A Recommended Day Trip on Bonaire – Woodwind Bonaire Drift Snorkel

A Recommended Day Trip on Bonaire – Woodwind Bonaire Drift Snorkel

An Amazing Day Trip – Woodwind Bonaire

When guests ask us about snorkeling recommendations, the Woodwind Bonaire always comes to mind first and foremost! A snorkel trip on the Woodwind is one of the best ways to spend a day and truly experience Bonaire. Sea and water lovers of all ages and abilities can enjoy the pristine underwater aquarium which we lovingly know as The Bonaire National Marine Park. The BNMPencompasses all water surrounding the island. The Woodwind, a tri-hull catamaran, accommodates about 25 guests. The vessel itself, replaced in 2018 with a larger and more modern boat also replaced it’s iconic bright blue color for a sleek white.

What to expect on your Woodwind Bonaire adventure

Each day, the crew sails guests out from the dock at Divi Flamingo Hotel toward the small uninhabited island Klein Bonaire for drift snorkeling. Snorkelers begin to drift at the first location off the coast of Klein Bonaire. Once drifting, they meet up with the boat at the next location. The boat sails to it’s next mooring while the snorkelers drift, guided by an experienced free-diving tour guide. You can choose to drift two or three times, depending on the tour. Some guests prefer to remain on board to relax in the sun. Enjoy your day whether in or out of the water.

The Woodwind’s Knowledgable and Fun Crew

Dee, the owner, and her captain and crew provide everything you could possibly ask for. They fit you with all snorkel gear including prescription masks if needed. Choose to try a full face mask with built-in snorkel, the newest gadget in the world of snorkeling. The crew also fits you with fins of all sizes, sea skins, wetsuits, booties and swim vests.

The tour begins with top-notch instruction on how to snorkel comfortably and safely including proper fitting of your mask, snorkel and other gear. Experts on everything underwater and the Bonaire marine park in general, the crew guide you with as much or as little information as you wish on marine biology and the ecosystem of the reef. Once comfortably outfitted with mask, snorkel and all other gear, the fun begins! Snorkelers slowly enter the water, divided into small, guided groups to begin the drift. Your guide will dive deep to point out sea life including turtles, parrot fish, lobster, barracudas, coral, etc. Your guides are expert both at spotting turtles and keeping you safe and comfortable while you drift. They also make sure you are well hydrated and well fed while on-board.

The rescue trained crew genuinely care about the marine life they are lucky enough to get to share with their guests on a daily basis. The crew assists you with the technicalities of the snorkel itself as well as information about underwater life.

After your snorkel lunch is served, dessert is served, drinks are served… And then it’s back to the Divi Flamingo for goodbye’s and plans to do it again next time.

Types of cruises, rates and schedule

Choose between sunset sails, lunch and dinner sails, three and four stop sails, etc.  Drinks are unlimited, lunch is served. Additionally a photographer will be on board so your experience on the Woodwind can be captured with photographs or a video.

Full Day (5 hours)–$65.00

  • Sundays 9am – 2pm
  • Tuesdays 9am – 2pm
  • Wednesdays 10am – 3pm

3/4 Day (4 hours)–$55.00

  • Mondays 9am – 1pm
  • Thursdays 9am-1pm
  • Fridays 9am-1pm

Snorkel Sunsets–$60.00

  • Fridays 3:30pm until the sun sets
  • The Snorkel Sunset Cruise can be arranged for other nights upon request and availability.

Night Snorkels–$60.00

  • Inquire when on Bonaire for availability.

Woodwind Bonaire Tips

One useful tip is to watch the schedule for cruise ship days/hours and book your trip on the Woodwind in advance to avoid the big crowds. And a tip about tips – the Woodwind crew appreciate your tip at the end of another fabulous day on the water.

Whats on Bonaire: The last Beach Tennis Tournament of 2019

Whats on Bonaire: The last Beach Tennis Tournament of 2019

Come watch or join in for some Beach Tennis Tournament fun!

The final ranking Beach Tennis Tournament of 2019 takes place the weekend of December 14th and 15th 2019 at Spice Beach Club. The tournament can fill up fast so register early. Anyone can participate and all are welcome!

