Bonaire Travel Guide

  • Bonaire's Natural Beauty
    Bonaire's Natural Beauty
    by ainsleigh
  • Downtown Bonaire
    Downtown Bonaire
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • coral on the beach of bonaire
    coral on the beach of bonaire
    by chattygirl7491

Bonaire Things to Do

  • Bonaire National Marine Park

    A great dive to do after Karpata. Hit Karpata early in the morning, you have to take a dirt road to get back on the two way road and this detour spits you out right at Oil Slick. They have a nice wooden dock with a ladder for easy access out of the water. This is a great spot to kill some time in between dives. Oil Slick get deep immediately so...

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  • Visit Kralendijk!!

    Bonaire's capital Kralendijk, which means "coral dike", is a very nice port city on the Central West coast of Bonaire. It has a population of around 3,000 people, which increases significantly depending on tourism from divers and docking cruise ships. This is where you'll find the vast majority of the island's restaurants, businesses, traffic and...

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  • Bon Tuk electric Island tours

    A great way to discover Bonaire has a lot more to offer than the underwater world only. Via this eco friendly and silent way of transport one can discover the nature of Bonaire on a relaxed but also exciting way. See the Flamingo's, the solar salt works and the city of Kralendijk. Get out of your car and step into the Bon Tuk. It's fun! Also a...

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Bonaire Hotels

See all 15 Hotels in Bonaire

Bonaire Restaurants

  • Local Food

    This was a small cute covered open-air restaurant up some stairs.2014 update-- Norca's was gone!!! :( I think--we sure heard lots of different things from the nearby shops (nobody seemed to know where she went but I think this woman is fairly well-known on the local food scene so I'm betting she is still somewhere in Bonaire). BUT--we went upstairs...

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  • Charming Local Spot

    We originally turned left and walked all the way down to where the restaurants and buildings started thinning out. Looking for local food. Ended up finding it almost where we started from. There was a little outside counter type restaurant with a couple of spots to eat. This place is set back from the street a little but definitely worth a stop....

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  • Stop In For A Cold One At El Mundo

    El Mundo Bar & Restaurant is located on Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk near Plaza Wilhelmina. We stopped for a cold beer - Amstel's Bright (produced in Curacao, it's as local as you're going to find). Sitting outside under the shade relaxing, having a beer, and watching the world go by was a perfect way to end our day in Bonaire.The restaurant is open 7...

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Bonaire Nightlife

  • Good live music is hard to find

    Some nights they have Mariachi, some nights they have Reggae, some nights, who knows? Younger women should wear very short skirts with heels and low cut tops. Older women should wear longer but not too long, more eligant dresses. Men...Who cares, wear anything that covers up that big ol' beer belly and doesn't stink too much.Actually, I don't...

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  • Great to watch the sunset

    This is the perfect place to watch the sun go down! Happy hour is from 5pm-7pm, just in time to suit the event!The Bar is open from 10am to 2am and besides drinks you can also get some snacks. Anything

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  • Karel's

    Karel’s is perhaps the best bar for watching the sun set below the horizon. Built on a small and somewhat unstable wooden pier, Karel’s has an unobstructed western view over the bay and Klein Bonaire and they have a really cute Venezuelan chica for a bartender. And yes, there is a green “flash” at the exact moment the sun slips below the horizon…

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Bonaire Transportation

  • Rent your car or truck from Voyager...

    We on the island of Bonaire for quite a long time. John and Jennifer at Voyager Bonaire took great care of us. We were picked up from the airport and given a very friendly introduction to the island, where to go, what to see and even where to eat. It was very helpful and welcoming.We had a small economy car (gas is expensive on Bonaire) for a...

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  • lsland Access

    Since Bonaire is an island nation, you can't get there by road. You either fly or take a boat. We had dinner one day with a couple from Bonaire. They sailed their boat to the island and then liked it so much that they stayed and built a house there. Now they had sold the boat and the house and they were coming back to the island by cruise ship and...

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  • Arriving by Cruiseship

    Ships arrive at one of the main piers, just south of Kralendijk. It's a few minutes walk to downtown. If you choose to stay in Kralendijk, pick up a Historical Walking Map from the Tourism Office. Taxis will be available as you disembark. Our taxi driver, unlike on many other islands, was not very good as far as providing any information about the...

