Should I visit Bonaire during Hurricane Season?

Should I visit Bonaire during Hurricane Season?

Should I visit Bonaire during hurricane season?

September? May? What is the best time of the year to come? A frequent question from new Bonaire visitors regards vacationing on Bonaire in hurricane season. Bonaire, along with Aruba and Curacao are considered to be relatively free from hurricanes during Atlantic hurricane season which runs from May to November.  Yes, we will experience some rain and yes, there will be some puddles to walk through, but we snapped this photo in November 2019,  during the low (hurricane, rainy) season. Rainy season does not mean that it actually rains all day. Bonaire experiences typically sunny weather with occasional rain in very short bursts during rainy season. In the windier months there may be more cloud cover as well.

Pros of traveling to Bonaire in the low season:

  • fewer tourists and crowds, fewer cars on the road than in winter (high season) months
  • cheaper plane tickets than in high season
  • cheaper car rental and low season prices in most rentals and hotels
  • much less worry about bad weather than in other Caribbean destinations

Cons of traveling to Bonaire in the low season:

  • this is the warmest time of the year on Bonaire. September is considered the warmest month
  • more chance of rain but expect heavy, isolated downpours occasionally combined with a lot of sunshine for most of the day
  • more mosquitos (stay in a place with mosquito screens!)
  • fewer flight options; many airlines servicing Bonaire cut down the number of flights. For example Delta Airlines offers service from Atlanta on Saturdays and Sundays throughout most of the year but only on Saturdays in the fall months.
  • winter months are often considered more ideal because tourists are escaping the harsh winter months back home. This makes winter more desirable for those of us that don’t live in Florida, Texas or the like – but travel costs also go up in the winter along with the crowds

Activities and things to do, restaurants and nightlife are more or less the same in high, medium and low season.

Fun events take place throughout low season to keep things interesting. The annual Bonaire Regatta takes place in October. The annual swim to Klein Bonaire is a fun event for all ages that takes place in early October. There are usually major windsurf races in June, classes for Divers, courses to learn to kite surf, etc.  And of course you can dive, snorkel, sail, sunfish, kayak and explore Bonaire 365 days of the year. Should I visit Bonaire during hurricane season. YES absolutely!

Where to go for Breakfast on Bonaire – Karel’s

Where to go for Breakfast on Bonaire – Karel’s

 

Breakfast with a view

Where to go for Breakfast on Bonaire? Very few restaurants on Bonaire are directly ON the water. Karel’s Beach Bar is not just on the water, it’s ON the water!

Karel’s is the dinghy stop for sailboats moored in the harbor in front of Kralendijk. They are open all day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact at Breakfast time the restaurant is transformed into the “Cappuccino Bar.” in the afternoon it’s just Karel’s and in the evening it’s awesome for happy hour. Sometimes after dinner live bands play at Karel’s. A TV near the street shows sporting events.

But this post is about breakfast: Karel’s Cappuccino Bar is the perfect location for your morning cuppa and some eggs. You can walk there for a coffee. You can enjoy, pancakes, sausage, toast or whatever strikes your fancy. The best part about breakfast on the pier at Karel’s: location, location, location. The west facing location of Karel’s means you won’t get the sunrise at breakfast time but you also aren’t in the sun’s direct rays/heat. Come back at happy hour to see what I mean!

It’s really all about the view

When you vacation in the Caribbean it might just be for a few days. During that short time if you are like me, your eyes are required to soak up some deep blue and turquoise. Personally that’s an important part of my Bonaire holiday. I can get dark water anywhere. I can get turquoise water here! Bonaire’s entire coast has a turquoise ring around it so you’ll get to take in a lot of blue during your stay. If you’re on the water at a restaurant like Karel’s you can’t miss the turquoise. And even being across the street detracts from your ability to soak up quite as many Caribbean colors. Added bonus – get up close and personal with the fish if you have a waterfront table at Karel’s.

Some of the best restaurants on Bonaire, although close,  are not directly on the water (At Sea, Capriccio, Mona Lisa, La Cantina, It Rains Fishes, Cuba Compagnie…) So if you want that “on the water”  view – you may have to give up a little in terms of quality being slightly lower and price being slightly higher – but the view might just be worth it.

