Archive for the ‘Diving and Snorkeling’ Category

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.

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Bonaire Travel Tips

August 21, 2017

Welcome soon to Bonaire.  Bonaire is unspoiled with pristine waters, protected by STINAPA as a Marine Park. The island is protected to preserve the beauty and nature that tourists and locals have come to love.  A few mentions to support your visit.

  • Do drink the water. The island de-salination plant provides delicious water throughout.
  • Purchase a Marine Park Tag to access the waterways of Bonaire. 25.00 for divers and 10.00 for others (snorkeler, windsurfers, kites surfers). Available at all sport shops.
  • Drones are prohibited in Bonaire air space.
  • ATMs are located throughout the island. USD is the official currency.
  • Wear sunscreen – we are close to the equator and the sun is very strong.
  • Look but do not touch – it is prohibited to remove shells, coral, sand and sea life from Bonaire.

Sources

http://www.bonaireinternationalairport.com/2017/02/think-twice-before-packing-your-drone-for-bonaire/

http://stinapabonaire.org/bonaire-national/

 

 

 

Vacations for Travelers on the Autism Spectrum

July 6, 2017

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Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/ is proud to reveal their new logo/branding for  Spectrum Adventure Vacations. Ann Phelan, owner will be providing trip planning for individuals on the spectrum to the island of Bonaire.  Ann has over 30 years experience in travel and tourism. Ann’s vision was to create individualized vacations on Bonaire, featuring Discover Diving with her partner, VIP Diving Along with Discover Diving, there will be snorkeling tours, windsurf lessons, mangrove kayaking, yoga, daily mindfulness meditation and therapeutic horseback riding. In conjunction with leisure travel, social communication and pragmatic support is available as well as family coaching, during stays on island.  These services are provided by an island -based speech and language professional. 

Each package will include family- friendly accommodations with pools and sea views. Additional features include airport meet and greet, vehicle rental, individualized itineraries and tours.  Free Concierge services include babysitting and childcare, dinner reservations and spa services. Specialized clinical support in areas of counseling, pragmatics and social communication, are also available. 

March and July 2018, Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations will offer hosted stays on island for independent young adult travelers.  There will be activities and social opportunities.  For more information on groups or family vacations, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com for a complimentary trip consultation.

Ann L. Phelan MA CAGS

http://www.bonairecaribbean.com

http://www.bonairebliss.com

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Bonaire From the Sea – Diving Bliss

July 5, 2017

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Photo Courtesy of Amoray

Bonaire dive enthusiasts have another reason to return to Bonaire. I’ve just discovered Amoray, a splendid 44- foot Beneteau owned and chartered by Richard and Sue Willis. Amoray is equipped for comfort and pleasure for her discerning dive or snorkel guests.  The skies the limit in choosing where to dive. Bonaire offer’s over 100 dive sites almost all accessible from Amoray.   Captain Richard Willis, a Bonaire resident is an elite dive instructor, nature guide and specialist sea turtle conservationist. His wife, Sue works for Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire and is an excellent first mate. She is also a culinary genius as I learned recently.  Captain Richard and Sue hosted me for a lovely happy hour aboard. What a delightful experience where I learned more about this new dive offering on Bonaire.

 

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Sure, you can certainly stay at a hotel or villa but imagine having your own three berth yacht, nestled in one of the Caribbean’s quietest and cleanest marina?  Whether you are a honeymoon couple or three couples, Amoray is built for comfort.

Pricing

Your Sailboat for the Day (8:00 to 17:00)

1 to 2 people $650 includes sailing, diving and snorkelling with an experienced guide, lunch and drinks.
3 to 4 people $700 includes sailing, diving and snorkelling with an experienced guide, lunch and drinks.
5 to 6 people $750 includes sailing, diving and snorkelling with an experienced guide, lunch and drinks*

*Maximum 4 scuba divers, 2 dives per trip, equipment hire and air packages at additional cost. Number of dives possible depends on the chosen sites, weather etc!