  • What: The final Doubles Beach Tennis Tournament of 2019
  • Who: Everyone is welcome to play at all levels. Sign up for your correct level: Fun, Intermediate or Advanced
  • Mens doubles Saturday December 14th.
  • Women’s doubles Saturday December 14th
  • Mixed doubles Sunday December 15th
  • Registration fee: $15 for one day, $25 for both days
  • How: sign up here

If you don’t feel ready for a tournament yet, come watch and support the athletes! Main sponsors of the event include Amstel Bright, La Terrazza Food and Wine, It Rains Fishes Restaurant, and Luciano Ice Cream Factory.

Not ready to compete?

Or if you haven’t yet done so, give Beach Tennis a try. It’s not complicated to learn and lots of fun. And what a wonderful way to combine some physical activity with your beach vacation. The courts at Coco Beach stay open all day until 9pm and are open to the public free of charge. Racquets and balls are available at Coco Beach to borrow or you can purchase a racquet through Beach Tennis Bonaire’s website. Courts stay open all week but Wednesdays are generally reserved for League Play.

If you’re new to the game, try Beach Tennis Bonaire’s organized training sessions. Join trainer Paco every Thursday night from 7 – 8 pm for a Fun training and from 8 – 9 pm for Intermediate training. Lessons cost $5 each week.

By the way, Beach Tennis Bonaire just turned the big FIVE. That’s right. The first Bonaire Beach Tennis tournament took place in November 2014. Here is a little look back on that historic moment!

First Beach Tennis Bonaire from stills ‘n’ stories on Vimeo.

 

What’s On At The Cinema Bonaire

What’s On At The Cinema Bonaire

What’s on at the Cinema Bonaire?

Empire Cinema Bonaire, our, our one and only movie theater- of course 100% outdoors – offers the following films for the week of November 28th to December 4th.

Learn more here about why we LOVE Empire Cinema Bonaire. And get some tips about your trip to the movies during your next visit to the island.

To make a reservation at Empire Cinema click here

This week’s schedule November 28th to December 4th

Ford Vs. Ferrari: 

  • Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, Ray McKinnon
  • Thursday Nov 28th 8:15pm
  • Sun December 1st 8:15pm
  • Mon December 2nd 8:15pm
  • Tue December 3rd 8:15pm
  • Rating: PG
  • Genre: action
  • Run time: 2 hrs 32 min
  • English version with Dutch subtitles
  • Tickets: $ 12

Frozen II English version

  • Veteran voice cast Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Ciarán Hinds return as their previous characters, and are joined by newcomers Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto.
  • Friday November 29th 6:15pm
  • Saturday November 30th 6:15pm
  • Wednesday December 4th 6:15pm
  • Rating: PG13
  • English 3D version
  • kids $ 9  Adult $ 11

 

Frozen II DUTCH version

  • Saturday November 30th 2:00pm (sold out)
  • Sunday December 1st 4:00pm
  • Wednesday December 4th 4:00pm
  • Rating: PG
  • Genre: Disney Animation
  • Run time: 1 hr 43min
  • DUTCH version
  • Tickets 2D: kids $ 8  Adults $ 9

Last Christmas

  • Starring: Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding
  • Thursday Nov 28th 6:15pm
  • Sun December 1st 6:15pm
  • Mon December 2nd 6:15pm
  • Tue December 3rd 6:15pm
  • Friday November 29th 8:15pm
  • Saturday November 30th 8:15pm
  • Wednesday December 4th 8:15pm
  • Rating: PG13
  • Genres: romance, comedy
  • Run time: 1 hr 43 min
  • English version with Dutch subtitles
  • Tickets: $ 9

Addams Family DUTCH version

  • Saturday November 30th 4:00pm
  • Sunday December 1st 2:00pm
  • Wednesday December 4th 2:00pm
  • Rating: G
  • Genres: animated, family comedy
  • Run time: 1 hr 27 min
  • Tickets: kids $ 8  Adults $ 9

Best Local Food: Maiky Snack

Best Local Food: Maiky Snack

Best Local Food: Maiky Snack

As you pass through the gate into the parking lot at Maiky Snack the first thing you notice is a big concrete sign painted with the words “Best Local Food.” The owner, Maiky, after all just wants you to know the truth! Indeed, we concur with Maiky. His snack restaurant has the best local food on the island. We don’t really agree with the word snack, though. What you are about to enjoy is a meal.

