KLM Offers Five Days of Fare Sales, Including Tickets to Bonaire

KLM has Bonaire on sale for only five days.

KLM has just announced a five-day airfare sale, and one of the destinations from Amsterdam is Bonaire!  For those wishing to plan a last-minute vacation, act soon to get your reduced fare ticket locked in, which can be as low as € 498.

Capacity on the sale is limited and reservations must be made by May 22nd, 2017.  Quotes for roundtrip fares are the lowest available for your chosen dates, but exclude a €10 booking fee (and any credit card fee).

To check the fares for your chosen dates, visit the KLM website.

(Source:  KLM)

 


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. 


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Canadian Airline Sunwing to Begin Direct Flights from Toronto to Bonaire

Sunwing will offer direct flights from Toronto to Bonaire and return beginning mid-December, 2017.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) has announced that Sunwing will commence flights to Bonaire in mid-December 2017 by offering a weekly non-stop service from Toronto to Bonaire every Sunday on a Boeing 737-800 with a capacity of a 189 seats.

Sunwing Airlines is Canada’s leading leisure airline and is the proud recipient of the Consumer Choice Award for its Toronto operations for four years running.

Bonaire International Airport's approach to the runwaySunwing’s commitment to launching this route demonstrates the airline’s confidence in the Bonaire tourism product and will provide Bonaire with greater exposure in the Canadian market and provide travelers with a convenient connection to Bonaire.

The Sunwing Travel Group specializes in all-inclusive vacations and will offer Bonaire vacation packages in cooperation Buddy Dive Resort, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino, Delfins Beach Resort, and Plaza Beach Resort.

(Source:  TCB)

 


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. 


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Upcoming STINAPA Events, including Birding on Global Big Day

Upcoming STINAPA events include bird-watching on Global Big Day and a sunrise climb of Brandaris, Bonaire’s highest point.

This Saturday, May 13th, 2017, is Global Big Day, one of the biggest birding events of all year. The event includes 150 countries. 17,000 birders. 60% of the world’s bird species. Are you ready to have fun on Global Big Day? Every bird counts. Be a part of it by joining STINAPA for a fabulous birding opportunity, as many migrating birds are on Bonaire right now and are decked out in fabulous breeding plumage.

The mission of Global Big Day.

The goal of Global Big Day is to find as many species as possible in one day. If you like birds, this is a fun event for the whole family and it doesn’t matter if you are a beginning birder or an expert birder, a kid or adult.

Reserve your spot; where to meet.

If you’re interesting in joining, meet at the Toeloei Domacasse public park on the waterfront boulevard. STINAPA will have multiple staff members leading groups to different areas around Bonaire in search of as many birds as possible.  If you would like to join, reserve your spot by telephoning 717-8444, as space is limited. There is no charge for participation but donations are always welcome.

What to bring.

You may need to drive your own vehicle (if the STINAPA vehicles are full). Bring your own binoculars if you have them. STINAPA will submit the joint birding lists to eBird and see how Bonaire did compared to the rest of the world. If you can’t join but still wish to contribute, make a list of any birds you see on Saturday May 13th and submit it to eBirds.

Hike to Bonaire’s highest point, Brandaris, on Sunday, May 14th, 2017.

Most people never have the opportunity to see Washington Slagbaai National Park at sunrise but this Sunday there is the perfect opportunity, as STINAPA will host another climb of Brandaris on Sunday, May 14th, 2017.

Pre-registration is necessary, entry fee, meeting spot.

There is space for 20 participants. Secure your spot and register by calling 717-8444 (registration is required for participation); the entry fee is $10.00. Participants must Arrange their own transport to and within the park. Be at the entrance the park before 5:30 AM, as the hike will begin on time.

What to wear, what to bring, good fitness is important.

A good physical condition is important and children 10 years and up may participate only if accompanied by an adult. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes, and bring your own water and a snack and don’t forget to bring a flashlight. Part of the ascent will be before sunrise, and in the dark, so make sure you have a working light.