Exclusive part day sailing and snorkelling packages are also available (subject to availability) from 08:00 to 12:00 or 13:00 to 17:00.
1 to 2 people $350, 3 to 4 people $400 and 5 to 6 people $450, includes gourmet snacks, hot and cold drinks, towels and the use of a private cabin with en-suite facilities.
Contact us if you have other specific requirements or timings and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Your Sailboat for the Week- Live Aboard

1 to 2 people $3750
3 to 4 people $4000
5 to 6 people $4500*

*Maximum 4 scuba divers, 2 tanks per person per trip, extra equipment hire and air packages at additional cost. Number of dives possible depends on the chosen sites, weather etc.

Price includes:

* 7 nights accommodation onboard “Your Sailboat” AMORAY which has a well-equipped kitchen, comfortable seating above and below deck, three double cabins, all with en-suite facilities
* Daily sailing, diving and snorkeling with an experienced and qualified guide
* Overnight mooring in the secure, intimate Harbour Village Marina
* PADI dive training and specialties up to and including rescue diver are available at special rates. Contact us for a full list of available courses and for further details
* Air/Nitrox for 2 dives per person per day, maximum 4 scuba divers
* Welcome essentials grocery pack
* Captain’s Cocktail of the Day
* One sunset sail
* Taxi service to supermarket to provision the boat

**** For a party of 6 that’s only $750 per person for the week!!! ****

 

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Captain Richard and Sue

When booking Amoray with Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacation you will have free Concierge Services as well. Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com today.

 

 

Spectrum Adventure Vacations – New Launch

June 28, 2017

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is proud to launch, Spectrum Adventure Vacations, trip planning for individuals on the Autism Spectrum to the island of Bonaire.  Ann Phelan, owner and tour operator is professionally a counselor. Her specialty is working with young and older adults on the Autism Spectrum.  She understands the social and emotional needs of the individual on the spectrum. Ann’s vision was to create individualized vacations on Bonaire, featuring Discover Diving with her partner, VIP Diving   Along with Discover Diving, there will be snorkeling tours, windsurf lessons, mangrove kayaking and horseback riding.

 

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Photo by Casper Douma/ http://www.nature2experience.com

The vacations are organized and individualized to create a stress -free and memorable experience. Each package will include family- friendly accommodations with pools and views. Additional features include airport meet and greet, vehicle rental, individualized itineraries and tours.  Free Concierge services are included to include babysitting and childcare, dinner reservations and spa services.

 

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Photo by Mike Burns

For more information email ann@bonairecaribbean.com for a trip consultation.

Dive Bliss

May 29, 2017

Diver and VIP client, Seth Dinoi has traveled to Bonaire over 7 times to dive the pristine reefs. I love this video, capturing his dive bliss. The soundtrack enhances the visuals. Ahhhh..

Seth dives with VIP Divers of Bonaire. Their professional services are impeccable.  Seth has come to enjoy Bas and team’s attention to locating the best reef to dive, considering currents and weather conditions. Most of all, Seth has fun! With over 80 shore dive sites, Seth is still discovering his favorite reef.  This video is from Salt Pier. Enjoy!

 

 

To book your dive vacation email bonairecaribbean@gmail.com today.

Fall Festival on Bonaire

May 20, 2017

Press Release

BONAIRE LAUNCHES THE 3RD ANNUAL BONAIRE FALL FESTIVAL

**Program Supports Airlines’ Fall Service to Island and Offers an Array of Hotel, Excursion and Cuisine Specials**

Kralendijk, Bonaire (May 16, 2017) – In continuous efforts to support United and Delta’s fall airlift to Bonaire, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) will be launching the 3rd Annual Bonaire Fall Festival: Dive-Dine-Discover program. From mid-August through early November, the Bonaire Fall Festival has a lineup of accommodation packages, unique excursions, underwater and topside adventures and culinary specials that will make Bonaire the top spot to Dive-Dine-Discover this fall.

 

“Maintaining a continuous flow of visitors from North America to Bonaire during the fall season is not only a top TCB objective, but a priority for the entire island and this can only be achieved by uninterrupted airlift,” commented Maurice Adriaens, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “The Bonaire Fall Festival will serve as a catalyst to attract visitors to Bonaire during this time of year. From mid-August through October, divers can witness Mother Nature’s phenomena of the coral spawning; visitors can enjoy the festivities surrounding the 50th International Sailing Regatta in October; and foodies can discover the award winning culinary scene the island has to offer. A fall vacation to Bonaire should be on everyone’s bucket list!”