When to go

Plan ahead because Maiky Snack only opens Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 – 3:30. Because of the short span of opening hours Maiky Snack fills up quickly with locals on their lunch breaks and tourists in the know. By all means get there on the early side for the best selection. We love the traditional goat stew, or cabritu stoba. If you get there too late you might miss out on trying it!

Location and getting there

To get to the best local food you have to really want it! Located on an out of the way winding dirt road you can expect some searching and maybe some confusion. But all this only adds to the charm, fun and flavor. Tourists seem to take pride in just having found it!

Directions to Maiky Snack: Take Kaminda Sorobon from the traffic circle near Van Den Tweel Supermarket and continue on towards Lac Bay, passing Liangxiang Supermarket on your left. Not far after the supermarket make a soft left onto a wide dirt road marked by a huge billboard for Maiky Snack. Now it becomes tricky so pay close attention. You need to turn left at the blue rocks somewhere down that road. The rocks are small, not marked by any sign, on the ground and usually pretty faded. Once you turn left onto the unmarked road, Maiky is about a quarter mile ahead on your right. You’ll see the big Best Local Food sign. You made it!

Ordering

Order at the counter upon arrival and the staff alert you when it’s ready. Expect a good, island time kind of wait. So what to order? This is THE place to try goat stew, kabritu stoba. The word stoba means stew in Papiamento. It comes with a few sides of your choice. You may find papaya stoba on the menu which sounds vegetarian but it’s actually another version of goat stew, this time mixed with green papaya (not sweet). Snijboonchi stoba, bean stew likewise, is also not vegetarian; it’s a stew of  green beans with goat. Our personal favorite, the traditional kabritu stoba and a mix of the funchi, corn meal similar to polenta, never disappoints.

On Sundays you can choose between funchi and tutu. We go with the tutu every time. Tutu and funchi share similar ingredients but tutu contains black beans and sugar. We LOVE tutu. Aros, white rice and batata, thick cut fried potatoes, are also side options and all dishes come served with a couple of fried plantains and a small lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad. On your table you’ll find a couple types of hot sauce or salsa to add to your meal. Be careful – they can be quite spicy! Like we said earlier, Maiky serves a meal, not a snack. Expect to leave feeling happily full and satisfied.

Drinks

For drinks they serve up your choice of soft drinks, Polar, the local(ish) beer or Heineken in bottles. You can ask for a pitcher of water if you prefer. Tap water on Bonaire is safe to drink and delicious. Your very casual table awaits you in the shade of a rustic, almost camp style dining area. With the breeze and casual atmosphere you couldn’t ask for a more relaxing lunch. Maiky Snack does not offer dessert or coffee. This place is all about the goat. Interestingly and for some, disturbingly, goats (and sometimes cats, chickens and iguanas and donkeys) wander freely around the parking lot and yard while you eat. Farm to table, shall we say? We love it.

Expect to pay about $13 – $16 per person.

Insider tip: get there early as they can and do run out of food by the afternoon.

A real off-the-beaten-path Bonaire experience

The hours of operation, difficulty in finding it, (turn left at the big billboard sign and then left again at the almost impossible to see blue rocks), the menu in Papiamento scribbled on the blackboard all add up to a memorable off-the-beaten-path kind of day. And, add to that the unusual cuisine itself – goat stew, blood sausage, tutu anyone? It all really does add up to the “Best Local Food” on Bonaire. Add Maiky Snack to your Bonaire bucket list.

P.S. It’s really, really local. Most days owner Maiky himself is there taking orders and working the grill.  The goat doesn’t come from very far away either… An island favorite for a reason.

