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Travel Blogs from Kralendijk
Bonaire - Bonaire is a fairly small (116 square miles), sparsely populated (15,000 people) island in the southern Caribbean. It's part of the "ABC Islands" - Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. It sits 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The island is very dry (~18 inches of rain per year) and is covered with cacti and thorny plants. It also has no real …
Being from New Mexico, we have a definite affinity for deserts. We like the desert itself, but also the clear air and blue skies that go along with that type of environment; this is also the case with Bonaire. Bonaire is covered with cacti. You can't walk 10 feet through the native landscape without your way being blocked by VERY spiny vegetation. …
We stayed at Buddy Dive Resort just north of the main town of Kralendijk. It's a nice place, though not fancy, and reasonably priced. Bonaire is not a particularly cheap place to stay or eat. They have to import everything, and there isn't a lot of infrastructure. When we were there 5 years ago, we stayed at the Plaza Resort, which is the largest …
This was the primary purpose for our trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed the diving. There are unspoiled reefs teeming with life, no crowds, perfect weather, 80oF water, calm seas, and no current to speak of. The best thing about it is the easy diving access. Shore diving is very rare most places, and it makes Bonaire very special. You can dive all up …
... we were able to find more of Emily’s white lacy nudibranchs.
Next we went to the lake/Hilma Hooker. Colin wanted to go back to the wreck since he was distracted by his leaking BCD when we were there a few days ago. The entry at the lake wasn’t bad, but it was a significantly long swim out to the bouy. We had the obligatory barracuda on the wreck and the night sergeant who bit me was in the same location.
We finished ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Buddy Dive Kralendijk
My husband and I were scheduled for a dive vacation in Cozumel the week of October 22-29, but Hurricane Wilma decided to pay a visit there. With the help of Caradonna Dive Adventures and the cooperation of Buddy Dive Resort, we were able to make last minute (Friday, October 21) plans to spend the same week in Bonaire. Kudos to Donna at Caradonna for arranging a problem-free itinerary on very short notice...and putting together a package that cost no more than the ones scheduled months in advance! Even though we effectively dodged Wilma, Alpha went past Bonaire the Sunday morning after we arrived...shutting down the resort's dock and doing some damage to it in the process. Quick work after the waves died down had the dock repaired and ready for business by Monday afternoon.
Buddy Dive Resort, as the name suggests, caters to divers...and they do it very well. The rooms have kitchen and living areas as well as a bedroom, so they are comfortable place to spend your surface interval and refuel for the next dive. There are sometimes minor problems with the rooms, but repair and maintenance are constant demands at any location. The dive operation is accomodating and friendly. The Bella Vista restaurant serves an excellent breakfast buffet and the Lion's Den serves great dinners. Be sure to make reservations for "Lobster Night" on Tuesday! A couple of times each week, the resort has a theme night with dinner on the beach. The casual atmosphere of the entire place makes it easy to get acquainted with other guests and with the staff.
Although we had been a bit apprehensive about visiting Bonaire because of reports of crime on the island, we've had no unpleasant experiences. I leave most of my dive gear in the gear room when I don't have it in the water, and nothing has been stolen. Buddy Dive seems to have a good security system. If you follow the recommendations for the rental vehicles, there should be no problems with those. Basically, leave unattended vehicles empty and unlocked with windows open when outside the resort.
If you are a non-diver in search of an elegant, bug-free vacation...go somewhere else. However, if your idea of a great vacation is lots of diving in a casual, tropical setting...Buddy Dive is a great choice.
The location of Buddy Dive couldn't be better! Close proximity to Klein, great house reef & close to town. The resort is really all about diving. Non divers could probably find a better place to stay in Bonaire. Divemasters were good at finding frogfish, seahorses, etc. Boats were really crowded, but one of their main boats was being repaired. Bare necessities in the rooms and the grocery store in town is marginal, at best. Next time down we'll bring some food with us - slim pickings in the stores. Buddy's restaurant was lousy - food and wait staff. Lion's Den restaurant is wonderful! Best food we had on the island and great service!
Get down to the scuba shop as close to the boat dive times every day in order to get your name on the board for the next day's diving. We noticed a group of "been here befores" that would take up more than half of the alloted spaces for all boat dives. It was actually hard to sign up my husband and myself for 6 boat dives in 7 days. Next time we won't do that many boat dives - You won't see much more than you will on the house reef. Talk with other divers regarding the shore diving and you'll get lots of usefull info from most of them.
The shore dives are so much fun! We teamed up with a couple of divers we met at Buddy's and found the illusive "pink" frogfish on one of the reefs. Nice spotted eagle ray down near the salt pier, too.
Night diving at the house reef is the best! 6'6" tarpon named "Charlie" honed in on our dive! He used our flashlights to hunt, so he swam around us, between us, under us, etc. He's huge - if you see him, you'll know it's him by his size - the other tarpons look like babies next to him! Our other "dive buddy" was a large hawksbill turtle who seemed to enjoy watching us watch him. One tip to help you find your way back to the right mooring is to put a blinking light on the mooring as you start the dive. It makes it a lot easier to return to the right resort!