Service ok, food ok, LOVE that view…

That’s about how I’d sum up Karel’s Cappuccino Bar. The service is friendly (and slow!) But slow works when you’ve got nothing to do but stare out at the turquoise…  the food is OK, the coffee is fine but it would be basically impossible to beat the view. So, yes, I like the Illy coffee over at Luciano more and I like the cappuccino at Gio’s even better, but I am going to go to Karel’s now and again because there’s no other place where my eyes can soak up this much turquoise while I’m drinking my coffee. No one is rushing you out the “door” either.

Karel’s has sunset views and great prices on drinks at happy hour. The water doesn’t look as turquoise at sunset though – and in the mornings it’s quiet – so it’s decided despite all my misgivings – Karel’s is where to go to breakfast on Bonaire.

 

Things to do with kids on Bonaire

Things to do with kids on Bonaire

Your children are probably pretty happy to be here already. But, in case you’re planning a family trip or having trouble coming up with things to do with kids on Bonaire we have some ideas to get the ball rolling.

Things to do with kids on Bonaire:

This island is small but the list of things to do with kids on Bonaire isn’t.

There’s a lot to be explored on Bonaire. Kids can go almost anywhere that adults can go. If your kids are adventurous and want to get up close and personal with donkeys, iguanas, flamingos, pelicans, the fish in the sea and most of all with the water, this is the island for you! Looking for more things to do with kids on Bonaire? Watch this space for more suggestions in the future, and check our Top Ten List for other kid-friendly activities and ideas.

child getting ready to go land sailing on a blokart bonaire    things to do with kids on Bonairesea urchin invasion bonaire 2018        Gio's Gelateria Ice Cream on Bonaire  donkeys in the car window bonaire things to do with kids on Bonaire see a movie outdoors on bonaire flamingo bird watching bonaire

Dunkerbeck Pro Center

Dunkerbeck Pro Center

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

For years only two windsurf schools and places to rent gear on Bonaire existed: Enter Dunkerbeck Pro Center!

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,Jibe City and Bonaire Windsurf Place, are direct competitors and next door neighbors right on Lac Bay.

What’s on offer at the new pro center

Dunkerbeck Pro Center, founded by Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Phillipe Bru, well known professional windsurfers will host many upcoming annual windsurf events. These two founded the 1000+ racer DefiWind in France. In 2016 they brought the DefiWind to Bonaire and in 2018 they opened the Dunkerbeck Pro Center at Sorobon Beach Resort. The shop, located right next door to Jibe City and directly on Lac Bay with a large stretch of beach front offers high end gear rental and lessons. 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.

It costs a bit more but…

Dunkerbeck Pro Center, set up mainly for guests of Sorobon Beach Resort is also open to the general public. Expect higher rates than Jibe City and Windsurf Place and 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 strongest in morning and evening means the extra hour added on to the day could outweigh the price as a deciding factor for serious windsurfers. Plus Tonky Frans works there. Get your equipment rigged and lessons taught by a windsurf legend.

Lessons at the new Pro Center

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

Foiling has come to Bonaire. You can rent foil gear and get lessons now!

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

 

Visit Klein Bonaire; uninhabited island bliss

Visit Klein Bonaire; uninhabited island bliss

But what about the beaches?

Tourists that come back year after year love the island unconditionally. But a big concern for first time visitors planning a trip here is, “but what about beaches?” Bonaire, not known for white sandy beaches actually has some of the most pristine white beaches anywhere in the Caribbean. Enter Klein Bonaire. On arrival by plane flying into Flamingo International Airport, passengers on the left side of the plane should have a pretty clear view of this little blue gem. Pay attention during your flight, though, because your view of Klein Bonaire from the airplane may be your only sighting of it. With so much to do on the mainland the majority of tourists never get quite that far. And think about it – you can actually swim to Klein from Bonaire itself!  Do try to squeeze in a day trip – you won’t be sorry!