 

Last Minute Vacation Rentals Bonaire

Last Minute Vacation Rentals Bonaire

Last Minute and Last Second Vacation Rentals on the Island of Bonaire

Now offering last minute vacation rentals Bonaire! Breezybonaire Vacation Rentals offers two 1 bedroom and one 2-3 bedroom apartment that sleep between 2 and 7 people. The picture above shows the apartment complex housing all three breezybonaire units. The apartments, located in close walking distance to shops, restaurants and beaches, all come equipped with full kitchen, high speed internet, air conditioned bedrooms, mosquito screens, cable tv and much more. All apartments have a balcony overlooking a small marina.

We just added some special deals for upcoming dates in late 2019 and even in high season 2020 just to fill in a few gaps in our calendar. Last minute vacation rentals Bonaire:

Blue View 1  bedroom 1 bathroom vacation rental apartment – sleeps 4

blue view terrace last minute vacation rental bonaire  Blue View breezybonaire last minute vacation rental bonaire

Last second and open date discounts on the following dates in Blue View 1 Bedroom. Rates are for 2 guests and do not include final cleaning and tourist taxes:

  • December 4- 14th 2019 $109/night
  • January 20th to January 24th 2020 4 nights $110/night

Breezy Loft 2  bedroom + sleeping loft 2 bathroom vacation rental apartment – sleeps 7

breezy loft last second vacation rental bonaire  breezy loft last minute vacation rental bonaire

Last second and last minute discounts on the following dates in Breezy Loft 2 Bedroom. Rates are for 2 guests and do not include final cleaning and tourist taxes:

  • December 4th to December 14th $129/night for two guests
  • March 9-28th 2020 10% discount on rates for direct bookings

Sunny Yellow 1  bedroom 1 bathroom vacation rental apartment – sleeps 4

Sunny Yellow last minute vacation rental bonaire  sunny yellow last second vacation rental bonaire

Last second and open date discounts on the following dates in Sunny Yellow one bedroom. Rates are for 2 guests and do not include final cleaning and tourist taxes:

  • All remaining dates in December 2019 $109/night for two guests when you book direct

We add last second specials from time to time. Check the home page of the apartment you like, Breezy Loft, Blue View or Sunny Yellow. At the top of each page we list any current special offer. You can get in touch with us directly through our online form to get a quote. We always respond promptly! Book soon and learn why to book direct!

Things to do: The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

Things to do: The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

Things to do: The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

From the beginning the idea of going to look at some donkeys while on a tropical island never sat right so it took me a while to finally visit The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. But after we finally made it there our family “adopted” a donkey and continued to visit often, always searching for our donkey among the crowd.

A couple of hours at the Donkey Sanctuary make for a wonderful, unusual but relaxing excursion in the middle of nature. Take a tour of the donkey sanctuary and you won’t be disappointed. Kids love it! In a peaceful setting which feels a bit like being on safari, the sanctuary provides some sanctuary for us humans too. A great way to spend a peaceful afternoon. To tour the donkey sanctuary follow the only road around the park in your car, stopping to get out anywhere along the way to visit with the animals.

A little History

Donkeys have long been a fixture of the scenery of Bonaire. Just a few short years ago hundreds roamed the streets freely. Many fewer now roam the streets freely thanks to the sanctuary. But as of this writing the island government does not plan to completely eliminate donkeys from the landscape. Consequently many donkeys live at the sanctuary and a few live out and about just roaming the island. The Donkey Sanctuary houses over 400 donkeys. We don’t know the number of donkeys on the streets of the island.

In 1993 Dutch Nationals, Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman, established the donkey sanctuary on Bonaire to cure for sick, wounded and orphaned donkeys. The sanctuary was located on land bordering the airport. When the island became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2010 the Sanctuary was forced to move and give up some of it’s land because by European law it was too close to the airport runway. Some of the land remained theirs and the entrance area and gift shop moved to a completely new spot. The entrance and gift shop are now located on the road to Sorobon, Kaya Statius Van Eps.

