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Top 7 Best Bonaire Beach Resorts


As one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands in the world, and one of the most pristine, Bonaire is the perfect vacation spot for couples and families looking for top-rated resorts!

With year-round sun and warm waters, it’s the perfect spot to find your breezy beach getaway and let the sun and sand of Bonaire show you what true relaxation is all about. Whether it’s all-inclusive, private, adults only, or simply meant to pamper, there’s a resort for everyone in this paradise.

Harbour Village Beach Club

Take a walk along the white sands and grab a drink along the way at Harbour Village Beach Club.

Harbour Village is an exceptional choice for the travelers looking to truly relax and be pampered, as well as the beach enthusiasts wanting privacy while reclining along the shore. Set on a private, 4-acre section of the island, Harbour Village espouses world-class amenities including a spa and the La Balandra Restaurant, quietly sitting along the white sands and serving unbeatable fresh local fish (as well as many other delectable dishes).

In addition to your relaxation needs, Harbour has an on-site five-star PADI dive center that lets you experience all the Caribbean has to offer, and get certified to dive the depths off the island!

Address: Kaya Gobernador N.Debrot

Eden Beach Resort

Enjoy this view while sipping a cocktail at Spice Beach Club at Eden Beach Resort.

One of our personal favorites is Eden Beach, located directly across from Klein Bonaire, where you can snorkel and sun to your heart’s delight, this resort is comfortable, friendly, and accommodating in every way. Clean, cozy rooms and a relaxed atmosphere are constantly on tap at Eden. Friday night the onsite entertainment is Spice Beach Club, the resort’s restaurant, bar, and nightclub. Spice brings you beach-side cocktail parties amidst comfortable cabanas where you can hoist a mojito and watch the sun set across the ocean in one of the most beautiful vistas the Caribbean has to offer.

The sea-facing bar and restaurant cater to the fun-loving vacationers from across the world, with local drinks and food that are sure to delight. During the day you can grab a swim a few steps away from your cabana (snorkel gear is available for rent or purchase), or take the short 15-minute water taxi ride to the white shores of Klein Bonaire for an unbelievable experience.

Address: Bulevard. Gobernador Nicolaas Debrot 73, Kralendijk

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino

The beautiful views at Divi Flamingo.

Named after the beautiful pink bird that nests on the island, Divi Flamingo specializes in the joy of the tropics – sun, fun, and the sea. Located just a few minutes’ walk from the fun and lively downtown of Kralendijk, Divi offers two fresh water pools in addition to it’s snorkeling and diving, as well as a fitness center for those times when you want to be on dry land!

Now offering all-inclusive packages in Bonaire, leave your worries behind and plan out your vacation here, from their excellent restaurants and bars to their top-notch dive center, Divi Flamingo caters to Caribbean enthusiasts of all ages, including families.

For a bit of late-night excitement, grab a cocktail and head to the casino, which is open late and always lively!

Address: J.A. Abrham Blvd #40 Kralendijk

Coral Paradise Diving Resort

You may not want to get out of the water at Coral Paradise.

Set along the sandy shores of Bonaire, Coral Paradise offers all the amenities of a five-star resort, including an air-conditioned rental vehicle which is included in all vacation packages, as well as free taxi transfer from Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport. Coral Paradise has among the best reviews on the island among tourists, all at very reasonable rates (about $150 per night).

Once you settle in, you’ll feel right at home with their in-suite kitchens, relaxing in-ground pool, and grill area where you can kick back and get some sun. In addition to Coral Paradise’s resort conveniences, they cater to dive enthusiasts with 24-hour shore diving and daily boat departures.

All scuba equipment is conveniently available for rental or sale at their neighboring dive operator location!

Address: 107 Kaya Gob. N. Debrot, Kralendijk

Bellafonte Resort

Bellafonte is an idyllic location at night.

The Bellafonte is a luxury oceanfront hotel that caters to exclusivity with it’s 22 private ocean-facing apartments and round-the-clock concierge happy to help you with any of your vacation needs. You’re made to feel right at home in this private and idyllic resort, set away from the mainstream vacationers for a more personal experience.