Part of the hike is quite a clamber toward the top, but once your reach it the views are spectacular! Everyone will be back at the park entrance around 8:30 AM.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


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. 


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Djambo Bonaire Announces Spring and Summer Special

Djambo offers a low-season special, just in time for those planning their summer vacations to Bonaire.

DjamboDjambo is a mid-sized, family run resort on Bonaire. is a mid-sized, family-run resort, tucked away in the area between Flamingo Airport and Kralendijk.  It offers 17 apartments made up of one-bedroom or two-bedroom units, all with pool and garden views.

Low season specials are available now through September 1st, 2017.

Now through September 1st, 2017, a one-bedroom apartment is only $99.00 per night, including all taxes.  Guests can opt to add in a pick-up truck, also including all vehicles taxes, for only $149.00 per night.

Djambo’s two-bedroom apartment is only $139.00 per night and makes for an economical stay for a family or two couples.  Add in the pick-up truck for only $189.00 per night.  Once again, these rates include all government taxes.

Terms and conditions.

The minimum stay to receive these rates is seven nights.  Do be aware that there is limited availability, so be sure to inquire as to your dates and book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

For those who opt to add in a pick-up truck, it is offered with full insurance ($0.00 deductible) and a second driver is free.

About Djambo.

Each one-bedroom unit at Djambo has a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with wooden shutter doors, which allows Bonaire’s tropical breezes to pass through.  Bedrooms are screened and have air-conditioning.

The two-bedroom apartments have a spacious bathroom with two wash-basins and offer living and dining areas on the large porch.

Djambo's two-bedroom apartments offer a spacious porch.Free WiFi is available to all guests and ample, free parking.  It is minutes away from the shore, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Water-sports enthusiasts can avail themselves of the fresh water tanks for rinsing equipment, as well as the lockers (provided with locks) right on the premises.

For additional information, visit Djambo’s website or email them for further information about their special rates.

(Source:  Djambo)

 


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. 


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Bonaire Insider Dining Review–Courtyard Restaurant

The Courtyard Restaurant at Marriott launches new menu.

Bonaire: Foodie’s Paradise.

For decades, Bonaire has been known as the “Divers’ Paradise” which put the island on the world tourism map. Next, windsurfers and kite-boarders discovered that Bonaire’s charms also provided perfect conditions for their sports, and so, then Bonaire became a mecca for those who skim across the top of the water. But now, surely we can add another claim: “Bonaire, Foodies’ Paradise.”

Bonaire has over 130 eateries offering every type of food imaginable.

For such a small island, with a population just hovering around 20,000, the island has over 130 different restaurants, with every type of food imaginable from mobile catering trucks, Bonairean snacks, neighborhood eateries, and fine dining restaurants. Many establishments receive frequent accolades which confirm Bonaire serves up some of the best food in the Caribbean. And now, there is just one more dining option for visiting foodies to put on their “to do” list: The Courtyard Restaurant.

The Courtyard Restaurant offers fine dining or beach food, whichever is your pleasure.

Chef Dhanesh de Kok (middle), Souschef Marijn Koops (left) and Junior Souschef Dior Marchena

Chef Dhanesh de Kok (middle), Sous Chef Marijn Koops (left) and Junior Sous Chef Dior Marchena (right)

I recently had an opportunity to taste-test a sampling of the new fine dining menu, just launched by Chef Dhanesh de Kok, and his assistants, Sous Chef Merijn Koops and Junior Sous Chef Dior Marchena. Respectively hailing from Curacao, Holland, and Aruba, most of the Dutch Kingdom is represented on the chef’s team.

The restaurant, located at the Courtyard by Marriott, has a comfortable bar and lounge area, sitting right on the edge of the lagoon. Simply turn your head a bit, and you’re looking out over the infinity pool, with a view which then continues on. The atmosphere is relaxed and romantic.

Our fine dining tasting menu included two appetizers, two entrées, and two desserts.

Pumpkin three ways over red and white quinoa, topped with goat cheese, raz el hanout and tarragon.

