What’s on Bonaire? Guided Sunset Hike Bonaire – in the National Park

What’s on Bonaire? Guided Sunset Hike Bonaire – in the National Park

Hike to the Top of Bonaire after hours – Sunset Hike Bonaire

What: Climb during daylight and watch the sun set from the top of Mount Brandaris, the highest peak on Bonaire.

When:  Sunset, Sunday November 4 from 4pm to 7pm. A Hike to experience the sun set from Bonaire’s highest peak. 

Where: Be at the entrance to Washington Slagbaai National Park before 4pm.

Why: This is a rare opportunity to be in the park after it closes and get to witness the sunset from Bonaire’s highest peak. Normal park hours have you at back at the main entrance by 4pm. For the hike you’re just getting started at 4pm.

How much: Admission is $10 for everyone who has pre-registered for this hike. 

Who: The Sunset Hike Bonaire is presented by STINAPA Bonaire (the national park association of Bonaire). There is space for 20 participants. Call +599 717-8444 to reserve a spot. Registration is required for participation. Participants must arrange their own transport to and within the park. You will be back at the park entrance at 7pm.

What else: This is an uphill climb on rocky terrain and some of it in the dark. You need to be in good shape and, have a light and have shoes appropriate for hiking.

What to bring: Water, snack, flashlight, hiking shoes. Keep in mind that part of the descent will be after sundown so it’s important to have a working flashlight. 

Have fun!

P.S. if you aren’t on the island November 4th 2019, you can do this hike on your own during daylight hours:  Information about hiking Mt. Brandaris

Lazy Sunday Lunch and Music at Lac Cai

Lazy Sunday Lunch and Music at Lac Cai

Lac Cai Bonaire

Sunday lunch, or brunch at Lac Cai should not be missed if you are looking for real local food and a real local experience. Lac Cai is a nature reserve with a large mangrove forest, white sand beaches, a small scale restaurant/bar and beauty all around.

If you are familiar with Sorobon Beach and Lac Bay, you may have noticed looking out to sea a couple small hills on the inlet. Those hills are made of conch shells which were discarded by conch fishermen when it was still legal to hunt conch on Bonaire. The hills of shells have been left as a reminder of those times.

Lac Cai is definitely off-the-beaten-path. Although visible from Jibe City and Windsurf Place it can really only be accessed by a long, windy dirt road -or by windsurf board and sail! You will need a vehicle that can withstand the bumps to get you there along the long dirt road, but it will be worth it, especially if you go on a Sunday at lunch. You can go any day of the week to just relax in unspoiled surroundings but on Sundays there’s fresh local food and live local music.

Lac Cai  is a great place for an isolated beach day, swimming, snorkeling and definitely some bird watching. Sunday’s you won’t get much privacy but other days of the week are generally very quiet so this spot is perfect for some serious “getting away from it all.”

Bring everything you would need for a beach day – snorkel gear, rash guards, water, beach chairs, etc. And bring your appetite. Oh and cash. If it’s not a Sunday, don’t expect to find any services – although you may find the restaurant open other days.

The Sunday Brunch, popular with locals and tourists alike,  is only and exclusively on Sundays, year round, and only from around  until the food runs out. Check google maps for Lac Cai and follow directions from there. Lac Cai is at the end of a long, windy, bumpy dirt road located off of Kaminda Sorobon.

Pictured above is the fresh catch of the day with pumpkin, plantains and yucca -it was $11 in August 2018. And pictured below that are some fishing boats and kayaks at Lac Cai during the same Sunday Brunch in August 2018.

Have a very lazy Sunday.

 

Full Moon Walk in Washington Slagbaai National Park

Full Moon Walk in Washington Slagbaai National Park
STINAPA Bonaire is hosting a fun full moon walk in the Washington Slagbaai National Park next Friday. This event is open to anyone up for an adventurous hike under the full moon. The walk is along the Lagadishi trail which brings you to a limestone plateau with a vista over the island. Expect to see plenty of plants and animals including iguanas and flamingos as well as scenery such as blow holes, mangroves, beaches, sand dunes and a salt pan. Bring water, be ready for some adventure and watch out for cacti!
STINAPA Bonaire stands for Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire, a non-governmental, not for profit foundation commissioned by the island government to manage the two protected areas of Bonaire: the Bonaire National Marine Park meaning all waters surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire as well as the Washington Slagbaai National Park which is the uninhabited land north and west of Rincon.
———
What: Full moon walk with STINAPA Bonaire
When: Friday July 27th 5pm – 8:30pm
Where: The Lagadishi Trail along the coast and back.
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes and a flashlight for looking at the ground beneath your feet for safety. Water bottle and snacks.
How: Call 717-8444 to register. Space is limited to 25 participants. Cost is $10 per person. Meet at the entrance of Washington Slagbaai National Park.

Dunkerbeck Pro Center

Dunkerbeck Pro Center

Dunkerbeck Pro Center – the new windsurf school on Lac Bay. What’s it all about?