Rated number one on TripAdvisor for shore diving, as well as diving for beginners, the Bellafonte is an ideal spot to test your scuba skills along their beautiful shores. If snorkeling is more your speed, you’re in the perfect spot as well!

Address: 10 EEG Boulevard Kralendijk

Plaza Beach Resort

The sun sets outside Plaza Beach Resort, an all-inclusive paradise.

Enjoy your time on this beautiful island with a stress-free all inclusive stay at the Plaza, the largest diving resort in Bonaire.

Fully stocked from the food, to the drinks and the nightlife, relax and let the winds of the Caribbean flow around you from dawn till dusk. The Plaza’s beach area is second to none, with kayaks and paddle-boards ready for you to take out on the ocean.

In addition, take advantage of the endless clear waters and tropical sea life with their complimentary snorkel equipment, and find out what makes Bonaire a true paradise. After the sun sets, spend your evenings at the Tipsy Seagull restaurant, facing the blue waters of Bonaire, or grab a cocktail at their beach bar for a relaxed vibe! It’s especially great for couples seeking a romantic getaway, and those looking for an adults-only evening can spend a few dollars at the on-premise casino.

Address: 80 Julio A. Abraham Boulevard, Kralendijk

Buddy Dive Resort

Buddy Dive Resort provides ample underwater photo opportunities – make sure to rent a camera!

Located on the waterfront, Buddy Dive is an oasis for divers and snorkelers alike, and one of our personal favorites. With dive rentals, car rentals and two crystal-clear pools, you won’t need to go far to find anything you need while staying here, all at an affordable rate of around $150 per night.

In addition to their ideal location and amazing staff, Buddy Dive’s ocean-facing restaurant is second to none. After a tasty and fresh lunch, rent an underwater camera for the day at the dive shop, and walk down the steps into the sea for some of the most unbelievable view of Bonaire’s tropical sea life you’ll ever see. The rental includes a full disc of all the picutres you took while swimming along the gentle waters, a priceless souvenir you can keep with you even after you leave the island!

Address: 85 Kaya Gob. N. Debrot, Kralendijk

Bonaire truly is a beautiful place that has it all – from family friendly to romantic getaways for couples. No matter where you stay, you’ll be afforded all the amenities and luxuries of five-star establishments while only spending three-star price.

One of our favorite locations in the world, Bonaire is an island that has to be seen to be believed!

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Que Rico Puerto Rico – Part I


Que Rico, Puerto Rico – Part I was written by Tito Mendez, a Puerto Rican native who lives in South Florida with his wife, Cristina. He is an accomplished writer and Program Manager for one of the largest international distribution companies in the world. Tito’s social media profile can be found here

Puerto Rico is easily on top of my favorite places to visit. Given that I was raised there doesn’t make me biased, yet it makes me wonder – how can you live someplace for the majority of your life and still want to continuously visit? That’s easy, because living somewhere doesn’t mean you have seen it all and when it comes to this Borinquen island there is no exception.

What you will read will contain two parts, one from the eyes of a traveler and the other from the eyes of a local. I hope you enjoy and book a ticket before you reach the end to see all of the great places of interest in Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide and is the smallest and the most eastern island of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico). However, this doesn’t mean you can see the sites Puerto Rico has to offer on a week-long vacation. The inner parts of the island are incredible sites that you only usually see on a promotional travel commercial, as without the aid of a local the typical “tourist” never ventures this far inward. Before we get into the meat of what the island offers, however, let’s talk a bit about those traditional tourist spots and some twists along the way.

Traditional Travels

Despite the depth of Puerto Rico, you can still experience much of the culture and vibe of what is offered from a standard tourists’ travel.

For your traditional feel of what Puerto Rico truly is, you would ideally be staying in San Juan, Bayamon, or Old San Juan (by far my favorite). If you are staying in any of the following places I mentioned above, you are bound to have a great time.