Pumpkin three ways over red and white quinoa, topped with goat cheese, raz el hanout and tarragon.

Each plate illustrated how much detail and attention was given to the elegant presentations. But this certainly was not to the detriment of taste, as each bite exploded with the different flavors and seasonings used.

Our first plate was marinated quinoa (red and white) served with the Caribbean staple, pumpkin, in three ways, and then topped with goat cheese. The seasonings were raz el hanout, which was new to me, along with tarragon.

The second starter was a home-made beef pastrami served with a ginger-lime cream and radish. Since the meat was so exceptionally tender, I asked Chef Dhanesh to explain how he did the pastrami:

“The beef is marinated in a brine for three days.  Then, it is slow-roasted for twelve hours, before being thinly sliced and seasoned with Bonairean sea salt.”

— Chef Dhanesh de Kok

The first entrée was a pan-fried red snapper over a creamy yellow-rice risotto, served with a Parmesan-infused foam and a black olive crisp. Each component could be discerned as the flavors melded together.  The Parmesan foam was amazing and quite impressive!

Creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee.

Creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee.

The second entrée proved to be whimsical, as it was corn-fed, farm-raised chicken, seasoned with Moroccan flavors, and then served with everything the chicken would eat–basically, corn, also three ways, including a curry popcorn. This was a fun plate to eat, as well as being delicious.

For the sweet endings, we first enjoyed a creamy parfait filled with caramelized nuts and toffee. Our second dessert was a modern take on the traditional Bonairean drink, Awa di Lamunchi, literally translating to lime-water. It is a refreshing citrus drink enjoyed by many here on the island, and it was amazing to find that luscious flavor pervasive within the dessert. I thought at first the lime swirls on the glass would be the only lime flavoring, but each spoonful of the dessert was imbued with this refreshingly light lime.

A Bonairean tradition--Awa di Lamunchi--created with a modern twist.

A Bonairean tradition–Awa di Lamunchi–created with a modern twist.

This tasting menu highlighted a few of the options available on the new menu just recently launched. But others which sound inviting include Ceviche, Shrimp & Melon, a Caribbean Bouillabaisse filled with locally sourced seafood with a hint of coconut, and of course, the 10-ounce Rib-eye with Harissa–the steak rubbed in spices and served with sweet potato and tamarind. For chocoholics, don’t forget to try the Chocolate & Chocolate–chocolate ganache cake served with a chocolate mousse and crumble.

Choose a three-, four-, or five-course Chef’s Selections Menu.

And, as is becoming very popular on Bonaire, there are the Chef’s Selections Menus, with either a three-course, four-course, or five-course option. Any food allergies or preferences can be given when ordering, and the chef will customize the menu tailored just for your tastes.

Options for vegetarians or vegans.

The restaurant sits on the lagoon on one side, and the infinity pool on the other side.

The restaurant sits with the lagoon on one side, and the infinity pool on the other side.

Vegetarians will not be disappointed. There are several options on the menu which are marked as either vegetarian or which can be prepared as a vegetarian meal.  Vegans are asked to please call in advance, so the team can shop for additional ingredients, and then they would be happy to accommodate with vegan offerings.

Good, old-fashioned beach food.

And lastly, those who just wish a quick and tasty meal with some good old-fashioned beach food can enjoy the bar menu (also served at tables) which includes jalapeno balls, chicken wings, nachos, the Dutch treat bitterbal, coconut shrimp, olives with focaccia sticks, several types of panini, pizzas, burgers, and Caesar salad.

Courtyard Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner.

The Courtyard Restaurant is open for dinner (call ahead to 715-2222 to be sure you visit on their open days) and also serves a buffet breakfast. Feel free to visit without a reservation, but if you do have any food allergies or special requests, let the restaurant know in advance, so they can best accommodate your wishes.

Have I made you hungry yet? Silence those rumblings, and make your stomach happy with a visit to the Courtyard Restaurant soon!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

 


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. 


