BONAIRE TRAVEL GUIDE
Picture by Lorenzo Mittiga
A variant of this text was posted on the Quebec Wind forum on February 18, 2020.
Windsurfers from all over the world are extremely attracted to this unique location. The constant offshore wind keeps windsurfers from being sucked into the ocean, the lagoon is shallow, and the sea water temperature is fantastic. All these elements combined make Lac Bay always top the lists of the best windsurfing spots in the world.
Beautiful Bonaire https://www.beautiful-bonaire.com/activities/windsurfing.php
The conditions are flat and bump and jump, but there are no real waves, so it is not a site for wave lovers. The wind usually blows from January to April May, although I am told that it is windy all year round. It is possible, outside the high season, to have no wind at all. In Bonaire I sailed on 4.5 and 7.5 depending on the day.
Airline and routing to get there
- Sun Wing leaves from Toronto and the flight is direct to Bonaire. The price is reasonable, but if you just fly without a package you must pay for the luggage. The advantage is that it is a direct flight. The disadvantage is the departure only from Toronto. In these uncertain times of Covid, Sunwing does not fly to Bonaire.
- There are several options with US airlines that fly MTL - Miami - Bonaire or MTL - Atlanta - Bonaire (there are several combinations), the flights leave very early in the morning and the return is not always the same. For our last trip, we did MTL-Miami-Bonaire-Atlanta-MTL, and it goes without problems, and it is not very expensive.
- Another option is to fly Air Canada to Curacao and take a 20-minute flight from Curacao to Bonaire with Divi Divi, EZ Air and Aruba Air
- Again, a lot of combination, but I would say that a car is a "must" in Bonaire. Last time I took Avis, and it was 500 USD for the week for a manual pick-up. Pickups are popular in Bonaire because there are a lot of people who are scuba diving, and they need this type of vehicle. So, it is often the cheapest vehicle to rent.
- AB, Car Rental, and several other companies have offers, but the prices are very similar. I'm sure there is a way to pay less, but I haven't found it yet.
- There is almost everything in Bonaire. We went through Air bnb or Booking.com to find. We like small apartments with kitchen, etc. On our last trip we had a small two-bedroom apartment with a nice kitchen + terrace + pool (shared) for about 800 CAD per week. The supermarkets are like in Quebec with an incredible range of products. The tap water is drinkable, and everything is very easy to access. On the other hand, we also rented in a place a little outside of Kralendijk - and I must say that it was quite noisy at night with lots of roosters squawking and dogs barking most of the night. Places further out of town are often noisy at night.
- For our first visit, we stayed at the Delfins Hotel, and it was sublime, but much more expensive. If you are windsurfing, I suggest places around the Delfins or in the city. There are quite a few choices.
The spot is in Sorobon Bay:
Here is a 30 second video of Sorobon in front of The Windsurf Place and Jibe City.
There are 3 big board centers and the relatively new Frans Brothers spot. Just to make it very clear, I am a friend and sponsor of The Frans Paradise so I am biased.
The Frans Paradise
- https://www.facebook.com/thefransparadise/ or https://www.fransparadise.com/ Is a new center that started on January 1, 2019. The place is run by professional windsurfers Tonky and Taty Frans. They now have Future Fly Board freeride and foil boards as well as Tabou slalom boards and Gaastra sails. If you are a beginner, I suggest you take lessons with them. I was very excited to see my daughter and my wife learn from Tonky Frans who is a former European freestyle champion. Both have been on the pro circuit for over ten years and it's amazing how humble and kind they are. I wish them great success. The big difference between The Frans Paradise and the other centers in Sorobon and that the water at Frans Paradise is deeper than in the rest of the bay. So, it's harder to just get off the board to turn, rest, etc. On the other hand, the site is great for foiling and every day it's a freestyle show with champions like Taty and Tonky Frans, Kiri Tode, Youp Schmit, Amado Vrieswijk and many others practicing just a few meters from the beach.
Vincent with Taty and Tonky Frans in 2020
- Jibe City https://www.jibecity.com/ - the most "in" spot, but also the busiest. I'm told that the equipment is very recent, but the service is a bit slower. I wanted to rent from Jibe City on one of my trips, but I entered the zoo and quickly headed to the other places.
- The Windsurf Place - http://www.bonairewindsurfplace.com/ is door next to Jibe City is run by one of Bonaire's windsurfing pioneers, Elvis Martines. The place is much quieter, the service is excellent and very friendly, and the equipment is new and plentiful. They have mostly RRD and Starboard with Hot Sails Maui. Two years ago, I took an unlimited package for the 7-day week (USD 420). Prices vary depending on your needs.
- The Dunkerberk pro center https://www.sorobonbeachresort.com/dunc ... ro-center/ I know less about this center and you have to ask before you go, as I think a lot of Europeans book the place in advance. They have Goya, Starboard, etc., and I think it's worth checking out before deciding.
Professional photo session.
For the photo sessions on the water, it is necessary to call upon the photographer Lorenzo Mittiga https://lorenzomittiga.com/ Lorenzo is a photographer recognized worldwide for his underwater photos and actions.
Photo by Lorenzo Mittiga of Vincent windsurfing in Bonaire 2019
Finally, we must mention Kuma Movie Bonaire. If you are at Frans Paradise, you will see Kuma taking videos almost every day.
Well, I think that covers it ;-)