So what do these areas have to offer?

Old San Juan was established in 1509, and it unquestionably shows it. The roads are mainly cabo stones that are beautiful to walk on but a little slippery after it rains (side note, Puerto Rico is a tropical rain forest so expect it to rain 1-2 hours daily). It also offers classic apartments, homes, churches and other fascinating architecture that may seem very different yet flattering. I suggest AirBnB to get a place that is within the city, most of which will be beautiful and contain hundreds of years of history, in opposition to traditional hotels with a cookie-cutter, tourist feel.

San Juan is littered with beautiful, colorfully painted buildings that are full of character.

You can walk Old San Juan in a day, see much of what needs to be seen, and truly get to experience beautiful sites such as El Morro. This fort, built in 1589, boasts walls 18 feet high with thick, fortified stone. You are allowed to enter both sites (Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal) with a cheap ticket price, and both are worth the time. Here you will be able to experience what it looked like for soldiers to fight and keep watch over the island, giving you a feel of what life was like for the defenders of the island hundreds of years ago.

You will also be able to visit “La Fortaleza”, Old San Juan’s original defense fortification before the construction of El Morro, Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, the second oldest European settlement in the west hemisphere, San Juan Gate (built in 1749), and Paseo de la Princesa, a trail that dates back to 1852 where you will find cafes, benches, musicians, and vendors.

La Fortaleza from the sea.

Venturing out of Old San Juan there are a few gems to keep in mind when you visit. Those are the Bacardi factory (even if you’re not a drinker, you simply need a tour of this facility) and El Yunque, a tropical “Rain Forrest” that is the largest mountain in Puerto Rico. You will be allowed to walk up the mountain to the very top, while gaining some history and beautiful views of animals, rivers, and waterfalls. One story you will here often is, “according to ancient Indian Legend, a good spirit ‘Yuquiyu’ (or ‘Yokahu’) reigned on his mightily mountain-top throne, protecting Puerto Rico and its people.” The feel atop El Yunque seems to give this story reality.

Borinquen Beaches

Once the historical aspects of Old San Juan grow long on you, you would be wise to enjoy some of the more popular beaches in the San Juan area. These beaches not only offer amazing scenery but also great street food that is cooked traditionally with firewood right in front of you.

The beautiful east side of Puerto Rico.

These beaches include:

Ocean Park – It attracts more adults and less of the family fare. The wide beach, lined with palm and sea grape trees, fronts a residential neighborhood of beautiful homes, free of the high-rise condos that line other San Juan beaches. Expect to find more beer than kids in this idyllic location.

Luquillo Beach – (My wife’s favorite beach) 30 miles east of San Juan, has better sands and clearer waters than most in San Juan. The vast sandy beach opens onto a crescent-shaped bay edged by a coconut grove. Coral reefs protect the crystal-clear lagoon from the often rough Atlantic waters that can buffet the northern coast, making Luquillo a good place for young children to swim.

Pine Grove Beach -Near the airport, it is a crescent-shaped, white-sand beach whose tranquil, blue waters are protected by an offshore reef from the often-rough Atlantic current.

For bars and drinks there really isn’t any that you can go wrong with, each bar bringing a unique approach to specialty cocktails. My advice is to stay open minded, try something you haven’t heard of before and don’t be afraid to take the advice of a local! I can assure you that most are naturally made and delicious. We’ll cover more of that in Part II, however…

Until then, have fun y hasta luego!

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Top 10 Most Beautiful Underrated Caribbean Islands


The Caribbean is too-often associated with simply being a destination of family cruises, where one is taken out into the ocean on a big boat, dumped onto a tourist-friendly block of an island and swooped back up twelve hours for another jaunt to the next location. The truth is, the Caribbean offers many islands that are worth the flight and hotel expense not only because of the impeccable weather, but variety of rich, cultured experiences available on virtually every island. Especially great is the remote nature of these islands as off-the-beaten path destinations for quiet vacations.

