Because Mr. Winter seems to want to stay longer in Europe I decided to get my early sunshine somewhere else. This time my eye fell on the little island Bonaire, one of the Dutch Antilles. ‘Armed’ with books, my snorkel gear, sunscreen and a new bikini, I was ready for a lazy week on the beach, thinking nothing else can be done on this coral island in the Caribbean. How little I knew!
Bonaire, known as diver’s paradise, is full of surprises. Yes that’s correct. It is not comparable to its neighbour islands Aruba and Curacao, where casinos, nightlife and five star hotels are key. However, if you are searching for more authenticity and special activities in a cosy Caribbean atmosphere, you are on Bonaire and at the right place!
My experiences were numerous, combining lazy sun & sea mornings with activities in the afternoon and a perfect dinner at night. Done with the sea beauties underwater, I explored the island instead, surprised by the numerous wild donkeys, iguanas, small lizards, and pelicans and not to forget the flamingos, Bonaire’s national animal. By the way, ever heard of a crested cara cara? A funny looking chicken-like bird that I discovered at Washington Slagbaai. This National Park offers rough scenery with huge cactuses and here and there brackish lakes. The shores are great snorkel and dive sites, but always check safety and the ground…Cactus needles in your feet are definitely not nice (I know this for sure)!
At the other side of the island, I checked out the saltpans and dug into some history, visiting the old slave houses, and ended my day with kayaking through the mangroves at Lac Bay. Satisfied at night while enjoying a cocktail (or two) and a good fish dish at one of the great restaurants in Kralendijk, I knew it for sure: I fell in love again, this time on an island called Bonaire!
Herewith a handful of ideas to put this gem on your bucket list:
- After a short training session, experience the excitement of the undersea world by snorkelling along the beautiful little bays or at Little Bonaire, an uninhabited little island opposite Bonaire. You even have the chance to see sea turtles.
- Eager for more adventure? Go into the deep by diving from the shores and get the ultimate underwater thrill.
- In the mood for philanthropy? Go to the donkey shelter or help clean the beaches of plastics and wood washed up from the ocean. Make your own sign by painting the driftwood or create your ‘statue’ on the beach made of trash. Will you be the artist?
- Last but not least, go kayaking through the mangroves with a ranger at Lac Bay. You even are allowed to do some snorkelling here and see the nursery rooms of fish.
Thank you Yolanda Logt for sharing this super nice experience with us!