Bonaire is one of the most beautifully preserved islands in all of the Caribbean and is a haven for those who love snorkeling, diving and water sports.
Hey, y'all! Today I'm going to share with you a gorgeous little hidden gem known as Bonaire. Bonaire is a tiny island municipality of the Netherlands located just off the coast of Venezuela. It is surrounded by a stunning reef and fabulous beaches making it truly one of the most gorgeous places on our planet. Bonaire, along with the rest of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao) is truly magical.
Bonaire was built for tourists and was famous for conservation and preservation before hipsters made it cool! They are one of the most eco-friendly places in the world! The reefs surrounding the island are absolutely incredible! For nearly 25 consecutive years, Bonaire was recognized as the number one Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. There is so much to do here, for those of us who love living an active lifestyle (or at least pretending we do while we are on vacation).
I think my favorite thing about the island, aside from its natural beauty (of course), is the people. The people of Bonaire are truly some of the most incredible people I have ever met (alongside Belizeans). They are so calm, peaceful, laidback, welcoming and friendly. Bonaire's colorful history has helped shape modern-day Bonaire into the welcoming paradise it is today. The island was "discovered" by Amerigo Vespucci (sound familiar America??) and Alonso de Ojeda who claimed Bonaire for the Spanish. The island is heavily influenced by the Dutch, who have been here since 1636. Countless African slaves were brought to work the island. Many of their descendants still call Bonaire home.
When we first arrived in Bonaire we were greeted by a welcoming party hosted by the Board of Tourism. Our ship was the first Carnival ship to ever dock in Bonaire, to celebrate the occasion the locals sang, danced and performed traditional songs for us. It was such a warm, welcoming reception!
After hearing so much about the snorkeling here, I had to experience it for myself. We booked a tour with a local guide was absolutely incredible and super knowledgeable. She pointed out all kinds of creatures on the beautifully preserved reef. We saw countless sea turtles, eels and some of the most vibrantly colored fish I've ever seen (and I've done a ton of snorkeling). The sights underwater are just as vibrant and colorful as those above water. It's easy to see why the reef has been recognized as a premier diving destination so many times!
Bonaire is accessible from flights from Europe, Latin America, North America and the Caribbean. You can hop on a direct flight from Houston, Atlanta, Miami and Newark. It is also just a quick 25 minute flight from Aruba.
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