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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Carib Inn Launches Weekly Photo Contests

With the proliferation of wonderfully small and high quality cameras these days, more divers than ever are taking their own underwater and travel images and coming home with great images.  Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn has just launched a weekly photo contest for their guests and divers to help showcase these wonderful images.

It’s very simple–post your favorite images taken during your stay on the Carib Inn Facebook page.  Images must be uploaded during your stay by Thursday each week.  The week’s winner will be announced on Friday and is awarded by the most number of “likes.” Each weekly winner receives a T-shirt (winner must be present to receive the prize), and each winner is automatically entered into the annual contest, with a prize of a shore diving package for two.

Images can be from above or below the water, and can be of guests, staff, flora, fauna, landscapes, or activities.  It’s only limited by your own imagination!  Be sure to submit only current images, those taken during your stay at Carib Inn or while diving with them.

Other terms and conditions do apply, so visit the Carib Inn web site for additional details. (Source:  Carib Inn)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 21, 2015 at 11:17am AST
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Bonaire Has a New Cinema, Empire Cinema Offers Open-Air Viewing of First Run Movies

Bonaire has a new cinema that recently opened, called Empire Cinema.  The cinema is now open utilizing their open-air viewing area, and plans are in place for a soon-to-come air-conditioned theater.

Empire Cinema is using state-of-the-art projection equipment, and already their open-air theater has become quite popular.  The current summer schedule is offering daily movies at 7:30 PM, with an additional viewing at 10:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

There are exciting plans for the future, which call for a 100-seat, air-conditioned theater, and the addition of a small and intimate Thai restaurant.  Further, once the restaurant opens, authentic Thai snacks will be available for purchase during the movies.

Empire is showing current, first-run movies, and there is a great lineup of future movies coming over the next few months.  This week SPY and Jurassic World are showing along with the Dutch version of Minions.  To view what is currently playing, click here.

Empire Cinema is located at Kaya Katwijk 6 in Hato.  When traveling on Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot, turn east on the dirt road between Bon Bida Gym and Maduro & Curiel’s Bank’s administration office.  Travel about a quarter mile, and you will see the cinema’s screen on the right.  (Source:  Empire Cinema)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 10, 2015 at 3:37pm AST
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Monday, July 06, 2015

Explore the Countryside of Bara di Karta With Newly Opened Drive, Hike, and Bike Trails

Visitors to Bonaire habitually are always eager to find new areas of the island to explore, and now that is even easier with the newly opened driving, hiking, and cycling trails of the Bara di Karta area.

Covering a large swath of the eastern coast in the middle of the island, the marked trails offer highlights of nature, culture, and just some fun exploration.  The area is named after a hill named Bara di Karta.

The driving trail is about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) long and, if driven non-stop with a slow speed (and a slow speed is mandatory), it will take approximately 1.5 hours.  Along the way, signs will point out many of the area’s attributes, as well as some of the attractions which are available (although advance reservations are suggested for visiting some of the local attractions).

After beginning the driving trail, one of the first locations one will encounter is Plantation Washikemba, one of the larger plantations on Bonaire and which was primarily used for the growing and production of aloe vera.  Rumors still persist today that the grand old home is haunted, but the ghost only appears to women.


Another interesting item to view is the longest tree on Bonaire which has a horizontal length of 28 meters (92 feet).  Along the trail, one will see Boka Washikemba (the bay of Washikemba), as well as boulders which were transported inland during past tsunamis, local kunukus, and, of course, lots of cactus!  The trail wends its way along Bonaire’s eastern coastline, offering great photo opportunities of the waves crashing in on the island’s wet ‘n’ wild coast.


To find the beginning of the trails, follow the signs from Kaya Korona and turn east on Kaminda Lagun.  Before you reach the eastern coast, watch for a turn-off on the right side onto a dirt road.  There is a large sign there outlining the trails, and then simply follow the signs for your desired trail:  Yellow for the driving trail, blue for the bike trail, and pinkish red for the hiking trails.

On the next Bonaire vacation, get out and see a new part of the island!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 06, 2015 at 2:49pm AST
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tanki Maraka Heritage Park Opens

It’s not a well known fact to visitors of Bonaire that the island hosted a U.S. military installation during World War II, but now, with the opening of the Tanki Maraka Heritage Park, visitors can get a glimpse into this particular slice of Bonaire’s history and the island’s role during the second world war.

The Tanki Maraka site is a World War II Open-Air Museum highlighting the area of a U.S. military camp from 1942 to 1947.  This museum park has been presented as a combined effort by BONAI (Bonaire Archaeological Institute), the Government of Bonaire, Mondriaan Funds, and STINAPA.

In all, over 3000 documents were digitized, with many coming from the National Archives in Curacao and the Monqui Maduro Library, also in Curacao.  Here on Bonaire, oral history interviews were conducted with many of the island’s elders, who were living on Bonaire during World War II.