The sanctuary now houses most of the donkey population of Bonaire. Males are castrated to keep the population down. Sick animals are cared for and any animal that enters lives out it’s life in the sanctuary. When a donkey cannot be cured they are put down peacefully. The sanctuary provides an amazing service and for a wonderful cause. It saves the lives of donkeys and also of people because fewer donkeys on the road mean fewer car accidents. Your visit to the sanctuary helps pay for the care of these animals.

Your tour of the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire would go something like this

  1. Arrive
  2. pay your entrance fee at the shop
  3. Check out the fun products for sale at the shop
  4. Buy a bag of carrots or two or three to feed the donkeys
  5. Drive in the main gate past the gift shop. First stop visit the young, new, or injured donkeys that are corralled near the entrance to the park. See the photo above. Usually one of the volunteers can tell you their history. You probably stay in this area for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on your interest.
  6. Get in your car and start the drive.
  7. The first stop off is a wooden lookout structure – Climb it! From the top you have a wonderful open view of the park itself and some wonderful island views. There’s even a camera up top where you can deposit a quarter to get an even more panoramic view. This stop could be your first encounter with some donkeys to feed.
  8. Feed some donkeys. Using the carrots you bought at the entrance hold the carrots in your hand with your fingers together and palm flat. Do not let the carrots fall to the ground as the donkeys should not eat dirt and they will eat the carrots off the ground if you allow them to fall.
  9. Keep circling around the road and encounter more donkeys. And more donkeys. And more donkeys. Feeding stations along the way mark the route. A larger feeding station where the animals get their feed twice a day can be a crazy crowded place. Once or twice I’ve been there with no donkeys anywhere but in the large feeding area. They know when it”s mealtime!
  10. Drive back out through the gate and get one more chance to stop at the gift shop.

You contribute just by visiting

You can help the donkey sanctuary continue their important work saving the animals just by visiting, but you can also volunteer your time, or “adopt” a donkey for a year with a larger donation. Easy to get to and very accessible just off the main road to Sorobon, Kaya Statius Van Eps, The Donkey Sanctuary offers a fun half day excursion and your visit contributes to the well-being of the animals.

The Best Hiking Trail on Bonaire: Mt. Brandaris

The Best Hiking Trail on Bonaire: Mt. Brandaris

The best hiking trail on Bonaire

In our opinion the best hiking trail on Bonaire is the hike up Mt. Brandaris inside the National Park.

For adventurous guests looking for some real exercise in the middle of nature we have just the thing for you! Take a drive into the Washington Slagbaai National Park and climb Mt. Brandaris, the highest peak on the island of Bonaire. It’s a difficult, yet not so difficult climb. That is to say the peak is at only 784 feet and only takes about a half hour to reach. But, the climb is steep in places and best done by those that are are moderately fit and not too too scared of heights. The views from the top and along the way make it worth the effort. Do not expect guard rails, well marked trails or handholding. Do expect a steep, hand over foot four limbed climb as you near the summit. Just a few faded yellow dots painted onto rocks mark the way. Rocks can slip out from under you. Do not expect a crowd. Expect an adventure!

Tips:

  • Park rules indicate you must reach the start of the hike by 12 noon so get an early start.
  • Bring plenty of water and if possible it should be in a backpack, not hand-held. You need your hands free for climbing near the summit
  • Wear a sun visor and sunglasses
  • Wear sneakers or hiking shoes but not flip flops or sandals
  • Exiting the park you have quite a long rough road ahead of you. Leave enough time for a stop at Wayaka II beach on the way out and enjoy the island’s most beautiful, isolated spot to cool off after your hike
  • Bring snacks and/or picnic lunch

Keep in mind if you plan to visit the park’s other beaches by driving the long route inside the National Park – that should probably be saved for a separate day trip. It costs $25 to enter the national park no matter how many times you go in one year, so if you do the “long route”, consider doing the hike as well a different day to get the most bang for your buck. The Mount Brandaris hiking trail is located on the other route, known as the “short route.”

At the entrance to the National Park you will be greeted by the park service ranger where you will show or buy your admission pass. They can answer your questions about getting to Mt. Brandaris. The one-way rocky roads are abundant with nature; lizards, cacti, flowers, goats, iguanas, birds such as green parrots. The view from the summit is unlike anything else on Bonaire. Stunning!

