We first visited Lemon Bay in April 2020, although it’s taken a while for me to get around to writing about it. A homestead region and group design by SilentChloe, Unso Choche and Mirias, it is a rugged, tropical setting intended to be a photogenic hangout.
When I say “rugged”, I mean the region is set as tall, rocky table of land forming a roughly L-shaped island, the upright of which runs roughly south-west to north-east. Flat-topped, the island has at some point in the past been sliced into three plateaus by the sea, two narrow channels lying between the three parts, one of which has been around for so long, it has become silted with sand, helping to form one of the island’s two beaches.
The table of rock that is left between these two gorges forms the island’s landing point. Almost uniformly flat, it is connected to the remaining two arms of the island by wooden bridges, while a single deck extends away from the south side cliffs to offer a grand – if giddying – view out over the sea and the sands below, a waterfall tumbling from a slit in the rocks under the deck.
Cross the bridge to eastern side of the of island, and the way becomes more shaded thanks to palm trees and Samanea saman, as the path leads the way to a rickety house sitting on an outcrop of rock that looks like it might, in time, break away from the rest of the island and into the waters below – which might explain how the small island that sits just off the north-west side of the main island may have come into existence.
Quite how you reach this small island is a matter of choice – swim or fly. It offers a beach hangout-out for those wishing to gather around a camp fire, and a little fisherman’s hut.
Prior to reaching the steps leading down to the deserted old house, a separate flight offers access to another wooden deck – one again built over a waterfall. This provides a view cross to the south and west to the second, and largest, arm of the island. Reached via the second bridge from the landing point, if offers several points of exploration. Just across the bridge and to the left of it, a path winds down to the southern beach and a route to a rocky pool which could be an ideal retreat if presented with one or two animations to allow people to sit on the rocks around it or cool themselves in the water. As it is, flagstones extend out over the water whilst a little shaded canoe does offer places for people to enjoy.
Should the way down to the first beach not be taken, the way is open for visitors to either walk up to the island’s Idyllic bar as it commands the best view and offers a shaded retreat from the sun. Or, if preferred, visitors can follow the path around and below the island’s crown to where a path and steps hewn from the rock offer the way down to the sweeping curve of the island’s largest beach. This offers several places to sit and enjoy the Sun individually or as a couple, while a little sign presents the opportunity to go swimming (another sign for swimming sits on the smaller, south-side beach as well). For those willing to wander further around the headland, there’s a cosy little hideaway awaiting discovery.
Rich with waterfowl and birds, with sudden bursts of rich colour from plants (and parrots!), Lemon Bay is a place offering every suggestion of escape and relaxation. Rounded out with a warm sound scape, the setting is ideal for photography and for catching quiet times away from home.
- Lemon Bay (Bonaire Island, rated Adult)