Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Today is Bonaire Day, Dia di Bonaire, Dia di Boneiru! Enjoy Bonaire’s Flag Day!!

Bonaire’s Flag Day is September 6th each year.

Today, September 6th, is Bonaire’s Flag Day, a day which is filled with reminders of our unique culture and heritage.

The day was officially opened with the traditional flag-raising ceremony.


View the entire schedule of events.

Prayers go to our sister islands.

While we celebrate today, our festivities are tempered by sadness for our sister islands, Sint Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius, as they struggle with Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of this storm.

Bonaire Folkloric Dancers.


The Maskarada makes a mid-year appearance!

The Bikers’ Parade.


(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

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Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 




Video and Photo Gallery of Bonaire’s Grand Carnival Parade 2017

Bonaire’s Grand Carnival Parade 2017.

This past weekend took its toll on a lot of folks here on Bonaire–at least those who were dancing down the long Carnival parade route from about 2:00 PM until past 6:00 PM. Meanwhile, those who where on the sidelines sat back and enjoyed the show!

Costumes glittered and gleamed.

Costumes were indeed extravagant, colorful, with lots of feathers, sequins, and other glittering items. Headdresses were so voluminous that one wonders how the wearers manage to keep their heads up straight!

Each Carnival group has a theme.

A variety of Carnival (Karnaval in Papiamentu) groups offered a fun display of themes: There were creatures from under the sea, celestial bodies and the signs of the zodiac, and even a bunch of construction workers who were spreading “asphalt” to fill all the holes in Bonaire’s roads (something truly needed on Bonaire these days!).

Two more Carnival events before the season closes.

There’s only two more events before the Carnival season ends:  Tonight will be a replay of the Children’s Carnival from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, and tomorrow a replay of the Grand Carnival, starting at 7:00 PM, and ending at midnight with the burning of King Momo.

Video of Sunday’s parade.

If you couldn’t see it live, sit back and enjoy this video and the photo gallery following.


Photo Gallery of Sunday’s parade.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)














The Children’s Carnival (Karnaval) Was a Glitzy Pageant of Color and Energy

Bonaire’s Children’s Carnival was in Rincon on Saturday and Kralendijk on Sunday.

Bonaire's Children Carnival 2017This past weekend, over 300 of Bonaire’s youth kept the older population entertained when they performed in the 2017 edition of the Bonaire Youth Carnival Parade in Rincon on Saturday and in Kralendijk on Sunday.

The children were in six themed groups and exhibited a lot of youthful energy as they danced down the street.

Watch the largest group with 125 youth!


A variety of themes were represented in the Children’s Carnival–we had U.S. military personnel in the Army For Peace, navy, butterflies, ballerinas, and even belly-dancers!

Upcoming Carnival Events for the next week.

Bonaire's Children Karnaval 2017For those who haven’t yet observed the many Bonaire Carnival events, the next events will take place on Friday, February 24th, 2017, when there will be the school parade, the teener parade, and even the adults get into the early action with the elderly parade.

Then, next Saturday in Rincon, and next Sunday in Kralendijk, the adults will get to strut their stuff and see if they can out-do the kids when the Grand Carnival Parades take place.

Photo Gallery of Children’s Carnival.

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

Bonaire Joins the Caribbean Birding Trail to Showcase Bird Tourism

Bonaire Joins the Caribbean Birding Trail.

Many of Bonaire’s visitors have a keen interest in nature, and that has been amply documented as thousands and thousands of divers and snorkelers flock to the island each and every year, many with fish ID lists in hand!

Bonaire’s topside fauna is just as diverse as underwater.

The Pearly-eyed Thrasher

The Pearly-eyed Thrasher

But what many of these visitors don’t understand is that the island boasts of having a topside fauna which is just as diverse.  And, most of Bonaire’s visitors are, well, “missing the boat.”  That’s because they have their eyes focused under the water line instead of glued to the tree line.

Globally, the tourism market for wildlife watching and wildlife photography is growing, and bird tourism is a significant part of this. Another growing segment is that of the independent traveler; individuals that prefer to go “off the beaten path” and seek out authentic experiences. The Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT) is an initiative that seeks to connect the natural and cultural heritage of the Caribbean islands through the training of local naturalist guides who will then be able to identify and interpret the birds and their habitats for local and foreign visitors. The CBT is being developed to raise global awareness of the unique birds and biodiversity of the Caribbean and to create a sustainable economy around these rare species, in an effort to protect them.

Bonaire’s tourism sector is trained on birding.

Bonaire's workshop attendees are birding out in the field.

Bonaire’s workshop attendees are birding out in the field.

Last week, an intensive five-day workshop was held on Bonaire to train 25 guides in the art of bird-watching, as well as leading birding tours.  The workshop offered skills in identifying birds, how to use binoculars and spotting scopes, avian ecology, and guiding and interpretation techniques. The training also included daily field visits to some of Bonaire’s best birding sites, such as Lac Bai, Gotomeer, Salina de Vlijt, and the LVV/waste water treatment ponds. Interactive presentations and demonstrations were given by staff of BirdsCaribbean, STINAPA Bonaire, and Echo. Certified Interpretive Trainers from the National Association of Interpretation (NAI), Venicio Wilson and Rick Morales, who work as guides in Panama, wowed the participants with in-depth sessions on the birding market, communication skills, and the principles of environmental interpretation.

