Bonaire Briefs: A Drone’s View of What’s New Around Island

Whether visitors are avid divers, snorkelers or explorers, Bonaire’s offerings cover the gamut of vacation experiences for almost everyone. Bonaire Briefs provides information to help make planning those vacations easy and fun.

Here’s a view from the top of the latest hotel developments, special programs, restaurants and newest activities that will help travelers as they get ready for their next trip to the Caribbean island of Bonaire.

Accommodation Insights

Bellafonte Bonaire is proud to announce that they have a brand new pier for guests to enjoy. The boutique oceanfront apartments’ new private pier provides direct access to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, and has cushioned lounge chairs lined up across the pier for guests to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the property. Bellafonte Bonaire also provides their guests with an onsite concierge, night time security and daily cleaning service. For more information visit www.bellafontebonaire.com, email gm@bellafontebonaire.com or call +599-717-7526. 

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn has just finished an expansion of its retail store. Now with a larger floor space, guests will find it easier to locate all of the items they’ll need for a diving and snorkeling vacation. The store, which is part of the resort, features a great selection of dive equipment including BCDs, dive computers, regulators, booties and more. For more information visit www.caribinn.com and https://www.facebook.com/BruceBowkersCaribInn/.

Dreaming of a seaside massage or a total spa experience? Captain Don Habitat’s new Zen Spa offers indulgent spa packages for relaxation, wellness and rejuvenation. Couples can experience a romantic massage in the Sea Side Couples Cabana with breathtaking views and the sounds of the waves, or just relax while getting one of the spa’s facial options. For more information visit www.habitatbonaire.com, email cdh@maduro.com, call 1-800-327-6709 or WhatsApp +599-780-6272.

Relax, sail and sleep on a boat with Compass Bonaire’s new Beds on Board accommodations program. Stay on a sailboat, located at the Plaza Resort Bonaire Marina, which is right in the center of the island with a variety of restaurants close by. The boat, named Nawati, has three cabins that all have their own toilet and shower. The main salon is spacious with a full kitchen. For more information visit www.bedsonboard.com or email compassbonaire@gmail.com.
Earlier this year, Den Laman Condominiums and Sand Dollar Condominiums welcomed PADI 5 Star Dive Friends Bonaire as their new shared-property dive operator. Situated directly between the two condominium complexes, Dive Friends’ full service operation offers guests staying at either property 24/7 access to tanks for on and off property shore diving, gear rental and storage and boat dive departures from their dive dock. The dive boats depart from the dive dock mornings at 9:00am for 2-tank dives. With a minimum of six divers, there is also a 2:00pm one-tank afternoon option to dive Klein Bonaire. In addition to having these facilities at their disposal, Den Laman and Sand Dollar guests have the added benefit of being able to swap out tanks for shore diving at any of Dive Friends existing facilities at Yellow Submarine, Dive Inn, Port Bonaire and Hamlet Oasis. For more information visit www.denlaman.com, www.sanddollarbonaire.com; email reservations@denlaman.com, res@sanddollarbonaire.com; or call 1-800-382-1094 or 1-800-288-4773. 

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino recently announced that it will now make all-inclusive packages available to its guests, a first for the resort. The all-inclusive packages includes all food and drinks at three premium ocean view restaurants; accommodations, and a variety of activities including snorkeling, sunset yoga, salsa dancing lessons, live music and rum punch cocktail parties. Families with children ages 12 and under can take advantage of Divi Resorts’ Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free program as well as their complimentary Treasures of the Caribbean Kids’ Club. For more information visit www.diviresorts.com/divi-flamingo-all-inclusive.htm.

Piet Boon Villas is pleased to announce that they have transformed their three garden villas in to one large villa by connecting all of the villas together via their gardens. The villa can host up to 24 guests, and offers a variety of amenities including three swimming pools, private chef, yoga instructor, massage therapist and more. For more information visit www.pietboonbonaire.com or email kim@pietboonbonaire.com. 

Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire has just completed resort-wide upgrades that offer guests the ultimate all-inclusive vacation. The property’s new renovations include environmental improvements including more energy-efficient air conditionings, LED-lights throughout the resort, installing over 5,000 solar panels to generate their own energy, using eco-friendly cups at Coconut Crash Beach Bar, installing new water boilers that only need 800 watts to heat 300 liters of water and launching a linen (both towels and sheets) reuse program in all guest rooms. In addition, Plaza’s onsite dive shop, Toucan Diving Bonaire has been renovated. The new and improved shop offers a wide selection of new Cressi rental dive gear, accessories, clothing and souvenirs. Toucan’s boat fleet has also expanded with the relaunch of their fully-renovated island hopper, Blue Moon. For more information visit www.plazabeachresortbonaire.com, email media@plazabeachresortbonaire.com or call +599-717-2500.

Sorobon Beach & Wellness Resort offers visitors yoga retreats that are run by International Yoga experts who are passionate about what they do. For guests who book their own yoga retreat, have the option to combine it with several activities such as Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing, fitness programs, spa treatments, meal plans, wine tastings and more. For more information visit www.sorobonbeachresort.com or email management@sorobonbeachresort.com.

