This post is the ninth in a series from my Caribbean Cruise in February 2015. You can read a review of Ventura, the P&O Cruise Ship I was on, here and find links to the rest of the posts here.
Bonaire was our final stop on our whirlwind tour of the Caribbean. By the time we got there, I have to say that I was pretty tired. We had had a busy couple of weeks with lots of port days and the idea of travelling home was starting to put a dampner on my mood. I have had a lot going on in my personal life lately, so the idea that the cruise was going to be over was not a welcome thought when it had been a kind of beacon of hope and the key to my escape for so long. All of this meant that I kind of felt like I couldn’t be bothered getting off the ship. I didn’t want to experience the last stop on the trip because that would mean accepting it was over. But wow. What a last stop it was. Bonaire was absolutely stunningly beautiful. I know I have said this about so many of the islands I went to, but this was beautiful in an entirely different way.
Bonaire is probably most famous for what is below the surface of its beaches, rather than anything on the island itself. Generally ranked as being the second best place to snorkel and scuba dive in the world (after The Great Barrier Reef of course), this was the perfect place to get out our snorkels one last time and really test out my Go Pro.
We took a water taxi to Klein Bonaire, also known as No Name Beach, which is a desert island off the coast of Bonaire. It was initially described to us as a ‘deserted island’ but this is not strictly true; it was full of tourists just like us! It was easy to find a secluded spot though if you walked along the beach away from where the water taxi stopped. Klein Bonaire is the largest uninhabited island in the Caribbean so there literally is nothing on there – no shops, no toilets and no shade – so you need to come prepared. We brought water and snacks so we didn’t have any issues with this, but the one problem I hadn’t thought of was the lack of shade and therefore respite from the sun (there literally weren’t even any trees) so I did get a little burnt. I would definitely recommend taking lots of sun cream and a hat if you are going to spend a long time there. We also made sure that we didn’t take too many valuables because there is nowhere secure to leave them and you don’t want to have to take turns to go into the water because someone has to watch all the iphones. You will definitely want to make the most of the snorkelling opportunities.
The coral reef was unlike anything I have ever seen before. I guess it was just me being stupid, but I never really understood how massive the coral would be or how much it would control where you could swim; you had to search for gaps in the coral to get past because there was no chance you could get over/under/through it. I was very glad that I had been advised to take sea shoes though because other people were having serious issues with how painful it was to step on the coral. It was definitely worth the £1.99 I spent on them in the Sports Direct sale! Although I have to admit, they did kind of ruin my outfit and I was mocked A LOT by my friends (but mainly my mum) when I initially bought them. I will also say that buying sea shoes was a major step forward for me in prioritising practicality over fashion so I was very proud of myself for making the right choice. I did draw the line at buying an SPF sun shirt though. I don’t think I will ever be ready for that level of practical clothing.
After a couple of hours on No Name Beach, we decided to head back to civilisation. We had a look around a market that had been set up near the port and found so many lovely stalls. Apparently a lot of Dutch Artists decide to move to Bonaire because the island is essentially just a province of the Netherlands in economic terms, so it is very easy for Dutch citizens to move there (and seriously, who wouldn’t take that chance if they could!). I ended up just buying a present for my mum which was a selection of Caribbean spices and sauces, but believe me, it took all of my self control not to buy a lot more!
Overall I absolutely loved my day in Bonaire and it was a perfect last location for my amazing trip. I would highly recommend a trip to No Name Beach to anyone who visits Bonaire. Next time I go, I would love to take the next step in exploring the amazing marine life of the island and go scuba diving – that is definitely something to add to the bucket list!