Skooter reporting 09/16/12
Today we proceed to letter “B” - Bonaire
Surrounded by spectacularly distinct coral reefs that are protected by a national marine park, Bonaire is a diving cloud nine under the waves, from parrot and angel fish to nurse sharks and stingrays. Kayaking is popular on the smooth surface and landlubbers can cycle through Washington-Slagbaai National Park on the island’s northern tip and past Lake Gotomeer, a salt lake home to flaming pink flamingos. Kralendijk is the main city and has some very good restaurants and student chefs who train in Emilia-Romagna in Italy. Bonaire does not have the tourism infrastructure found on Aruba or the commercial power of Curacao, and it can only be reached by air, since there is no ferry service from the other islands or Venezuela.
The island’s slack reputation and natural landscape attract buyers searching for an outdoor kind of life. We befriended a commercial manager at Sunbelt Realty by the name of Anja Romeijnders who said, “Bonaire attracts Dutch and Americans looking for peace and quiet in nature, good dining, scuba diving, kite surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking and running. Oceanfront properties are always in demand, and people are also interested in buying or renting in Kralendijk, Santa Barbara, Sabadeco and Belnem along the island’s western coast.”
For your info, in 2011, the island changed its currency from the Antillean guilder to the US dollar. A two-bedroom oceanfront condo starts at $450,000 and can soar up to more than $1 million, while a non-oceanfront two-bedroom villa costs around $350,000 and rents for $1,750 a month. “Properties are purchased in US dollars, but sometimes when we have both European buyers and sellers, we decide upon a price in euros,” said Romeijnders.
To be continued…