White sandy beaches and coral reefs

Klein Bonaire, the small uninhabited island off the coast of Bonaire in front of Kralendijk is nothing if not white sandy beaches! Actually it’s also quite a lot of coral reef and is surrounded by dozens of scuba dive sites and snorkeling sites. Amazingly this little island has a completely different look and feel than the larger main island of Bonaire, and to think they were once connected!

Klein Bonaire means Little Bonaire

In Dutch the word Klein means Little. So the name of this island literally translates to English as Little Bonaire. At its closest point Little Bonaire lies only a half mile from the mainland and stretches about 1500 acres in total. Sandy beaches and thorny plants and trees comprise most of the island. The only structures on the entire island are two huts at a beach aptly named No Name Beach. The thatched roof huts provide shade and shelter for anyone lounging around the beach for the day.

Why is Klein Bonaire uninhabited?

Outside of the two small huts, Klein Bonaire is completely undeveloped and uninhabited. The island is owned by the Bonaire government. Thank The Foundation for the Preservation of Klein Bonaire (FPKB) for the pristine, uninhabited island you enjoy today. FPKB  started in the 1990’s during a fight against development of the small island. The waters surrounding Klein are protected as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP). All waters surrounding the mainland also enjoy protection as part of the BNMP. There is currently no discussion about future development of Little Bonaire. Although or BECAUSE Klein Bonaire has zero facilities, just natural beauty, it simply cannot be missed.

Bring your snorkel gear to Klein Bonaire

This is one of the best places in Bonaire and in the world to go snorkeling. If you come to Bonaire for snorkeling put this on your list of must-do snorkel stops. If you have never snorkeled before – now might be a good time to begin! Dozens of places to snorkel surround Klein Bonaire and access is easy with the sandy bottom and clear, calm water. Your water taxi may be able to drop you off in a location to allow you to drift to the beach where you’ll be picked up later in the day. Inquire with your captain.

The following video shows footage of a few different snorkel spots: No Name Beach, Jerry’s Reef, Ebo’s Reef, and the Sampler dive sites.

How to get to Klein Bonaire:

Each year in October the annual “Swim to Klein Bonaire,” takes place with the departure point at Eden Beach Spice Beach, about as close as you can get to Klein Bonaire from Bonaire proper.

Water Taxis:

For day to day tourism, however, we don’t recommend swimming there! We recommend taking a water taxi. There are several to choose from. Departure points for the water taxis are at hotels on the waterfront in and North of Kralendijk, Karel’s Pier (in Downtown Kralendijk) and from in front of It Rains Fishes restaurant which is a few blocks north of downtown, along the waterfront promenade.

Kantika di Amor: $15/ per person round trip. Phone +599 796-5399. E-mail info@bonairenauticomarina.com. The taxi departs from in front of It Rains fishes at 10am, 12pm and 2pm and returns from Klein Bonaire at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:40pm

Caribe Water Sports Water Taxi: phone +599 700-8080 Taxi’s depart Eden Beach at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm and return to Eden Beach at 12:45, 2:45 and 5pm. Taxi’s also service Karel’s Pier. Inquire about departure times and price.

Another idea:

Klein Bonaire is home to turtle nesting grounds. Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) offers small scale trips to Klein Bonaire during turtle nesting season (May – November) where you can watch experts monitor sea turtle nest activity and watch for tracks in the sand of newly hatched turtles. This program is very small and fills up quickly. This is a great alternative to just spending your Klein Bonaire day lounging on the beach. Call in advance to make reservations.

One more Idea

If you take a trip on the Woodwind Snorkel Sail you will do a drift snorkel near Klein Bonaire but you won’t actually get off the boat to set foot on this island. Enjoy the marine life with an amazing tour – but no chance to enjoy that white sand.

Boat Rental

Rent a boat for the day. Try Caribe Water Sports – they rent boats, hire out captains, and also provide a water taxi service. If you rent a boat you can moor at Klein Bonaire but you cannot pull the boat up on the sand the way the water taxi’s do. You have to jump out of the boat and swim to shore. If you rent a boat you may want to leave towels and cameras on board the boat.

