Archive for September, 2017

Bonaire Wellness

September 30, 2017

Kralendijk – Recharge and reset on the island of Bonaire. Bonaire Wellness is a web directory of wellness practitioners on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. The directory allows visitors to locate and book wellness activities to compliment their vacation. Heal your mind and body choosing from  a myriad of restorative services. For those seeking an active wellness vacation, participate in a seaside Tai Chi class or sunset yoga. For those desiring a full immersion, plan a week-long wellness vacation complete with an individualized program.  Bonaire is provides an unhurried and unspoiled destination.  Come find your center. Bon Bini, welcome to Bonaire. 

Visit Bonaire Wellness at http:www.bonairewellness.com

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Bonaire Loves Kids

September 20, 2017

Kids love Bonaire and Bonaire loves kids. Families flock to the Dutch Caribbean island for good reason. Best known as Diver’s Paradise, there are so many other amazing diversions, perfect for families.  With easy air access from the US, Canada and Amsterdam and a plethora of family friendly hotels and condos, Bonaire is the spot to plan a winter family vacation.

Take your pick as to one of the many kid- oriented activities. Every family must visit the Donkey Sanctuary.  Rent a pick up truck, most everyone does on Bonaire, and pack up the kids. Make a pit stop at the bakery or grocery and pick up a bag of day old bread and carrots. The Donkey Sanctuary is located on the Sorobon Road.  Open 10-5 daily, there is a visitors zoo and a self-guided driving tour. The Sanctuary is home to orphaned and injured donkeys as well as a safe haven for others. Donkeys have been a part of Bonaire’s landscape since the 17th Century when Spaniards brought them to the island. Now, it is common to see them on the sides of the street in the countryside, “Kunuku”. Unfortunately, traffic hazards, illness and lack of water and food have compromised the lives of Bonaire’s donkey population. The Sanctuary seeks to provide a home for many of these lovely creatures. Kids can feed the babies or sit in the truck and drive through the car paths. It’s fun for all.

 

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Donkey Sanctuary Photo by Mike Burns

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Windsurfing is big on the island. Some of the world’s top freestyle windsurfers hail from Bonaire. There is a professional team  that has received fame and notoriety around the globe. The windsurf scene is found at windy Lac Bay. Young and old take to the water to sail across the tropical blue. Shallow depths and gin clear water make it perfect. Kids start young on Bonaire, some, right out of diapers. The small kids rigs and expert instruction make Lac Bay, kids paradise.  Parents can take to the water while their kids attend on of the yearly kids camps.  There are two professional shops on the bay and three restaurants. In between sailing, kids love to play in the shallows, searching for sea creatures. It’s a kid’s playground on one of the island’s most picturesque settings.

 

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Under the sea, Bonaire is blessed with healthy coral reefs and diverse sea life.  With two kid oriented dive programs, kids can experience diver’s bliss. The Junior Open Water Diving and Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth program (SASY),  allow kids as young as 5 to take to the water and experience diving. There are several dive shops on island that specialize kids diving programs. For those that prefer snorkeling, Bonaire has over 50 shores sites that the family can stop and enjoy.

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Photo by Casper Douma

Other activities suited for children include mangrove kayaking, Kitesurfing, beach combing, caving, hiking and stargazing. Along with activities, Bonaire has many family friendly restaurants featuring pizza and burgers as well as pasta and sushi for the more adventurous eater.

With easy air access, family-friendly accommodations and an array of fun filled activities, Bonaire is a top choice for families in the know. For more information or to plan your family vacation, contact Ann Phelan at ann@bonairecaribbean.com today.

Wellness Retreats

September 16, 2017

101.pngClose your eyes and slowly breathe in, and breathe out. Imagine this; a Caribbean vacation to a warm and sunny island. Imagine cooling trade winds blowing gently as you sit under a shady palm tree. Picture the Caribbean blue with glistening lights on the tops of small crests of water. Visualize seabirds playing in the waves, tropical birds drinking nectar from colorful flowers and pelicans cruising along the shoreline.  The images of a Caribbean escape immediately evoke a feeling of calm.

Bonaire is arguably one of the last unspoiled islands in the Caribbean. There are no traffic lights, nothing higher than four stories and a slow pace that allows visitors to immediately settle into an “island vibe”. Surrounded by pristine waters, the island is home to a plethora of skilled wellness practitioners. Healing artists include those skilled in Reiki and Energy Balancing. There are several yoga instructors, trained in the various schools. On island, find a seaside spa or a healing center to ease your weary body. Come practice Mindfulness and slow down to the speed of living.