Additionally, this beautiful expanse of islands is mistakenly summed up by thinking of a few locations only – Jamaica, Bahamas and Aruba being those that stand out when individuals and couples search for the best islands in the Caribbean. Fortunately, there is so much more to be seen and experienced out of the 28 island nations in the Caribbean, as well as the more than 7,000 individual islands! There are a million reasons to travel to the Caribbean, but here are some of our favorite under the radar locations and why we think you should go!

Curaçao

Part of the sister islands that make the ABC islands (along with Bonaire and Aruba), Curacao boasts incredible beach-fronts, crystal-clear water and some of the best and most affordable resorts in the Caribbean. Part touristic, part untouched, Curacao has something in mind for the beach-goer and party-goer, including some of the most stunning vistas in the Caribbean as well as a thriving nightlife in downtown Willemstad, the capital. Lastly, the ABCs are technically removed from the hurricane belt, making weather a nearly non-factor year-round for the gorgeous utopia.

Perhaps the most truly differentiating things on the island to experience is the shipwreck on Klein Curacao, a small island just off the mainland. Curacao is, in fact, a hot-bed of shipwreck activity with several notable locations to dive or snorkel around shipwrecks such as the Superior Producer, which went down in 1978.

Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

Most come to the Dominican Republic for Punta Cana, the coastal city littered with all-you-can-eat packages and Caribbean tourists who want to be in the Caribbean without actually being in the Caribbean. However, Bayahibe offers a truer and less stale experience than Punta cana. Take advantage of the locally-prepared seafood dishes and scuba diving by day, and the numerous, thriving and vibrant live music establishments by night. Kviar Show Disco & Casino Bayahibe is a favorite place that doubles as a location to dance the night away, have some drinks, and risk a few bucks on the blackjack table.

Bonaire

 

There are countless reasons to visit Bonaire, and its not only our favorite place in the Caribbean, but arguably our favorite place in the world. Small, unspoiled and untouched, Bonaire is a water-lover’s dream, featuring some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, as well as a vibrant nightlife and excellent cultural experiences.

Make sure to visit Klein Bonaire, a small swath of land directly opposing the primary tourists’ area in the capital of Kralendijk, where daily boats will take you on a short ride to experience a completely unfettered snorkeling experience. Don’t forget to take your own food and drink, however, because Klein is completely uninhabited. Bonaire is ridiculously romantic, and absolutely perfect as a Caribbean get-away for couples!

Nevis

Nevis is small. Very small, at only 36 square miles. However, what the tiny island lacks in size it makes up for in richness. There is simply so much to do in this idyllic paradise, including volcano exploration, hiking, camping, snorkeling and diving – to name a few.

Additionally, Nevis doubles as the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, 18th century American statesman and the 1st Treasury Secretary in national history. Hamilton is honored throughout the island, including a casual trip through the now-museum that sits at the site of his birthplace. You’ll have to fly from Miami into into neighboring St. Kitts to reach Nevis, but the extra layover is absolutely worth it.

Grenada

Grenada is rolling and stunning, although often overlooked in favor of many of its neighbors. It is possibly one of the most unspoiled islands in the West Indies, and retains original colonial charm as well as a casual atmosphere and amazing food. St. George, the island nation’s capital, is a cultural landmark full of historic museums and inviting people.

The Coyaba Beach Resort is the place to stay, as it includes reasonable prices, beautiful rooms and one of the best restaurants on the island – the Arawakabana

Saba

Saba is the smallest Dutch-Caribbean island, and certainly one of the most beautiful. Called the “Unspoiled Queen”, the island houses less than two-thousand residents, making it an ideal choice for those looking to truly disappear off the grid.

In addition, Saba has some of the highest elevation in the Caribbean, making it the perfect location for hiking and mountain biking, at more than 1,200 feet in elevation. The lifestyle on Saba is different from much of the Caribbean – slow and old-fashioned with little nightlife, even with the emergence of an ecotourism industry in the last few decades.

