50+ Things to Do In Bonaire
By Marios Alexandrou on February 3, 2023.
- Picnic on a deserted island! Relax and soak up the sun on beautiful No Name Beach on Klein Bonaire (Little Bonaire), located just 1/2 mile off Bonaire's western coast. Various trips are available via watertaxi and sailboat.
- Windsurf at Sorobon Beach, Lac Bay, on the windward side of the island. Rental equipment is available, and private or group lessons can be arranged for beginners and advanced windsurfers.
- Enjoy the excitement of gamefishing. Book day and half-day boat charters to catch marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dorado or tuna. Most fishing is done just minutes off Bonaire's coast.
- Snorkel just about anywhere along the west coast and at designated areas in the Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Guided snorkeling trips are available aboard breezy sailboat trips and at most dive shops.
- Stroll through Kralendijk, Bonaire's capital, and shop for bargains and one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
- Hike in Washington-Slagbaai National Park with a knowledgeable tour guide and learn about the birds, lizards, goats, iguanas and more. Don't miss the museum at the park entrance.
- End the day aboard a sunset sail in the Bay of Kralendijk. All hotels and dive shops have information on sailing times of the various charters. Don't miss the “Green Flash” at sunset.
- Horseback ride at Kunuku Warahama.
- Observe the flamingos in the southern salt pans and near Willemstoren Lighthouse. If possible, bring binoculars as the Flamingo Sanctuary is not accessible to any visitors and the vibrant pink creatures are usually a great distance from the road.
- Enjoy a refreshing cold drink at a seaside bar, restaurant or cafe. Relax and watch the colorful fish swim by. The bars and cafes often feature local bands on weekends and draw a happy, dancing crowd.
- Visit Lourdes Grotto for a quiet moment. The peaceful outdoor shrine is located in the village of Rincon.
- Climb Mount Brandaris in Washington-Slagbaai National Park. This hill is just 784 ft high and the route is clearly marked both up and down. It is a relatively easy hike with a beautiful view as reward.
- Find one of the ice cream places in town, just a few of the many flavors to sample include mango, coconut, banana, rum raisin, sour sop, chocolate and ponche crema.
- Try your luck and score a jackpot gambling at the only barefoot casino in the Caribbean. The casual atmosphere at the Divi Flamingo Beach Hotel draws both the serious and not so serious gambler.
- Head out to Cai, Lac Bay, on Sunday afternoon for local food, music, dancing and conversation with the local residents. The mountains of conch shells found at Cai stand witness to an industry no longer practiced on Bonaire.
- Mountain bike around Bonaire with or without a guide. Your hotel or dive shop can arrange rentals and guided tours.
- Rent a scooter or a Harley Davidson and explore the island. See flamingos, lighthouses, obelisks, old houses, slave huts, and beautiful seascapes along the coastal roads. Can you find the Devil's Mouth?
- Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view from Seru Largu overlooking the central and southern part of the island. Relax beneath a shady tree, and see Klein Bonaire, Kralendijk, the gleaming white salt hills and the vast blue ocean. Great spot for stargazing.
- Drive through the 5,463 hectares (13,500 acres) of Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Take the ‘green' short route or the more scenic ‘yellow' long route. Bring along refreshments or make a stop at the park entrance for a local lunch and cold drinks.
- Dance the night away at Karel's Beach Bar or City Cafe, both located in the center of Kralendijk.
- Join the Carnival parades in February. Dress up in colorful costumes, enjoy the fun in Rincon and then return to Kralendijk to continue the festivities.
- Kiteboard or Landsail. Let the cool Caribbean breeze be your ‘engine' while practicing these amazing new sports. Swing away at the golf driving range on the east coast.
- Find a comfortable seat by the salt flats and watch the salt being loaded by conveyor belt onto a freighter. The salt is loaded at a rate of 2,000 tons per hour. Fallen salt crystals can be found and kept as a souvenir.
- Experience the excitement during Bonaire's Annual Sailing Regatta, the 2nd week of October. Truly a great spectator sport, the action is clearly visible from shore. The weeklong festivities include nightly entertainment in the streets of Kralendijk.
- Check out the Indian inscriptions at Boka Onima. The inscriptions are over 500 years old. Bring along some old bread to feed some of Bonaire's 16 different species of lizards – the blue tail is particularly beautiful.
- Marvel at the oasis of lush vegetation at Dos Pos. The name means ‘two well's and is located on the road from Goto Lake to Rincon. Note the fruit plantation and see how many fruit trees can be identified.
- See Bonaire's outdoor market next to the Town Pier in Kralendijk. Luscious fruits and vegetables from Venezuela are sold daily at the quaint, classically styled building. Close to the market, note the historic government buildings around Wilhelmina Park and the nearby Customs House and Fort Oranje.
- Interested in bird watching? Head for Pos di Mangel and Put Bronswinkel in Washington-Slagbaai National Park. How many of the island's 190 visiting and resident species of birds can you identify? Keep your eyes open along the coast as well.
