|Globetrotting Planning Articles|
Globetrotting Traveling Articles
Globetrotting Lodging Articles
Globetrotting Touring Articles
Globetrotting Dining Articles
Globetrotting Making Magic Articles
Globetrotting General Travel Articles
12 Tips to Hotel Bliss
Assateague Island National Seashore
Back To Barcelona
Bellagio of Las Vegas
Chateau de Chenonceau
Disney on Broadway
Disney's Magical Express
Exploring Chicago's Museums
Flying Premium Economy
Grotte de Pech-Merle, France
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates
Kennedy Space Center
Lake Constance, Switzerland
Lake Thunersee, Switzerland
Learning the Language
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Making Your Way by Ferry to the Magic in Disneyland Paris
Montezuma Castle National Monument
More of Hilton Head Island
Mount Fuji & Hakone, Japan
My Quest for the West
New Orleans Revisited
One Place is Never Enough!
Palm Beach, Florida
Serendipity 3 in New York City
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
Star Wars in Concert
Taking to the Road
The 'Other' Jersey
The Billie Swamp Safari Park
The Egyptian Museum
The Gardens of Versailles
The Green Heart of the Big Apple
The Manatee Tour
The Palace of Versailles
The Pyramids of Giza
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tired, Tried And True
Traveling the Northern Oregon Coast
Valley of Fire
Viewing Cities From Above
Visiting the French Alps
Wimbledon Tennis Museum
You Don't Have to Cruise to See Alaska
View all PassPorter articles
Bonaire, Antilles: Mi Ta Stima Bonaire!
|by Michelle Wyant, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 04-05-2011
Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!
Filed in Articles > International Travel > General Travel
Mi ta stima Bonaire! ("I love Bonaire" in Papiamento, the most common language in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, the ABC Islands.)
Ahhh ... the pink airport! My husband and I are scuba divers and we have yet to find a more relaxing dive location than the island of Bonaire. Bonaire is a Dutch Caribbean island, along with its neighbors Aruba and Curacao. Getting to Bonaire from our home in Colorado takes a bit of time and is worth every second!
Our first journey to Bonaire was in October of 2002. My husband and I headed there to see what the Bonaire diving was like. One thing that really attracted us to Bonaire was this strange thing we had heard about , where you rent a truck for your vacation and then you drive around the island being your own dive guides.
It's easy! Just find a spot along the road, park, and walk into the ocean to start your dive. Huh? We were used to getting up in the morning, being at a dive boat by a certain time, and then doing whatever we were told by a dive master.
I still remember how strange it was driving along, looking for a large rock painted school bus yellow with the name of a dive site on it. But, that’s what we did, and what a rush it turned out to be! The freedom of diving whenever you want to, however many times a day you want to, is a little intoxicating when you’re addicted to diving.
Bonaire, May 2009 - photo by wydivers
Before our first trip, I thought that making our own dive schedule would mean we got to sleep in, take our time getting ready, and start our dives mid-morning. Wrong! It turns out that having our own schedule translates to "how many dives can we safely do in a day" to my dear husband. No sleeping in for him, or sadly, me.
Once I got used to the schedule there was nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. On our first visit we stayed at the Plaza Resort, which is just a bit "south of town," the town being Kralendijk. We really enjoyed that resort, and loved the proximity of our hotel room to the dive shop and the beach.
The first trip started with lost luggage that took about three days to catch up to us. Because of the missing bag we started that trip with boat dives because we didn’t want to head out in the ocean by ourselves wearing gear we were unfamiliar with. When our bag arrived we headed out in our little truck right away and were hooked on the ease of diving in Bonaire.
Because of how much we enjoyed our first trip, we returned a second time with my parents and my in-laws. And then we returned a third time with our parents plus our three-year-old daughter.
On our second trip we stayed at the Bel Mar apartments, which are located eight minutes south of town. The decks on the apartments are fabulous and we spent most of the time we weren’t diving on those decks. It is so nice to start your morning by sitting on a private deck and watching for dolphins.
We enjoyed Bel Mar so much we returned for our third trip and stayed for one week. At the end of the first week our daughter flew home with my parents. Chris and I stayed one extra week to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary!
Our second week of that trip was spent at the Caribbean Club. We moved to a smaller location to save money and to try someplace new. The Caribbean Club is not quite in the same category as the Bel Mar apartments, but if we had stayed there first the difference would not have been quite as noticeable. While Bel Mar does not have a restaurant on site, Caribbean Club does, and that was very convenient.
We also love trying new restaurants on Bonaire. You could think that there wouldn’t be a lot of selection on a small island, but you would be wrong. After staying for two weeks on our third trip we went home still not having tried all of the restaurants we wanted to. Following the first trip our favorite restaurant was Mona Lisa, we added Capriccio to the list on our second trip, and Bistro de Paris was added during our third trip.
Aside from many restaurants we would like to try, there are also lots of activities on Bonaire. You can kayak through mangroves, go mountain biking, snorkel, ride horses, kiteboard... the list goes on. Bonaire is also home to a world-class windsurfing spot, Lac Bay.
Lac Bay is located on the east side of the island and there is a huge section of the bay that is shallow, which makes it perfect for people learning to windsurf. On the last day of our most recent trip my husband took a lesson while I held down a beach chair for the restaurant there. I had to help out somehow! Chris really enjoyed it and when we realize our dream of owning property there I am certain we will also own windsurfing equipment.
