Hi! I am planning a trip with my husband and another couple in the first 2 weeks of November. We all love to snorkel, none of us have ever dived. We stumbled across Bonaire as it is out of the hurricane belt so seems to fit with our available vacation time. I have done some research and have a few questions. As a little background, we are all in our late 20's, not into the nightclub/ cancun type of vacation but do appreciate good restaurants, local music in the evening, beach bars, or just hanging around playing cards. Bonaire seems to fit our pace from what I've read. That being said, these are my questions:
1. Is it ok to go in November? From what I've read, it is the rainy season but that just means brief downpours. Is there any reason not to go at this time of year?
2. Accomodations- We are going for 2 weeks and could either stay at the same place both weeks or split the time between 2 facilities. We want to stay somewhere with a kitchen, pool, and snorkelling out front. Would it be good to stay 2 places to get a better idea of the island or are all the dive/snorkelling spots accessable even if you are not staying at the facility in front of the reef?
It'd be nice to stay somewhere w/ a knowlegable person at least for the first week to get an idea of where to go. We do plan to do a couple guided tours by boat also (perhaps Woodwinds?) and get the book that lists spots. Buddy Dive is a bit expensive for us, Eden and the Plaza seem to be invaded by cruise ships. I've read reviews and from what I can tell the following places seem to meet our standards: Bellafonte, Belmar, Sand Dollar, Captain Don's, Den Laman. Any reason to cross any of the following off our lists or choose one over the other (i.e. better reef, etc)?
3. Diving- none of us have ever done it. We all think we may try it but that would require about a week of vacation to get certified. Is Bonaire a good place to learn? Are most of the diving sites just as good for snorkelling or are they too deep? I'm pretty sure I'd be happy just reading, snorkelling, and exploring but would appreciate feedback as we are toying with the idea of diving.
Responses to any of my MANY questions would be appreciated. Any other advice anyone has is also appreciated!