Bonaire Diving News, Dutch Caribbean
Bonaire is known for its world class diving, as a favorite snorkeling destination and as a challenging spot for windsurfers. The following is a list of Bonaire’s newest activities and options, including the latest in dining, special programs and upgrades from the island’s service providers helping to make planning your vacation in Bonaire easy and fun.
STAYING LEAN AND GREEN
Monthly Farmers’ Markets: Organized by Go Green Natural & Organic Shop, the monthly farmers’ market is held the last Saturday of each month. Small in size, but large enough to be able to mingle with the locals, enjoy investigating the various booths filled with local plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other locally grown or hand-made items. Get there early for the best selection. For more information, contact Go Green Natural & Organic Shop at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their web site at http://www.gogreenbonaire.com.
Outback Yoga Bonaire: Opened in the fall of 2011, OutBack Yoga has increased its class schedule to accommodate the high demand. Taking a yoga class while visiting Bonaire is a great way to maintain flexibility and connect with the environment around you. Basic, intermediate, or advanced level classes are offered. Classes may be taken on a walk-in basis, or cards for five or ten sessions also are available. For more information and to view their class schedule, visit their web site at http://www.aplaceforyoubonaire.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Flamingo Spa: No one ever needs an excuse to be pampered. After a day of diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, hiking, or biking, there’s no better way to unwind and get the knots worked out than to indulge in a relaxing massage or other lavish body treatments such as a facial or pedicure. Flamingo Spa, located in the northern area of Bon Bida Spa & Gym, offers a full menu of massage and body treatments using only natural ingredients in their products. Be good to yourself! For more information, visit their web site at http://www.flamingoservicesbonaire.com or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BREATHE, BONAIRE = “GOOD AIR”
Washington Slagbaai National Park’s Hiking Trails: For all those visitors who think they have “done it all on Bonaire,” there’s always something new to explore and learn about the island. Hiking the three trails in Washington Slagbaai National Park is probably something that can be added to the Bonaire bucket lists of the majority of the island’s visitors. The park has three established hiking trails, with varied levels of difficulty. Two are accessible from the Park’s entrance area–The Lagadishi Trail and the Kasikunda Climbing Trail. The Subí Brandaris Trail is a 45-minute hike to the highest peak on Bonaire, 784 feet (241 m) high and offers vistas to both Curacao or Venezuela on clear days. For more information about these hiking trails, visit STINAPA’s web site at http://www.washingtonparkbonaire.org or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Jentis Tours: This sightseeing company offers a variety of tours and coupled with their distinctive “local touch” provides a unique service to visitors. Jentis Tours is proud to announce a new and popular Nature Walk Tour. The tour gives a glimpse of the beautiful flora and fauna of Bonaire and a bit of history on how the early natives used to live. Another best seller is the Cave Snorkel Tour; participants visit two different caves to explore and snorkel on a side of Bonaire that is not seen anywhere else. For more information, telephone +599 7964191, visit their web site at http://www.jentis-tours.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jentis on Facebook to be kept apprised of current specials.
Bonaire Tours now offers their Aquafari Bonaire tour, an off-road adventure to Bonaire’s hidden sites. Board the Big Foot Unimog, and explore the island’s desert eastern coastline, enjoy kuminda crioyo (local food) at lunch at an off-the-beaten-path restaurant, and then finish off the day with a snorkel trip through Bonaire’s mangroves, the nursery to the island’s famous reefs. Upon your return, refreshments and snacks will be served on the beach to complete your day! Also available are tours to the south to see Bonaire’s famous pink flamingos, and to Rincon, the oldest settlement on the island. For more information, telephone +599-717-8778, visit their web site at http://www.bonairetours.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
SATISFYING YOUR PALATE
Long time favorites Donna & Giorgio’s have opened a quaint little restaurant serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 3:00 PM, lunch on Saturday and dinner on Friday evenings are by reservation only. The breakfast menu includes tostis and several egg items, with the lunch menu including pastas, soups, salads, and sandwiches to eat in or take away. The intimate restaurant is tastefully decorated with a bar area for coffee, drinks, and single diners, and a few small tables for outdoor seating. The restaurant is just north of downtown at Kaya Grandi 52 and the phone number is +599-717-3799.
Porto Deli is a brand new wine bar with tapas offering breakfast, lunch and early dinner. The deli serves homemade salads, sandwiches, burgers, and fresh bread and is conveniently located on the oceanfront promenade. Diners can choose to eat outside on the patio, or inside, in the air-conditioning. The restaurant is open daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, except Sunday, and the phone number is +599-717-3997.
Caribbean Club Bonaire welcomes all of their guests to their newly renovated restaurant “Kas” where you can enjoy local cuisine and international wines. Kas focuses on dishes from Bonaire, for guests to experience the island’s local cuisine. Their signature dishes include sopi iguana (iguana soup) and kabritu stoba (goat stew). For more information call 1-800-906-7706, visit their web site at http://www.caribbeanclubbonaire.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 Seasons has opened at Kaya C.E.B. Hellmund 17, serving French and International food for dinner. The restaurant will completely change the menu every three months to reflect the new season and has both indoor and outdoor covered dining. They are open every night except Tuesday, and reservations may be made by calling +599-717-4166.