Wine Tasting on Bonaire; Antillean Wine Company and Wine & Paint Night

Wine Tasting on Bonaire; Antillean Wine Company and Wine & Paint Night

Weekly and monthly Wine tasting events on Bonaire

Wine tasting on Bonaire, what a wonderful way to meet the locals! In addition to beaches, diving and windsurfing we find it so much fun to see what people living on Bonaire are up to in the evenings. These events are for everyone, tourists and locals.

Two recurring events not to miss if you are on the island the second Saturday of the month at Antillean Wine Company or each week Wednesday at Eddy’s Bar

Antillean Wine Company
  • The next wine tasting takes place Saturday December 14th 2019 7-9pm
  • and then 7pm – 9pm every second Saturday the month

Every second Saturday of the month locals and tourists meet up at an unexpected little wine tasting event. Unexpected because it takes place in a self storage facility. Antillean Wine Company (AWC) located across the street from Warehouse Bonaire Supermarket at Kaya Industria 23, literally in a self storage facility and literally on a street called Industrial Street – hosts this cheerful monthly meet-up. Other unexpected things about this wine company in a storage facility is that they have more or less the widest selection of imported wines anywhere on the island and they also sell refrigerators, lamps, rugs and Ikea products.

For $15 you get three glasses of white wine and three glasses of red wine. And you get some lively conversation to go along with it! This event can be quite popular so get there early to claim your seat. Because of the popularity of this event the hosts recommend bringing your own chairs.

Wine and Paint Night with Studio Sauvignon at Eddy’s Bar

For something with a little more going on than just wine, try combining wine and art! Get your creative juices flowing at Wine and Paint Night with Studio Sauvignon at Eddy’s Bar

You’ll find Eddy’s north of Kralendijk near Sand Dollar Resort. Make your reservation now!

  • The next Wine and paint night takes place Wednesday, November 27th 7-9pm
  • Dec 4th 7-9pm
  • Dec 11th 7-9pm
  • December 18th 7-9pm
  • December 25th (we are not sure if this is correct but it’s listed on their calendar.)

Studio Sauvignon will give you step by step guided painting lessons no matter what your level. Group lessons at Eddy’s also include two glasses of wine. Pick your favorite and fill your glass before sitting down at your canvas to get painting.

The cost is $39 including painting lesson, all materials and two glasses of wine.

To reserve your canvas contact Studio Sauvignon on their website. Limited spaces available. Studio Sauvignon also offers private paint lessons at birthday parties, fundraisers, get-togethers, company parties, reunions, kid’s parties and any other celebration you have in mind. Contact them for details.

Places to Eat on the Beach: Jibe City Hangout Bar

Places to Eat on the Beach: Jibe City Hangout Bar

the hangout bar at jibe city where to eat lunch in Bonaire  red snapper and pita jibe at jibe city

best places to eat lunch on the beach  jibe city hangout bar pina colada and beer

Places to eat on the Beach:

Looking for the best places to eat on the beach? Seven days a week at Jibe City Hangout Beach Bar dine on sandwiches, salads, fresh fish, ribs and more. If you are on Bonaire to windsurf this is your home restaurant! Divers tend to discover this place on their last, non-diving day. The good news is that if they weren’t already planning a return visit this little excursion will likely seal the deal.

The relaxed atmosphere, good food and friendly service at Jibe City Hangout Bar make it a great spot to unwind after a tough day on the water. But what makes it spectacular is the waterfront location. Just look at where that hamburger is located in the photo above! So close it may fall right in.

Hangout bar hours of operation:

Get to Jibe City as early as 8am for a nice cappuccino or coffee served with a gingerbread cookie or stay for lunch. The hangout bar is open until 7pm daily and 11pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays make a reservation for their famous Table BBQ night where you grill your own dinner right at your own BBQ on your dinner table! Special tarps cover the restaurant when wind would make this event into a fire hazard! Friday nights Tapas are served until 11pm.

