Jun 5, 12, 8:14 pm
Interested in recommendations for anyone who's recently been to Bonaire, especially for:
1. Best snorkeling spots (have heard that some of the coral near shore has suffered from the hurricane in 2008)
2. How problematic the mosquitoes are--hear many people get bitten even when using repellent. And a bit worried about dengue fever risk...
We're regular Bonaire visitors (10 times in the last 15 years.) Our current schedule is an annual visit for 3 weeks over the winter holidays, but we've also visited in spring and summer. We're primarily divers, but also enjoy snorkeling too.
You've heard correctly about coral damage. While Bonaire is located south of the traditional "hurricane belt", waves created from storms farther north sometimes reach her shores. The most significant storms affecting Bonaire in recent years were hurricane Lenny in 1999 and tropical storm Omar in 2008. In both cases the waves arrived during a wind reversal, which allowed them to batter the normally leeward western coastline... which is where most divers and snorkelers play.
Lenny and Omar did significant damage to shallow corals in many areas. But coral is recovering and there are plenty of places where coral wasn't damaged. You just have to look for them or ask the locals.
Bonaire does have mosquitoes. They are most prolific and active from November through March, which is Bonaire's rainy season. Some (but not all) of Bonaire's mosquitoes carry dengue, so there is some risk.
We regularly use repellent with 25% DEET and stay in accommodations with screened windows, and haven't had any problems.
If you decide to visit Bonaire I highly recommend Beachcomber Villas. Feel free to PM me if you'd like additional details.