I feel like I’m neglecting to explain how much we enjoy the diving there. It might help explain things a little to give you a brief view of one dive from our last trip. I could write an entire report on this one hour dive, but I will try to keep it brief.
After drowning my camera earlier in the trip--operator error--we decided to rent a camera and underwater housing for one day. It was a great deal. I could take as many pictures as I wanted, go to the dive shop to get the batteries changed between each dive, and then they would burn a disc with all of my photos.
The man we rented the camera from pointed out that we chose a point and shoot with no strobes (external flashes) and thus wouldn’t necessarily take excellent photos in all underwater conditions. But, he said, if you see an eagle ray you’re still going to take the picture, even if it doesn’t turn out very well. Ha! Ha! Ha! An eagle ray…
By now you may have guessed what we saw on the third dive that day. We didn’t see the eagle ray until the end of the dive. Before that we were on what we both think is one of the most incredible dives we have ever experienced. Turtles, an enormous parrot fish, squid, trumpet fish, a huge lobster... all kinds of amazing things that we got great photos of, because of how close they allowed us to be to them.
As we were looking for the buoy to end the dive and go back to shore, I was exhausted. The dive was so exhilarating and long that I was ready to rest. Chris started pointing to the buoy mooring and I was just far enough behind him that I couldn’t tell what he was pointing at. By that point, I didn’t care. How great could it be?
Pretty great. That was the first time I got to see an eagle ray while diving. I started snapping and snapping, and swimming, and snapping, and swimming, and snapping more photos. Luckily, we were in shallow water at this point and if I had run out of air I would easily have made it to the surface. (Safety stops were already complete.)
When the eagle ray left and we got back to shore I just floated around to rest. What an amazing dive! I may not win any awards with my underwater photography, but I have included photos from that specific dive.
If you ever get the chance to dive in Bonaire, take it. Or don’t, and that will leave more room on the island for us.
Bonaire, May 2009 - photo by wydivers
About the Author: Michelle is a stay-at-home mom who dreams of Bonaire, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Lines. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s trip to Walt Disney World in May!
Related Links:Read additional articles from PassPorter.com
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009
carrie051102 on April 7, 2011 @ 3:54 pm
Great Article! My younger brother lived in Bonaire for a year as a watchmaker. We took a trip to visit him in 2009. It was amazing! Such a beautiful place. We rented a house right on the beach. Our son was 19 months and had a blast.
magge_c on April 9, 2011 @ 12:38 pm
I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted "Bonaire" in the title of an article in Passporter! Wow, my two favorite "hobbies" WDW and diving in Bonaire in the SAME newsletter!!! We live in northeastern Washington state and are leaving in just 19 long days for our annual trip to Bonaire. Yes, getting there from the west coast is not easy but totally worth it! This year, we're trying a new approach, though. We're leaving two days early, flying to Orlando, driving to Vero Beach for a DVC stay and then on to Miami for an easy, 3.5 hour afternoon flight to Bonaire!!!!!
View all 3 comments in forum thread wydivers on April 9, 2011 @ 10:29 pm
carrie051102;3624115 >Great Article! My younger brother lived in Bonaire for a year as a watchmaker. We took a trip to visit him in 2009. It was amazing! Such a beautiful place. We rented a house right on the beach. Our son was 19 months and had a blast.
That's great! Did your brother enjoy it? DD was 3 for her first trip to Bonaire and she still (just turned 5 last weekend) talks about the pink airport!
magge_c;3625585 >I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted "Bonaire" in the title of an article in Passporter! Wow, my two favorite "hobbies" WDW and diving in Bonaire in the SAME newsletter!!! We live in northeastern Washington state and are leaving in just 19 long days for our annual trip to Bonaire. Yes, getting there from the west coast is not easy but totally worth it! This year, we're trying a new approach, though. We're leaving two days early, flying to Orlando, driving to Vero Beach for a DVC stay and then on to Miami for an easy, 3.5 hour afternoon flight to Bonaire!!!!!
Can I come with you? What are your favorite places above and below water in Bonaire? Where do you usually stay? I could ask a million questions, I just realized recently that I probably come across as really nosy when asking people about their travels. :o
Your itinerary for getting to Bonaire sounds great, we may have to try that sometime. My parents also love Bonaire and my Dad's one complaint is that it 'takes so long to get there'. Maybe we will all have to try a stop-over that's longer than one night in Florida!
Thanks for reading the article!
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)
Updated 04-05-2011 - Article #624
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide.
As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!|
We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result
in more spam! We guarantee it.
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
| LEARN MORE|
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks|
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences!
Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com
Does anyone take a vacation to somewhere just because flights are cheap?
26 Nov 2014 at 8:40am
A client just told me she was able to get fares to INdia from Boston for $700./00 round trip.
It makes me want to plan a ytrip even though I...
(click title above to view replies)
North West- any must see's or travel tips?
23 Nov 2014 at 1:40pm
This coming summer, we will be traveling to the North West.
I've been planning this trip for quite some time.... and now the time has come to...
(click title above to view replies)
Should I consider it?
19 Nov 2014 at 5:20pm
My brother in law will be speaking at a conference in China this year. My sister will be going along with him and they invited me to join them. I...
(click title above to view replies)
Total Visits: 4246