Caribbean Wind and Sun Vacations specializes in Wellness Vacations. Luxury Wellness Packages include magnificent seaside and ocean view villas. Individualized wellness programs incorporate treatments to fit every need. Finding a balance between mind, body and spirit can be achieved while enjoying a Caribbean escape. In between your wellness retreat, learn to dive or windsurf. Snorkel amongst the healthy reefs. Dine on vegetarian cuisines. Savor the local flavors found in the many sea view restaurants.

Get back to who you were intended to be. Discover wellness on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire.  For information and a wellness consultation, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.

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After the Storm

September 11, 2017

More information on the island of Bonaire. Thanks to Ms. Hillhouse for her informative and humble blog post.

Source: After the Storm

Hurricane Irma and Jose- What Now?

September 11, 2017
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View of Klein Bonaire

The storms have passed and no doubt, Hurricane Irma was  one of the most  devastating storm that has hit so many islands.  The fury of Mother Nature left a bold reminder of the fragility and vulnerability of the islands. In the aftermath, social media has allowed us a first hand glimpse into the chaos along the Eastern Caribbean island chain. Barbuda, a small island of about 1600 is uninhabitable. Anguilla has lost many business and homes. Sint Maarten and St. Martin are both incredibly impacted. Other islands significantly impacted include but are not limited to Saba, St. Barths, The BVI’s, Cuba, Puerto Rico and St. John and St. Thomas. The visual images reveal mass destruction. It is clear, restoration will take time. In some case, months.

As tourism is the primary income of the islands, one cannot worry about the future of so many that rely on the hospitality industry for their livelihood.   What next?  Donate to a charity or rebuilding effort of your choice.  Plan a trip! Yes, some of the islands, whilst damaged will be able to welcome tourists soon.   The Caribbean is one of the closest international tourist destinations to the US. Come back and come back soon.  Foliage will return to it’s original splendor and properties will be re built.

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is offering discounted vacations for all new bookings for those who require a rebooking from an originally planned vacation. If you had a vacation planned with another company, have them contact me and I will be happy to re book on Bonaire.   For inquiries contact ann@bonairecaribbean.com today.

May all the islands restore and revitalize soon.  The people of the Caribbean will demonstrate resilience and grit during this very difficult time. Lend them your support. Come back soon.

Bonaire – Is It Safe to Travel To Bonaire

September 8, 2017

First and foremost, thanks everyone for checking on my welfare. I am fine, actually on Cape Cod for my annual fall respite. Bonaire has not been impacted by Irma. Allow me to share a bit about Bonaire.

Bonaire is outside the hurricane belt. Located north of South America, the three island chain of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao rarely see hurricanes. As a result, they are also quite arid.

As we read about the devastation from Hurricane Irma, it is important to know, whilst many islands were impacted, there are a group of Caribbean islands typically not impacted by hurricanes. They include but are not limited to:

  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • Grenada
  • Barbados
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Grenadines

The Caribbean islands rely on tourism. Continue to visit the islands prepared for tourism. Keep the Caribbean vibe alive. For those islands that have suffered devastation, fear not, they will rebuild. As of press, Antigua is open and ready for business.

For questions on Bonaire, contact ann@bonairecaribbean.com

Hurricane Irma – Relief

September 8, 2017

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Barbuda Pink Shells

My love affair with the Caribbean began in 1987 on my first trip to Antigua. I was captivated by the people, the music, the smells, the sounds. After a week’s stay, I returned to a cold and dreary landscape in the US. I always knew I would return, and I did, to later move to Antigua. There, I met a man, fell in love and had a child.   My experiences included visiting many of the islands in the chain, including my favorite Barbuda. I loved the people and was astounded by a 17-mile pink beach.  I have life long memories of my time in the Eastern Caribbean. Later in life, I shifted gears, became a windsurfer and eventually found Bonaire.  Bonaire is outside the hurricane belt, above the coast of Venezuela. Most people know Bonaire’s neighbors, Aruba and Curacao.  The climate and culture is vastly different from my former home. There is a strong Latin influence and a dry climate. Bonaire has it’s own beauty.

For the past thirty years, I have followed every storm that has passed through the islands. I have lived through some of the storms. Some that come to mind include Hugo, Gilbert, Luis, Marilyn, Floyd  and more recently, Omar. Each wreaked havoc on the islands. Still, I have never seen anything with the magnitude of Irma.  Irma has left a path of devastation through so many islands. Please know, my source of information is from social media, dialogues with friends and news sources and not first hand.

The devastation on Barbuda is massive. Nearby Antigua, got off easy. As they say in Antiguan dialect, “Barbuda took licks”. The damage is so bad, I am told, many if not all are being relocated off island.

