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Friday, March 30, 2012

United Airlines (Continental) Announces 2012 Seasonalization of Flights to Bonaire

United Airlines, which now operates the flights previously provided by Continental Airlines, has just announced their planned seasonal breaks from service to and from Bonaire.

The Friday Houston service will be on hiatus from August 31, 2012 to September 28, 2012. This service will resume on October 5, 2012.

The Saturday Houston service will be on hiatus from August 25, 2012 to November 3, 2012. The service will resume on November 10, 2012.

The Newark service will be on hiatus from August 18, 2012 to November 3, 2012. Service will resume on November 10, 2012.

From August 31, 2012 to September 28, 2012 there will be no United service to the island.  United is in the process of re-accommodating passengers, so if passengers to Bonaire have ticketed reservations, they should be hearing from United/Continental, or their booking agent.  Passengers can also always inquire with the booking agent, whether it is the airline directly or a travel agent or wholesaler.

The Bonaire Insider will advise of any further developments in seasonal airlift changes.  (Source: TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 30, 2012 at 6:02pm AST
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bonaire’s First Dive Hotel Celebrates Sixty Years

The Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino was Bonaire’s first truly dive-dedicated hotel, and the property is now celebrating sixty years of welcoming visitors to Bonaire.

Many divers know the name of Peter Hughes, and it was Peter who developed the hotel’s capacity and amenities to cater to the diving tourists.  Peter started work on Bonaire the day after Christmas in 1975 to take over what was the islandís first dive operation, situated at the Flamingo Beach Club.  At the time, there were only two hotels:  The Flamingo Beach Club with 26 bungalows and the larger, but now-defunct, Hotel Bonaire.  When he started, Peter was handling four to six divers a day.  Ten years later, they were taking 275 divers a day, six days a week, out to Bonaire’s waters.  The original and tiny dive shop became a laundry office and was replaced several times under Peterís management, expanding each time to accommodate the ever-increasing number of divers.  The property also greatly expanded to its present size of 129 guest accommodations, added two restaurants, a spa and casino and acquired its charming, colorful Caribbean style.  To this day, the resort attracts travelers from around the world.

In June, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort will honor Peter Hughes, who will return to the resort for “Legends of Divi Past,” a week of celebration, dives, parties and reminiscing. The hotel will inaugurate the Peter Hughes Room, a meeting and reception room located at the Divi dive shop.  A ribbon cutting and champagne reception is set for Thursday, June 21st at 5:30 PM.

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire is celebrating the propertyís 60th anniversary throughout 2012 with a calendar of monthly events and specials.  The celebration includes a number of dive packages, a one week master digital underwater photography class, one night free packages, free room upgrades and free dives. Dive packages start at $844 per person double occupancy for a seven-night stay with 11 boat dives, unlimited shore diving, daily breakfast, airport transfers and all taxes and gratuities included.  For additional details, click here(Source:  Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 29, 2012 at 10:22am AST
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still More New Options in Grocery Shopping on Bonaire

There’s been lots of changes in recent months in availability of grocery products and fresh goods, and yet, there’s even more news.  The Real Dutch Bakery has opened offering truly the freshest of bakery goods, and Top Supermarket has opened in Kralendijk.

The Real Dutch Bakery has opened its doors at Kaya Cacique 16C in Nord Salinja.  They offer “just-out-of-the-oven” bread in a multitude of varieties--multi-grain, ciabatta, brown, wheat, sugar-loaf, just to mention a few--as well as muffins and other pastries.  The bakery is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM and again from 2:00 to 6:00 PM.  Saturdays, they are open from 6:00 AM straight through to 3:00 PM, but Sundays they are closed.

Top Supermarket has opened in the central Kalendijk location where Cultimara Supermarket was operating for many years.  They have a large supply of liquors, drinks, packaged snacks and dry goods, cleaning supplies, and other non-perishables.  They also offer meat, bakery, and produce departments.  Their central location makes it convenient to pop in for a few needed items or to do your main shopping.

Click here to view a listing of all food shopping venues on Bonaire.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 28, 2012 at 11:06am AST
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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Week Holds a Variety of Unique Events for Bonaire’s Visitors

There’s no lack of fun and interesting things to do this week on Bonaire.  Here’s a rundown on just some of the unique events being held this week on the island.

Bon Bida Spa & Gym is offering a free children’s sport clinic this Wednesday from either 2:30 to 3:30 PM or 4:00 to 5:00 PM.  This clinic will provide a fun and safe atmosphere where kids can learn how to be fit and strong from a young age onward, while parents can also enjoy a presentation about the importance of fitness for kids and how the gym’s Fitkids Program works.  All children aged 7 through 11 are welcome to join in, and those who are on island for a longer period can sign up for the weekly clinic and get the first month free.  Sports clothing is necessary for participation. For more information, email info@bonbida.com or call 717-7224.