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Bonaire Shopping

See all 11 Shopping in Bonaire
  • Local Crafts

    In Plaza Wilhelmina on Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk, there are several open market stalls selling goods. It wasn't a typical cheap souvenir market that are on every island in the Caribbean. There were actually some very nice items - paintings and other local handicrafts. It was priced accordingly - no bargaining here. We ordered a peraonlized gift for...

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  • No shopping on Sunday

    There are two supermarkets in or near Kralendijk where you can buy items for your condo or bungalow.You can buy things by single item or by the case but never anything on a Sunday. or during lunch hour.Most all businesses are closed all day Sunday. You may find a couple of convenience stores open in case you just have to have something.

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  • Attention getter

    We didn't need his services, thankfully, but we couldn't resist taking a few photos.They have spent a lot of time painting this fence in a replica of the world flags. There is also a lot of funky art inside the fence.

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Bonaire Local Customs

  • Driving in Bonaire

    Driving is on the right, and was overall very sensible and safe. There are a few major roads for getting around the perimeter of the island, with a couple of narrow sections. Of course locals who know the roads will want to go faster than you so don't be that annoying tourist driver; let people pass you and they'll be grateful. Traffic is easy to...

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  • Divi-Divi Trees

    The divi-divi tree grows pods which contain large amounts of tannin. Until the 1950's, this tannin was exported to Holland, where it was used in tanneries (which converted animal hides into leather). Visitors to the park should look for divi-divi trees on hilltops, where the constant winds have forced the trees to grow almost sideways.

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  • Aloe plant for sunburn

    Aloe plants (Aloe barbadensis) were also cultivated for use in the pharmaceutical industry. There is the remains of an aloe plantation in the park, even the ruins of an aloe oven.Visitors with sunburns can feel for themselves the soothing effect of aloe by cutting a leaf and rubbing it on the skin.

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Bonaire Warnings and Dangers

  • Bonaire Theft Warnings

    We stayed in Bonaire for 2 weeks in Aug 2011. Felt very safe and secure .. until our groups hotel rooms (a villa with 4 rooms) were ransacked the Friday night before we were to return home. As directed, we had placed all valuables in the room safe - laptops, dive computers, cameras, cash, passports, id .. even car keys and travel itinerary...

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  • CAR RENTAL SCAM

    Changed from Turks to Bonaire 8 years ago and never was sorry UNTIL THIS PAST FEBRUARY. Crime has been on an upswing for the last year. Always rented a car from AB Carrental. This year someone took a sharp object and ran down the right side of the car and stole a full tank of gas because we were leaving the next day. Had to get a police report...

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  • Fire Coral

    Fire Coral is everywhere, and if you aren't a total spaz you should be able to avoid it if you know what it looks like (you shouldn't be touching anything anyway!!) We dove without wetsuits and had no problem avoiding the coral which apparently feels like a cigarette burn if you come in contact with it.

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Bonaire Tourist Traps

  • rickscafe53's Profile Photo

    by rickscafe53 Written Jun 12, 2005

    Check out the local artisan's shops, there are pleanty around and some of them are a real hoot.

    Unique Suggestions: Be sure and visit with the locals and find out what's going on.

    Fun Alternatives: If you're done shoppin', Go Divin"!!!

    Was this review helpful?

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Bonaire What to Pack

  • Rash Guard and Mosquito repellent

    What do you need for the sun and fun island? Shirt, shorts, slaps and shades... Light clothing Sunscreen and mosquito repellent. You can even get anti-itch "Afterbite" here but it was on the expensive side as I found out Bring your own..digital works best but be careful of the sand as it can get into your camera. I brought my own mask and reef...

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  • Helpful Items for Bonaire

    Bonaire's beaches are mostly made up of pieces of coral, not sand, which can be pretty rough on the feet and toes. A sturdy pair of sandals or shoes that can get wet are best for walking around on the beaches. Coral can be sharp so you really need water shoes here. There are also all kinds of sharp and prickly things around like cacti, sea...

