Frequently Asked Questions
I’d like to get into the water as quickly as possible, can you help me?
Yes, please use our Express Check In:
- Download our form. Liability Release
- Print it, fill it in on your way here, and bring it with you. Please do not email it to us.
- Bring your certification card (and Nitrox card if you want to use Nitrox)
- $40 for the Bonaire Marine Park tag (card only)
- Bring a credit card for an authorization (not AmEx)
- Stop by at least 1 hour prior to closing for your marine park orientation and buoyancy check.
We’ll get you checked in, give you the marine park orientation, and then supervise your required buoyancy check. We’ll have you in the water in no time. To see a map of locations and hours visit our Locations page.
If you are going to be taking a course with us please download this , fill it out to ensure that you are fit to dive. If you answer “yes” to certain questions, you need to have a signed medical statement from a doctor prior to in-water training. Medical Statement
Bonaire is a small island located in the southern Caribbean, and it is truly unique in the world. It’s as if this tiny island was made just for diving and snorkeling as, from virtually any place on the leeward coastline, you can enter the beautiful Caribbean Sea and dive! No other island in the Caribbean has so many unrestricted shore dive sites. Steep walls, sloping drop-offs, exciting wrecks and last, but not least, the double reef system, which will take your breath away. For over 20 years,
Bonaire has maintained dedication to protecting its natural beauty and environment. The Bonairean people declared the waters around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, an underwater marine park.
Why Dive Friends Bonaire?
Dive Friends Bonaire has been providing quality dive services and education since 2002. We pride ourselves on making all of our guests feel like they are visiting with friends while we help them to enjoy their dive vacation. All of our convenient locations are staffed with friendly, professional, and helpful divers. As a PADI Instructor Development Center, we like to think of ourselves as an Institute of Higher Dive Learning and that makes a big difference for our international dive crew. They choose to work at Dive Friends because they have the opportunity to continue with their professional dive training and careers.
Where can I find a complete price list?
Most of our prices can be found on our Price List page. You can also to download a full price list. click here
What if I’ve never been shore diving before?
No problem! We have our very own PADI Shore Diver Distinctive Specialty. You can learn the ropes with one of our instructors as your guide.
I’ve been to Bonaire many times, what can you offer that’s new and different?
We promise that you will not be bored. We offer several unique courses such as the Shore Diver Specialty, Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty, Ostracod Night Diver Specialty Lionfish Hunter Specialty and more. Visit our Courses page for more information.
What do you mean by unlimited shore diving?
When can I pick up and drop off tanks?
You can pick up tanks at our dive shop locations from 8am to 5pm. If you’re planning a night dive or a dawn dive, you should pick up your tank during business hours. You can drop off empty tanks any time, also after business hours.
I have a DIN regulator, can I use it?
Yes! Our tanks have International/Yoke connections. You can use your DIN regulator with a DIN adaptor. We have DIN adaptors available for rental, $4 per day, and we also have them available to purchase in our retail store.
I need a smaller tank, do you have them?
We have 63 cu ft tanks in both air and Nitrox available at our locations. But we cannot guarantee there will always be plenty availability. If you need a different size tank than a regular, please mention this while making your reservation. When you want to pick up a small tank, it’s best to do so at one of our locations which has a compressor: Hamlet Oasis, Sand Dollar and Port Bonaire.
Can I take more than one tank for shore diving at a time?
Yes, of course you may. Any registered diver may take a maximum of 2 tanks per person. Return those empty tanks and you can pick up two more. We have eight locations on the island and there is always a location nearby to change and pick up tanks.
Are weights, weight belts, and tanks all included in the unlimited air packages?
Yes, they are included with all diving packages.
How much for Nitrox?
The price for Nitrpx is the same as for air. You need to be Nitrox certified. If you are not certified, we can easily arrange the course for you when you are on island. The price for 6 days unlimited shore diving is $210 (air/nitrox) and $38 for 1 day unlimited shore diving.
What % and do you have an analyzer?
Our Nitrox tanks are around 32% and we have an analyzer at each of our Nitrox sign out stations at all eight of our dive locations.
How do you decide where the boat is going to go?
Our boats will take you to dive sites that are inaccessible by shore. Dive sites are chosen on the day of the dive, depending on conditions and the diver’s preferences. For boat dives, we visit dive sites both at Klein Bonaire and up North.
Do you offer private boat services?
What is the Bonaire National Marine Park?
The Bonaire National Marine Park was established in 1979 to protect and manage the island’s natural, cultural and historical resources, while allowing ecologically sustainable use, for the benefit of future generations. The Park starts at the high water mark and extends to 200 ft (60 meters) of depth; it covers an area of 6672 acres, or 27 km².
You’ll need to purchase a marine park tag before entering the water. We sell them at each of our dive centers. You can also pay for it online. Click here. It’s $40 for divers and $40 for other users. You’ll need to pay by card.