For those who know the basics of salsa dancing, but always wanted to improve, this week on Bonaire is the perfect opportunity.  Geared to those who already know the basics, the 2012 edition of the Salsa Flash Course is targeted for the intermediate level and will spice up your salsa dancing while on Bonaire.  The course will be three hours of classes over three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), and will end with a Latin dance party at Tropical Rancho.  Those interested in attending need to be at Sense Restaurant on Thursday and Friday from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, and then Saturday the course will complete at Tropical Rancho from 8:00 to 9:00 PM, with the party beginning directly afterward and going until the wee hours (3:00 AM).  Cost per participant is $30.00 for all three classes, and the party is free.  For more information or to sign up, telephone 795-0496 or 785-0027. 

On Friday, March 30th, Club Roomer will hold their next fundraiser, the proceeds of which all go to help Bonaire’s youth enjoy a Kids’ Easter Playday, when over 400 children, aged 4-12, will have a day of games, singing, and playing, with the cooperation and supervision of Jong Bonaire volunteers.  To help out with this laudable effort, simply spend Friday evening at the Jazzy Happy Hour at Hotel Roomer, when Andreina and Friends will serenade those attending.  There is no cover charge, and dinner specials are only $10.00 per person, and include pasta, Stamppot, or fried rice entrees.  The evening begins at 7:00 PM.

On Saturday, March 3, start your day early at the Go Green Monthly Farmers’ Market.  Held from 8:00 AM through 12:00 Noon, the market is at Pakus di Pruga, at Kaya Lib. Simon Blv. #17.  For additional information, telephone 717-2222.

Then, continue the day in Rincon, as the Women’s Club RinFa invites all to the First Rincon International Food Festival from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM.  The event will take place at the Plaza Commers in Rincon, and will feature local and international cuisine, music, dance, poetry, and much more.  All are invited to sample Rincon’s unique heritage and culture.

And finally end the weekend on Sunday, April 1st by stopping by the 34th Annual Kite-Flying Contest in Kralendijk.  The contest will begin at 9:00 AM in the morning, and there will be music and stands selling food and sweets, and drinks will be available for purchase as well.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to get great images of kids having the time of their lives, as sometimes their kites are bigger than they are!

No matter which event you choose, be sure to enjoy all that Bonaire has to offer!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 26, 2012 at 4:40pm AST
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bonaire’s Classical Music Board Offers Next Concert Featuring Opera and Folk Music

The next classical music concert will feature Aruba’s acclaimed operatic soprano, Tica Giel, accompanied by Antillean maestro, Wim Statius Muller, on the grand piano, on Saturday, March 31st, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

The duo will perform a recital in two parts: The first part will include classical opera and arias from Bellini, Charles Gounod, and songs from Enrique Granados, Carlo Goldini, Catharina van Rennes, and others. After the intermission, traditional Antillean and Dutch folk songs will be performed, giving a wide variety to the evening’s performance.

Tica Giel is back in her native Aruba, after a long and successful career in Europe where she received her musical education from, among others, Cora Canne Meier, and where she performed extensively on tour. She has played important roles in operas such as La Sonnambula (Bellini) and Die Zauberflote and Die Schauspieldirector (Mozart).  Ms. Giel has also made three superb CDs, including one with Wim Statius Muller, performing Antillean songs.

Wim Statius Muller is well known on Bonaire as the outstanding classical pianist in the Caribbean region. The concert will also feature an after-party with Jasper Blokzijl on the piano.  Tickets are available at Addo’s Books & Toys and Flamingo Bookstore on Kaya Grandi, Chat ‘n’ Browse at the Sand Dollar Mall, and at the Plaza Resort reservation desk.  Cost is $20.00 per person in advance, or $25.00 at the door.  Cost for children is $10.00.  The concert will be held at Cacique Hall at the Plaza Resort Bonaire. (Source:  Classical Music Board Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 22, 2012 at 10:01am AST
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival 2012 is coming--July 27 through 29, 2012

The eighth edition of the Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival will take place this summer, moving from its traditional timing in late May to late July instead (July 27 through 29, 2012).  Here’s a preview of the exciting lineup!

The opening on Friday will focus on jazz and poetry. As before, this will take place in the intimate atmosphere of Fort Oranje. In recent years, this event was one of the most popular, and it is expected to be a sell out this year.

For the main program on Saturday night at Plaza Resort, there are three big shows in the pipeline. The evening will be opened by a (to be announced) band and vocalist from The Netherlands.  Then, Monty Alexander and Harlem-Kingston Jamaica Express will set the mood.  Those who attended the 2009 festival will remember Monty’s successful performance at that event, and he’s back by popular demand for this year’s event with a new program and band. To end the evening, Dominican bachata singer, Yoskar Sarante with be performing with his band together with Frank Reyes, Anthony Santos, and Joe Veras, known for the world-wide hit, La Noche.