C’est La Vie has opened across from the Catholic Church in Kralendijk on Kaya Libertador Simon Bolivar. It is a classic Dutch pub serving a daily barhop menu for dinner. It is closed on Sunday and Monday, and the phone number is +599-788-1066.
Catering Service Skottelbraai makes a special type of South African BBQ, known as skottelbraai and will deliver it anywhere on the island as part of a complete package including the BBQ, salads, plates, and flatware, so diners can avoid shopping, dishes, and hassle. The delivery is free, and the next day they will pick up the plates and flatware. To arrange a BBQ, call +599-796-6868.
For those with a sweet tooth, Yankee Donuts has opened on Kaya Simon Bolivar #26c, in front of the Catholic Church in town. They are serving delicious American-style donuts, bismarks, fritters, muffins and cakes and hope to add bagels and small sandwiches in the future. They are also offering 16 different types of tea, coffee and juices to accompany your treat, and have special pricing for bigger purchases of donuts for parties and gatherings. They are open daily from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM but are closed on Sundays. The phone number is +599-717-5661.
DIVING; IT RULES
Buddy Dive Resort: For the fourth consecutive year, Buddy Dive Resort is proud to host the Buddy Dive Freediving Event, May 5-19, 2012, led by Brazilian freediver, Karol Meyer. Karol broke 7 world records in her career and is considered one of the most complete athletes in the history of the sport. Karol will hold evening presentations to share her exciting adventures, offer special workshops, i.e. “Breathing/Apnea Tips” where you can relive those special moments with the champion. She is also offering a Freediving Clinic for those who are interested. For more information visit their website at http://www.buddydive.com/events/buddy-dive-freediving-event.html or send an e-mail to email@example.com .
Also at Buddy Dive Resort: this year they are teaming up with Dive Rite and TDI for Technical Dive Demonstrations, Presentations and Trainings during the weeks of October 13-20 and October 20-27, 2012. Additionally, Special Equipment, Materials and Fills will be available during the event.
For divers who have not experienced Rebreather or Sidemount Diving, Free Demos will be available throughout the week. Educational sessions by leading Dive Professionals will also be available to help educate divers, in this style of diving and technology. For more information visit their website at http://www.buddydive.com/events/buddy-dive-tech-diving-event.html or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire: Captain Don’s Habitat now offers a 2-tank day trip to the far northern dive sites located off shore of Washington Slagbaai National Park. Divers are whisked away on Habitat’s newest dive boat, The Lucky Lobster. The Lucky Lobster has an air-conditioned wheelhouse, fresh water rinse, head, and is very comfortable. The boat leaves the Habitat dock at 9:00 AM and returns at 3:00 PM. Minimum number of guests required is 8 with a maximum of 10 divers. For more information/reservations call 1-800-327-6709, visit their web site at http://www.habitatbonaire.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Also new at Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire: BonPhoto Bonaire is now open and operating on the premises, providing top of the line photography services, courses, and rentals for guests. They also provide a weekly “Week in Review” video shown at the hotel’s Deco Stop Bar every Thursday evening from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Dive Friends Bonaire – Dive Friends Bonaire is pleased to announce the successful completion of their semi-annual PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). Bonaire now boasts five more PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors. Dive Friends Bonaire will be offering their next IDC, which will begin on May 3rd and continue through May 13th, 2012. The Instructor Exam conducted by PADI will immediately follow on May 14th and 15th, 2012. Dive Friends Bonaire can assist with on-island arrangements, including special IDC rates for accommodations and/or vehicle rentals. For more information, visit http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diving Bonaire–The Kindle Version: Want a Kindle guide on diving and snorkeling while on Bonaire? Then George Lewbel, marine biologist is the man to see. George has been diving on Bonaire since 1981 and has more than 40 years of diving experience. He has written Diving Bonaire, a Kindle Edition book now available for sale at Amazon.
The book describes the best dive sites on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire and provides details on how to get there and what is likely to be seen at each site. Descriptions of sites include information on coral reefs, piers, wrecks, gentle and steep slopes and walls. Details on access, entries and exits, underwater and topside terrain, marine life, photo tips as well as special features of interest are also included. The guide also highlights sites that are particularly good for snorkeling. To purchase this Kindle book on Amazon, visit http://www.amazon.com/Diving-Bonaire-ebook/dp/B006U3QHYO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328647656&sr=1-1.
REALLY? ON BONAIRE? REALLY?
DiveHut Bonaire: Former WannadiveHut Bonaire has a new look as they just reopened under the new name “DiveHut Bonaire.” Over the past few months, renovations have been done to all of the rooms, apartments, and restaurant, and this property offers their guests a tranquil location during their stay. For more information call +599-701-0404, visit their web site at http://www.wannadivehutbonaire.com, or send an e-mail email@example.com.