What to bring to Klein Bonaire for a day trip

What to bring:  rash guard; snorkel, mask and flippers; towels; plenty of water; a cooler for food/drinks if you want; a camera or go-pro; sun screen; a hat for shade; sunglasses; flip-flops and maybe even a fold up beach chair. Upon exiting the water taxi you will just walk through a few inches of water to get to the beach so you can carry dry items onshore.

Have a wonderful day in uninhabited island bliss.

Cappuccino with a view

Cappuccino with a view

So many coffee choices…

Intense competition exists (at least in my mind…) between ice cream at Gio’s and ice cream at the newest gelateria on the block, Coffee Company Luciano. Luciano’s, as the locals call it, located on the waterfront in downtown Kralendijk, opened it’s doors in June 2016. Luciano’s offers coffee drinks, gelato, bagel sandwiches, salads, other light lunch items as well as all sorts of fresh juices, cocktails made with locally grown mint, beer and wine. The locale fills the much needed niche of somewhere a little bit upscale to meet up with friends and stay awhile. We recommend it for cappuccino with a view!

Internet cafe…

What a great spot to bring your computer and get some work done. Free wi-fi, comfortable chairs, air-conditioning and great lighting and view make it your own personal internet cafe or meeting spot.

You may take it for granted with all the coffee shops back home but until Luciano’s opened nothing like it existed on Bonaire. Luciano’s has one huge advantage too, a prime location right on the water with a magnificent view from both inside and outside.

An air-conditioned break

Step inside Luciano’s to find a soothing respite from the heat. The spacious, elegant and wonderfully air-conditioned interior lures you in and keeps you from getting up and leaving. A wonderful place to get out of the heat and enjoy conversation and company of friends. And even from indoors you get to enjoy the turquoise water.

Location location

Coffee Company Luciano is located on a big, triangular piece of real estate. This location on the island had mysteriously remained vacant ever since the old thatched hut restaurant “Salsa” closed it’s doors quite a few years ago. A large apartment complex with a museum and shops on the ground floor now stands in place of Salsa. The museum opened it’s doors around the same time as Luciano’s. Coffee Company Luciano resides in one of the shops attached to the apartment complex on the ground floor. Thus the location could not be more central. Ice cream with as stunning a view as could be hoped for in downtown Kralendijk can now be had.  The entire look, including Luciano brings a more modern and sleek vibe than the island has ever seen before however at the cost of old school Bonairian architecture.

Seating arrangements…

Luciano has a variety of seating options. Indoor, outdoor – on colorful plastic stools or in comfortable, elegant dining chairs. And so many choices; frappuccino, cappuccino, fresh juice, wine, ice cream, indoors, outdoors, casual, elegant. We suggest a trip back a few times to try a little of everything! From our places at Breezybonaire this makes a great after dinner walk.

Italian Illy brand coffee is used to prepare all coffee drinks. I don’t know if it’s the best cappuccino on Bonaire but it’s the best cappuccino with a view that I’ve found so far.

best cappuccino on bonaire     Lucianos Cappuccinobest place for coffee    gelato at Lucianos

frappuccino on Bonaire     where to have coffee on bonaire

Coffee Company Luciano Bonaire     coffee company luciano

Beginner windsurf Lessons on Bonaire. The best place to learn to Windsurf

Beginner windsurf Lessons on Bonaire. The best place to learn to Windsurf

The Best Flatwater windsurf destination in the world

Do you want to take windsurf lessons on Bonaire? In our completely unbiased* opinion, Bonaire is the best flat water windsurf destination in the world and best place for beginner windsurfers. Granted we haven’t explored every destination in the world but Bonaire has a LOT going for it.

Why should you learn to windsurf on Bonaire?