Tobago

Just north of Venezuela sits Trinidad and Tobago, the southernmost country in the Caribbean. Trinidad is unquestionably the bigger brother of the two, being larger, more industrialized and more acclimated to tourism, but Tobago offers much. Low-key and unspoiled, there are a few resorts in Tobago such as the Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort where the ocean is warm year-round, completely calm and untampered. Additionally, Le Grand Courlan is a perfect couples resort because of its adults-only policy!

Tobago is scenically stunning due to a natural feature most Caribbean islands lack in volume – bays. Tobago has numerous well-known bays that are ideal for boating, diving or simply swimming. What’s better is that many of these are away from what few “touristy” areas there are, while remaining perfectly safe.

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are stunning visually and even more interesting historically, as a remaining location where the infamous pirate Blackbeard allegedly hid his treasure – estimated at more than $14 million according to record. Accessible through the Grand Cayman, these islands offer superb adventures for scuba divers, cliff divers and windsurfers.

Legend has it that Blackbeard’s treasure is hidden along an area of rocky shoal that outlines the beautiful Cayman Brac. This shoal reaches high and vast, attracting rock climbers and hikers in addition to the already-present divers and treasure hunters! Beyond the shoal lie vast caves scattered along the coastline where small amount of gold, silver and jewels have been found over the years!

Barbados

Barbados is a natural wonder, complete with beautiful, scenic nature that is perfect for calm, casual walks throughout the island. Botanical gardens, forest trails and caves are virtually everywhere, making Barbados a perfect off-the-grid location to reconnect with nature. Harrison’s Cave is a wonderful location for a truly unique Caribbean experience, and afterward you could east to the stunning Bathsheba Beach or to the south, where the Mount Gay Rum distillery has been in operation since 1703.

On Barbados’ Platinum Coast, the calm water is ideal for swimming, snorkeling or simply doing nothing.  For culinary enthusiast, the coastal fishing town of Oistons is ideal to try your hand at fry fishing with locals and familiarizing yourself with authentic Caribbean cuisine!

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

If you visit Puerto Rico, and you should, make sure to take a small ferry over to Vieques Island, a small and quiet paradise filled with lavish resorts, mangroves, wildlife and picturesque beaches. The Vieques Wildlife National Refuge is a must-see feature of this island, as it retains much of the natural Puerto Rican wildlife to be left undisturbed and protected.

Just eight miles east of the mainland Puerto Rico, Vieques features some of the most beautiful black-sand beaches in the Caribbean, as well as Bahía Bioluminiscente. Also called “Bio Bays”, these are bodies of water that contain millions of micro-organisms, called “dinoflagellates”, that glow in the dark for a second when agitated. It is a rare, natural wonder that you can easily experience while visiting Puerto Rico. Have your camera ready!

There’s more to the Caribbean than cruises or Jamaica. With an area so moving, so beautiful and so vast, the numbers of island nations are far more varied than most imagine and offer myriad unique experiences for anyone willing to take a chance. Often, these more “out of the way” locations are the ones that will simply amaze you with things you never imagined, food you never tasted and the kind of people you could only meet far from the general eye of tourism. Take a step away from the places you know, venture further, and experience all the Caribbean has to offer.

 

 

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Beautiful Bonaire: The Best Kept Caribbean Secret


Bonaire is truly an undiscovered diamond in, well, a seascape of so many beautiful diamonds. However, Bonaire is unique in that it remains a sort of untouched paradise in an over-saturated world.

The least traveled of the ABC islands (which Bonaire makes up along with Aruba and Curacao), it lies just quietly north of Venezuela in the Caribbean. This small island oasis is a snorkeling and diving paradise, as well as one of the most genial and heartwarming places I’ve ever been.

This particular part of the tropical world holds many wonders, a vast and impressive expanse of ocean that entices travelers from around the globe. The secrets in it’s history are both ancient and new, so it’s no surprise that included among the crystal clear waters sits a snorkeling and diving paradise you might not have even heard about; an island so close to Aruba you could reach it by air in less than 30 minutes and Curacao in about 15!