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Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day) 2017 Schedule of Events

Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day) events start on King’s Day and continue through May 1st.

Dia di Rincon hosts a multitude of culture, music, and dance.

Dia di Rincon hosts a multitude of culture, music, and dance.

The village of Rincon has released a stellar schedule of events for the 2017 edition of Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day) with events starting tomorrow, King’s Day (a national holiday) and running all the way through Monday, May 1st (also a national holiday).

Thursday, April 27th (King’s Day)

From 9:00 AM through 4:00 PM, head to Rincon for the go-kart race and the Simadan di Rei, the King’s Harvest Parade.

Also starting at 9:00 AM, Rotary Bonaire will hold its annual Feria (market) at Wilhelmina Park.

Friday, April 30th:

From 8:00 PM until midnight, gather in Rincon to get “warmed up” for the weekend with the Den Trin (Party Hotspot) event.

Saturday, April 29th

8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, enjoy Mangazina di Rei’s Nos Zjilea, with the music of Watapana and the Foyan Boyz, food, plants, arts and crafts, and local food.

At 3:00 PM, the Simadan parade from the schools will take place, starting several days of festivities to celebrate Bonaire’s Simadan, the harvest time.

At 8:00 PM, there is a Ban Topa (Let’s Meet) pre-opening event.

Dia di Rincon takes place every year on April 30th.

Sunday, April 30th

The day’s party begins with Mass at 8:00 AM and will continue in high form until midnight. Don’t miss the annual celebration of Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day) highlighting Bonaire’s culture with all its musical and dance performances, local food, drink, and other goodies!

Monday, May 1st

Starting at 10:00 AM, at the Centro di Bario Rincon, view the parade of the Antillean Bicycles.

Simadan on Bonaire, a special music and cultureFrom 5:00 PM through 8:00 PM, there will be closing ceremonies to close out another fun and event-packed Dia di Rincon.  Meet at the Centro di Bario Rincon.

If you’re in Kralendijk, be sure to watch for the Simadan parade of Doei Diaz, from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

(Source:  TCB)

 


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 on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Bonaire’s Firefighting Instructors Train in a Simulated Airplane Fire

Bonaire’s instructor firefighters train for emergencies at Flamingo Airport.

When arriving for vacation, one doesn’t want to think about disasters, but, unfortunately, they can strike any time, anywhere.  It’s comforting to know Bonaire’s firefighters are ready to tackle an emergency fire at the island’s Flamingo Airport.

In-service training was received specifically for airplane fires.

On Wednesday April 12th, the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (Brandweerkorps Caribisch Nederland, hereafter referred to as BKCN) held an airplane firefighting training simulated exercise on the grounds of the airport. BKCN is not only responsible for regular firefighting duties, but also for airplane firefighting on all three of the BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba). The training exercise was an in-service training in the field of airplane firefighting and was intended for all BKCN instructors. The instructors therefore are able to give other colleagues within the department in-service training.

The simulation was realistic with two different types of “airplanes.”

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) applies very strict rules and requirements which the fire department must observe. It was a realistic training exercise with fire and smoke in an airplane during evening hours. These exercises took place on the grounds of BIA where a training object has been constructed from containers and other materials to imitate the fuselage of an airplane. There are two different mock-up cabins on the inside; one of a smaller airplane with one aisle and one of a larger airplane with two aisles, so as to realistically train in the typical types of aircraft landing on Bonaire. In case of an airplane fire it is important for the fire department to respond and reach the fire within three minutes and to create a survivable situation as soon as possible in order to save as many lives as possible.

Four shift leaders and three officers of service from Bonaire, and 1 shift leader and 2 firemen from St. Eustatius participated in this physically demanding training exercise. A total of 10 participants and 3 fire engines were deployed. The training exercise was organized by BKCN instructor Ab Hoek and Sergeant Major Frank Koenders, airplane firefighting instructor of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, in collaboration with the firefighting training institute BOGO. The airplane firefighting training exercise for instructors lasted 9 days, of which one day was devoted to theory and the remaining days were practical days.