Excursion Developments

Blue Bay Bonaire now offers a BBQ sunset sail tour on their newest sailboat, Blue Bay. The boat leaves from Plaza Resort Bonaire Marina, and sails along the coast of Bonaire. The tour includes a stop at one of the island’s top snorkel sites, so that guests have the opportunity to explore the underwater world. While guests are snorkeling, the crew will prepare a BBQ so that everyone can enjoy food and drinks after returning from their snorkel. For more information visit www.bluebaybonaire.com, info@bluebaybonaire.com or call +599-701-5500.

Bonaire Tours & Vacations is currently developing a BonaireTours App with information about Bonaire’s accommodations, activities, restaurants and upcoming events. Guests will be able to book tours, transfers and make restaurant reservations directly from it. The app is scheduled to launch this spring. For more information visit www.bonairetours.com, email reservations@bonairetours.com or call +599-717-8778. 

New Partnerships

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations and Nature’s Discount Nutrition Center have partnered to bring a “Week of Wellness” to Bonaire. Travelers can immerse themselves in a nurturing experience devoted to wellness and health. The week features yoga practice, spa and restorative services. There will be daily guided mindful mediations. Nutritional gourmet cuisines highlight the week including gluten-free, ketogenic and vegetarian cuisine options. For more information visit www.bonairecaribbean.com or email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

Jibe City and Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations have teamed up to offer their 2017 Annual Summer Kids Camps. The three-day camps run in July and August, and children aged 7-17 years old will have the opportunity to learn how to windsurf. The camp includes lunch, nature fee and t-shirt. Lac Bay offers superior conditions for children to learn to windsurf. With shallow crystal clear warm water and on shore winds, it’s the perfect setting to windsurf. For more information visit www.bonairecaribbean.com or email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

Hot Spot Found 

To make it easier for visitors to share their Bonaire memories with their friends, officials from Island Government, Tourism Corporation Bonaire and Digicel have created a free Wi-Fi spot in Wilhelmina Park, in downtown Kralendijk. To access the hot-spot, visitors will need a Facebook login to verify their identity. Visitors will receive 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi. After the 30 minutes have exceeded, visitors will be prompted to purchase more minutes for continued use of the Wi-Fi.

Bonaire Eats

Just in time for the summer, Sebastian’s Restaurant has launched their brand new summer menu. The oceanfront restaurant is well-known for keeping their menu updated with the latest offers of what’s fresh and in season, with ingredients imported from around the world. New menu items include the Salmon Meets Seaweed appetizer, Slow-Cooked Pepper Steak and the New Zealand Rack of Lamb. For more information on the menu visit www.sebastiansrestaurantbonaire.com, email info@sebastiansrestaurantbonaire.com or call +599-717-1697.

Visitors spending the day in Washington Slagbaai National Park can cool off by stopping for ice cream at the new Homemade Rincon Ice Cream shop. Located at Kaya Komkomber #9 in Rincon, the shop is open seven days a week from noon – 8:00pm. Some of the local flavors include pistachio and banana. For more information visit http://ow.ly/13B430b3E9i.

Round of Applause

Bonaire Big Game Fishing ‘Fishtales’ placed 6th in the 51st Annual Curacao Yacht Club Blue Marlin Release Tournament. Fishtales was the 6th out of 21 competing boats from Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba and Venezuela to release a blue marlin. Yuri van Kamper, Captain and owner of Fishtales was the angler to release the fish after only 29 minutes. For more information about planning individual or group fishing excursions, visit www.bonairebiggamefishing.com, email fishtales@bonairebiggamefishing.com or call +599-700-3994.

Congratulations to Freediver Carlos Coste for making it into the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest distance swam underwater with one breath. Coste swam 580ft. 8.5in. in 3 minutes and 5 seconds.

About Bonaire

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses, small inns and private villas.

Bonaire is ranked #8 on the list of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards Top 10 Caribbean Islands, voted #1 in Islands magazine’s Editors’ Picks: Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean, and named one of the 10 Caribbean islands to visit in the spring by Caribbean Journal.

Bonaire placed in the Top 10 in three different categories for USA Today’s 10Best 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards: Klein Bonaire was ranked the 3rd Best Caribbean Dive Site; the Flamingo Sanctuary & Salt Flats were ranked the 5th Best Caribbean Attraction and At Sea Restaurant was ranked the 10th Best Caribbean Restaurant. Most recently, Travelocity named Bonaire one of the Top 6 Caribbean Islands to Visit Now, About.com Travel recognized Bonaire’s National Marine Park as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, one of the 10 Must Dive Destinations for 2017 by Forbes, the 4th best island in the world for snorkeling by Islands.com and Conde Nast Traveler named Bonaire the #3 most beautiful Caribbean island to Visit.

Bonaire continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism. For the 24th consecutive year Bonaire was recognized as the number one Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. This year, it received 12 awards. It was also voted number one for Macro Diving and Beginner Diving. 

Getting to Bonaire…

Delta Airlines: Atlanta – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) to Bonaire every Saturday.

United Airlines: Houston – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from George Bush International Airport (IAH) every Saturday. Return flight will depart Bonaire every Sunday.

United Airlines: Newark – Bonaire

Weekly non-stop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) every Saturday.

For more information on Bonaire visit www.tourismbonaire.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor and YouTube.

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Bonaire Tourism

Bonaire Tourism

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean.

World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more.

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