Let's go to Bonaire!
Once a visitor, always a friend – Bonaire is primarily known for its spectacular diving and offshore reefs, but the island is also showcases a kaleidoscope of history. Bonaire’s first inhabitants were Caiquetios, a branch of Arawak Indians from Venezuela, believed to have arrived around 1300 BC.
In Kralendijk – the main town, visit Cinnamon Art Gallery, founded by a trio of artists or any number of fine restaurants featuring French, Italian, Argentine and creative cuisines. Still, Bonaire is a long way from becoming an urban mecca. Here, the flamingo population rivals the human one, building size is strictly limited, and the circumference of the island is a protected marine park.
Stones marked with the names of dive sites can be seen from the coastal roads and a two minutes’ swim (literally) will reveal a reef teeming with marine life. Drive-through dive stations allow divers to refill their tanks before heading out to other alluring spots.
Amazing as the diving is, there’s much more to do on Bonaire. Clear blue waters: the ocean is an important part of the daily lives of each Bonerian. The locals will spend their weekends relaxing on the beach and sharing their life stories. The activities on the water are all operated by independent tour operators. Visitors can sign up at a dive shop or a snorkel charter or strike out on their own.
Sign up with the Mangrove Info and Kayak Center for a kayaking session through the pristine mangrove system – one of the few left in the world. Drive north up the west coast past a prime flamingo-viewing lake called Goto Mere. Spend a day in Washington-Slagbaai National Park amidst more than 13,000 acres of flora and fauna. See rock formations like Seru Bentana (Sky Window), and spot any number of birds and beasts at the Pos Mangel watering hole. The park has many beaches, some of which are very small. For the hardy thrill-seekers, try hiking up or rock climbing at Brandaris – Bonaire’s highest point. Bring the camera, as some of the views are truly inspiring!
Heading south down the east coast, visit the tiny village of Rincon. Catch the panorama from Seru Largu, a hilltop viewpoint. Drive south to the salt pans, signs of the salt industry that still thrives here. Just below the white mountains of salt rising from purple “lakes,” you’ll find the Flamingo Refuge. You can stand roadside and (very quietly) observe these elegant and shy creatures. Park yourself close by on Pink Beach, and at sunset you can see them lighting up the sky as they wing their way on their nightly trip to Venezuela.
Find the Perfect Hotel
Bonaire's National Marine Park
Biking in Bonaire
Slave huts & Obelisks
Dining in Bonaire
Travel Tips & Stories
- Divi Resorts recently announced that it would undertake a complete refresh of its Divi Flamingo Beach Resort property on Bonaire. [hotel id=700008523 width=720] Renovations on the […]