  • Onshore wind: You can’t really get blown out to sea. Learning to windsurf here is safe for that reason. All you need to do is stay in the light turquoise water, which is shallow, and no matter where you are you can walk you and your equipment back to shore. It is so safe that none of the windsurf shops employ a boat to bring people back. It just isn’t necessary. The wind pushes you back to shore.
  • Shallow water: When you fall off of your windsurf gear, you just hop back on. You don’t have to swim to your gear. You don’t have to swallow salt water that is washing over your head. The shallow water also means you can talk to your instructor or fellow windsurfers while standing in the water. Because you don’t have to swim to your gear your learning curve is faster. You are less tired. You can try more times. It is safer. Learn to windsurf on Bonaire in absolutely ideal conditions.
  • Warm water: See above – if it’s warm you aren’t in any hurry to get out. Some people stay in the water for hours and hours.
  • Flat water: you can learn to windsurf in easy conditions, without waves washing over your head when you fall in.
  • Sandy bottom: You fall off your gear onto sand when you learn to windsurf on Bonaire. You may want to wear booties anyway in case you land on a shell but most locals and tourists windsurf barefoot.
  • No motor boats in Lac Bay: in most windsurf destinations you need to watch out for other boats, bigger boats, motor boats. This isn’t an issue in little Lac Bay.
  • No kite surfers. Kite surfing is a very popular sport on Bonaire but it is prohibited in Lac Bay. Windsurfers got there first – and when kiting became popular it became clear that Lac Bay was too small for kiters and windsurfers. So the kiters now sail at Atlantis Beach on the west coast of Bonaire. They have to deal with offshore wind. Learn to windsurf on Bonaire without the worry about running into a kiter’s lines.
  • World Class windsurf instruction: there aren’t many places in the world where your instructors are sometimes ranked among the top in the world. If they aren’t instructing you there’s always opportunity to meet world class and ranked windsurfers. They are here year round and they are at the same beach you are at.
  • Ease of equipment rental: When the wind is high and you are just learning, you’ll want a smaller sail and as the wind dies down, you may want to try a bigger sail. On Bonaire you won’t have to figure this out for yourself. The crew at the different windsurf locations will help you change your sail and board and offer recommendations based on the conditions they’re seeing that day. There is no cost to change your sail an unlimited number of times during the day. All the gear is ready and rigged for you. You just have to ask. Don’t forget to tip the crew who take care of you at Jibe City, Bonaire Windsurf Place or Dunkerbeck Pro Center.
  • Reliable wind: the island is windy almost all year round. September through November are the months with the least wind but even then conditions are OK for learning.
  • Tranquility: The peaceful feeling of being out on the water in Lac Bay is unmatched in all the world.

In conclusion, windsurf lessons on Bonaire are a lot of relaxed fun because conditions could not be better!

*we are biased!

 

rates and packages at Dunkerbeck pro center    a beginner group learning to windsurf bonaire

learn to windsurf bonaire    learn to windsurf bonaire

Tolo: Off-The-Beaten-Path Beach on Bonaire

Tolo: Off-The-Beaten-Path Beach on Bonaire

Off the beaten path Bonaire

We thought we’d share a few photos from another gorgeous off the beaten path Bonaire beach. Come swim, snorkel and relax at the dive site Tolo.

A long drive home

What makes this Bonaire beach a little more off-the-beaten-path than many others is that you have to commit to it! Once you continue along the Queen’s Highway past Thousand Steps on the road toward Tolo you literally cannot turn back. The Queen’s Highway becomes a one-way road at a certain point before arriving at Tolo. To get back to your home base you have to continue North toward the little town of Rincon and then double back. Most likely you won’t encounter traffic – probably not a single other car for miles. But still, it’s hot and isolated and the two way road back towards civilization is kinda on the beautiful side making it hard to commit to getting back via the long back road.

Why we love Tolo

But Bonaire is for adventurers. And Tolo is worth it. The two little cement benches under the trees have been there as long as we’ve been visiting the island.  So if you don’t bring beach chairs you know you’ll at least have a place to sit that’s not on thorns and with a bit of shade.

Sea Urchins on Bonaire

The only real novelty from previous years is the amount and density of the sea urchin population. If you want to swim plan your entrance carefully. You can scuba dive, swim and snorkel here with a fairly easy entrance. There’s even quite a bit of open space for playing paddle ball. This location also works for a slightly larger group of people to come gather than at a smaller and thornier beach like Jeff Davis.

