An intrepid group of divers enjoyed a week at the Plaza Resort in beautiful Bonaire in the southern Caribbean. Bonair offers a stunning reef-lined coast protected by Bonaire National Marine Park. Known for incredible scuba diving locations around the island, the Plaza Resort offers all-inclusive getaways where you can enjoy nature and ecotourism both above and below the water. From beautiful beaches to sparkling pools, culinary adventures, and of course, some of the best scuba diving in the South Caribbean, a trip to Bonaire with Crystal River Watersports is sure to delight and this trip was no exception!
Upon arrival, the staff treats you as family and you are quickly shuttled from the airport to registration to your room and in the blink of an eye you’re able to get settled. Quickly unloading your dive gear into the locker room for easy storage, the Crystal River Watersports group received a quick tour and briefing on the dive procedures for unlimited air and nitrox cylinders for the week. A great value for any dive enthusiast looking to make the most of their time on this tropical island.
The cuisine was wonderful with 3 buffet meals and beverages of choice available throughout the stay at the resort’s Tipsy Seagull restaurant. There were also snacks and short order items from the Palm Beach Pool Bar for any-time munchies from 10AM through midnight. Great food and drinks were never far away, and it added to the enjoyment of the vacation.
While the Plaza Resort is a wonderful place to stay, the underwater world is always the star of Bonaire. We opted to have the two morning boat dives so we could explore more sites and have easy entry and exits. The staff truly works as a team and treated us well. With a safety conscious focus, they allow you to do your own dives if you are more experienced, and you also have the option to follow the divemaster. Mike, owner of Crystal River Watersports said, “I always follow the divemaster because they know where the really cool things are!” and most of our group agreed. We saw a lot of free swimming eels, some of the largest green morays ever, multiple seahorses, conch, garden eels and the many species of fish for which Bonaire is world renown. It was a truly magical experience for sea-lovers to participate in.
The Dive Sites
Bonaire is known for its dive locations, with divers frequently completing “century dives” – dives where they identify 100 species on a single dive! Invisibles always greets with a large field of garden eels and the usual spectacular wall dive. Some fellow divers saw a spotted eagle ray. We were greeted by three seahorses at the Salt Pier and then given a farewell by an octopus.
The boat ride over to Klein Bonaire was nice and offered some great dives as well. Did we mention free swimming green morays during the day? They were out almost daily and one even swam with us for what seemed like forever on the night dive at Salt Pier. How cool!
Stoney Coral disease is hitting the sanctuary and STINAPA had them color coded by the amount of disease present. Red being most severe and Green not having any disease present. The dive staff monitored the status and set your plan so that we minimized any potential contamination, never going Yellow to Green or Red to Yellow. Bleach wash tanks were readily available and were sometimes on the boat, so you could soak your gear on the ride in (and get to lunch even sooner).
Staff was always accommodating on which site to visit or which might offer the best lionfish, nudibranchs or other critters. Having such a great group of staff to guide us throughout our vacation was truly a pleasure, and helped everyone get the most out of their dives.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Quincy. He is a 1-man tour de force at the Plaza Resort and takes care of all of the dive groups. Besides taking care of all of our dining needs, he ensured we were never without a full glass (and sometimes bottle). He took us on a driving tour of the island and was working to arrange a boat picnic on Klein Bonaire for another group as well, always the quintessential guide and host, making an incredible trip even more amazing.
The urge to return is already growing and we can’t wait until our 2024 visit to Plaza Resort and Toucan Divers. Are you interested in joining us? Well, what are you waiting for?!
Why Travel With Crystal River Watersports
Sure, you could book your dive vacation on your own, and while our packages don’t include entry taxes and fees, gratuities or airfaire, there’s a ton of benefits to booking with Crystal River Watersports. Meet new dive buddies, get a personal concierge at the resort (did we mention how amazing Quincy is?!), and you have a dedicated group lead to always assist you. You save over individual rates because we’re booking as a group. There’s even continuous education dive courses available, and non-divers are always welcome, too (at a reduced rate!)! Those are just a few of the reasons to book your next scuba trip with us.
With nearly a decade of experience hosting you as Crystal River Watersports, we’re thrilled to be able to offer these exciting scuba trip options in addition to our scuba tours departing from our dock right in Crystal River, Florida. Whether you’re looking for a quick scuba dive trip, or an international scuba vacation, contact us at (352)795-7033 for more information and to plan your next scuba trip with us!
Information about even more upcoming and past scuba trips can be found on our blog under the Scuba Trips category.