Up the chain, Sint Maarten and St. Marten, the dual nation community suffered severe damage to homes, hotels, businesses and industry.  Visual images reveal devastation.  A friend posted a video during the hurricane revealing her roof gone and the storm washing into her living room.

Reports from friends are much the same on Anguilla. I am told most roofs are gone. Images of the much loved Pumphouse reveal it is completely flattened. Rebuilding on Anguilla will take months. The entire infrastructure is impacted.

I could go on and on about each island. What I really want to say impress in this post is, the expansive impact on so many islands is like nothing I have ever seen. The Caribbean community is going to need help in so many ways. Some of the islands have the support of their mother lands. Such will be the case for the USVI’s and BVI’s. Other independent nations will have little support.   There are many sources of information where to donate. Storm Carib has been a resource for me for many years. Some folks are posting crowd funding sites there.

One site I do recommend, is a group spearheading an effort to save the animals that will soon be abandoned on Barbuda.  I am not personally connected to any so do your homework. Here are three sites to consider.

Lastly, I strongly recommend you continue to visit the islands that were not impacted by the storms. Tourism is the main economy in the islands. Keep the Caribbean vibe alive. The islands hit will rebuild. Caribbean people are resilient. If you find a worthy relief effort to share, do let me know.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/barbuda-hurricane-animals

http://stormcarib.com/

https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto

www.rebuildsxm.com

Sorobon Beach Club – Expansion and News

September 6, 2017

Sorobon Beach Resort has announced news of an exciting expansion. The owners of Sorobon have recently acquired the former Lacbai Resort.  The new name is Sorobon Apartments.  This expansion adds 10 apartments, connecting two properties both in the center of the Bonaire windsurf scene. Specializing in windsurf vacations, Sorobon is synonymous with island -style hospitality. Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is proud to collaborate with Sorobon in providing windsurf and wellness vacations. 

The 10 Lacbai apartments were renovated  in 2015 with new flooring, beds, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room furniture and fixtures. The setting is at the end of windy Lac Bay. Enjoy comfortable cooling trade winds as you watch the windsurfers glide on the bay. The property is surrounded by nature so is conducive to rest and relaxation.  On site is an amazing restaurant, Foodies. 

Sorobon Apartments is situated 1 km from Sorobon Beach Resort and full use of ALL facilities of Sorobon Beach Resort & Wellness are included when booking @ Sorobon Apartments.  There are plans for a Magna pool and in the future, expansion of new apartments. 

Included in new reservations:

–       Full american breakfast at Sorobon Beach Resort

–       Free use of the Magna Pool at Sorobon Apartments (completion expected by winter 2018)

–       Free access to all the Sorobon Beach Facilities including WIFI

–       Free use of our Beach & Beach Chairs

–       20% discount on our windsurf Gear and rentals

–       Free shuttle service between Sorobon Apartments & Sorobon Beach and back several times daily

 

To book your winter stay or to inquire of rates, contact Ann Phelan. Ann has been booking both properties since 2001 and inspects rooms on a regular basis. She will create the perfect windsurfing vacation. Ann specializes in family vacations as well as groups. For those seeking to learn to sail or hone their skills, lessons  are available. News regarding the expansion of a windsurf center will be revealed soon, so watch for updates. To contact Ann, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com or Contact Ann Phelan

 

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Photo Courtesy of Sorobon Beach Resort

Jibe City – Windsurf News

September 5, 2017

uire Kralendijk

Jibe City is expanding. Monique and Robert, owners, are excited to announce an additional location at Delfins Beach Resort: a brand-new resort on the West Coast of Bonaire. I just inspected this property. It features modern rooms, the largest pool on the island, top notch diving facilities with Dive Friends, and a beautiful sandy beach. Delfins will also feature  a fantastic restaurant manageed by renowned Dutch couple Jonnie and Therese de Boer who gained worldwide fame with their restaurant, Librije. The property is slated to open Nov. 1. I am accepting new reservations and will personally select an amazing room. 

This location is best for intermediate and advanced sailors. Foils will be perfect here and rentals will be available as well as lessons.. There will be a rescue boat and GPS trackers due to the slightly side off wind conditions.  The shop will be a Severne Pro Center. There will be a shuttle to and from the Lac Bay shop so you can sail at either stop. 

Please contact me for the new 2017/18 rates.  As always, I will offer discounts on your gear when booking a hotel / car package. All the rates are including use of kayaks, SUP’s, free use of harness and lockers.

Thanks for your business.  I appreciate the opportunity to plan your trips. Your business allows me to continue to enjoy my Bonaire Bliss.  Bonaire continues to be one of the best destinations to learn to sail or hone your skills. Come on back soon. 

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