Tolo is the perfect off the beaten path Bonaire day trip. Have a picnic, get some shade and get away from it all. When out exploring the Queen’s highway on a day trip we suggest a stop at Tolo after other stops along the way. First have a swim at Oil Slick Leap, then check out the little sandy beach at Jeff Davis, next a snorkel at Weber’s Joy and last make the descent down to Thousand Steps. Round out your exploration of this route with a swim at Tolo.

If you continue on through Rincon after stopping at Tolo, stop for a Bonairian style lunch at the non-touristy, off the beaten path Bonaire local restaurant Rose Inn. Tip: try the goat stew – cabritu stoba.

queen's highway bonaire scenery; off the beaten path bonaire divi divi tree on bonaire at Tolo; off the beaten path Bonaire

tolo dive site off the beaten path bonaire sea urchin invasion bonaire 2018; off the beaten path bonaire

Souvenir shopping on Bonaire. More options now than ever before.

Souvenir shopping on Bonaire. More options now than ever before.

Souvenir Shopping on Bonaire -more variety than ever

Just a couple years ago basically no option for souvenir shopping on Bonaire existed. Back then you could choose from a few oversized generic t-shirts and maybe a flamingo or lizard key chain. Possibly you could find a turtle pot-holder made in China from an overpriced souvenir shop on Kaya Grandi.

Fast forward to today where quite a few and much better Bonaire souvenir shopping options now exist. And you don’t need to travel too far out of your way to find them. Not all items are made on Bonaire, but still these gifts will likely be appreciated by those you left back at home while you took your Caribbean vacation.

Food items

Dutch food and drink has hit Bonaire big time. So bring back Stroopwafels. Or try stroopwafel flavored liquor, or Stroopwafel flavored milk chocolate, chocolate dipped stroopwafels… In our opinion just go for the plain old stroopwafels and forget the gimmicks. Your gift recipients will thank you. If the stroopwafel liqueur seems an overreach, another alcohol option for a gift is the egg nog flavored Advocaat liquor. Drink it at room temperature or heated up and mixed with whipped cream. Delicious, Dutch and something unusual and different.

Gift shopping at the grocery store

And again, without even entering a gift shop you can get all your souvenir shopping done. Just hit the local grocery store and you’ll find adorable mugs adorned with scenery from Bonaire. You will find mounted professional photos of scenery from around the island, you will find calendars, postcards, locally made liquor and more.  Also available right at the supermarket are Bonaire candies, Bonaire books, Bonaire mouse pads and of course different varieties of Bonaire Sea Salt. For made on Bonaire options go for the sea salt or the Kadushi brand liquor – or look into the books and artwork made by locals.

Souvenir re-usable Bonaire shopping bags

Speaking of the grocery store, sometimes the simplest things make the best gifts. Widely available are souvenir re-usable grocery bags. Easy and lightweight to bring back, some have colorful photos of Bonaire on them, some are made of organic cotton and come from the Netherlands and all are a useful gift that any eco-conscious adults in your life would appreciate. Especially nice gift for friends and family that know Bonaire firsthand and would enjoy the reminder of the pretty scenery, iguanas and donkeys when they go shopping back home.

T-shirt recommendations

If you still want a T-Shirt we think the ones they sell at Pirana Joe at the little mall downtown are pretty sweet.  T-shirts have a little stuffed piranha hanging off of them – not exactly made in Bonaire – but something the kids back home will probably enjoy if you decide to forego the sugary stroopwafel option. Another mall option in town is the color changing shop Del Sol. Gimicky but fun – everything from color changing shirts to shoes, jewelry, towels and nail polish.

Souvenir shopping just got easier on Bonaire – Shop till you drop!

advocaat liquor bonaire stroopwafels bonaire souvenir souvenir of Bonaire sea salt  souvenir bonaire photo mugs  souvenir calendars available at the grocery store  big selection of stroopwafels at Van Den Tweel supermarket

 

Where to go running or jogging on Bonaire – Queen’s Highway

Where to go running or jogging on Bonaire – Queen’s Highway
where to go running on bonaire where to go jogging on bonaire

Where to run or jog on Bonaire

One of our favorite places to go walking, running or jogging on Bonaire is the coastal road north of Kralendijk called Queen’s Highway. Along the Queens Highway you find the dive sites Thousand Steps, Jeff Davis and Witch’s Hut (Weber’s Joy.)