Watch for resident and migratory birds.

Many species of resident and migratory birds can be easily seen here. For some, it was their first time seeing Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Semipalmated Plovers, Black-necked Stilts, and Caribbean Elaenias, and even the trainers were excited about seeing Bonaire’s national bird, the American Flamingo.  Venicio “Beny” Wilson, one of the trainers and a keen birder, had this to say about his birding on Bonaire:

Throughout the week, I was constantly amazed at how “tame” Bonaire’s birds are.  By that I mean they are generally unconcerned about close proximity to humans and simply go about their daily routines.  It was fabulous to be so close to the action!

Bonaire's national bird, the American Flamingo

Bonaire’s national bird, the American Flamingo

Digiscoping will become a popular part of Bonaire bird tours.

For those workshop participants who had never before seen a bird through a pair of binoculars or telescope, this workshop was an enlightening experience. The art of “digiscoping” was popular among many, especially those who don’t have a fancy camera but still want to take–and share–great bird images. Using this technique, visitors can easily take fantastic bird images using their own smart phone and their guide’s scope.

Keep track of your bird sightings while on Bonaire with eBird Caribbean.

Others were eager to sign up on eBird Caribbean, an online checklist program, and start entering their sightings. This can be a useful tool for any visitors who wish to add birding to their Bonaire vacation itineraries, as the web site illustrates which birds have seen on the island and their general locations.  It’s a fabulous way to see if a life bird you wish to see has been found on Bonaire.

Soon, we fully expect many Bonaire visitors to arrive with their fish ID list in one hand, and their bird ID list in the other!  We invite you to comment below if you believe this is a good initiative for Bonaire.

The CBT Interpretive Guide Training was made possible through the generous support of sponsors and local partners. These include: BirdsCaribbean, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Vogelbescherming Nederland, the U.S. Forest Service International Programs, Echo Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire, Cargill, Kooyman, Wild Conscience, Vortex Optics, BONHATA, Rento Fun Tours, Bonaire Rent-a-car, and Boutique Hotel Sonrisa.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, photo gallery images courtesy of BirdsCaribbean)





Getting the Shot–Eye on Elly Albers


Earlier this year, we profiled the stunning underwater photography of Ellen Muller, and this series continues to feature Bonaire’s exceptional amateur nature photographers with our Eye on Elly Albers.

Elly was born in 1968 in a small town in the north of Holland, but she made her home on Bonaire over 25 years ago when she was only 21 years old.  Back then, she did a variety of jobs, from managing the Animal Shelter in its early years, to becoming the director of a children’s home.  It was in 2004 that she purchased and has since managed the Mangrove Info Center in Lac Bay.

Elly’s father was an amateur photographer and his favorite subjects were people.  Although Elly followed in the photographic footsteps of her father, she found she was fascinated instead with animal photography.  While growing up, she would use her father’s hand-me-down cameras and go to the local zoo to shoot.

“Animals and nature have always been my biggest passion in my life. I found my real home near Bonaire’s mangrove forests, as it’s the perfect place to experience nature,” Elly told The Bonaire Insider.  She continued, “Plus, it’s the perfect location for photographic inspiration.”

Although Elly will shoot a variety of Bonaire’s animal and nature subjects, her true calling is in avion photography.  With her home and business at Lac Bay, Elly has ample opportunities to photograph many of Bonaire’s bird species, especially the iconic flamingo.  She is also becoming very well known for her images of chicks in or near their nests.

She has employed a number of different cameras and lenses over the years, but her favorite setup is still Nikon.  We hope you enjoy her photography as much as we do.  Click on any of the images below to open the lightbox.

View additional photo galleries on InfoBonaire.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)




Fantastic Video of Bonaire Above the Water Line

We have shared some fantastic underwater videos recently, but we cannot forget that Bonaire is just as stunning above the water line!  Today we feature a video which illustrates why so many visitors fall in love with this island!

Today’s featured video, by We Share Bonaire, is narrated in Bonaire’s native language, Papiamentu.  English subtitles are provided which translate this moving poem, and the video is entitled, “I Shall Return.”

It tells of how one man, who must leave his native home of Bonaire, and longs to return and promises to do just that.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Video courtesy of We Share Bonaire

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, We Share Bonaire)




Kitemanera 2016 Opens with a Bang!

kitemanera_march19-2016_024Wow.  Simply Wow.  If you were not on the beach at Atlantis this morning for the opening of Kitemanera 2016, then you missed the costume party to beat all costume parties!  There was simply no way anyone attending could NOT HAVE FUN!

Not only did we see some fantastic costumes–Fred Flintstone yelling Yabba Dabba Doo, a guerilla complete with machine gun, a surgeon, pilot, skeleton, and lots more–but these popular characters were racing for the best time while kiteboarding.  There were over 100 sails in the air at Atlantis, a/k/a “Kite Beach,” which made for a superlative backdrop to the festivities.

kitemanera_march19-2016_087View the photo gallery below to get glimpses of the fun and camaraderie that everyone enjoyed this morning on the beach.