Finally, on Sunday, a free concert will be given by the India-born, half Dutch, half-Zimbabwean, Rina Mushonga, vocalist and with band.  The schedule promises to be an exciting one, so be sure to make plans to enjoy some or all of the events. (Source:  Bonaire Jazz Foundation)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 21, 2012 at 9:28am AST
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Keeping Pace with Bonaire’s Changing Cuisine Scene

The Bonaire Insider has reported several times in recent months on additions or changes in Bonaire’s culinary scene, but it’s time once again to make note of some changes.

Bistro de Paris has just re-opened in their new location harborside at the Harbour Village Marina.  With a brand-spanking-new, air-conditioned dining room, or al fresco water-side dining, Bistro’s very loyal following of both residents and visitors will follow Patrice Rannou to the new location.  The food is just as good as at the prior location, but there’s the new Zazu Bar, which will open shortly and provide the perfect ambiance for drinks and tasty finger foods.

E Teras, located at Kaya Nikiboko Zuid #8 is now under new ownership and management.  The bar and restaurant are undergoing some redecorating, but are open for either local, krioyo food or international dining.  Their new mission is to provide a good meal for a fair price.  There are also plans to expand special activities, such as their karaoke night, currently on Fridays, which will expand to Saturday evenings as well.  Also, on a regular basis, visiting bands and musicians will put in appearances, the first of which is a local Bonairean band, On Time, which will perform on Saturday, April 7th, 2012 starting at 9:00 PM and go until the wee hours.  There’s no entrance fee, so everyone is invited to stop by.

(Source:  Bistro de Paris and E Teras Bar Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 20, 2012 at 12:39pm AST
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Monday, March 19, 2012

CIEE Bonaire Announces New Lecture Series

Bonaire’s CIEE Research Station has just announced the next three public lectures in its educational series.  All lectures continue to be free and open to all those interested in attending.

The first will be tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, when Sharon Kegeles of Barry University will speak on “The Bonaire Tourist:  Changing Faces with Changing Needs.” This presentation will focus on increasing public awareness of how the island can help to minimize obstacles in tourism and maximize its visitors’ desires to return as repeat travelers.

Then, on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012, John Claydon, PhD and Marta Calosso, MS, of the research station, will present “Progression of Invasive Lionfish in Seagrass, Mangrove, and Reef Habitats.Ē

And finally, on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012, Jason Flower, MS, also of the research station, will present “The Life Cycles of Stars.” Look up into the sky on a clear night and you can see about 2000 stars if you are standing in a relatively dark place, much fewer if you are in a city.  The stars you see vary in age from relative youngsters to ancients. During their life, stars go through many changes and these changes can be dramatic and spectacular.  Some of the images of these processes are available on the Internet and TV, such as those taken by the Hubble space telescope.  This lecture will examine the life of stars: their birth, life and the spectacular ways they die.

All lectures begin promptly at 7:00 PM and will last one hour.  They will take place at the CIEE Research Station on Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot.  Seating is limited, so it’s best to get there a bit early.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 19, 2012 at 2:55pm AST
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Bonaire Food Group Launches Interim Web Site

Finding great quality foods is always welcome on an island such as Bonaire, and to help fill that niche, Bonaire Food Group, formerly The Island Supplier, has just launched an interim web site which highlights the details of their weekly specials as well as a complete manifest of their newly arriving inventory.

Bonaire Food Group normally receives weekly containers from the U.S.A. or Holland, importing a great variety of items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality meat, seafood, and poultry, and even household items.  Plans include an expansion of their services in the near future, with the availability of ordering heavy items which will be delivered to your residence, which will be quite handy for those with second homes on Bonaire, as well as having bulk-foods availability in their soon-to-be-completed new warehouse facility.

In the meantime, while their full web site is being built, Bonaire Food Group has launched an interim site where one can check on their weekly specials or see what is the latest in inventory from the current container arrival.  One can even sign up to receive free email alerts when new specials or new container lists are posted to the web site.

Visit their web site by clicking here, or sign up for email alerts by clicking here.  Be sure to bookmark their site and check back often to see the latest as their web site offerings expand.  (Source:  Bonaire Food Group)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 16, 2012 at 1:33pm AST
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Renovation of Bonaire’s Willemstoren Lighthouse is Complete

In October, 2011, the Bonaire Insider reported on the renovation of five of Bonaire’s historic lighthouses (read original story by clicking here).  It’s just been announced that the first of the five, and probably Bonaire’s most famous lighthouse, Willemstoren, at the southern end of the island, is totally renovated and in good working order.

In a joint venture between the Public Body of Bonaire, which actually owns the historic landmarks and monuments, and the Rijkswaterstaat, four additional lighthouses or light beacons will be renovated and equipped with the latest in electro-technology.  Improvements have also been made to ensure the safety of the personnel tasked with maintenance of the towers.  The current schedule of work allows for the remaining four lighthouses--Spelonk, Wecua, Seru Bentana, and Klein Bonaire--to be completed by August, 2012.  (Source: Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 15, 2012 at 5:49pm AST
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