If you are diving you will first need to complete a marine park orientation with a buoyancy check which can be done from Yellow Submarine, Dive Inn, Sand Dollar, and Hamlet Oasis at least 1 hour before closing. To see a map of locations and hours visit our Locations page.
Please leave your gloves, chemical glow sticks, and spear guns at home. They are not allowed in the park.
For additional information about the Bonaire National Marine Park, visit stinapabonaire.org
Do I need to do a Marine Park Orientation?
Yes, it is required of everyone even if you have been diving on Bonaire before but we promise to make it quick and easy.
When can we do our buoyancy check and orientation?
What sets us apart from other dive operations is that Dive Friends Bonaire can provide you with an orientation briefing at any time and most locations during normal business hours. Your buoyancy check can be done at Hamlet Oasis, Retail & Dive, Yellow Submarine, Dive Inn and Delfins Beach between 8 AM and 4 PM. If you stay at Sand Dollar, you can do the orientation and buoyancy check there. To see a map of our locations, please visit our Locations page.
I’m travelling with a non-diver, what can they do on Bonaire?
We can assure you that they won’t lack for something to do! They have many different things from which to choose. They can:
- Relax on the beach
- Go snorkeling or freediving
- Rent a kayak or paddle board
- Try windsurfing
- Kayak and snorkel through mangroves
- Shop for souvenirs
- Try Kite boarding
- Visit the donkey sanctuary
- Drive through Washington Slagbaai National Park
- Explore one of Bonaire Caves
- Visit a goat farm
- Play a round of golf or mini golf
Contact us for more information.
I don’t have a buddy, can you help me find one?
Yes, we have several different options for you.
- Pre-book a guided shore dive to get in the water right away and take care of your buoyancy check.
- Sign up for a boat dive for two guided dives and a great way to meet other divers.
Write your name and contact info on our “Looking for a buddy” board at Yellow Submarine, Hamlet Oasis, and Dive Inn.
- Sign up for a course. Even if you are a very experienced diver, we offer a wide range of training; you get an instructor as a buddy, and a new certification card.
- Join the “Buddy Bonaire” WhatApp group.
Can you recommend a good place to stay?
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept US$ currency, debit/PIN card, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
It’s been a while since I’ve been diving, do I need to do a refresher?
If you have not been diving for 1-8 years, or are new to bonaire, we recommend or sometimes require you do a Discover Local Diving program of half a day. After 8 years of not diving we require you to do the Open Water course again with us to refresh your dive skills, without having to sit through all the theory classes again.
I would like to learn to dive, how does it work?
If you want to become a diver, then you have to complete an open water course. The open water course is a great, fun, and instructive course. The PADI Open Water Diver course is, by far, the world’s most popular scuba certification course. Learning to scuba dive requires both knowledge development (theory, academics) and practical experience (skills, techniques). The course consists of three full days, although in some cases, a fourth day may be required. After completing the requirements, you’ll be a certified diver and you’re allowed to dive with a buddy to a maximum depth of 18 meters/60 feet.
Do I need a truck to get around Bonaire?
It’s not really necessary to have a truck, but if you want to do shore diving then you will want to have one. Of course, it’s also handy to have a rental vehicle when you wish to see our beautiful island, its nature, and other attractions. Bonaire is known for the easy shore diving, so you can dive any time you want. Just put the tanks in the truck and go diving where you wish.
What should I do in case of an emergency?
If you’re planning on doing some independent shore diving, we’re sure that like any well prepared diver–you’ll make an emergency plan. You can find emergency oxygen and first aid kits at all eight of our dive center locations and on our boats. We also have AEDs at all locations. When you check in, we can show you on the island map where the hospital and hyperbaric chambers are.
For your peace of mind, here are a few important phone numbers and locations that we think that you should know:
- Ambulance: 911 or 912
- San Francisco Hospital: +599 715 8900 (center of Kralendijk)
- Bonaire Recompression Chamber: across the street from the San Francisco Hospital in the center of Kralendijk. +599 785 1057 (only during treatment)
- Dive Doctors: +599 717 7140 (Centro Medico Central/Dr. van der Vaart) or +599 700 5230 (Dr. Roeters/Dive Medical Bonaire) or +599 784 5181 (Dr Lucia Eineida Rodrigues) or +599 796 2227 (Dr Nicholson/Bon Bida-Dive Fit)
If anything in your medical history has changed since you were last diving, it’s a good idea to have a dive checkup. One can be conveniently arranged when you are on-island at Dive Medical Bonaire.
How long should I wait after diving before flying?
In order to get to Bonaire, you have to get on to a plane. We encourage our guests to read the current guidelines from PADI, as follows:
For Dives within the No-Decompression Limits:
Single Dive: A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours is suggested.
Repetitive Dives and/or Multi-Day Dives: A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested.
For Dives requiring decompression stops:
A minimum pre-flight surface interval of greater than 18 hours is suggested.