If you missed today’s event, there’s another chance to see this amazing spectacle tomorrow.  At 12:30 PM, the contestants will gather once more at Atlantis for a “downwinder” to Klein Bonaire.  After the trek, party with them on Bonaire’s new Coco Beach.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)


The 2016 Karnaval Celebration Is Full of Beautiful Pageantry

2016_06_Feb_GrandKarnavalRincon_012This past Saturday and Sunday, everyone took to the streets in Rincon and Kralendijk to celebrate the Grand Karnaval (Carnival) Parades, right alongside of the participants.

On Saturday, one could visit Rincon where a smaller preview of what was to come was featured.  For those who like to take photographs, Rincon offers a fantastic opportunity to get close to all the Karnaval personalities.

On Sunday, everyone gathered along the route in Kralendijk, and it was a stupendous showing of colorful pageantry!  Pianos were waltzing along the street, myriad animals attended–hummingbirds, peacocks, leopards and lions, there were some very scary looking court jesters, and dapper dudes with sequined suspenders; even some gorgeously clad gladiators!

2016_06_Feb_GrandKarnavalKralendijk_011Amazingly, after two days of parades, the participants still managed to keep a high-energy level, and the crowd showed its appreciation.  After the final group passed, the crowd just got into the street and followed along making their very own parade!

Kudos go to all the people who made this year’s Karnaval a special festivity.

But for those who didn’t make it to see the parades, there will be a replay tonight of the Children’s Karnaval, scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM, and then Tuesday evening starting at 8:00 PM there will be an encore performance of the Grand Karnaval Parade, culminating at the stadium, where the effigy of King Momo will be burned at midnight.  These are the final two events, so don’t miss them!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)



Getting the Shot: Eye on Ellen Muller

profile2Bonaire has a wealth of excellent nature photographers, both professional and amateur.  This year, the Bonaire Insider will profile some of these amazing amateur photographers and showcase their work.  Our first resident photographer is Ellen Muller.

Ellen moved from the United States to Bonaire in 1980. She didn’t pick up an underwater camera until 2001 when she became instantly hooked on underwater photography. Being able to dive almost daily in Bonaire provides many opportunities to document the amazing diversity of marine life in Bonaire’s waters. Her passion is being able to share with others, through her underwater photography, some of the incredible underwater creatures she is fortunate enough to encounter on a regular basis. Ellen has photographed many unusual, rare and unique creatures and recorded previously unknown behaviors, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the fascinating underwater world.profb2

Occasionally, she will turn her camera topside where she enjoys sharing her passion for photography with her 6-year old granddaughter, Molly.

Ellen is currently using a Canon G16 and Canon housing WP-DC52 with add-on Inon close up lenses UCL 165 & 330. For her topside photography, she employs a Canon SX50.

Ellen publishes a wonderful calendar each year of her exceptional photography.  Check out her current calendar!

View more of Ellen’s stunning underwater photography.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)



Sanikolas Has Arrived on Bonaire!

The old gentleman is finally here, having arrived last Saturday afternoon on Bonaire’s Town Pier, all the way from Spain!  There was much anticipation, especially by Bonaire’s little ones, as the long-awaited Sanikolas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) and his Zwarte Piet were due to arrive.

Everyone gathered in Wilhelmina Plaza, where there were myriad activities for kids (and not-so-young kids!), including go-cart rides, a bouncing house, and even a demonstration of Kids’ Zumba.

But even though these activities proved to provide ample entertainment, the old gentleman himself stole the show.

Sanikolas_2015_07As the two tugboats came close to shore, everyone crowded along the ocean-side, to try and catch the first glimpse.  As the tugs drew close to Town Pier, amid water salutes, the tugs themselves seemed to dance, spinning in place, proving Bonaire’s tugboat pilots have some very impressive boat handling skills.

But the anticipation kept mounting, and finally the tugs were docked, and the Piets exploded onto the dock with energetic moves, dances, and long full-body waves, performed to the beat of a drum corps.  After a fine performance, Old St. Nick made his way down the dock to meet with everyone gathered.

Sanikolas_2015_24Tradition dictates that Sanikolas and the Zwarte Piets will spend the coming weeks visiting the children of Bonaire.  Young ones put their shoes out in a conspicuous place, and if they have been nice, he will leave presents and candy for them in their shoes on his special day, December 5th, the evening before he returns to Spain.  Some believe that if they stuff their shoes full of hay and carrots, Sanikolas will visit them for sure so his horses can enjoy the tasty morsels.

But what if you’ve been naughty?  Well, then you are stuffed in one of the Piet’s sack and carried back off to Spain where you will become a Zwarte Piet!

View a photo gallery below of the 2015 event.  Click on any image to see an enlarged version.

Although there is much controversy in the European Netherlands over the Zwarte Piet, luckily for Bonaire there is no such concern, and a wonderful children’s tradition lives on.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

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