Bridanda Apartments: Bridanda Apartments is the newest property to open in Bonaire. Located in Hato, just a few steps away from the sea, the property offers accommodations with luxurious touches in a laid-back ambiance. Guests have several types of accommodations from which to choose: studios or one-bedroom or two-bedroom bungalows, and all sit amid a lush, tropical garden, where there’s also a natural saltwater pool, outdoor shower, Jacuzzi and lounge chairs. For more information call +599-717-3143, visit their web site at http://www.bridanda.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9: Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9 is pleased to announce the launching of its value-added incentives. Since the villa can accommodate up to ten persons, a family or group of friends can enjoy economical oceanfront living while enjoying all that Bonaire has to offer. For new bookings between now and October 31, 2012, each person staying in the villa will receive a voucher, worth $25.00, toward one of three activities; kayaking at the Mangrove Info Center, a visit to Bonaire’s Butterfly Garden/Kishi Kishi Restaurant, or enjoy lunch or dinner at Sunset Bar & Grill. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.bonaireoceanfrontvilla.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino: Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino is celebrating their 60th year in dive hospitality. Opened in August, 1952, the property has completed major renovations to all guestrooms and public spaces. As part of the celebration of the resort’s 60th Anniversary, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino is offering a variety of packages; why not help them celebrate! For more information, call 1-800-801-5550, visit their web site at http://www.diviflamingo.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Den Laman Condominiums: With recent add-ons, Den Laman Condominiums offer more value than ever before. These value add-ons include free wireless Internet in the condos, plus 24/7 air and Nitrox tank access for divers when diving with on-site operator Bonaire Dive & Adventure. For more information call 1-800-382-1094, visit their web site at http://www.denlaman.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Villa Ganshi Bonaire: Villa Ganshi Bonaire, a new beach-front villa, recently announced they are now open for reservations. This newly available beach-front two-bedroom villa offers both privacy and peace, in a unique home felt setting. The property is located on the fringes of Playa Lechi, a mere 15-minute walk from Kralendijk. The villa is tucked away in lush tropical greenery, and it is equipped with all the amenities and comfort one could wish for during their stay. For more information, visit their web site at http://www.villaganshibonaire.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sand Dollar Condominiums: Sand Dollar believes that their guests should have the freedom to dive with any of the superb dive operators on the island. For their guests’ convenience, they are now offering dive packages with PADI 5 Star IDC Resort Dive Friends Bonaire. With Yellow Submarine, Photo Tours Divers, and Dive Inn, Dive Friends has four dive operations not far from Sand Dollar where Sand Dollar guests can swap out tanks and two locations for boat diving departures. Sand Dollar offers some of the most spacious and comfortable oceanfront accommodations on island. All units have air-conditioned bedrooms, full kitchens, dining and living areas, and roomy porches or balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For more information, call 1-800-288-4773 or the Florida Office at 1-954-453-5025, visit their web site at http://www.sanddollarbonaire.com, or send an e-mail to Res@SandDollarBonaire.com.
Plaza Resort Bonaire: Plaza Resort Bonaire now offers Bonaire’s only All-Inclusive 6D value pack. This complete, all-inclusive package features the bonus of free diving available now through December 17, 2012. Enjoy a vacation where everything is paid for! New experiences on Bonaire await! The resort also reports that their casino will be re-opening again soon. The villas are in phase one of their renovations and the popular Tipsy Seagull now offers room service! For more information call 1-800-766-6016, visit their web site at http://www.plazaresortbonaire.com, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Dive Friends Bonaire’ Dive Retail Outlet: Shopping is always on the list of things to do while on vacation or maybe something was just left behind. Regardless of the reason, the Dive Retail Outlet on Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk is just the spot to find what you need. After extensive renovations, it’s been reopened and is ready for business. With more room for stock, the store has expanded their dive gear product lines, adding in even more dive computers, regulators, fins, BCDs and wetsuits. For more information, call +599-717-3911, visit their web site at http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 thriving fish population in the Caribbean. Ideal for adventurers, explorers and sun-worshippers alike, Bonaire offers myriad eco-adventure activities including world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, kite boarding, mountain biking, sea and mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and deep sea and bone fishing. And with a selection of accommodations ranging from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to guesthouses and small inns, Bonaire has something for every lifestyle and budget.
Bonaire is the recipient of the prestigious Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award and continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism. It’s been selected as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic for 19 consecutive years in Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. This year, it was voted one of the Best Destinations Overall, number one for Marine and Macro life, and Snorkeling also in the Reader’s Choice awards. It was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean (January 2008) and in 2011, Bonaire was voted one of the top five Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean by the editors of Caribbean Travel & Life.
For more information on Bonaire, contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire’s official web site at www.tourismbonaire.com. Follow Bonaire on Twitter and Facebook.