This land of white sand and orange-gold sunsets has a special place in my heart. As a child my grandparents were missionaries on Bonaire, volunteering at the still-operational Trans World Radio studios. I was blessed to spend a few holidays in Bonaire as well as experience my first solo international trip to visit them from my home in the Northeast US when I was thirteen years old.

Since then, Bonaire has thankfully not changed too much. This island retains it’s peace, it’s familiarity, and it’s warmth. The years may pass, but the culture and the soul of the people never seem to be affected by the seemingly ongoing stress of the world at large.

Beauty and the Beaches

Bonaire has long been a hub for professional divers as well as Dutch vacationers, its clear waters and laid back attitude boast an appealing attraction for discerning adventurers from all over the globe, while still remaining a virtual secret to the majority of travelers.

As part of the ABC Islands and the Leeward Antilles (formerly the Netherland Antilles), Bonaire has for decades had the luxury of sitting largely untouched by rampant tourism. Only 24 miles long, Bonaire sits as the top rated snorkeling and scuba diving in the Caribbean. This ongoing oceanic tranquility is carefully maintained by both private and governmental protection of the reefs, keeping Bonaire a paradise since 1979.

There are many beautiful stretches of white sandy beach to choose from, almost all ideal for snorkeling or diving, with the exception of the north side of the island where the waves and currents are enough to knock you off your feet in an instant!

Sorobon Beach

Located in the southeast of the island, Sorobon Beach is a beautiful location for snorkeling and swimming, as well as just relaxing in the sun. One of the best beaches in the Caribbean, here you can kick back with a tropical cocktail and watch the world-class windsurfers who often hit the waves at Sorobon.

Also located here is the Sorobon Beach Resort and the famous and fun Hang Out Beach Bar, a much-loved Bonaire establishment for good times since 1988.

Bachelor’s Beach

This small stretch of white sandy beach is located in the Belnem district, conveniently located just south of the airport. Sitting at the bottom of a short 10 foot cliff, you can park just next to the top of the stairs and make your way down to this intimate and charming spot. This stretch is, like so many Bonaire beaches, perfect for snorkeling and diving.

The steps are just off the road and simple, and a quick descent to the water. The locals advise you just to watch your footing on the last of the steps where the ocean spray may have made it’s mark!

Te Amo Beach

This is one of the favorites of the Bonairean locals, a great place to spend time relaxing in every sense of the word – get a tan, take a swim, and then have a cook out! Like so many other Bonaire beaches, the sea life is abundant and beautiful, and only a snorkel away from the shore. During certain times of the day there is a local favorite stopping by – the Kite City food truck, which serves delicious fresh fish dishes!

Donkey Beach

Bonaire is a unique island in so many ways – one of which is the proliferation of wild donkeys that roam the local (as well as the wild) areas. Although this beach may be a bit of a misnomer, it’s a local favorite, a breathtaking spot for all things swimming and snorkeling.

This locale is ideal for both new visitors and frequent beach goers alike, as the weekends become a lively local spot with music, family fun and an atmosphere of good vibes!

Klein Bonaire (No Name Beach)

In addition to the popular beach spots on the main island, Klein Bonaire is a small, uninhabited island just 15 minutes away. The fastest way to get to Klein Bonaire from Kralendijk is by water taxi via Caribe Watersport, located at the Eden Resort Beach area directly across from Klein Bonaire, itself. On Klein Bonaire’s uninhabited shores you’ll find yourself at “No Name Beach”, a stretch of unbelievably soft, white sand and it’s signature blue waters gently lapping the shore. Make sure to bring your own snorkel gear (rentals are available at the resort as well!), because this beach is ideal for snorkelers of all skill levels as the shallows are easily navigable and the water is calm. No Name Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Bonaire, and one that will bring you the type of seclusion you’re looking for.

Make sure to also bring along a bag of water and snacks, however, because Klein Bonaire is uninhabited in every sense of the word! There are no drinking fountains or vendors, so pack whatever you think you’ll need from the mainland. Luckily it’s only a fifteen minute boat ride each way and the taxis travel to and from every couple hours. On the beach, there is a small pavilion area where you can catch some shade while not in the water or sunbathing, but keep that sunblock handy!

