Compare 6 Escape Games from Bonaire

In this blog you will read all about the Escape Games, what the difference is from an Escaperoom and how the different Escape Games bring Bonaire's rich history to life. Use the table of contents to go directly to the desired game.

Table of contents

Once upon a time... An Escaperoom

The Escape Game as a concept is relatively new, the first known Escaperoom opened in Japan. Starting in 2010, the trend spread to Eastern Europe and the rest of the world. Although there are now many variations, the goal is always to solve puzzles and riddles as a team within a certain amount of time. Not only is it great fun to do but it also encourages teamwork. According to Erik Scherder (Neuropsychologist) puzzling makes for a fitter brain. So it's healthy too!

What is the difference between an Escaperoom and an Escape Game?

The "traditional" Escaperoom is a locked room from which you must escape as a team within an hour. The room usually has a theme such as solving a murder, escaping from a prison or a horror story. In the room you have to look for locks, number combinations, keys and (often) mechanical puzzles. If you can solve the last puzzle in time, you win the game. Of course, there are also advanced variants in which you are scared to death in a real-life theater setting, such as Prison Escape.

The Escape Game brings out the Escaperoom experience. The increasing possibilities offered by the smartphone, for example, mean that almost everyone always has a game console with them. With a range of features such as GPS, camera, movies, sounds, augmented reality, the "real world" is transformed into one big playground. Everything in your environment can suddenly be part of a puzzle or task. This has also increased the applications for which an Escape Game can be used: It is now used as: team building, assessment in a job application, part of a curriculum in schools, etc.

Once upon a time... An island

Bonaire has a rich history that remains hidden from many visitors. This is not surprising. If you search the Internet for stories about the history of Bonaire, you usually get no further than an overview of what happened roughly in a certain period. Often it is copy-paste from other websites so that even erroneous information is frequently spread. As a result, for example, many people think that Harry Belafonte played a prominent role on the island or that the song "Island in the Sun" is about Bonaire. In fact, he only spent a very short period of time on the island. A clever businessman named the Belnem neighborhood after him. The involvement does not go much further.

For real stories, details and interpretation, you have to go deeper into the books. Fortunately, those can also be found. Partly through the efforts of Boi Antoin, a large number of historical documents have been digitized. In addition, it is interesting to follow the stories of Harald Linkels on Bonaire.nu, among others. Here he often describes the historical backgrounds of current problems or situations (with or without a critical reflection).

Escape Games hidden mansion1

Escape games from Bonaire

With the introduction of historical Escape Games on Bonaire, Bee Caribe saw the opportunity to make the island's history more accessible to a large audience. Not only for visitors but also for residents. Because even if you were born here or have lived on the island for years, there is still a lot of new things to discover. This is certainly also true for the creator of the games who still finds out whole new pieces of the "hidden" past when designing.

The Escape Games always cover a specific time period and area of Bonaire. From the Caquetios Indians to tourism. Each game contains special (cultural) places and shows how the protection of nature is organized. Also backgrounds of traditions such as Dia di Rincon, the Bari and Simadan are discussed. Included in each game are surprising locations to explore such as caves, viewpoints and hidden mansions. It also indicates what you can undertake exclusively with a guide (e.g., the caves) and where you can explore without one.

IT BEGINNING TO CAPTAIN DON (Divers Paradise 2.0)

Bonaire is Divers Paradise. But why really? Obviously because of the beautiful underwater world around the island. But the reason why thousands of avid divers visit Bonaire every year is Captain Don. When Don Stewart arrived on Bonaire in 1962, there were hardly any facilities for tourists, let alone divers.

Captain Don's story is special because he experienced a turnaround in his life from avid spear fisherman to protector of Bonaire's reef and nature. The Escape Game Divers Paradise tells the story of this special man, diving pioneer and activist who is responsible for one of the first protected marine reserves (incl. Klein Bonaire) in the world, the names of most dive sites, the Bonaire regatta, diving tourism, etc. etc. Pass by the special locations of his life and literally follow in his footsteps.

But the game contains more topics: What role did Bonaire play in World War II? Why was there an internment camp here for Germans and Austrians? What were the Americans doing at Snip Airport?

