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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Peruvian Restaurant Opens in Bonaire

Open from 8:00 AM through 10:00 PM for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the new restaurant on Kaya Grandi, Plazita Limena, offers Peruvian and international cuisine.

The owners of this new restaurant have worked hard to offer a menu which highlights Peruvian favorites, as well as international dishes, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Located at the beginning of Kaya Grandi, the restaurant offers take out or you may dine in on a street side table or on the outdoor patio at the rear of the restaurant.  Closed Thursdays.  (Bonaire Insider reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 28, 2007 at 2:38pm AST
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Friday, February 23, 2007

United States Is Relaxing New Passport Rules for Children for Land and Sea Borders

U.S. and Canadian children will be exempt from new rules that will require travelers to show passports when entering the U.S. at land or sea borders, a move the Bush administration said Thursday is aimed at helping families and school groups.

The new passport requirements will take effect as soon as January, 2008. In a change from earlier plans, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 15 or younger with parental consent will be allowed to cross the borders at land and sea entry points with certified copies of their birth certificates rather than passports.

Since January 23, nearly all air travelers entering the U.S. who are citizens of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean--as well as returning American citizens--have been required to display passports. Children entering the United States by air will still be required to show passports.

For additional information, click here(Source:  CNN Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 23, 2007 at 1:43pm AST
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

U.S. Consulate Encourages American Citizens to Register Your Travel to the Netherlands Antilles

In a recent statement by the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao and the U.S. State Department, the Consulate strongly encouraged any American citizen living or traveling in Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles to register your trip on the State Department’s travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/.

Registering your trip allows Embassies and Consulates abroad to send you newsletters and time-sensitive travel warnings and public announcements specific to the areas in which you will be traveling or living.  The information you provide also makes it easier for them to contact you in case of emergency, or to contact your family or friends in the United States in the event of an emergency abroad.  Registration will also allow residents of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles to receive notification when the vice consul will be on your island.

If you have not already registered online, please create an account at https://travelregistration.state.gov/.  If you have already registered online, please ensure your registration and travel plans are up to date.

You may update your contact information on the Internet at any time.  The data you provide is secured behind Department of State firewalls, accessible only by cleared personnel in Embassies, Consulates, and the Department of State, and releasable only under the provisions of the Privacy Act.

Important: If you do not receive a welcome message from their mailing service within a week of registration, please email them directly at ACSCuracao@state.gov so they can manually add your address.

For information on travel in the Netherlands Antilles, including Bonaire, see the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_981.html.

Up-to-date information on safety and security is available by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers in other countries, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. Consulate General Curaçao Contact Information:  The U.S. Consulate General is located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Curaçao.  The mailing address is P.O. Box 158, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.  The telephone number during working hours for American citizens only is (599-9) 461-3066 ext. 225.  For after-hours emergencies involving American citizens only, please call (599-9) 510-8740 (Duty Officer).  The web site is http://curacao.usconsulate.gov and the email address is ACSCuracao@state.gov(Source:  U.S. Consulate General, Curacao)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 21, 2007 at 4:42pm AST
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Bonaire Announces New Island-Wide Program--Dive Into Summer 2007

This summer everyone is invited to experience the island with its new summer-long promotion, Bonaire Dive Into Summer 2007 (BDIS).  Taking place June 3 through September 29, 2007, this island-wide event will focus on scuba diving through a series of specialty topics: Family, Fotography, Fish and Fun.

There is no registration fee to participate in Bonaire Dive Into Summer (select activities may have a nominal cost involved) and all activities are open to anyone on island wishing to take part.  BDIS will also feature a free coupon book (valid 6/3-9/29/07) filled with valuable discounts for hotels, restaurants, shopping, activities, rentals and more that will be available to all visitors to the island.

The “Family” topic will introduce guests to the many activities and programs available on-island for the entire family to enjoy, and the “Fotography” topic will include guest speakers and events designed for professionals and those interested in photography to enjoy, while the “Fish” topic will be all about marine conservation and our ocean planet, and the “Fun” topic will feature everything diving such as speakers encouraging divers to take new courses and non-divers to become certified.

During September, solo travelers and singles traveling in groups can take advantage of dives, snorkels and events just for singles.  Each month people will also have the opportunity to enjoy A Taste of Bonaire, an event showcasing local food, handicrafts, culture and music.

BDIS is being sponsored by the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) and Scuba Diving magazine.  For more information on Bonaire – Dive Into Summer 2007 visit the event’s official website at www.bonairediveintosummer.com, or view the FAQ sheet ( in PDF format).  (Source:  TCB Press Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 19, 2007 at 2:33pm AST
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Flamingo Rockers to Provide Live Entertainment at Bonaire’s St. Patrick’s Day Dance Party

On St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, 2007 from 9:00 PM until 1:00 AM, the Flamingo Rockers will provide the live entertainment for a Dance Party at the Sunrise Restaurant, located at the Sand Dollar Resort Condominiums.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated in honor of the patron saint of Ireland by both Americans and Irish, wherever they may be.  The Flamingo Rockers, headed by Thomas Kinslow (originally from New York), play Rock ‘n’ Roll, Reggae, Motown, R&B, Reflection, Country, and Antillean Music.  They have performed at many other functions on Bonaire and are sure to add to the evening’s fun.

