Flying into and out of Bonaire just got a little bit easier, especially for passengers requiring extra assistance at the airport. Bonaire International Airport, also known as Flamingo Airport, added 2 sized boarding ramps. One for larger aircraft, and one for smaller ones.
In the past, when your flight landed on Bonaire you would look at the window and see all the beautiful palm trees. As you were doing this, the ground crew would be rolling a metal staircase to the plane. All passengers would need to walk down these stairs and head toward customs. The addition of the gently sloped ramps create a more efficient boarding and disembarking process for all passengers
Take a walk through the streets of Kralendijk and someone will likely say “Bon Bini” to you. They are welcoming you to Bonaire – Bon Bini na Bonaire.
Bonaire, the “B” of the ABC islands, belongs to a lot of different Caribbean groups. Along with Aruba and Curacao (A & C), Saba and Sint Eustatius, they make up the Dutch Caribbean. These 5 islands have direct ties to The Netherlands. They are all located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea. The ABC islands, located in the southern part of the Lesser Antilles, are further part of the Leeward Antilles. Bonaire is also included in the “Caribbean Netherlands” along with Saba and Sint Eustatius, these three island are special municipalities of The Netherlands.
The second largest island in the Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire smaller than Curacao. However, it is actually larger than Aruba, yet Bonaire receives less visitors than its alphabet neighbors.
Bonaire is well known to divers as a Diver’s Paradise, which is written the license plates of all vehicles on Bonaire. In addition to diving, Bonaire is well known for windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, and sailing. There are also many land activities including biking, hiking, bird watching and horse back riding. The restaurants on Bonaire are some of the best in the Caribbean.
Although a municipality of The Netherlands, Bonaire’s currency is the United States Dollar.
As we are deep into hurricane season, we always like to note, Bonaire is generally located outside (below) the hurricane belt.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you to Bonaire, Bon Bini na Bonaire, and welcome you to Villa Lunt, Bon Bini na Villa Lunt.
This year will mark the 51st Bonaire Regatta where sailors from all over the Caribbean, in all classes and age levels, come together to compete against each other in a 4 day event. The daytime sailing competition will be in Playa, and the course runs between Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.
Bonaire Regatta is a big national celebration. In addition to the sailing races there will be festivals with 3 stages of live music, kids corners, food and arts & crafts stands. The streets of Kralendijk will come alive with something for everyone!
And the cost to be spectator? Free ! Come out and join the fun.
Our family enjoys Mediterranean food, so when we saw Mezze Restaurant, we knew we had to try it. It did not disappoint.
Mezze is a contemporary Mediterranean & Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant which interprets authentic flavors of Middle East with a modern approach through its Le Cordon Bleu alumni chef and his team. The soul of Mezze is homemade pita bread prepared fresh in wood fired oven as well as welcoming guests with ginger-hummus. Mezze’s menu varies from small cold starter plates such as hummus, baba gannoush, falafel, tabbouleh, tuna sashimi to Turkish Kebab and Moroccan chicken prepared on Charcoal grill or tenderloin dry aged beef or lamb shank, homemade baklava in pistachio, passion fruit cheesecake and more. Diners can relax and enjoy delicious plates with carefully selected wine menu at their ocean-front view.
The staff was very helpful, and everyone in our family found something they enjoyed. I ordered several appetizers, including the Istanbul Style Shrimp (yummy!) as my main course and was very satisfied. Steve had the Turkish Kebap and said it was fabulous.
The staff was attentive and the wine selection was lovely. We recommend calling ahead for reservations.
Located in Kralendijk, with a wonderful view is La Creperie. With a menu full of French crepes and Belgian waffles, La Creperie offers fabulous options for breakfast, lunch, or just a yummy snack. Their choices include sweet and savory options and will surely offer something for everyone in your group. They also serve a variety beers and wines, coffee and cappuccino.
La Creperie recently redesigned their cafe with chic furniture. Offering free-wifi and an air conditioned space, you can spend some time watching the boats sail in as you relax in comfort.
