Bonaire – Been There

In search of the perfect Caribbean beach

Bonaire covers an area of 294 square kilometres and has a population of around 15,000 who mainly derive their income from tourism. The island caters for those who love water sports: windsurfing and sailing are popular but scuba diving and snorkelling are the main draws. Reefs teaming with brightly coloured fish are easily accessible from the shore.

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Bonaire – Been There

In search of the perfect Caribbean beach

Bonaire is not blessed with miles of sand, but Sorobon on the lagoon of Lac Bay on the east coast is an exception

Jochem Wijnands
Daphne Huineman Travel Writer

Most of Bonaire’s few beaches are littered with large hotels but Sorobon is a windsurfing paradise with the most hospitable beach café/surf shop imaginable. I really get that holiday feeling here: crystal clear water, warm shallows, hardly a wave, snow-white sand. There are two restaurants where you can eat, or drink a mojito, with your feet in the sand. The BBQ is fired up every evening and the wahoo and dorado placed on the grill. This usually marks the start of a spontaneous beach party that goes on till late into the night.

Further up the coast I can spot local families by the Nissan or Daihatsu pick-up trucks parked on the beach. Chilly bins (cool boxes) of meat and beer are on hand as they enjoy the national pastime of doing (almost) nothing very slowly. Windsurfing brothers Taty and Tonky Frans, world-ranked freestyle surfers, are often to be found here. Each spectacular move is accompanied by loud shouts of encouragement from the hundreds of spectators on the shore.

The bay is also interesting for nature lovers because of the impressive mangrove swamps and the green sea turtles. The Mangrove Information Centre organizes kayak and electric boat excursions. This is the sort of laid-back adventure that reminds me why I came to the Caribbean in the first place.

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