Tickets for the dance are NAFl 10.00 (USD $5.62) per person in advance or NAFL 15.00 (USD $8.43) at the door.  For additional information contact Thomas Kinslow +(599) 796-5352.  (Source:  Flamingo Rockers)

Note Update February 26, 2007: The Bonaire Insider has just been informed that there is a slight addition to the program.  Due to popular request, a dinner will be added to the evening’s festivities, highlighting Bonaire’s locally prepared Surinamese cuisine.  A dinner plate of nasi, bami, chicken, salad, and plantain will be included in the entrance fee.  However, the entrance fee has been adjusted to accommodate this change.  Tickets will now be NAFL 20.00 per person in advance (USD $11.24) or NAFL 25.00 per person at the door (USD $ 14.04).

Posted by Susan Davis on February 19, 2007 at 1:38pm AST
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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bonaire’s Council of Underwater Resort Operators (CURO) Meets with Reef Makers

Last week, CURO met with Mr. Joe Weatherby of Reef Makers to discuss a feasibility study on the sinking of a large military ship which would be used as a new dive site.  These types of wrecks can create great interest by divers around the world and can assist with relieving pressure on the reefs while creating a new environment for many marine creatures.

Augusto Montbrun is heading this project for Bonaire and is working closely with Reef Makers.  During Joe’s visit, he and Augusto made exploratory dives around Klein Bonaire to ascertain possible locations to place the ship. Finding such suitable locations on Bonaire is rather difficult, since the “bottom” is so deep in most areas and also slopes at a high degree.

Additionally, CURO met with various government departments regarding this subject, and these meetings produced a positive attitude for the project.  Endeavors such as this are not cheap and a great deal of money must be raised, therefore, CURO is looking at various options for funding.  According to Reef Makers most of these wrecks have paid for themselves in a remarkably short time through divers booking hotel rooms and the many people who come to see the rather spectacular sinking procedure. (Source:  CURO)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 18, 2007 at 2:29pm AST
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Opens New Activities and Fitness Center at Eden Beach Resort

Effective March 1, 2007, Bonaire Wellness Connexions will establish a new health, fitness, and activity center at their location at Eden Beach Resort, which will provide physical fitness training, exercise equipment, fitness classes, and activity programs.

At the new fitness center, visitors can enjoy classes, a shower and changing room, reception area, a shop with healthy drinks, fitness equipment sales, as well as bicycle, snorkel, and kayak rentals. A wide range of health and fitness programs are planned for all ages; those visiting Bonaire during their vacations will find the fitness center a convenient place to stayed toned and strong while away from their normal facilities.

From February 19th through 28th, all are welcome to come tour the facilities and speak with Miguel about membership, classes, or other options.  For more information about the different plans available, view a press release (in PDF format).  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions press release)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 14, 2007 at 12:06pm AST
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Last-Minute Special is Now Available at Plaza Resort Bonaire

Plaza Resort Bonaire has just announced a new special, valid for certain dates from March through June, 2007.  Reservations must be completed by March 5, 2007.

When booking 7 nights in a Grand Suite Ocean View room at the Plaza Resort Bonaire (for travel between March 5-24, April 7-May 5, May 19-June 16, 2007), you will receive two nights free (you only pay for five nights).  This special is available on the new Grand Suite Ocean View for a la carte bookings.  Subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other special or package.  For more details, visit their web site(Source:  Plaza Resort Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 14, 2007 at 10:11am AST
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort to Open New Dedicated Underwater Photography Shop

Capture Photo, a full-service underwater photography shop, will open later this month on the premises of the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino.  With a staff of master divers and experienced underwater photographers, this new photo shop will offer lessons, digital imaging, underwater camera and video camcorder rentals, and daily or weekly rental packages on cameras and their accessories.

Co-founders Dan Blodget, owner of Sub Aquatic Camera Repair Company and Kathy Lapsys, an entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, have set out to make Capture Photo the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean to benefit novice and professional divers alike.  (Source:  Divi Resorts)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 13, 2007 at 1:18pm AST
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Transition Accord Signed and Slated for December 15, 2008 for K3 and St. Maarten

In an agreement signed Monday, February 12, 2007, the target date for the new relations in the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been set for December 15, 2008, traditionally celebrated as Kingdom Day, and also the date the original charter for the Netherlands Antilles was signed.  If all goes as planned, Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius will become overseas municipalities, while St. Maarten will receive country status.

To this end, The Netherlands is making available more than one billion Antillean guilders (USD $560,000,000) for financial support for the Netherlands Antilles, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, of which a good portion will be set aside for debt relief, social and economic investments, and other budgetary aid.

Minister of Kingdom Relations and Administrative Reform Atzo Nicolaï also said that this aid was strictly in addition to other current monetary agreements, and should be viewed as separate from other funds, such as the Implementing Office of the Development Foundation Netherlands Antilles USONA.

The transition accord doesn’t mention Curaçao, as that island territory hasn’t ratified the November 2 accord with the Netherlands. As a result, Curaçao attended Monday’s meeting as observer.  (Source:  The Daily Herald)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 13, 2007 at 12:59pm AST
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