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View Full Version : seeking your opinion, again, what would be a better vehicle fit?



lorimich
08-24-2012, 10:10 AM
Hi everyone,

I would like your opinion on what would best suit our needs as far as a rental goes. This is our first trip to Bonaire and I've been told to rent a truck - but here's the catch, we aren't planning on driving and diving. We snorkel and would only do a dive accompanied by a dive master. Outside of making a couple of trips to the state park to see it and snorkel it, we only want to drive up and down the island to snorkel. Would we really need a truck?

Last question, we have amex and have been reading how we can use amex's insurance and that will save on rental expenses. Is it worth it to find a agency that accepts it? We would be renting for 2 weeks.

Thanks for your time and input,
~Lori

kob
08-24-2012, 10:27 AM
If you are planning to go to Slagbaai park, you will need a truck ... no question. The roads inside the park are dirt and sometimes heavily rutted. The rental trucks are mostly small pickups (Toyota Hilux would be common) and stick shift. You can sometimes find small Suzuki SUV's, which may be more to your liking, but they will also be stick shift.

Even some of the dive/snorkel sites have parking areas that are more suitable to trucks.

Have a great trip !!

thom
08-24-2012, 11:01 AM
I second the truck requirement. I went through Slagbaai once, won't do it again. That road is hell on tires. Of course, it's hell on the whole truck as well. True, the truck is a rental but, I won't abuse someone else's truck anymore than I would my own.

ModCecil
08-24-2012, 12:26 PM
Trust us, rent a truck you will be thankfull. Just snorkeling you still need someplace to toss the wet stuff, the other options are just not as good. There's many other reasons but that should be sufficient. There's no real downside, they are always four door extended cab pickups, so you have a backseat to toss stuff you want to keep dry.

ModCecil
08-24-2012, 12:29 PM
Well...they do drive like trucks.

Tom
08-24-2012, 12:43 PM
Gotta go with the truck. To address something else in your post that wasn't part of your question: You said you would only do dives with a DM, is there a serious reason for this, or just lack of experience? If the latter I bet you'll find you want to reconsider part way through your trip. Diving doesn't get much easier than in Bonaire!

lorimich
08-24-2012, 07:20 PM
only do dives with a DM, is there a serious reason for this, or just lack of experience? If the latter I bet you'll find you want to reconsider part way through your trip. Diving doesn't get much easier than in Bonaire!

Yes, it's experience. I never dove without a dive master & group before and it's been a few years since I've dove. Better safe than sorry~

randl
08-24-2012, 08:38 PM
I'll second (or third or fourth) the truck. Slagbaai might be tough on tires but it's part of the Bonaire experience. It's a beautiful, unspoiled expanse that you shouldn't miss. There's just no other way to get there. You won't need a truck for all but a few roads but trucks are well-suited to the swim and drive experience. Try to rent an older model pickup that has all the scratches it's going to get. Otherwise, branches with thorns can reach out every so often and mar a new vehicle to the point that you might be charged for the "damage."

Tom
08-25-2012, 10:43 PM
Yes, it's experience. I never dove without a dive master & group before and it's been a few years since I've dove. Better safe than sorry~

Given that it definitely makes sense to start the week doing guided dives, but while doing them take the time to do some navigation/planning yourself, and pay attention to where you are and what you're doing - all things that are easy to ignore/leave in others hands while doing guided dives. If you are proactive about this I'd almost guarantee you that you get the confidence to venture out on your own at some point during the week. Bonaire is about the easiest place to tackle this.

Then you could really experience one of the things that people love that place for - the freedom! Of course if you have no interest of going this way, disregard what I'ave said. I just wouldn't want someone to go all this way and unnecessarily limit their experience!

lorimich
08-26-2012, 08:56 AM
Given that it definitely makes sense to start the week doing guided dives, but while doing them take the time to do some navigation/planning yourself, and pay attention to where you are and what you're doing - all things that are easy to ignore/leave in others hands while doing guided dives. If you are proactive about this I'd almost guarantee you that you get the confidence to venture out on your own at some point during the week. Bonaire is about the easiest place to tackle this.


Hi,
No, advice is always welcome, and perhaps we will feel that way once we're experiencing Bonaire and it's ease for diving. We will be taking a refresher course before arriving as well.
Thank you again.
Lori

AlbertA
08-27-2012, 08:26 AM
I visited Slagbaai the other week and the roads were much better now. I drove a truck, but there were a couple "normal" cars like Suzuki Swift going through without problems.