During the simulation, emphasis was also placed on cooperation with other services, such as red cross, ambulance, police and the KMar.

Bonaire’s firefighters perform many life-saving duties for the community.

Bonaire’s firefighters perform many life-saving duties.  View the video (also simulated) of our firefighters removing a traffic accident victim from an automobile.


(Source:  RCN)

 


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 on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Cargill and STINAPA Collaborate to Protect Corals Under Bonaire’s Salt Pier

Relocating corals under Bonaire’s Salt Pier.

Salt Pier’s temporary closing.

Late in March, the Bonaire Insider informed its readers of the then-impending closure of Bonaire’s Salt Pier dive site for a temporary period while Cargill made renovations to the pier.

Last week, STINAPA and a group of assistants dove tirelessly under Bonaire’s Salt Pier in an effort to mitigate potential damage to the corals in that location.

Old anchor chains were scheduled for removal, but were encrusted with live corals.

As part of the renovations for the major pier repairs, two huge 40-year-old anchor chains, both encrusted with living corals, were to be removed. Cargill requested STINAPA’s advice as to how to minimize damage, and they agreed to leave most of the old chains in place, but instead lay the new chains next to them.  In order to clear a path for the new chains, live corals and sponges had to be relocated to a safe area nearby.

Corals and sponges were relocated to nearby areas or to coral nurseries.

STINAPA relocates corals at Bonaire's Salt PierWith the expertise of Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire and the help of number of volunteers, the STINAPA Junior Rangers, and many private sector divers, STINAPA proceeded to relocate a large number of hard corals, soft corals, and sponges, which would otherwise have faced certain death. The live corals were moved by hand while on SCUBA to nearby safe zones. For moving the larger colonies, the marine park rangers used lift bags.

A few of the corals were transported by boat to coral restoration sites at Buddy Dive and Harbour Village. In the coming months STINAPA will be monitoring the survival rate of the corals and sponges that were relocated.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


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 on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


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Washington Slagbaai National Park Remains Closed After Heavy Rains

Washington Slagbaai National Park temporarily closed.

Unfortunately, Bonaire’s Washington Slagbaai National Park remains temporarily closed as the northern part of the island received torrential rains on Friday, April 14th, 2017.

Heavy rains caused flooding in Bonaire's Washington Slagbaai National ParkRainfall in the park totaled 65.3 mm/2.57 inches in three hours, causing flooding and damage to the roads.  Although the park staff has been working tirelessly to get the park ready for visitors once again, the park remains closed until another assessment can be made this weekend.  The earliest the park might be open for traffic is Monday, April 24th, 2017, but STINAPA will evaluate if that is possible this weekend.

In the meantime, the museum, Kasikunda Trail, and the Lagadishi Trail are open for visitors, and entrance to the park is free during this interim period.

For additional information, you may contact Washington Slagbaai National Park at telephone 788-9015.

Note Update April 24, 2017:  We are happy to report that Washington Slagbaai National Park is now open with normal hours.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 


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 on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


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Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week is May 1st through 7th, 2017

Take advantage of the Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week, with three-course dinners only $25.00 per person.

 

Bonaire’s own beer has its own special celebration between May 1st and May 7th, 2017 when a great many of the island’s eateries will host a special three-course culinary dinner for only $25.00 per person.

Sebastian’s Restaurant
Rum Runners
It Rains Fishes Bonaire
La Cantina Bonaire
Cuba Compagnie Bonaire Restaurant
Bistro de Paris Bonaire
Spice Beach Club
Blue Garden Brazilian Grill & Pizza Gourmet
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino Chibi Chibi
La Guernica Bonaire
Breeze ‘n Bites Bonaire
Capriccio Bonaire
Ingridiënts Restaurant
At Sea Restaurant
Joe’s Restaurant

Be sure to visit your favorites during this special event, or try out a new eatery.

(Source:  Bonaire Blond Restaurant Week)


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 on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


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