Bonaire has a new beach club, and it is so much fun! Coco Beach Club is in Playa Lechi, next to Spice Beach Club. With many options for lounge rentals, you will find a comfortable and relaxing setting for a day of pure enjoyment.
Their bar and restaurant offers many options for food and drink, and the nice white sand of the beach with the Caribbean back drop is simply delightful.
At Coco Beach Club you will find sand courts for volley ball, beach tennis or other sports. The snorkeling is great, and they have a nice pier you can jump off from.
Coco Beach has a great night life several evenings a week. Check their facebook page for the latest upcoming events.
Washington Slagbaai, Bonaire’s National Park, was the first Nature Conservatory created in the Netherland Antilles. This national park & reserve, covering close to 22 square miles, is located on the northern end of Bonaire and managed by STINAPA Bonaire, a non-profit foundation, on behalf of the Bonaire government. When you arrive at the visitor center, you will be given a map of the park, which details all the stops and activities.
Our family takes the long route through the park, stopping for a picnic at Boka Kokolishi. There are rock areas which provide some shade. The warm bay has natural whirl pools, and very calm water.
We always leaving enough time to go snorkeling in Wayaka. The cliff jumping at Boka & Salina Slagbaai looks incredibly fun, but not something I have mustered the courage for! Across from Salina Slagbaai is a flamingo preserve where you can admire this beautiful bird from afar.
Visiting the Washington Slagbaai is a wonderful all day activity. There are no services in the park, so pack up all your drinks and food for the day. We bring along a garbage bag as well. You are required to have the marine park tag to go through the park. If you already have it, make sure to bring your receipt and ID, both are required. If you don’t already have the tag, you can buy one as you enter.
There is so much to do in the park – hiking trails, biking trails, snorkeling, sightseeing, birdwatching, cliff jumping … the list goes on. This is a day well worth spending.
Bonaire never surprises us. On a luxurious boat charted with Bonaire From the Sea, we got to see the rock formation of a turtle on Klein Bonaire. The diving and snorkeling around Klein Bonaire are some of the best in the entire Caribbean. Checkout Bonaire, and visit us at www.villalunt.com to make your vacation reservation.
Our family had an amazing time on the Mushi Mushi Chill and Grill tour – it was one of the highlights of our vacation.
When we visit Bonaire, we take a sail trip to reward ourselves for the work we put into making Villa Lunt spectacular for the year to come. This year, we took 2 trips, and highly recommend both of the amazing operators. We previously posted about Bonaire From The Sea and recommend them for a private tour. For a group tour, Epic Tours Chill and Grill is AMAZING.
The snorkeling was unbelievable, and the guided tour was one the best we have had. Maria was incredible, she was kind and patient with all of us! She would point out all the sea life, and come up for air and tell us all about it. Our trip made 2 snorkel stops. The first by Klein Bonaire, and the second just off the coast of Sabadeco.
Michiel, our captain, cook & one of the owners, was wonderful.
The food & drink on board were delicious. Prepared to order with many options. We had steak, seafood and chicken. All yummy!
We had booked our tour online with Inka (the other owner) who was pleasant and worked with us to find the perfect time to plan our day.
More and more, cruise ships have been docking on the beautiful island of Bonaire. As the cruise ships unload, the streets of Bonaire become alive with many smiling tourist taking in the wonderful sights of our beautiful island. I always marvel at the way downtown transforms when a cruise ship is in port. Our quiet downtown becomes bustling with tour operators, buses and golf carts picking up the passengers and taking them to different sites of Bonaire.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating things to me is the pop up shops in Kralendijk. Right in the center of the town square, vendors set up their shops and provide a wonderful assortment of Bonaire treasures for the ship passengers to peruse & purchase.
Downtown Kralendijk has continued to expand since our list visit to Bonaire. Many new stores grace the shore line with a variety of trinkets, clothing, souvenirs, pastries and coffee. The kiosks in the square add a fun atmosphere to the Bonaire shopping experience.