If I could make just one suggestion to the management at Buddy's it would be to encourage their staff to be more pleasant to their guests and tell them to put smiles on their faces once in a while! Otherwise, it's a really great dive resort.
First Time at Buddy Dive
We stayed at Buddy Dive in January, 2005. We shared a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other couples. Accommodations were very nice compared to other diving resorts we've stayed at on other caribbean islands in the past. Both pools were very clean. Dinners at the Lion's Den Restaurant (which is now part of Buddy Dive) were excellent! The staff were for the most part very friendly and helpful. The only issue we had (a very minor issue I might add) is that if you use wash cloths to bathe with, most of the staff do not seem to know what they are, and the resort doesn't seem to have any, so bring your own.
Jan 15-22/05 Wonderful week of diving in Bonaire! The reefs are immaculate and prolific fish life. Literally like swimming in an aquarium surrounded by schools of large (nice surprise!) and small fish. My first time back in 8 years, so it was a real treat! I don't think I'll dive anywhere else! Buddy Dive is a large operation - they have just bought out Lions Dive Resort right next door. We were much happier to stay at Lions Dive, over the Buddy Dive condos. Great fixing up going on - our unit (508) was spotlessly clean and good location just down the garden path from the pool. This property is surrounded by beautiful plants and gardens. Very pretty! Busy dive operation - many boats back and forth, but efficient and professional dive operation. Not as personal as it could be, due to the large resort size, but I believe they are trying their best. All their staff work very hard to please everyone. Hats off to Hagen - one of the best dive guides I have encountered in 15 years of diving. Also to Ian and Frank. Great job gentlemen! Keep up the good work! Buddy Dive is being renovated and improved this year as well, apparently. We plan on returning in 2006! If you have any questions, just ask!
I was a guest at Buddy Dive Resort from October 30, 2004 to November 6, 2004. It was a wonderful dive vacation. The diving was very good and quite convenient. The resort was above average and the staff was EXCELLENT! The only downside (but not a big deal) was the restaurant. I would rate it as average, both food and staff. All-in-all, perfect for the diving enthusiast and I would definitely do it again.
I lovvvveeee buddy dive to death. ---
i love buddy dive becuz their nice n nice n nice n did i say nice?!! lol if u wanna have a good time in bonaire, buddy dive is the place. i guarentee it. 2 swimmin pools, practicly ur own house, balconies, bar (i only buy virgin drinks) (i'm 14), great sevices 2, n the suites r awesome too. check it out n c for ur self! toodles poodles! lol -<3- ya leah
Loved Buddy Dive
We stayed at Buddy Dive over Christmas and New Year Holidays ( 2003-2004). The staff of the entire resort was exceptionally friendly and helpful. In our opinion, the dive operation is the best on the island. We do plan to stay again this upcoming Christmas. We agree with another reviewer of Buddy Dive, in that, the apartments/condos could use some updating. However; compared to another resort we stayed at in 2002 ( Capt. Dons), BUDDY DIVE RESORT IS GREAT!!!!!
Hotel is old and rooms need renovations!!
Buddy Dive needs updating. We were there in Sept 2003. We paid around $160 per night for a one bedroom apartment that was no better than a poor quality Motel 8. Our room only had A/C in the bedroom, and it would shut off in the night. Our shower had no shower curtain and the bathroom was very dirty (which I can't stand!) Our mattress was SO hard that I couldn't sleep at night. I wanted to leave the first night we checked in. There is also NO beach at Buddys. THe pool is above ground and is also dirty. The only good thing I can say about it is that the dive operation seems the most complete on the island. Having been to Bonaire, I would say stay at a nice hotel (The Harbor Village and Plaza resort are the ONLY hotels with beaches on the island). I would recommend Harbour Village above all others, but if $ is an issue atay at Lion's Resort or Sand Dollar Condos which are within walking distance of Buddys. You can always stay somewhere else and just buy the dive package with Buddys. All the hoelts on the Island are within 2 miles of each other so it isn't a problem to drive somewhere. Also - it isn't worth it to buy any boat dives. We bought 6 boat dives and 5/6 of them were places we could have driven to. Hope this helps!!
Fantastic and friendly
I've stayed three times at Buddy dive and several at other Bonaire destinations. Buddy is friendly, small enough that they get to know you, and very eager to please. Drive-thru fill station for tanks is tops, and the Island is easy with a relaxed air. Heading back to Buddy dive soon!
Buddy Dive is a Divers Paradise, Friendly and efficient staff. They understand convience for the divers.
The Diving in Bonaire is awesome and the Staff at Buddy Dive was very friendly and helpful. It was truly the best dive vacation we've had so far. They understand that divers want to dive and make everything so convientant. No Hassel or problems.