- Send greetings home through the webcams – located on different places around the island and one underwater at Something Special dive site.
- Find out about Bonaire's varied nature and culture by talking to George “Cultura” (culture) Thode, the resident expert. He can usually be found at the entrance of Washington-Slagbaai National Park where he oversees the park rangers and ensures visitors are aware of the Park's rules and regulations. Ask him about Bonaire's flora, fauna, and history.
- Explore the caves with a guide at Barkadera, north of Kralendijk across the street from the Caribbean Club Bonaire. These caves are some of the oldest on Bonaire.
- Visit the Donkey's Sanctuary and enjoy the beauty of an ecological park and observe the donkeys in their natural environment.
- Gain some knowledge of Papiamentu, the native language of Bonaire. Try saying a few words in one of the local shops or restaurants – Bon Dia (good day) or Bon Tardi (good afternoon). Listen carefully and count the many languages spoken on Bonaire.
- Don't forget to visit one of the grocery stores on the island. Pick up a wheel of delicious Dutch Gouda cheese – great souvenir or gift!
- Walk the island's eastern shores for a refreshing salt-water shower. The rough surf pounds the shore, shooting spray twenty to thirty feet in the air. Notice the flotsam and jetsam sculptures by Bonaire's mysterious artists.
- Stroll along Playa Pabou's waterfront early in the morning and watch the local fishermen heading out in their small handmade fishing boats. What will be the ‘catch of the day?'
- Looking for a picture moment? Drive to Goto Meer, Bonaire's land locked salt-water lake – there is a beautiful view over the water towards the National Park. This is also a good place to take pictures of the flamingos as they often feed or rest close to the road.
- BBQ on the beach near the dive site Windsock, Playa Palu di Mangel, by the airport. Purchase your BBQ necessities at any supermarket and use the designated BBQ pits.
- Admire the rock formations around the island. What do they resemble? Where is the Iguana Head? or Devil's Mouth? or the Indian Head? or Piedra di Boneiru? At Boka Onima, see the five ‘step's of Bonaire and observe the wild donkey population.
- Art galleries are found in many locations and feature works by local and Caribbean artists. Visit Janice at janArt Gallery on Kaya Gloria, or stop by Cinnamon Art Gallery in Belnem. See Jenny Rijna's life-size dolls at her home on Kaya Gilberto F. Croes.
- Go to Captain Don's Habitat and see the slide show given by the legendary Captain Don himself. Hear amazing stories about Bonaire's scuba diving history and his 30 plus years living on Bonaire. All resorts have slide presentations -check the weekly schedule in ‘Update.'
- Tennis anyone? There are tennis courts at the Plaza Resort Hotel, Harbour Village, SandDollar and in the center of Kralendijk behind the Maduro &. Curiel's Bank. On Tuesdays, there are round-robin games at Harbour Village – join the local tennis players for a match.
- Check out the shell collection at Museo Boneriano, Bonaire's museum. Other items to see are Bonairean artifacts, old photographs, archaeology exhibits, island mythology and much more.
- Count the steps at 1000 Steps located on the tourist road going north. Are there 1000 steps? This is an excellent place for snorkeling, exploring and picnicking. Imagine carrying dive gear plus a tank back up these steps!
- Pull off the road at Alta Mira Unjo, and drive to the end of the dirt road. Enjoy the view over Rincon, Bonaire's first village. Listen to the sounds of village life far below.
- Leisurely stroll around Rincon, the oldest village on Bonaire. The people are friendly and some of the homes are very old. Stop at Rose Inn for a refreshing cold drink and see many indigenous birds fedin the garden. Visit the Rincon Market on Saturdays.
- Motor or cycle to Lagoen for interesting beach combing. The ambitious can walk or drive to Spelonk Lighthouse, which is a delightful old building.
- Kayak through the mangrove forests of Lac Bay. Kayaks can be rented from the windsurfing places at Lac Bay and at a number of dive centers. A guided snorkel trip in the mangroves is a truly unique experience.
- Find Playa Frans, a Bonairean fishing village, by going past the Bopec oil storage terminal near Goto Lake. The old salina (salt pan) is usually visited by flamingos. On the return journey, stop at secluded Nukove Beach for a picnic, snorkel or swim.
- Pass by Butterfly Farm Bonaire, Kaminda Lac, for beautiful butterflies.
- Stargaze. Wait until dark and turn your eyes toward the sky for one of nature's most popular shows.
- Take a ‘Walking Tour of Downtown' (pick up a map at the Tourism Office) or visit a restored farmhouse at Rooi Lamoenchi and experience Bonaire's history. While downtown, visit the museum and learn more about history and Bonaire culture.
- Step into the past and visit Mangazina di Rei in Rincon. Open from 9 am -5 pm, Closed on Sun. & Wed. Call 786-2101 for more info. Plan to take an informative walking tour of Rincon with Soldachi Tours and visit Kas Krioyo.
- Test your “Fish IQ!” How many fish can you identify? Pick up a checklist at your favorite dive center.
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