The Aruba Forums
It is currently Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:35 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]

Having difficulty using this Board?
Click here for our Forum Support System
Forgot your password? Click Here



CHECK OUT OUR RECENTLY ENHANCED ARUBATOURISM.COM WEBSITE

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Anyone been to Bonaire?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:36 am 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 3:17 pm
Posts: 4805
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
John saw a show about Bonaire the other day & we are now toying with the idea of going to Bonaire for a few days in the next year or 2 before heading on to Ar#b@ for the rest of vacation.
We looked at a few YouTube videos & looks very much like Ar#b@ when we first started going 20yrs ago.

Anyone been & can give insight?
Is it similar to "our island"
I know it is more of a divers island so doesn't look to be a great deal of beach.
Looking for both good & bad reviews

Thanks

_________________
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:00 am 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:01 am
Posts: 4163
Location: The Netherlands
Pammy, we have been to Bonaire twice. Both times one week before heading to Aruba. For us, that is simple, as the flight on the way to Aruba had a stopover on Bonaire.

Bonaire is larger than Aruba, but not so populated. It only has about 14.000 inhabitants. Because they cater divers mainly, there is no nightlife (they go to bed early). Also, not much shops (you can do all your shopping in one hour, and that is stretching it) or restaurants (but you can eat at a differrent place every night during a week, and there are some great restaurants). As you said, there are no beautiful beaches, just rocks. Not many places to swim, and even shore snorkeling is difficult.

There are not many hotels on the island. Most divers stay at B&B type of places. First time we stayed at Bellafonte, a beautiful condominium at the sea, just next to the airport. It is selfcatered. Next time we stayed at Bamboo Bali, very beautiful cottages at a lush garden, more inland. Also self catered. I recommend both, Bellafonte being the more expensive option.

As for things to do, the island has the same landscape as Aruba, but much more nature as it is less build on. Washington Slagbaai is a beautiful natural park. Visiting it will take a day and you need a fourwheel drive and bring your own drinks and food (no restaurants or cafes there). Also you can visit the salt pans and the surf beach (half a day visit). You get to se many flamingoes in their natural habitat.

One thing you must absolutely do, is book a sail/snorkel trip to Klein Bonaire. There you snorkel between the turtles. I saw like 15 turtles at one stop. It was magic. That will take almost a day as well.

The island is safe, although you should take your natural cautions. There are reports of burgarly and break ins. It is a bit less wealthy than Aruba. Drinking water is safe and there is one big supermarket like Super Food or Lings (but more Dutch in what they store).

My honest opinion is that I like Bonaire, but I get bored after a day or 3. I guess if you are not into diving, or total relaxation, this is not an island to stay for more than a few days. Also, we had a bad experience with flying from Bonaire to Aruba the second time. But that was with Insel Air and they stopped flying between the islands. If you want more information, just let me know.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:01 pm 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 3:17 pm
Posts: 4805
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Wow, thanks Ingrid. Lots of great info, John may have a list of questions for you at the monkey meet in November :lol:

I like the idea of it being quiet but not so much about no beach or swimming from shore.

Thanks again. See you & Everett in November :D

_________________
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:13 pm 
Offline
Prolific Very Helpful

Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:52 pm
Posts: 495
Location: Wrentham, MA
Hi Pammy. Nancy and I have been to Bonaire twice. It is a beautiful island but like Ingrid said, not much to do. We went 10 days both times and for me it was way to much. Nancy loved it because she love snorkeling. We did a few trips to Klein Bonaire and it was great. Turtles, a lot of beautiful fish and other sea creatures. The snorkel trip leaves out of the Divi area and it is an awesome ride. The personnel are great. They supply drinks, snacks and feed you a large lunch on the way back in. They also supply you with the gear if you do not have any.

First trip we stayed at the Harbour Village Bonaire without a kitchen but micro and of course a fridge. It was a great place and has their own beach and pool and an inhouse restaurant. You can snorkel off the beach. A little pricey but you are not cheated.

With a rental car you can go all around the island in a day.
The second time we stayed at Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments. I would not recommend this place.

If I knew how to post pics I would add them. The salt pans are a great site.

All the restaurants we ate at were great. No complaints on the food. Our must go to restaurant is the Patagonia Restaurant by the cruise port. Awesome steak.

I guess I will stop for now but I will look for another post and if I can help let me know.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:57 am 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 3:17 pm
Posts: 4805
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Thanks Froggy :D

_________________
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:36 pm 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:47 pm
Posts: 5620
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
We went in 1995 for a week, then 2005 for a week, then 2015 just a cruise stop.
Weeks 1 and 2 were before flying on timeshare weeks on AUA.
First time, we were active snorkelers in a party of 2 divers and 3 snorkelers.
Our friend had a book of good sites for both snorkel and scuba...enjoyed the trip immensely
Less populated (as said), small casinos (1 or 2 at the time), good food, not much activity after dark.
Stayed in a lovely 3-bedroom condo...only the bedrooms had airco.

Ten years later, we had more of a relaxed non-snorkel vacation (as we were 10 years older)...stayed in a town home south of town.
More simple accommodations, but clean and utilitarian. Again only the bedroom had any airco.
Much more petty crime warnings...said to be teens breaking into cars, looking for easy drug money.
But we had no problems. Spent most days going to the shallow wind-surfing area for sun and warm water. The lagoon went out probably a 100 meters or more.
The island was still sort of sleepy...especially after dark.

In 2015, we were totally amazed at how much development had taken place around the cruise port.
Much more welcoming for day visitors. Progress, I guess.
We got there on the Monday after the big carnival weekend parades...a lot was closed, but much was open for tourists.

Without going on forever, these are my impressions.

_________________
Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. --- Grandma Moses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:14 am 
Offline
Extra Helpful Expert
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 3:17 pm
Posts: 4805
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Thanks John. :D

_________________
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: germa3 and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group