Bonaire is an exotic island destination found off the coast of Venezuela and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. The island is known for its beaches, rich marine life and coral reef, culture and laidback vibe. Bonaire with a population of approximately 18,000, welcomed over 128,000 visitors in 2017. If you are considering taking a trip to Bonaire, we will highlight some of the best things about Bonaire that will make your trip memorable.
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Top things to do in Bonaire
Visiting the Bonaire National Marine Park
The Bonaire National Marine Park encompasses over 2700 hectares of mangroves, fringing reefs, and seagrasses that begins at the edge of the water and extends for more than 300 meters into the sea. The Park is also home to a stunning variety of marine life and is considered one of the most biodiverse places in the Caribbean. The Bonaire National Marine Park was created in 1979 in an effort to preserve the rich marine and coral life that the Island possesses, and the management of the Marine Park has gained worldwide acclaim. The coral reefs at the Bonaire National Marine Park includes essentially every type of coral found anywhere in the Caribbean and is home to approximately 340 fish species, including the endangered Queen Conch and the Flamingo Tongue. The Marine Park also serves as the nesting ground for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle and the enclosed mangroves provides a safe haven for birds such as the endangered osprey, pelicans, flamingos, herons and frigate birds to nest comfortably. The Bonaire National Marine Park is a scuba diver’s dream, due to the unmatched biodiversity and marine life that they enjoy here. It is one of the best places for scuba diving in the Caribbean and is an experience not to be missed when you are in Bonaire.
Kiteboarding is a popular attraction in Bonaire because of the influence of clear waters, easy shore access and gentle trade winds that are present all year round providing the perfect environment for kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is especially concentrated on the southwestern tip of the island and you will enjoy the beauty of the colorful kites soaring skywards! This exhilarating activity can be done every day of the year in Bonaire, so you can enjoy kiteboarding regardless of the time of year that you visit!
Visiting Bonaire’s Donkey and Flamingo Sanctuaries
If you are a lover of animals, a cool attraction to visit in Bonaire is the Donkey Sanctuary. This sanctuary is home to over 400 donkeys that have been rescued from sickness, wounding an orphanage. The Donkey Sanctuary provides a safe haven for these charming and gentle animals, allowing them to roam freely while been properly sheltered and cared for. When you visit Bonaire, you should take some time out to visit the Donkey Sanctuary to interact with and learn more about the gentle animals while contributing to their protection.
Bonaire is blessed with the presence of a graceful bird called the Flamingo and the Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary serves to protect and preserve the existence of these beautiful birds. Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is one of only four breeding areas in the world for Flamingos and is home to over 10,000 Flamingos. The sanctuary is attractive for the Flamingos due to the abundance of brine shrimps in the waters that houses the sanctuary. Visitors are not allowed to enter the sanctuary but can get close enough for stunning pictures of the beautiful birds or by using binoculars to get a clear sighting of this amazing natural phenomenon which is only available at four places in the world!
Visiting Aletta’s Goat Farm
Aletta’s Goat Farm was borne out of a passion that Dutch native Aletta Van Beeck has for goats and the simple life. She uses a generator for electricity and the water for her farm is trucked to her, she enjoys this lifestyle of living at one with nature while caring for her beloved goats. Aletta’s Goat Farm produces goat milk, yogurt and cheese which is available in most supermarkets across the Island and is widely enjoyed by locals as well as visitors. You can enjoy a tour of Aletta’s Goat Farm on Mondays, Wednesday or Fridays and experience the milking of the goats and the art of goat cheese making. You will also be provided with a refreshing drink of iced tea and cheese tasting. Taking a trip to Aletta’s Goat Farm will provide you with a unique experience to remember for a lifetime!
Best Beaches in Bonaire
Destination Bonaire is a tropical Island and therefore is surrounded by alluring beaches. Some of the best beaches on the island are Bachelor’s Beach, Boka Kokolishi and Boca Slagbaii.
Unlike what the name suggests Bachelor Beach gladly welcomes couples to enjoy its relaxing charm. Bachelor’s Beach is a small sheltered white sand beach that is accessible via a rocky pathway. This beach is perfect for small picnics, swimming or just hiding away and getting a lovely tan!
Another beach of note in Bonaire is Boka Kokolishi. This beach is adorned with black sands created by the shell skeleton remains of the black snails that populate this beach. Boka Kokolishi is located between volcanic rock formations and the surrounding sea is extremely rough and the currents high. The best thing to do when you visit this unique beach is to enjoy the constant splashing action of the sea of the relentless sea while observing the beautiful lava rock formations and limestone plateaus in the vicinity of the beach.
Boca Slagbaii Beach
Boca Slagbaii Beach is located in the Washington Slagbaii National Park which is home to several protected and endangered species of plants and animals. Boca Slagbaii beach is blessed with calm waters and is also tucked away in a remote area which will give you a feeling of privacy and comfort when you visit. This beach is a great option for swimming and also scuba diving.
Top Five Places to stay in Bonaire
Plaza Beach and Dive Resort
If you envision an all-inclusive vacation in the tropical paradise of Bonaire, the Plaza Beach and Dive Resort is the perfect place to stay. The resort is located on a beautiful beach just five minutes outside of the capital city of Kralendijk. The resort has a fully equipped diving school that will turn you into a diver in no time or improve your skill if you are already a diver. There are also three restaurants to satisfy your taste buds and a casino at the resort to keep you busy throughout your stay.
Harbour Village Beach Club
Harbour Village Beach Club is tucked away on a beautiful private beach and has been designated as a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has been constantly voted as one of best resorts in Bonaire. The resort offers private villas and suites, a relaxing spa, diving activities and a Marina that can accommodate up to 60 yachts. The Harbour Village Resort is one of the most exclusive resorts in the entire Dutch speaking Caribbean.
Sorobon Beach, Wellness and Windsurf Resort
If you seek a vacation that includes relaxation and wellness along with some of the best surfing opportunities in Bonaire, the place to stay is Sorobon Beach, Wellness and Windsurf Resort. This serene resort includes 15 chalets, masterfully tucked way between plush gardens and palm trees on a secluded beach. Your wellness will be catered to by the resorts in-house yoga instructor who customizes her yoga routines to suite her guests. The revitalizing spa at the resort and the natural benefits for the skin that is provided by the salt water lagoon that surrounds the resort are all a part of the reason why wellness is one of the hallmarks of the resort. Windsurfing and Kite surfing are also available to you when you stay at the Sorobon Beach Wellness and Windsurf Resort.
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino is another all-inclusive property in Bonaire that offers a fully equipped casino, along with well-appointed oceanfront and pool view rooms for your comfort. The property also includes a full-service spa and you will enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving as a part of the all-inclusive package.
Courtyard by Marriott Bonaire Dive Resort
Courtyard by Marriott is located in the capital city of Bonaire and includes 140 spacious rooms and suites on the charming beachfront of Kralendijk. The resort is a great option for divers and provides the typical to quality service that is generally associated with Marriott Resorts.