Archive for the ‘Diving and Snorkeling’ Category

Diving Bliss

December 9, 2017

Bonaire is best known as one of the Caribbean’s best shore diving destinations. Yellow rocks with creative names such as Angel City and Hilma Hooker, dot the landscape along the shore line. They are markers for the over 80 shore dive sites on Bonaire. Divers have been coming to the island for over 30 years to experience some of the Caribbean’s best diving.  Scuba Diving Magazine recently released their People’s Choice Awards. Bonaire came in first for Healthy Marine Environment, Macro Diving, Shore Diving and Free Diving. Thanks to a protected Marine Park, managed by STINAPA, Bonaire’s pristine reefs can be enjoyed by the discerning diver.

Repeat clients, Cheryl and Airey Baringer love Bonaire. They have been my clients since 2003. Their mission, to dive as much as they can and to snap amazing photos.  Here is my favorite, captured by Cheryl last month.

 

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To book your dive vacation, contact ann@bonairecaribbean.com today. Mention Dive Bliss and earn 5-10% discounts on select dive properties for new bookings in 2018. Bon Bini to Bonaire Bliss. And to read about the awards, click on Scuba Dive Magazine

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Lionfish

October 12, 2017

Timmy Lienhardt Photography

In the world of Caribbean diving the word Lionfish sends shivers down the spine of any eco minded dive enthusiast. This venomous creature has no natural predators in the Caribbean and can wreck havoc on the sea life in days. Native to Asia it is thought aquarium owners dumped some Lionfish into the warm Atlantic introducing this villain into the eco system. The Lionfish is a voracious predators feeding on many varieties of fish. The Bonaire Marine Park has a great link to read more. In the meantime enjoy Timmy Lienhardt’s photos of the lionfish he observed (and caught) in Bonaire.

 

Photo Courtesy of Timmy Lienhardt

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.

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

Instagram: bonairecaribbean

Twitter: Bonairebliss

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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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