Buddy Dive Resort

This particular area is one of our favorites, despite the lack of sandy sunbathing areas. Buddy Dive has some of the most amazing snorkel and scuba areas we’ve seen on the island. There is a pool area and many beautiful places to relax.

In addition to the beauty, you can rent a waterproof camera for the day, swim to your heart’s content, and then they’ll give you a disc of every picture you took! The variety of fish in this particular spot is breathtaking once you put that mask on and start out down the ladder into the crystal clear water.

One addition to this spot is the restaurant, which offers amazing, fresh food, and you can sit overlooking the water. You may even have an iguana visitor or two looking for a fresh tomato or lettuce scrap. You’re encouraged not to feed them, but don’t worry – they’re very friendly! We snuck a few scraps to our reptile lunch companion a couple times!

Transportation Tips

The beauty of Bonaire also lies in the fact that it’s simplicity only adds to the tranquility. There are just two main roads on the island, one North and one South, which makes for easy navigation if you choose to rent a car from the airport while you’re there, though it isn’t necessary considering the proximity of every eventual activity you’ll be interested in.

Despite the lack of public transportation systems, taxis are very inexpensive and run by the always friendly and largely English-speaking locals. On our last visit we had the pleasure of taxiing around the island many times with Victor, a wonderful conversationalist and friend to everyone at our resort!

If you’re looking for more wind in your hair during your daily escapes, make sure to take a chance to pedal around the island via bicycle, both standard and all-terrain are available, or explore at a faster pace on an electric bike. Check out Scooters Bonaire or Bonaire Eco Cycling to rent your two-wheeled transportation for the day. Bonaire encourages this eco-friendly mode of travel by providing free charging ports in Sorobon, Rincon, and the Wilhelmina square in Kralendijk.

Sun to Sunset on the Island

Beyond the sea life and snorkeling, the island has much to entice any traveler looking for leisure, including beautiful resorts like Eden and Buddy Dive, both within minutes of the late nights of downtown Kralendijk (a fun and festive city so far off the beaten path that spellcheck can’t yet discern it’s name!).

All of Bonaire’s tranquil resorts, as well as the bustling and friendly downtown, cater to relaxation, ambiance and beauty, as well as excitement. At any moment you can find yourself drinking a Pina Colada in the pure definition of paradise, worlds away from any worries, woes, or car payments!

For nightlife in Bonaire, you won’t have to travel too far if you’re staying at one of the beautiful resorts just down the road from downtown. The most enjoyable weekend nightlife we’ve found is at Spice Beach Club, which is part of the waterfront Eden Resort. Offering delicious food as well as very reasonably priced cocktails, Spice lights up the Caribbean-facing cabanas every Friday night with live music, lights, and a genial party atmosphere that guarantees you’ll make at least 10 new friends after just a couple mojitos!

For dance enthusiasts, there are many options to move to the beat of your choosing, including Little Havana, Karel’s Beach Bar, and the Plaza Resort Bonaire which hosts Latin night every Saturday evening. With just a quick registration, the Plaza Resort also offers a free salsa workshop from 6 to 7 pm, after which you can dance with the best of them! If dancing isn’t your thing, head on over to the casino at Divi Flamingo, where you can also test your skills at the tables and slots, open late every night except Sunday. As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Bonaire for even just a long weekend!

While in Bonaire, also make sure to have a few (or a lot!) of their local favorite, Amstel’s Bright beer. A refreshing addition to the beach and sun, Bright is served everywhere and is reasonably priced! In addition to this signature brew, lift a glass of the island’s newly created and brewed “Bonaire Blond”, a light and spicy citrus brew made with locally grown ingredients!

All in all, the nightlife in Bonaire is exciting, fun, and open till the wee hours of the night, maybe even long after you planned on turning in!