Sorobon Beach Resort, the only hotel on Lac Bay, is now home to a small scale windsurf school and rental shop. The other two windsurf shops on Bonaire are Jibe City and Bonaire Windsurf Place, which are direct competitors and next door neighbors.

Dunkerbeck Pro Center was founded by Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Phillipe Bru, well known professional windsurfers who also founded the 1000+ racer DefiWind in France. Two years ago they brought the DefiWind to Bonaire and less than one year ago they opened the Dunkerbeck Pro Center at Sorobon Beach Resort. The shop is next door to Jibe City and directly on Lac Bay with a large stretch of beach front. The Pro Center offers gear rental mainly for slalom sailors as well as windsurf lessons for all levels, beginner through professional. You can also rent foil boards and learn windsurf foil with the pros. On days when the wind isn’t blowing too hard, rent a stand up paddle board or SUP OR give wind foiling a try.

Dunkerbeck Pro Center is set up mainly for guests of Sorobon Beach Resort but anyone can rent gear or take lessons from them. Their prices are already higher than Jibe City and Windsurf Place and for resort guests; add on an extra 20% if you aren’t a guest of Sorobon Beach Resort. The price is a disadvantage but the gear is new, the shop prides itself on quality equipment and service and they open a half hour earlier and close a half hour later than their only two competitors. The wind traditionally is strongest in morning and evening so the extra hour added on to the day at the best time of the day is going to be a deciding factor for serious windsurfers.

Lessons at Dunkerbeck pro center make use of headsets and microphones so that the windsurf instructor can communicate directly with you while you are sailing. This is a big advantage to your windsurf instructor yelling directions to you in the wind and can make for a better learning experience.

The following video has great drone footage of Phillipe Bru windsurfing on Bonaire and some great foiling shots. Foiling is becoming more and more popular all over the world and was almost completely unheard of just five years ago.  It’s possible to plane on foil gear in lower winds than with a normal board. Foil lessons (wind foil lessons) offered at Dunkerbeck Pro Center offer a unique opportunity to learn and master this growing new area of the sport – wind foiling! As a precaution you can only use foil gear once the instructors are convinced that you know what you are doing!

Gear rental:

Entry level gear starts at $60/day
Mid level gear starts at $85/day and
Professional level gear is $100/day

Lessons:$50 for beginner including gear, $105 for private lesson including gear rental, $150 for two person semi-private lesson including gear.

Foiling lesson with gear $165; 1 hour foil rental $125, 2 hour foil rental $150, 4 hour foil rental $200

dunkerbeck pro center     dunkerbeck pro center                           dunkerbeck pro center     Dunkerbeck pro center

 

Mamma Mia world premiere in Bonaire! July 18th under the stars.

Mamma Mia world premiere in Bonaire! July 18th under the stars.

This week’s movies on Bonaire playing at outdoor movie theater Bonaire Empire Cinema

Watch the latest releases by the light of the moon and the stars. Bring your own chair or use the chairs provided by the movie theater. Who knew seeing a movie outdoors on Bonaire could be this much fun. Ice cold wine and beer along with popcorn, soft drinks and hot dogs are served. You can also order Thai food in advance and have dinner with your movie.

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again!

The ADVANCE PREMIER OF Mamma Mia Here We Go Again! will be released this Wednesday at 7:30pm. Don’t miss it!

This much anticipated sequel to Mamma Mia, written and directed by Ol Parker can be seen on Bonaire two days before it’s North American Premiere! Everything on Bonaire is on Island time except the movies…

Here We Go Again is the sequel and also the prequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia. It is scheduled to be released in North America and the UK on July 20, 2018. The release in July 2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of the original film released in July 2008.

Stars include Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan and Cher.

Advance Premiere of Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again!
Wednesday July 18th 7:30pm at Empire Cinema
Rated G
The movie runs 113 minutes and is in English with Dutch subtitles
Admission price $9

Also showing at Empire Cinema this week:

Skyscraper

Starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Rated PG13
Friday July 13th 7:30 and 9:30pm
Saturday July 14th 7:30 and 9:30pm
Sunday July 15th 7:30 and 9:30pm
Monday July 16th 9:30pm only
Tuesday July 17th 7:30 and 9:30pm
Wednesday July 18th 9:30pm only
The movie runs 103 minutes and is in English with Dutch subtitles
Admission price $11

Jurassic World

Directed by J.A. Bavona
rated PG13

Monday July 16th only
Special price admission for only $5. Last chance to see this movie at Empire!
The movie runs 124 minutes and is in English with Dutch subtitles
Admission price $5

See you at the movies!

 

The amazing Outdoor Movie Theater on Bonaire

The amazing Outdoor Movie Theater on Bonaire

Empire Cinema Bonaire – an outdoor movie theater. Have dinner there and watch the latest releases by the light of the stars and the moon.

In 2015 Empire Cinema (figuratively) opened it’s doors and Bonaire finally had a movie theater! I say figuratively because Empire is an outdoor cinema – technically I don’t think they have doors. This is SUCH an unexpectedly awesome place to see a movie and fun way to spend a quiet evening during your Bonaire vacation. It’s popular with locals and tourists alike.

