Bespoke & Tailor Made Holidays & Honeymoons to Bonaire
Bonaire is one of the ‘ABC’ islands just off the South American coast of Venezuela (the others being Aruba and Curacao), part of the Dutch Caribbean. This is a gorgeous unspoilt peaceful island and one of the most environmentally aware destinations in the Caribbean and set to be the first with 100% renewable energy.
Most of the island is protected by marine parks, sanctuaries and wildlife parks so it’s a perfect place for a Natural History Holiday as well as being named amongst the top three dive spots in the world. The warm water and clear visibility are perfect for underwater photography and 60% of visitors here are on diving or snorkelling holidays enjoying the series of offshore reefs. Stones marked with the names of dive sites can be seen from the coastal roads and a ‘two minutes’ swim (literally) will reveal a reef teeming with marine life. Drive-through dive stations allow divers to refill their tanks before heading out to other alluring spots.
The tradewinds also make it a great place for sailing and windsurfing and inland there are hiking and mountain bike trails. There is a developing art and dining scene, and plenty of land-based activities. In the main town, Kralendijk, visit Cinnamon Art Gallery, founded by a trio of artists or any number of fine restaurants featuring French, Italian, Argentine and creative cuisines. Still, Bonaire is a long way from becoming an urban mecca. Here, the flamingo population rivals the human one, building size is strictly limited, and the waters surrounding it are a protected marine park.
Visit the Mangrove Info and Kayak Centre for a kayaking session through the pristine mangrove system – one of the few left in the world. Drive north up the west coast past a prime flamingo-viewing lake called Goto Mere. Spend a day in Washington-Slagbaai National Park amidst more than 13,000 acres of flora and fauna. See rock formations like Seru Bentana (Sky Window), and spot any number of birds and beasts at the Pos Mangel watering hole. The park has many beaches, some of which are very small. Heading south down the east coast, visit the tiny village of Rincon. Take in the views from Seru Largu, a hilltop viewpoint. Bathe in the natural springs of Fontein near Rincon and visit the nearby fruit plantations. Drive south to the salt pans, signs of the salt industry that still thrives here. Just below the white mountains of salt rising from purple “lakes”, you’ll find the Flamingo Refuge. You can stand roadside and quietly observe these elegant and shy creatures. Park yourself close by on Pink Beach, and at sunset you can see them lighting up the sky as they wing their way on their nightly trip to Venezuela.
The average temperature is 26 – 29 C and the heaviest rain falls October to December. There are no direct flights from the UK but several via Amsterdam and a few local connections. Carnival time is January – February, the international Bonaire Sailing Regatta takes place in October and the Heineken Jazz Festival happens in June.