I will always remember our caribbean cruise with Mein Schiff as one of the most amazing cruises I've ever done. Every island was pretty amazing and I could rave about it for hours. Today, I like to tell you about our excursion on our own on an island, that may was the greatest one of all islands I've seen during this cruise. I'm talking about Bonaire!
Bonaire belongs to the "Lesser Antilles" and is a so called special municipality of the Netherlands. 15.000 people are living on the twice-biggest island of the ABC-islands, most of them in their island capital Kralendijk.
Because of it's landscape of corals all around Bonaire, the island is very popular for divers, but Bonaire also has some very beautiful beaches and best conditions for windsurfers.
For our daytrip on Bonaire, I did a lot of research in advance, so we had 2 destinations on our list for this day: A visit on Little Bonaire in the morning and a beautiful beach location for a relaxed afternoon.
Little Bonaire is a small, uninhabited islands and popular because of it's unique underwater world. The island lies about 850m away from Bonaire and you can only reach it via water-taxi.
We left our cruise ship at 9 o'clocl and meet some of the water-taxi providers directly in front of our ship. Prices were quite similar, but it definitely makes sense to negotiate with them. We were a group of 10 people, so we finally agreed for the price of 15$ per person for the round trip and went to the boat.
The place, where the water taxi leaves was just a 10 minutes walk away from our ship and the journey took about 20 minutes. When we arrived there, we directly fixed a time with the boat driver to pick us up again on the island.
To get on this little bonaire island was very amazing. For the first few steps, I wasn't really able to believe what kind of sand I had under my feet. I've never seen and felt such kind of white and smooth sandy beach in my whole life, it really was absolute insane - this was how I had imagined the caribbean!
Some other visitors already arrived on the 6km² small island before but we just walked a while along the beach and found a nice place to spread out our towels. But not much time for relaxing! The first ones of our group already took their snorkel equipment, went into the water and invited us to join this amazing underwater world immediately.
It's hard to believe if you haven't seen it on your own but on Little Bonaire you actually have the possibility to see big fishes directly next to the beach. This is due to the fact that the whole island is surrounded by a coral rif that is extending to a depth of 35m and begins directly at the beach.
Good to know for your visit on Little Island is the fact that you do not have any shady spot on the whole island. There are only a few shrubs but they are to small to provide shade, so you have no possibility to escape from the sun. So take a headgear and better do not stay the whole day because the sun is really dangerous at this place.
We spent 3 hours with snorkeling and enjoying this unique beach before we left that little paradise again. If I had no plans for another beautiful beach in the afternoon, I had loved to stay here forever. But I guess then I would probably have taken the risk for a big bad sunburn, so it was good to get back via water taxi.
Back on the mainland, we decided to have a small lunch break before staring our second item on the excursion agenda. We had a tasty pizza on board and left the ship again at about 2.30 p.m.
Now we still had a group of 5 people who were willing to spend the rest of the day on another beautiful beach. We searched for a taxi driver, who was of course standing next to all the watertaxi-providers and told him about our destination: Sorobon Beach. After a short negotiation, we agreed to pay 10 $ in total for the one-way drive to the beach, the drive back we should order directly there.
The journey from harbour to Sorobon Beach took approx. 20 minutes, the view on the island was not too breathtaking: flat countryside and many many many cacteens. It was a big difference to all the green islands we've seen before but it was also nice to see.
We arrived at the parking lot of Sorobon Beach. To get to the right beach, you should ask the taxi driver not to drive to Hang Out Beach Bar but to leave the taxi directly at Sorobon Beach Resort. The resort consists of 30, beach-located cottages, a restaurant, a beach bar and a breath-taking beach. And if I use the word "breath-taking", I mean it! This beach was next to our trip to Saona Island the most beautiful beach we've seen on our whole cruise trip to the caribbean islands!
In comparison to the beach next door (with the Bar and thousands of windsurfers), this beach was totally empty. We were allowed to use the sunbeds for only 5$ per person (with sunprotection 10$) and enjoyed a cool drink from the beach bar.
But the mainly highlight on Sorobon Beach definitely is the biggest natural swimming pool I've ever seen. At the end of a small wooden walkway (that protects the corals next to the beach), you can enter the clear blue water and you will never ever want to get out again. The water is not much colder than your bath tube at home and you can only see endless turqouise water as far as horizon. That's what paradise must feel like!
Next to swimming, it's also the best location for becoming a windsurfer. Because of its warm and shallow water, you have the best conditions for your first windsurf lessons, so its no wonder that also on these days many windsurfers rumped around in the water. But don't worry, the area is big enough for everyone!
To be honest, there are not many words left to describe our amazing afternoon spending on one of the greatest beaches I've ever visited. Pictures can say more than a thousand words, so just have a look: (yes, you can also meet this "small" salamander at the beach):
Almost nostalgically we decided to go back to the ship at around 6 p.m. and I guess this was the first time I was a little sad that we had not booked a pure beach holiday. At the beach bar, they called a taxi for us and it took less than 30 minutes till we arrived at the port.
Instead if directly going back on board, we decided to have a short walk aroud the city centre of Kralendijk. The small city with its colourful houses is really worth seeing - much smaller than Curacao but not less beautiful. You should definitely have a look before you leave Bonaire again!
Conclusion: I often get asked which of the 10 caribbean islands we have seen I liked most. It's difficult to say because all islands where so different to each other but if I had to choose one to get back there for a holiday, I would choose Bonaire. Little Bonaire was amazing, the afternoon at Sorobon Beach was the greatest beach I've ever been to and the small city centre of Kralendjik is just wonderful. Don't miss the chance to visit Bonaire!