleas.)

That said, I've been hankerin' to get out to Caye Caulker for years...

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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by BASSMAN » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:20 pm

I've only been to Bonaire and I'm going back, for a third trip in June. Are you taking any non-divers with you?
Bonaire could be a bit boring for a non-diver. I have no huge desire for Belize but I'm sure it has great vis and fun dives too!
The thought of going to Belize, "Blue Hole was on my bucket list at one time but after I heard it was a long boat trip and a deep dive on an aluminum 80. I kind of lost my desire.

Just my .02

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Hi, my name is Keith, and I'm a Dive Addict! :supz:

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oldsalt
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by oldsalt » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:28 am

Again, it is what you want. I loved the long boat trip to the Blue Hole. Flying fish, dolphins, sea birds. The boat wound through Terniffe Atoll where native fishermen fished from dugout canoes and rustic sloops. During the surface interval I hiked around the island with the lighthouse and saw nesting red-footed boobies. Several divers in my group huddled in the cabin and complained about the boat ride. While I dived Al 80's and was happy with it, there are tech diving operations out of Ambergris which provide any gear combination you want. I loved swimming through the stalagtites and seeing bull sharks cruising through the depths below. But then, I dived the fuel pier at Mukilteo yesterday and enjoyed that.
-Curt :rawlings:
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by lizard0924 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:51 pm

I suppose I'm slightly biased, but seriously...Bonaire is the shore diving capital of the universe. For good reason. There is nothing like deciding to hit a dive anytime you want, rather than to be beholden to a boat schedule. You get a truck, you get some tanks and - bam - you're in the water whenever you want. You want calm, chill diving? We've got it. Hankering for something a bit more challenging? Got that, too. Really want to get your adrenaline pumping? Go visit the East Coast on a windy day.

As for topside activities...there is a casino, beach bars to hang out at, or you can windsurf, kiteboard, kayak in the mangroves, paddleboard or horseback ride.

And please don't freak about the mosquitos. Yes, there are more here than in the PNW, but it is the tropics, after all. Bonaire doesn't have more - or less - biting bugs than any other tropical island I've ever been on. Oh...and we are so civilized now, you can buy bug spray almost everywhere. :)

Come to Bonaire first. Then go to Belize...if you even want to go anywhere else after diving here.

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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by dphershman » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:43 pm

I've been to both places twice. Belize is better for large critters (sharks, turtles, dolphins, groupers, eagle rays) while Bonaire is better for small creatures (frogfish, seahorses) and biodiversity. Sadly, lion fish have taken over both locales. For what it's worth, my nondiving spouse loves Belize much more than Bonaire. IMHO one can't go wrong with either!
Dan Hershman :smt024

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billandwende
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by billandwende » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:44 pm

Maybe you should ask you dive buddy? :smt064
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renoun
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by renoun » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:34 pm

I haven't been to either location but based on my extensive cyber diving experience I do have one point for you to ponder. As far as I can tell because Northwest divers are blessed with an abundance of excellent shore diving we consider a boat dive a rare treat. Even on a boat dive we typically dive our own plan as a buddy team and guided dives are rather unusual here. I think that there is a large segment of divers from here that find group dives lead by a DM to be a bit stifling, especially when the weakest member of the group (who may not have dove since their last vacation) limits your bottom time. If it is important to be able to do your own thing, and possibly dive a whole lot, perhaps the DIY shore diving on Bonair with a pickup truck full of tanks is just what you are looking for.
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by ldevore » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:18 pm

Renoun has a point. I've been to both locations and agree with all the above posts. My experience in Belize is that you always dive with a guide. Once they figure out that you can dive well, they pretty much leave you alone, as long as you loosely stay with the group. However, if you really want to do your own thing, it can be little bit limmiting.

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60south
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Re: If you had to choose... Bonaire... or Belize?

Post by 60south » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:47 pm

So, E_Mo... What did you decide? Inquiring minds (read: nosy) want to know!
:)

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