The archaeological site was first located using oral history reports, and then in July 2007, BONAI began to survey the site and do excavations.  The majority of artifacts that were found were surface finds.  The base included barracks, a personnel area, a sports area, and a technical area.

But why have a U.S. base on Bonaire?  Some history is in order:

On May 10, 1940, at 3:00 AM, The Netherlands was invaded.  The invasion was quick and effective.  On that same day, all German nationals or Nazi sympathizers in the Dutch islands were arrested and sent to interment camps on Bonaire.

May 11 and 12 brought the first U.S. military on Bonaire, along with British and French forces.  The call for troops came to protect the oil refineries on Curacao and Aruba, both helping with the war effort to supply Allied forces.

In February 1942, Holland invites a significant U.S. military presence but focusing on Curacao and Aruba because of the refineries.  It was just days later, on February 15 and 16, 1942, when Germany attacked both refineries.

Later that year, in October, 1942, it was decided that a small base, but with radar capabilities, would be constructed on Bonaire, one of several U.S. bases in the region.

With the end of the war on May 9, 1945, the troops remained for about two years more, as they decommissioned the base.  The Tanki Maraka camp was completely cleared of all wooden structures and technical equipment by February, 1947.  Only the concrete foundations were left behind.

The Tanki Maraka Heritage Park provides a self-guided tour through the premises of the old base.  The signage is excellent, giving visitors to the site an amazing perspective into life on Bonaire during World War II.  The images from the war are compelling, adding to the sense of history that one feels while walking through the grounds.  The walk takes about one hour to complete.  The park can be found along the road to Rincon.  After leaving Kralendijk, be watchful for a sign to the park on the right, and then the driveway to the entrance is just a short distance.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 18, 2015 at 11:38am AST
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Enjoy Bonaire Blond, Bonaire’s New Signature Beer

Bonaire now has its own signature beer, called Bonaire Blond.  The beer is island-inspired and brewed with ingredients from Bonaire. The pale beer has fresh hints of lime and an aromatic spiciness from the Aloe Vera flower grown on the local Onima Plantation. 

Bonaire Blond is a handcrafted brewed pale beer with a double fermentation in the brewing process and a third fermentation in the bottle. The pale beer is made from Barley malt only and has a slight yellow-gold color. Bonaire Blond is fresh, tasty, and the only Bonairean pale beer with character. This beer has been aged at least four weeks longer than is normally done, which only enhances the flavor in every aspect.

Bonaire Blond is an initiative from the owners of Restaurant At Sea. The beer is now exclusively available at Jibe City Hang Out Beach Bar, Little Havana, La Cantina, and Restaurant At Sea. Enjoy a cold one on your next Bonaire visit!  (Source:  BRA)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 13, 2015 at 11:50am AST
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting a Bird’s Eye View of Bonaire

All visitors to Bonaire, either consciously or unconsciously, see the variety of Bonaire’s avians soaring over the land or sea.  Have you ever wondered what Bonaire looks like to them?  Now you can find out with BonAeroClub.

BonAeroClub has been in existence now for a number of years, and they offer sightseeing flights and flying lessons as well.  On a one-hour sightseeing flight, one can experience that bird’s eye view of nearly all of Bonaire.


There are some restricted areas over which they cannot fly, but generally most of Bonaire can be viewed from the sky.  It’s a great photo-safari trip, offering stunning views of Bonaire’s lighthouses, Lac Bay, the southern salt pans, and of course, Washington Slagbaai National Park.  Bonaire’s leeward coast offers great views of everyone enjoying their visits--at resorts, private homes and apartments, and of course, Bonaire’s water sports.


The plane is a four-seater, so up to three persons can make the flight.  One sits next to the pilot, and two can fit in the rear seat.  The plane is well set up to make viewing and photographing easy, but a telephoto zoom lens is recommended.


For those that really want to do the extreme, arrange for a flying lesson with one of the club’s patient instructors, who have lots of experience in teaching flying.  In your first lesson, you can even take off on your own, although the pilot does recommend he land the plane until you have a bit more experience!


For those who have extensively visited Bonaire, BonAeroClub provides a thrilling way to do something new!  It’s a fabulous gift for someone who will be visiting soon.  For more information, call +599 786-2437, and ask for Wietze Koopman.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 11, 2015 at 11:45am AST
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Yoga Bonaire Announces New Services

Yoga Bonaire is the very popular provider of yoga practices on Bonaire, and they have recently announced a new structure to their services.  Desiree Seaver, a certified yoga instructor, now offers private or semi-private yoga or meditation sessions.

These yoga sessions are personalized in Yin/Restorative/Hatha Vinyasa Flow. Private Yoga is an invaluable tool for students of all levels and experience. Together with you, they can deepen your practice, connecting breath, body, mind and spirit, answer questions as well as create a home practice for you.

