Bonaire is a Caribbean island off the coast of South America. Together with Aruba and Curacao they make up the ABC islands. Bonaire is politically part of the Netherlands and has a number of good facilities, such as shops and Dutch care facilities. Papiamento and Dutch are the most spoken languages on Bonaire, but you will also hear a lot of English and Spanish. About 18,000 people live on Bonaire, on 294 km2, about 113 square miles (Bonaire is 39 kilometers or about 24 miles long and, at its widest point, 12 kilometer or 7 1/2 miles wide). The atmosphere on Bonaire is relaxed. You will not find any highways or traffic lights here.
Currency: US Dollar
Time zone: UTC-4
Food, drinks and going out
Bonaire has a very good and varied selection of restaurants. There are a lot of beautiful locations where you can (with your toes in the sand) enjoy some tasty drinks and snacks. And at night, there are a number of nice bars you can check out! However, don’t expect a party island, because Bonaire is still Bonaire ;-).
Washington Slagbaai National Park
Bonaire has a beautiful rugged nature. The entire North end is a protected nature preserve, the Washington Slagbaai National Park. In the park you’ll not only find beautiful beaches and snorkeling possibilities, but also the highest mountain in Bonaire, the Brandaris (241 metres, 791ft.). You can also climb it. The park is also filled with birds, iguanas, and flamingos. It’s certainly worth a daytrip!
The uninhabited island Klein Bonaire is off the coast of Bonaire. The island is 700 hectares/1729 acres large, completely flat, with only small shrubs and cacti. It is completely surrounded by a coral reef. This is where you will find the most beautiful beach of Bonaire (No Name Beach). Along with a number of other beaches on Bonaire, this beach is one of the most important nesting grounds for sea turtles.
Lac and Pekelmeer
Lac is a gorgeous shallow lagoon in the south east of Bonaire, which is surrounded by mangrove trees. In the south west you’ll find the Pekelmeer and the flamingo reserve (800 hectare/1,976 acres), the most important nesting area for flamingos in the southern Caribbean area. Dependent on the season there can be between 2000 and 7000 flamingos.
Bonaire has been the number one on various rankings of the best diving destinations of the world for many years now. Bonaire’s National Marine Park is a legally protected underwater park with coral reefs, many types of fish, and also turtles. The Marine Park surrounds the whole island and Klein Bonaire. On the West and South coast you can dive on your own in some 60 spots. Of course there are also plenty of diving organizations that will take you on a boat trip to other diving spots. And there are a number of fantastic places to go snorkeling.
Besides being a Kiter and Diver’s Paradise, Bonaire is also a paradise for windsurfers. At Sorobon, you will sail through a coral protected bay of shallow water. Bonaire is home base to a number of world-class freestyle windsurfers, so you know for sure that the conditions here are perfect! Perfect for beginners and those with experience, you can rent equipment and also take lessons.