by Sue C Travel
Harness the wind on Bonaire with your kids this summer
Best known as a “Diver’s Paradise”, Dutch Caribbean Bonaire is also one of the world’s best places to learn how to windsurf! With onshore steady trades and shallow crystal clear water, beginners will revel in this wonderful learning environment. Kids start young there, sometimes still in diapers! It’s common to see multi-generations of families on the shore cheering little ones on as they sail back and forth in the shallows. This island has boasted many world champions that began the sport very young, and now tourists from around the globe are flocking to Bonaire to learn to windsurf. Caribbean Wind and Sun Vacations and Jibe City have teamed up to offer Kids Summer Camps that run July and August at lovely and calm Lac Bai. The 3-day camps are affordably priced, and there is a plethora of affordable accommodations from budget cottages to oceanfront condos, and summer is low season! Parents can also take advantage of this perfect windsurf spot for lessons or maybe learn to kite board, too! And snorkeling on Bonaire is out of this world for all ages. Book your family summer windsurf vacation through Ann Phelan at:
Voyage to the bottom of the sea (without getting wet!)
Imagine for a moment, you are presented with the opportunity to explore another world full of undiscovered new life. On the island of Curacao, that unique opportunity truly exists with Substation Curacao. Launching out of the Curacao Sea Aquarium Park, a bucket list experience awaits you. They offer you citizen science insight, into the world which only a handful of individuals have seen, down to a maximum depth of 1000ft (300m).
“It can be difficult to describe the underwater world from 300-1,000ft (100-300m), as habitats can be as varied as anything you could see on land.” says Dr. Carole Baldwin, Smithsonian Institute’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) leader.The Curasub, a 5-person submersible custom built by Nutyco Research in Vancouver, Canada, has aided Smithsonian scientists in recently discovering and describing 14 new fish species so far! And tourists can ride in the same amazing underwater vehicle!
Coral reefs represent some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, and deeper reefs that exist past the recreational scuba diving depths are underexplored globally. Join the exciting journey and see what lies beneath with a Curasub tour in Curacao- one of the only places on the planet you can do so!
Important New Animal Sanctuary in Akumal
Just a few minutes from Secrets Akumal (see our review of the resort in Stay and Play section) is a brand new animal rescue foundation. Though it’s named Akumal Monkey Sanctuary- and indeed, they do house a lot of primates- they also host a wide range of other animal species who needed a safe forever home. The animals have been rescued or donated, many from adverse conditions in attractions like petting zoos and circuses, and others either orphaned in the wild or from owners who did not realize the huge responsibility of taking care of an exotic pet. But wherever they came from, they now have a wonderful new life with lots of loving care. The sanctuary offers wonderful informative tours where guests can also interact with the animals and you’ll see lots of species of monkeys plus, ring-tailed lemurs , goats, kangaroos, pigs, deer, donkeys, macaws, lots of big snakes and even a zebra and more! My favorite part was where the monkeys sit on your lap and then on your head! Makes for wonderful photo opps! Proceeds from admission and the tours go to the animal welfare and upkeep, as it is a non-profit foundation. If you are in the Akumal area make a point of visiting them; you will not be disappointed,it’s really wild outing!
New family-friendly flagship concept Dreams Delight® in Panama
Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort and Spa – a signature adult-only brand of AMResorts- has recently reimagined the resort as a family-friendly stay and the first of their new concept offerings Dreams Delight™. The new Delight brand offers some different options from their existing Dreams resorts, which are purely all-inclusive. The Panama flagship program is called “Defined Delights” and allows guest to customize their experience to what they would like included which offers a more flexible price point.
Jan LaPointe, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing, Canada and AMRewards for AMResorts says, “In order to adapt to the growing demands and customer’s needs, our all-new Defined Delights™ concept caters to couples and couples with children, specifically in destinations where guests spend a lot of their vacation time enjoying off-site experiences from excursions and authentic cuisine, to local culture and historical traditions.”
As a result, the Defined Delights vacation concept will allow guests to customize their vacation experience with inclusions that vary based on room category with options to upgrade their experience as desired.
The location of the resort is ideal for summer vacation as it’s mere minutes from the exciting workings of the famous Panama Canal, the bustling metropolis and the historic old quarter of the city, yet it’s set beachfront and backed by rain-forested mountains full of nature offering the best of all possible worlds. Adults will enjoy the luxe spa and upscale dining options, while children will enjoy the exceptional Explorer’s Kids Club, and all ages will enjoy an amazing water circuit of pools and whirlpools surf-side.
Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama will continue to offer the Unlimited-Luxury® concept until April 30, 2017. However, effective May 1, 2017, the property will begin offering the all-new vacation concept, Defined Delights.
Award-winning travel journalist Sue Campbell is based in Montreal but makes it her business to be on top of everything cool, hot, and new under the sun throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. World Traveler welcomes her as a new regular columnist. Follow her on twitter @suectravel.
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