Salt Flats and Flamingos

A very unique aspect of this island is that, despite it’s minuscule size and uninhabitable wilderness, there lies one of the world’s only Flamingo Sanctuaries. The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary stands as a breeding ground for the beautiful pink bird, a key area due to the salt flats where they make their nests.

The sanctuary is off-limits to visitors, but while in the area (especially near Pink Beach) you’d be hard pressed not to witness a flock flying overhead. Bonaire’s flamingos hold the special distinction of being some of the pinkest in the world due to their diet, which is rife with red carotene!

Also, keep watch as they fly over, unlike their stunning upper feathers, their beauty is fully seen from beneath where the contrast of their ink-black wings can be appreciated as they fly overhead.

Bonaire’s Lasting Allure

There are so many things that can be said, described, photographed and remembered about this beautiful island. If you get the chance to see it, take it all in! From the warmth and friendliness of the people, to the fresh food, to the sheer beauty of the land and all the Caribbean sea has to offer, there may be no such unique experience to be had in this world.

Untouched for decades, it will remain so, which is just one more endearing and heartwarming quality about this astounding and life changing destination.

 

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7 Tropical Locations You Haven’t Seen, But Should!


When it comes to tropical destinations, most bucket lists contain the “usual suspects”. Of course, these idyllic locations are well worth the time spent, but what is to be said for the places a little off the beaten path?

Next time you and your mate sit down to book an island getaway, try one of these seven locations

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Bonaire, one of the three that make up the “ABC Islands” of the South Caribbean, is a relative unknown that sits along its sisters (Aruba and Curacao) in the Netherlands Antilles. One of the most remarkable places we’ve visited, Bonaire boasts world-class diving and outdoor adventures, as well as incredible locals that are equal parts welcoming, kind and entertaining. If you haven’t been, Bonaire is a must-do. Don’t forget to check out Buddy Dive Resort on the western coast of the island, facing Klein Bonaire, where some of the best snorkeling and diving the in world is made possible!

Tsarabanjina Island, Madagascar

 

Looking for really off the beaten path? Tsarabanjina Island (marketed as “an island of your own”) sits off the Northwestern Coast of Madagascar in the Mitsio archipelago. Primarily a location for the Constance Hotels & Resorts one can enjoy azure blue water, powder soft beaches, and private bungalows fenced by tropical plants and some of the most incredible natural scenery available anywhere.

Boracay, Philippines

Only four square miles in area, Boracay is an absolutely stunning island located approximately 200 miles south of Manila and less than two miles off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay is a sporting paradise, a site of the Asian Windsurfing Tour, with the week-long Boracay International Funboard Cup competition usually held in January on Bulabog Beach. The best time to visit this tropical oasis is in mid to late winter (January through March), when the “dry season” produces only about one inch of rainfall per month.

Utila, Honduras

The smallest of Honduras’ major Bay Islands, Utila is a Central American hotspot despite its population of only about 4,000 residents. The beautiful weather and relative solitude can help any traveler feel truly “off-the-grid” while touring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest in the world.

Gavdos, Greece

I mean, its Greece, right? Seriously, Gavdos stands out as a unique target location for any traveler to Greece. If Santorini or Mykonos is a bit too touristy for you, you can get lost in the absolutely stunning, southern-most island that is home to only about 150 full-time residents!

Nikoi Island, Indonesia

The 42-acre resort island located 50 miles southeast of Singapore was purchased by Andrew and Julia Dixon, an Australian couple visiting Bintan, in 2005 and developed, with the aid of a group of financiers, into a boutique resort named Nikoi Island. The resort opened in 2007, and as of 2010 consists of fifteen beach houses. The resort is accessed by launch from Kawal, one hour’s drive from the Bintan Resorts ferry terminal, and stays fully booked many months in advance.

Mirihi Island, Maldives

Mirihi is an absolute stunner, currently used as a “tourist island” that hosts a holiday resort containing 36 guest bungalows, both closed and open-air. Another sporting paradise, Mirihi is a wonderful location for diving, snorkeling, boating and surfing!