Drive your car to get there:

We suggest parking your car at Caribbean Club Resort which you’ll come across just before the dive site Oil Slick Leap and right across the street from Stinapa Bonaire Headquarters. From Caribbean Club start your run or walk down the short but steep hill towards the sea. Stop to stretch and enjoy the view at Oil Slick Leap and take in the scenery before embarking on your run. The run from Oil Slick Leap to Thousand Steps is under a mile so round trip you’d only do a two mile run if you stop at thousand steps. But you can go much further and the road continues, beautifully winding along the bright blue coast.

Go with a running partner

We recommend running in a group of two or more since the road can be pretty isolated as you head farther north, passing Thousand Steps. Between Oil Slick Leap and Thousand steps a few cars are sure to pass by now and then but further north you may not encounter anyone at all. The road becomes especially quiet as you pass Karpata where it becomes a one way street. Surprisingly the very narrow oceanside Queen’s Highway supports two way traffic until you reach Karpata. In our opinion this is the prettiest place to go running on Bonaire.

Tips for your run, walk or jog

Go early before it’s too hot, bring water, stop in at Caribbean Club afterwards to check it out and get a drink or try breakfast at their restaurant. Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit and go for a swim at Oil Slick leap after your run. Oil Slick has a deck with a ladder down to the water – a gorgeous place for a swim and a cool down after your workout. Oil Slick and the rugged coast along the Queen’s Highway make for an isolated and beautiful place to stretch and do yoga after your run as well.

Have a healthy Bonaire vacation!

 

Local food to try while visiting Bonaire – Pastechi

Local food to try while visiting Bonaire – Pastechi

Local food to try while visiting Bonaire – pastechi

Taste something new on your next trip to Bonaire. A tasty local food to try while visiting Bonaire is the Pastechi. These half-moon shaped fried dough pockets come filled with your choice of gouda cheese, ham and cheese, salt fish, tuna fish, ground beef, chicken as well as some vegetable or vegetarian options. Some of the chicken and beef pastechi include raisins.

Where to buy Pastechi

Pastechi, available at Van Den Tweel grocery store at the front counter and also at many of the smaller local shops such as Zhung Kong supermarket. Many shops sell pastechi that are made by locals and sold directly at the cash register out of tins brought in fresh daily. In our opinion the best pastechis come from The Flamingo Airport restaurant Techno Bar. So if you don’t get to try them during your trip, absolutely stop by the Techno Bar after checking in for your flight home. Sit in the air-conditioned Techno Bar before going to the departure gate area or take some pastechi on the plane for one last Bonairian lunch to go!

Pastechi at the supermarket

Van Den Tweel Supermarket also offers the option to eat-in. Try your pastechi with a cold beer or coffee at the supermarket while you people watch. Pastechis make the perfect, not-so-healthy snack, especially loved by kids but adults won’t complain. Warehouse Bonaire, another large supermarket, sells Pastechi in the bread section. Buy them to take home or bring to the beach for an easy lunch during a day out exploring Bonaire.

Other snack food and fast food from Bonaire

Other local food to try while visiting Bonaire includes fried Dutch treats. The most popular, frikandel, made with fried skinless bite-size sausage is an old fashioned Dutch comfort food. Frkenedel usually comes with curry ketchup and mayonnaise. 

Other snacks typically served alongside frikandel and also considered Dutch comfort food are bitterballen and kroketten. (The “en” at the end makes Dutch words plural but we think bitterballen sounds tastier than bitter balls… so will leave it at that). More on what we really think about Frikandel and these Dutch snacks in another post but suffice it to say we recommend sticking with pastechi! If you want  to try the other Dutch snacks we recommend tasting them with a real live Dutch person who can explain why, why, why. And barring that – wash them down with a few beers. Enjoy!