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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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August 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bonaire Update

from the August, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Our Caribbean Explorer writer has just returned after spending eight weeks in Bonaire and writes:

"I dived three days with East Coast Divers and had a blast. Owner Fred and his colleagues Martijn and Sid are warm, helpful, and a lot of fun. The diving is a revelation if all you've done is the leeward coast. The reefs are lush and pristine, and there are lots of big animals like eagle rays, stingrays, and turtles, as well as species one rarely sees on the west coast (like hogfish and queen triggerfish). It's rough, but they have the dives down to a science.

"The island is changing, and in ways that are not always for the best. The new Tui resort at Sunset Beach, an all-inclusive low-end Dutch resort called Chogogo, has eight ugly buildings that can hold over 800 tourists. The developers illegally dumped sand to expand the beach. Next door, a resort is being developed that might be five stories high (nothing on the island goes beyond four). The local government is divided about whether to grant this fifth story, but it seems likely to happen based on the past. Captain Don's Habitat is expanding with four buildings that will hold 86 more divers. Karel's Beach Bar downtown is expanding its dock enormously, another project that public outcry halted, but it's now underway. At least three large resorts/condo buildings are under construction south of town in Belnem. I can't help but worry about how the island's infrastructure, already taxed, will support so much water, sewage, and electricity use. A new tourist tax - adults must pay US$75, either online or upon arrival - may help fund such things as road repair.

"While the government says no more than two cruise ships per day are permitted, in November-March we have seen three at once. Though the cruise ship business may bring wealth to a few, cruisers seem more like a plague than a boon."

- A.E.L.

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