A Small Island That’s Big on Activities
Bonaire is located in the southern Caribbean, north of Venezuela and east of Central America. Part of what is known as the ABC Islands, including Aruba and Curaçao, Bonaire is known for its unique landscapes and fantastic diving spots. While the island has the reputation of being laid back, it also features a vibrant night life, diverse and entertaining activities and world class restaurants. Bonaire Island is also highly regarded for its groundbreaking role in the protecting the islands environment, particularly the marine life.
Vacation goers return year after year to enjoy the islands always ideal weather, welcoming locals and endless list of exceptional things to do including the following.
Island specific activities include its excellent scuba diving locations, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking the islands tranquil bay area or in the mangroves. Windsurfing is a particularly popular water sport here because the island is known for its protected areas with onshore winds and their always steady trade winds. Sport fishing is another popular activity and the island plays host a number fishing tournaments during the year.
When it comes to activities out of the water mountain biking or land cycling are the perfect ways to check out the island as are taking nature tours through the outback or “Kunuku”, or horseback riding along one of Bonaire’s many back trails. Kite boarding is also a thrilling island activity and if you’re a rock climber you will enjoy taking on some of the islands limestone formations however be sure to bring your own climbing gear.
When it comes to experiencing the island wildlife, bird watching is a gratifying way to pass the time here. Visitors come from all over the world to catch a glimpse of some of the islands over two hundred varieties of birds including the ever popular pink flamingo. The island’s Meer Bay is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these bashful birds. You can also check out the Flamingo Sanctuary on the island and the salt ponds which are the largest pink flamingo breeding grounds in the Western hemisphere. The sparkling, pure white, man made mountains of salt throughout this area add a unique touch the landscape.
An excursion to the Washington/Slagbaai National Park presents visitors with beautiful vistas and landscapes filled with several varieties of divi divi trees, cactus, and wildlife, including somewhat tame iguanas, always a thrill to see in their natural habitat. The Boca Slagbaai Lac Bay is a beautiful spot to visit complete with mangroves, located at the northern end. A few of the beach front hotels in the bay area have even added extra sand to enhance the beach, making Lac Bay a popular place to stay.
Bonaire Island offers dining experiences with cuisine choices that include American, Antillean, Italian, Indonesian and Lebanese. Bonaire is home to more than 75 restaurants that have been highly rated at global culinary competitive events. From 5 star cuisines to fast food establishments with local flavor, Bonaire’s dining choices won’t disappoint.
Several restaurants offer themed buffets that include island barbecues, Tex Mex cuisine and a number of local specialties. There are places that offer tabletop grilling, barhap (bar/snack venues) menus with wide varieties of dishes and more. Some of the best places to eat on the island are the local restaurants serving spicy local gumbo, goat stew, and a vast array of other unique and tasty island fare. Visitors that stay in accommodations with kitchens can buy their own groceries as well and prepare their own meals.
Bonaire has the reputation of being laid back and slow paced but for travelers that enjoy the nightlife; the island offers plenty of lively evening activities including everything from casinos to resort lounges and billiard halls. There are also disco’s on the island, the perfect places to dance to your heart’s content and party the night away. If you prefer a more relaxing evening activity there are several cafes and bars as well, many beach front where you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets.
Bonaire Island offers a surprising amount of shopping venues from its primary shopping avenue, to a number of mini malls and plenty of intriguing shops nestled away off the main shopping area. Each and every shop is unique, offering items that are reasonably priced, locally made or from Europe and the United States. The locally crafted items are unique and beautiful and include ceramic tiles, island dolls, paintings and more. The islands resorts also have an array of stores selling Cuban cigars, beautiful Rolex watches, Dutch cheese, gold jewelry and exquisite fine china can be found at competitive prices as well.
Visitors have a number of options when it comes to accommodations on the island including apartments, condos, hotels, guest houses, inns and resorts in varying price points, offering a wide range of amenities from kitchenettes to onsite spa facilities, restaurants, bars and lounges.
Best Times to Visit
While planning your tropical holiday on Bonaire Island you won’t have to worry about hurricane season (less than a 3% chance of experiencing one), and while there are periods of rain it typically doesn’t last long. The weather for the most part is always perfect here; warm and sunny with average temperatures in the low to mid 80′s. It also has one of the mildest climates in the Caribbean. Just about any month of the year the water is clear and calm on the leeward side so you can always enjoy diving here. While the island isn’t recognized for its beaches, the best ones are heavenly year round.
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise for your next holiday destination based on a love for natural beauty, the sea, the sun and both relaxing and exciting activities, Bonaire has a lot to offer. What’s not to like about sunshine, pink sandy beaches, the sparkling brilliant blue Caribbean waters, sipping on a tropical drink with the sounds of coconut palms rustled by soothing tropical breezes; sounds heavenly doesn’t it?