 

United Airlines flight 1402 departs George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Saturdays at 1:00pm, and arrives in Bonaire International Airport (BON) at 6:50pm. The return flight 1401 departs Sundays at 8:20am, and arrives in IAH at 12:25pm. United’s non-stop from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) returns October 7, 2017. Flight 1422 departs EWR Saturdays at 9:00am, arriving in BON at 1:40pm. The return flight 1420 departs BON Saturdays at 2:45pm, arriving in EWR at 7:40pm.

Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com to book your windsurf, dive or wellness vacation today!

Villa Bliss

Bonaire’s premiere oceanfront villa!

 

Middle Eastern Delight- Mezze

January 11, 2017

My fondest food memories include Saturday trips to my grandmother’s kitchen in Watertown, MA. She was born in Turkey and was a lovely Armenian woman.  Her food was sublime. My favorite dishes included her Boereg, her Dolma and her Choereg. Mom has carried the tradition, spinning out amazing Middle Eastern treats which I enjoy each time I visit.  I cook the basics but anytime I have a chance for Middle Eastern food,  I  indulge. When I heard Bonaire was soon to have a Turkish restaurant, my taste buds started dancing.

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I dined twice recently at Mezze, once on a week night and again, Christmas Day. The setting is on the oceanfront on a sleepy end of Kralendijk. Dining is under a covered patio. Inside, there is a lovely bar complete with hookahs. Music is low and subtle allowing for a comfortable conversation. The vibe is very chill. The menu is comprehensive featuring traditional appetizers including stuffed grape leaves, hummus and my favorite Baba Ganoush.  Entrees include delicious lamb dishes and vegetarian options. I loved my stuffed eggplant. The smokey flavor was amazing.  The best part of the meal was the Baklava. It was absolutely perfect. My grandmother would have enjoyed it. It had the right amount of sweet and was crispy.

We loved our waiter, an old friend, Eushon. Firas runs the front of the house with professionalism. He makes everyone feel very welcomed. Mezze is the new kid in town and shows promise.

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacation’s owner, Ann Phelan offers complimentary Social Concierge Services for her discerning clients.   Email Ann at ann@bonairecaribbean.com

 

Bonaire Coral Spawn 2016

July 29, 2016

It’s time for nature’s true undersea wonder, the coral spawn. In August, September and October, Bonaire divers will be treated to a wonderful display with sponges, sea urchins and corals.   Local dive shops can guide you in securing the best dates to dive but typically, a few days after the full moon is the best dive opportunities for this phenomena. For the schedule of events, please click on this link.

http://www.researchstationcarmabi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SPAWNING-PREDICTIONS-2016.pdf

 

To celebrate the coral spawn, I am pleased to offer 5-10% discounts on  select dive packages. Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com today. With the United Airlines sale, coral spawn and steep dive package discounts, this fall is the time to come to Bonaire.

 

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Unveiling a Fresh New Website

December 18, 2015

Welcome to the new improved Caribbean Wind & Sun Website. Thanks to my amazing web designer, Susan Davis, I am unveiling my new site.

Caribbean Wind & Sun has gone through so many changes since the carnation of my travel business in 1987. Originally called Antigua Small Properties, I rented out small villas and cottages on Antigua and Barbuda. Later, I took on over 25 villas and hotels on Montserrat and changed the name to Endless Vacations. A dormant volcano came to life on Montserrat shifting the focus of my business.

In 2001, I visited Bonaire and my life forever changed. The island became my family’s home and we built a little cottage to live our new life. I shifted my focus solely on Bonaire, creating Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations. My focus was a speciality niche windsurf agency. Along the way, I had a nice following of divers and snorkelers and eco tourists whom I welcomed greatly.

Today, my specialty is Bonaire Intimate Properties, a collection of the best and brightest properties for my discerning clientele. I still offer dive vacations working with two great companies, VIP Diving and Dive Friends.  It is a true labor of love planning vacations for those who love being under the sea. Windsurfing remains my largest client group.

Thanks to my loyal repeater clients. I welcome and appreciate my new clientele as well. I will strive to continue to provide an individual approach in travel planning.
Welcome back soon

http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/

 

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Photo by Markus Seidel of Caesar Finies