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Bonaire

Dive Conditions:
Bonaire's pristine reefs and diverse marine life are unique to the Caribbean. The waters are exceptionally clear of silt, calm, and diveable year round. Water temperatures average a warm 78-84F (25.6-28.9C), with visibility averaging over 100 feet (30m), and frequently reaching up to 150 feet (50m).

Dive Orientation:
One of the Bonaire Marine Park Regulations is for all visitors to do a check-out dive as part of the briefing process before taking off on their own to shore dive or going on a dive boat. Also, every diver on Bonaire must purchase a Marine Park Tag valid for one calendar year. Orientation procedures vary from dive center to dive center, so it's a good idea to check in early. The cost of the tag is US$25, and proceeds help support park management and services.

The Bonaire Marine Park:
The fringing reef which surrounds Bonaire is a National Marine Park from the high water mark down to a depth of 200 feet/ 60m .

Drinking Water:
Bonaire's sea water is distilled and purified to become one of the purest drinking waters in the world. Imported bottled water is also available.

Electricity:
127 volt, 50 cycle. 220 volt is also available at some resorts. Most U.S. appliances will work. Dive shops and resorts have stations for guest use for charging camera batteries, etc. It is recommended that you use them to avoid damage to delicate equipment.

Language:
Papiamentu (local language), Dutch, English and Spanish.

Location:
Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of Venezuela. The island, one of the lesser Antilles islands, is about 24 miles (39 km) long and about 3-7 miles (5-11 km) wide with an area of 112 square miles (290 km2) and a population of some 12.500.

Medical Facilities:
San Francisco Hospital has 60 beds and is fully equipped to respond to any emergency. Bonaire has its own recompression chamber, with trained medical personnel, on call 24 hours a day. There are 7 medical doctors on the island.

Recompression Chamber:
In case of a diving accident or emergency, Bonaire has one of the Caribbean's best staffed recompression chamber located near the San Francisco Hospital Emergency Room.

Mainstreet:
Located downtown Kralendijk and only a 10 minutes drive from the Airport, and 5 minutes from Blue Divers.

Passport
U.S. and Canadian citizens need proof of citizenship, a passport, birth certificate or voters registration card. U.S. residents need their green card. All other require a valid passport. A return or continuing ticket is also required along with sufficient means to support yourself during your stay. Maximum stay: 14 days with the possibility of extending the visit to 90 days.

Telephone:
If you're calling Bonaire from the U.S. or Canada, you would dial 011-599-7XX-XXXX, where 011 is the International access code, 599 is the country code for the Netherlands Antilles, 7 is the city code for Bonaire, and XX-XXXX is the local Bonairean number you want to reach. If you are calling Bonaire from Europe or most of the rest of the world, you would dial 00-599-7XX-XXXX using 00 for the international access code.

Temperature:
Average year round air temperature is 81.5 degrees Fahrenheit, with a +/- 2.5 degree seasonal variation, and an average daily variation of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The surrounding ocean's temperature fluctuates from a chilly 78 degrees in February to a balmy 86 degrees in October, for a year round average of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time:
Atlantic Standard Time. Same time as the United States East Coast during Daylight Savings Time (mid-Spring to mid-Fall).

Tipping:
Tipping is much the same as in the States. Some restaurants add a 10-15% service charge automatically. In Taxis generally a 10% tip is greatly apppreciated.

Which side of the road:
We drive on the right, the same as in the States and most of Europe.

Winds:
The wind direction is easterly more than 95% of the time, averaging 12 knots. This is 15% lower than on Curacao, and 40% lower than on Aruba. The winds blow strongest in February, March, and June. Lightest winds are in November. The wind rarely exceeds 39 knots.