What to eat:

On a windy day like the one pictured below we suggest avoiding the salads  on the menu. Not because we don’t like them – but because eating a salad in this much wind doesn’t work so well. We suggest burgers, chicken sate, or the smoked salmon sandwich served with capers and onions on your choice of white or whole wheat fresh soft baguette. Our overall favorite is the “Pita Jibe,” a pita chicken wrap served with a basil pesto, tomato and cheese with chips on the side. I tried the Pita Jibe on my first visit to Bonaire in 2003 and it’s still a favorite 16 years later. The special on the day I took these shots was the garden salad with crispy fried red snapper and a mango dressing – pictured above. Delicious!

Places to drink on the beach?!

You cannot get closer to the water. And as an added bonus you get to watch some of the best windsurfers in the world race right by you as you sit back and enjoy every minute.

If you get a tropical drink any time of your life, do it now! A traditional beer after windsurfing with friends – your choice of Heinkeken, Amstel, Amstel Bright (extra alcohol), Corona, or the Curacao based Polar. Brewery craft beer has not hit Jibe City quite yet so if you don’t like the old school beers try my personal favorite tropical drink a pina colada. Jibe City also makes a great mojito. Bon appetit and cheers!

 

 

What are The Best Beaches on Bonaire: Thousand Steps

What are The Best Beaches on Bonaire: Thousand Steps

One of the best beaches on Bonaire: Thousand Steps

Put Thousand Steps Bonaire on your list of must see beaches for your next trip to the island. 1000 Steps entrance is at the top of a long staircase. Not exactly one thousand steps high so don’t let the name intimidate you!

Getting there

To get to Thousand Steps, drive North through Kralendijk, turning to the right past Caribbean Club Bonaire and continuing along the Queen’s Highway. Although it’s called a highway, it’s actually a narrow, oceanside road with two way traffic. In my opinion the Queen’s Highway is the most scenic road on Bonaire. Come back to the Queen’s Highway for a scenic walk or run if you enjoy this drive.

What to bring

Bring snorkel gear – mask, fins, rash guard, bathing suit, towels, sunglasses and sunscreen.

There is no place to sit and no facilities at Thousand Steps. Bring a folding beach chair if you plan to stay a while or want to get comfortable outside of the water. Snacks and water can’t hurt either. At breezybonaire we provide a cooler, cool pack and folding beach chairs for  these off-the-beaten-path beach excursions.

There is no shade at all at this beach so bring sunglasses, hat and if you have access to it bring a beach umbrella. Expect hot, sunny weather and not too much breeze.

Tips:

When I visit Thousand Steps it’s usually for a short snorkel and some sightseeing. I don’t tend to stay too long because of the lack of shade. It’s a great place to check out the coral on the beach. I’ve often found hermit crabs with my kids, sometimes by the hundreds if you know where to look. There are some cave-like areas and lots of exploring to be had for children. When along the Queen’s highway stop off at the lesser known Jeff Davis Dive site, Tolo and Weber’s Joy as well.

 

The Lazy Tourist’s Guide to Shopping for Gifts on Bonaire

The Lazy Tourist’s Guide to Shopping for Gifts on Bonaire

photos sold at the grocery store with island scenes        tekibon liquor made on bonaire   van den tweel shopping bags make great gifts       souvenir bonaire photo mugs

 The lazy tourist’s Guide to Shopping for Gifts on Bonaire

Lazy, eh? Don’t get me wrong. I love shopping but I don’t particularly love shopping for gifts on Bonaire nor do I want to spend my vacation doing so. Get me out of the gift shops and out/in/on/around the Caribbean SEA! But… someone is feeding the fish, someone’s getting my mail… I may even have left a child or two back home. They’re going to need something to ease my guilty mind and tanned body… So here we go with the lazy tourist’s guide to shopping for gifts on Bonaire.

Van Den Tweel Supermarket for easy gift shopping on Bonaire

Of course when on Bonaire I always make a trip or two to the grocery store to load up for the week (or the month…) Conveniently nowadays the grocery store IS the lazy tourist’s gift shop. The folks back home will never know.