Another new service is hand-crafted mala beads with pieces of ocean treasures found on Bonaire’s shoreline.  Mala beads are commonly used during meditation sessions and usually are made up of 108 beads, used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra.  Desiree makes each strand of beads with unique beads of wood, stone, or even seeds, coupled with true Bonairean gems.

For those who would like to try out yoga, this Sunday, February 8th, will present a unique opportunity, when Desiree, along with husband, Don, and son, Rik, will offer a family yoga session on the beach at Te Amo at 8:00 AM.  Those wishing to participate should bring their own yoga mat or large beach towel, drinks, or food.  All ages and stages are welcome!

To learn more about what Yoga Bonaire offers, visit their website by clicking here(Source:  Yoga Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 05, 2015 at 3:48pm AST
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It’s Time for the Maskarada to Return to Bonaire!

The island is bustling with visitors these holiday weeks, and those who made the trek to spend New Years on Bonaire are in for a treat, as January 1st hearkens the return of the Maskarada (Masqueraders).  On New Year’s Day, as well as Sunday, January 4th, 2015, the Maskarada, made up of a group of musicians and masked characters, will take to the streets of Bonaire!

It’s tradition that the Maskarada begin on New Year’s Day serenading and entertaining Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, but then after that, they will have two full days of visiting families in various neighborhoods of Bonaire.  Those that follow the Maskarada will enjoy the traditional song that always forecasts the masked characters’ arrival.  Then, the colorfully clad characters arrive amid of burst of energy!  While they play out certain skits, not a word is said.  They are fully costumed, so no one knows their identities.  That is, until the end of the day, when they are finally un-masked, and we learn just who has been entertaining us all day!

If you’re on Bonaire, come for one of the performances, or follow the Maskarada all day.  A schedule of their planned performances is available by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 30, 2014 at 11:05am AST
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Friday, November 28, 2014

This Weekend Provides Unique Opportunities to Lend Bonaire’s Nature a Hand

There’s two not-to-miss events this weekend, both celebrating Bonaire’s nature.  On Saturday, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire a fund-raising auction of “all things turtle” and on Sunday, Bonaire will be on the beach to celebrate the Bonaire Marine Park’s 35th anniversary.

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) has over 100 pieces of turtle art which will be on the auctioning block on Saturday evening, when there will be 37 lots of live auction and 69 lots of silent auction.  It all starts with the previewing all the pieces at 6:00 PM, and then relax with a drink and wait for the auctioneers starting call at 8:00 PM.  All pieces will be sold, with proceeds going to STCB’s turtle conservation efforts.

Then, on Sunday, November 30th, head to Sunset Beach from 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM when the island will celebrate 35 years of marine conservation.  In coordination with the anniversary, there is a Lionfish Derby in process, and the proceeds of the derby (lionfish) will be enjoyed by anyone at the party.  The bar will be open from the beginning to the end with beverages at a very reasonable price with all proceeds going to the Bonaire Culinary Team, your chefs for the day.  Come taste the variety of lionfish and goat dishes, all free of charge.  But take note…you will need to bring your own plate, cups for soup and drinks, spoons and forks. Otherwise you will have to buy biodegradable plates and cutlery at the event, if you wish to taste lionfish or goat--this way the party will produce less garbage and help keep Bonaire clean.

The bands Equal Rights and Justice and Wayaka will be in charge of the music.  There will be a variety of activities and a bouncer for the kids, as well as some surprises throughout the afternoon.

The day’s agenda is as follows:

12:00 noon—start with music, kids activities and bar is open!
1:30—start with goat dishes for tasting
1:30—3:30 Marine Park boat rides
3:00—start with lionfish dishes for tasting
4:00—Raffle
4:30—Celebration 35th anniversary Marine Park
5:00—Awards for Lionfish Derby
6:00—Closing

(Source:  STCB and STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 28, 2014 at 3:45pm AST
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pure Bonaire 2015 Calendar Now Available for Purchase Online

The Pure Bonaire 2015 Calender features photography encompassing a wide variety of the Bonaire lifestyle.......from its nature, to sports, and to the island’s culture and people.  By looking at this calendar every day, those who wish for more time on Bonaire can spend it vicariously through the colorful imagery of life on Bonaire. 

This premium calendar features 13.5” x 19” sized pages, coil binding, white interior paper (100# weight), and full-color interior ink.  Bonaire’s holidays for the coming year are noted on the calendar.  It’s the perfect gift for Bonaire aficionados to give to themselves, or as holiday gifts for any Bonaire lover!  The cost of this deluxe calendar is $24.00 and it can be ordered individually or in small quantities online, and the calendar normally ships within five days of placing an order.  To preview the calendar or to make a purchase, visit http://bonaire.me/Zc85(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 19, 2014 at 11:40am AST
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