The difficulty level of this game is average. A team takes an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes, ratio of walking - driving is 50/50

IT CONTINUED IN RINCON (RINCON IN TIMES OF CHOLERA)

After the launch of the first Escape Game around Kralendijk, of course a game about Rincon could not be left behind. As of 2020, the world was under the spell of a pandemic. This was certainly not the first epidemic to hit humanity. Cholera outbreaks were frequent in the 19th century, and although Bonaire often managed to keep the disease out, things went wrong in 1856. The cause: a fruit merchant who didn't play by the rules... In this Escape Game you get a good picture of the situation of the oldest village of the Dutch Caribbean and the impact of this reckless captain.

The difficulty level of this game is average. A team takes an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes, ratio of walking - driving is 50/50

THE SPANISH WHO COULD NOT CONQUER (EXPEDITION BONAIRE 1642)

Expedition Bonaire takes another leap back in time. You cannot describe the history of Bonaire without dwelling on the influence of the West India Company, the Eighty Years' War, herring fishing in the North Sea (need for salt), slavery, the Spanish empire and Peter Stuyvesant. Using a true story in which Spanish governor Ruy Fernández de Fuenmayor tries to conquer Bonaire, it becomes clear why Bonaire had such great strategic value.

The story and the number of locations to visit proved too extensive for the concept of the first two games. This Escape Game has therefore become a real tour that will take at least half a day. The subtitle of this game is: 'The alternative southern circuit'. If you have driven around the southern tip before, this game will surprise you with a hidden mansion and the special interpretation of famous locations.

The difficulty level of this game is lower than average. On average a team takes 3 hours and 15 minutes, ratio of walking - driving is 25/75

BACK TO THE SOURCE (MURDER AT ONIMA)

With the designation "EST. 1499' the marketing of the ABC Islands has always been special. It implies that the islands have a history only from 1499 onward. Although there are no written sources from before 1499, there is some information about this period. The Arawak Indians found by the Spaniards during their conquests on Bonaire belonged to the Caquetios. A people that also lived on Curaçao and Aruba. Archaeological and DNA research on Aruba showed that another people lived on the islands before the Caquetios. Storyteller Frans Booi spent years researching rituals and spiritual knowledge that is still present among the inhabitants of Bonaire.

The Escape Game Murder at Onima takes you into Bonaire's distant past and mythology. It takes place partly in the present and partly in the past. In addition, you see the enormous impact of the "discoveries" of Columbus and Vespucci on the indigenous population. This route is largely on dirt roads and requires a tall car (4×4, pickup, SUV) to get to the various sites. You will be rewarded, among other things, with a visit to Bonaire's most spectacular cave and stunning views of the east coast. In addition, you will discover that there are more memories of the Caquetios on Bonaire than you might initially think.

The design of this game made extensive use of Frans Booi's stories Boynay Tey (Mythology) and Cola Debrot's novella "The Persecuted" (Confronting Caquetio with the Spanish Conquerors).

The difficulty level of this game is high. On average a team takes 3 hours and 15 minutes, the game is almost entirely by car.

THE ISLAND IN THE SUN (THE SECRET OF CALYPSO - FAMILY GAME)

In the introduction, it was indicated that Harry Belafonte's influence on Bonaire is more limited than many media reports. But in the game the Secret of Calypso, he does come to Bonaire! When Lisa and Henry find a special treasure map, Grandpa Harry helps them on their way. This Escape game is a search through the center of Kralendijk for the different meanings of Calypso and a hidden treasure. Who better than the 'King of Calypso' to guide them there?

The difficulty level of this game is low and specifically for children ages 8 and up. On average a team takes 1 hour, the game is completely walkable.

And... THE CITIZEN WHO WON (THE GOLDEN RELADER)

Sometimes stories are too much fun not to tell. So is the story of the Golden Traitor. In this short game, the main characters from Divers Paradise and Expedition Bonaire 1642 briefly reappear in a true story about a shipwreck, a plantation house, a famous politician and a member of the royal family. A battle between military and civilians still leads to the tangible evidence of the Golden Traitor.

This free Escape Game is specially designed to introduce you to Escape Games and one of its many applications: augmented reality to project images of the past into the present.

The difficulty level of this game is low. On average a team/person takes 20 minutes, the game is completely walkable.

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