A little history: A movie theater located next to what is now Top Supermarket in downtown Kralendijk existed in the early 2000’s – but the dilapidated building closed down dye ti disrepair and lack of business sometime around 2007 or 2008. Islanders and tourists went without a movie theater for quite a few years. And these were the days before Netflix and decent internet connections! The Plaza Resort held outdoor movie nights under the stars which somewhat filled the void and made for a fun evening – but the sound and quality were unpredictable as were the movie choices and language of the films. Either the Plaza’s projector eventually broke or they just didn’t find it a useful part of their business so that too came to an end. Thus the opening of a reliable movie theater showing new films was a big deal for the island.

Empire Cinema opened in 2015 and is going strong. They show first run movies in an outdoor setting under the stars. They even  occasionally release films that haven’t yet premiered in the US or Europe.

This is the only movie theater you may ever go to where you actually have to pick up and put away your own (plastic) beach chair! Maybe that doesn’t sound too comfortable. But go there because it is. This place is breezy, refreshing and a great way to spend a quiet evening. Get there early to claim your spot of choice. If going on a night when you expect a crowd it can’t hurt to have chairs packed in your car and ready in case they’re needed.

It’s not super easy to find and not well marked from the road. Coming from Caribbean Court or the Plaza Resort Area, head north on the main road passing through downtown Kralendijk. Continue heading north until you pass the traffic circle at Kaya Amsterdam. A few hundred meters further on your right you will see MCB Bank and then Bon Bida Spa and Gym. Empire cinema is located just past MCB Bank on the right. Turn right into the Bon Bida parking lot just past MCB and continue straight along the dirt road. You will see the movie theater on your right just up the road maybe 100 meters. The exact address is Kaya Katwijk 6, in the area of the island called Hato.

In typical island style of combining the unexpected, skip the popcorn and  have your movie with some authentic Thai food. Call in advance +599 7771122 to reserve your Thai meal. Dine in prior to or during the film. When dining in you’ll pick up not only your own plastic chair but your dining table as well. (If you don’t order in advance you’ll be eating popcorn and hot dogs like we usually do- so definitely make that phone call!) Here’s what’s on the menu:

Menu Odd Days:
  • Thai Burger  (200gram beef)  $ 12,-
  • Krai Jiao, nice filled Thai Omelett, steamed rice and salade  $ 12,-
  • Pad Lomiet, vegetarian meal, steamed rice and salade  $ 13,50
  • Pad Thai kai, noodles with vegetables and chicken breast $ 15,00
  • Pad Thai kung, noodles with vegetables and Shrimps  $ 17,00
Menu Even Days:
  • Thai Burger  (200gram beef)  $ 12,-
  • Pad a Pau, minced meat with vegetables, steamed rice and salade  $ 13.50
  • Pad kai, slices chicken breast slices with vegetables, steamed rice and salade  $ 15.00
  • kengkio-One, chicken breast slices with vegetables in curry with coconut milk, steamed rice and salade  $ 17.00
  • Keng-Paneng, chicken breast slices with vegetables & pineapple in curry with coconut milk, steamed rice and salade  $ 18.00

Ticket prices range from $5 when there’s a special to $12. Expect to pay $11/person for most films.

Unexpectedly for Bonaire (where many things run on island time) the movies start right on time and there’s generally one preview and a couple simple billboard style ads on the screen. A movie that starts at 7:30 actually starts at 7:30, so be on time to Empire Theater and not on island time!

 

Bonaire Day; Flag Day

Bonaire Day; Flag Day

Flag day on Bonaire takes place September 6th each year. In Papiamento, the local creole language, the day is called Dia di Boneiru – literally translating as Bonaire Day. This is a national holiday with most stores and businesses closed: Dive shops and windsurf shops never close – don’t worry!

Flag day festivities include a ceremonial raising of the flag in the morning, speeches, a party hosted in a different neighborhood each year with booths selling local food and drink. The six pointed red star on the Bonaire flag represents the original six villages of Bonaire: Rincon, Antriol, Nikiboko, North Salina, Playa (Kralendijk) and Tera Kora. All six villages today are thriving, bustling. neighborhoods and each year they take turns hosting Bonaire Flag day. Flag Day Bonaire is a day of national pride, celebration, music and fun.

The Bonaire flag with it’s white, yellow, red and blue colors looks beautiful against the Caribbean Sea. The colors and design of the flag have special meaning. The blue is for the sea, of course! The yellow is – you guessed it, the sun! The white in-between sea and sun represents the sky. The red, white and blue honor the flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire is considered a municipality of the Kingdom. The two other elements of the flag also have special meaning; the compass represents a population that comes from all over the world and the six pointed red star, the six villages.

Pick up your own Bonaire flag at Budget Marine. They sell high quality flags in a range of sizes – the photo below shows what’s currently on offer. A flag of Bonaire makes a great souvenir and a way to show pride for your favorite Caribbean Island.

where to buy bonaire flag bonaire flag day