I snapped the pictures in this post at Van Den Tweel supermarket located on Kaya Industria about a mile or so from my apartment at breezybonaire. Choose from mugs embossed with glossy Bonaire Scenery, liqueurs – TikiBon Brand, or beer – Bonaire Blond brand, made and bottled right here on Bonaire. Other options include postcards, calendars with colorful Bonaire art and photography, a pretty good variety of local sea salt of both the edible and the spa treatment variety. Scenic photographs ranging from postcard size to just barely fitting in your suitcase also make great gifts or better yet, souvenirs of your trip. For friends that have actually been to Bonaire before some grocery bags with Bonaire scenery will remind them of their own visits to the island.

Food products to bring back from Bonaire as gifts

You can also get more creative by touring around the supermarket and looking for Dutch or Bonairian food specialties to bring home. When I’m on Bonaire I usually come back to the US with at least 8 or 10 packs of stroopwafels (A type of waffle cookie filled with caramel often served heated up). Unfortunately those are becoming more common in the US and as such, slightly less interesting as a gift idea. Still they are inexpensive, pack easily in your suitcase and pretty much a delight to anyone receiving them. As an aside – if you buy them before getting on the plane, store them in the refrigerator until time to pack up and go home.

To be honest, although simple, easy and yes – lazy, these ideas appeal to me more than t-shirts or little trinkets. If this isn’t your cup of tea there are a large variety of gift shops on Kaya Grandi, the main road in downtown Kralendijk. You’ll find t-shirts, key chains and Bonaire mugs. Try to avoid downtown when a cruise ship is in port.

Where to eat lunch on the Beach in Bonaire: Spice Beach

Where to eat lunch on the Beach in Bonaire: Spice Beach

lunch on the beach at spice beach club  dinner at spice beach club bonaire

At Spice Beach Club lunch is served here: right on the beach (left) and breakfast and dinner are served in the covered restaurant on the right.

Where to eat lunch on the beach in Bonaire

When visiting the island for a week you want to find that perfect combination of beach vibe, good food and view. Maybe you noticed from my previous blog posts, but I’m always after that relaxing turquoise view. I search for great places to relax and have a meal right on the water.

I like Spice Beach Club especially for lunch as you can dine with your feet in the sand and your eyes on the water. The food is decent – the atmosphere relaxed. And best of all you lunch barefoot in the sand with turquoise water views.

What to eat

On our last visit we tried the catch of the day, mahi-mahi, pictured above. It comes with fries and a small salad. Spice chefs serve up a simple, fresh and filling meal – not fancy but just right. If not more than right at $14.75 for fresh fish, ocean view and feet in the sand. I also recommend chicken Sate –  a good choice for picky kids and adults alike. On the day we lunched at Spice the special was a big slice of meat Lasagna, another crowd pleaser again at $14.75.

What not to eat:

Try the “Dutch treats” if you’ve never tried them – bitterballen, krokets, frikandel and other fried, crunchy and sometimes slimy goodies comprise these so-called treats. We are not huge fans if you didn’t gather from the use of the word slimy.  But frikandel, a fried sausage made from chicken, pork and beef, bitterballen, breaded balls of meat and stew, krokets, a fried cylinder shaped snack filled with ragout and described by google as containing “strands” of meat are well known Dutch comfort foods. These and other Dutch treats are a sort of tradition in the way Americans traditions include peanut butter and Australian traditions include Vegemite. The Dutch comfort themselves with these little balls of fried meat and goo. Have I convinced you to try them yet?

Restaurant Hours:

  • Breakfast in the dining area 8-11am
  • Lunch at the beach hut 11am-6pm
  • Dinner in the dining area 6pm-10pm
  • happy hour every day – call for hours
  • live music friday nights
  • beach bbq Friday nights

The Spice Beach Hut is open in the evenings for happy hour and has live music and other entertainment on Friday nights as well as a special BBQ night on Friday evenings.

What else to do at Spice

Bring your bathing suit, mask and flippers. Jump in the sea after lunch and go for a snorkel. Beach chairs and cabanas are available for rent. It can be crowded on the beach and we actually prefer more isolated spots but this is a kid friendly way to pass some time and not a bad place to park your family for a day of relaxation on Bonaire.