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  • Packing for a 1 day stop

    Swim wear for the beach or boat trip, a hat to protect you from the sun and a towel for when you get into the taxi to keep the seat dry. If you are going on a boat trip, a hat with a chin strap will keep you from having your hat blow overboard Sunscreen is essential, the couple of spots I missed were as red as Rudolph's nose! Snorkeling is a...

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Bonaire Off The Beaten Path

  • Cemeteries

    Since I am part of a group that documents cemeteries, I am always looking for new ones to photograph. There are a couple of cemeteries in Kralendijk. They were even on the otherwise useless port map given out by the ship. So Bob went and took some pictures while I was out snorkeling.There were several cemeteries near each other so Bob took a lot of...

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  • Take a Drive...

    If you have access to a vehicle, go for a relaxing drive along Bonaire's winding roads to see some beautiful scenery. There's the Scenic Drive along the Northwest coast which has lush vegetation and amazing coastal views. The ranches, deserts and cliffs in the central areas and to the South provide a really relaxing and non-touristy atmosphere....

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  • Visit an art gallery

    There are no huge major attraction art galleries in Bonaire, but there are a few unique small galleries on the island that sell pieces too. Richter Art Gallery features Linda & Jake Richter and other local artists. We didn't end up visiting because of the hours and bad planning on our part, but wanted to based on what we heard.JanArt Gallery in...

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Bonaire Sports & Outdoors

  • Woodwind Snorkeling

    I found this company on line as it was recommended by someone from the Cruise Critic bulletin board. I had wanted to visit Bonaire for some time specifically to dive their extensive reefs. But by the time I got there, I was 75 years old with only 85% lung function, and my husband had just had a melanoma removed from his shoulder and it had not yet...

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  • Land sailing

    As we were driving, we spotted the land sailing track which is located on the northeast coast of Bonaire. Land sailing is a combination of sailing and racing using modified boats called blokarts.If you're a fan of "The Amazing Race" you might remember them having that as a detour in New Zealand.

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  • Unlimited Shore Diving

    We payed $160 per person for 7 days of unlimited airfills for shore diving. There is really no reason to boat dive unless you have physical restrictions that would make you unable to enter and exit water and rocky shorelines with full gear. We got our package from Belmar Divers which is affiliated with Buddy Dive

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Bonaire Favorites

  • Reef Creatures

    Bonaire is famous for the diving and snorkeling Snorkeling from the Woodwind. These pictures don't do it justice because my camera battery died. The water is clear and warm and the fish and coral are plentiful.

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  • Bonaire - Misc. Info

    N/ABonaire is considered a safe haven. Use normal precautions. Getting around by rental car is easy. Most of the roads are very good. A valid U.S., Canadian, British, or international driver's license is required. Taxis are not metered but rates are fixed. Tell the driver where you're going and ask the rate before you get in! U.S. dollars and...

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  • Nature Permit

    If you want to dive or snorkel in Bonaire there is a $10 permit that they ask you to buy in town..can be bought in any of the many local dive shops. The funds in theory are to support the nature preserves around the island. Considering what I saw on Bonaire..the $10 was well worth it. You will need to carry the permit with you if you go diving or...

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Top 5 Caribbean Islands: Bonaire

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Bonaire could be described as the "St. John" of the Netherland Antilles: the first Netherlands Antilles Island to establish a natural park, the island places conservation and sustainable tourism at the forefront of its present and future. Located 38 miles east of Curacao, the island is twenty four miles long with a total land area of 112 sq. miles. Washington-Slagbaai National Park encompasses over 13,500 acres of that land, covering the northwest corner of the island. The island has been renowned for its snorkeling and diving opportunities and conservation; in 2008, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designated Bonaire as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean. In addition to the national park in the island's northwest corner, all of the waters surrounding Bonaire were designated a Marine Park in 1979. Similarly to the National Park covering the northern corner of the island, the Bonaire's salt flats take up a large amount of the southern side of the island. It's the only island in the Caribbean with glorious white mountains, and they can be seen at Pekelmeer, or The Pink Lake. The salt flats range in color from turquoise to bright pink, and is also home to a Flamingo Sanctuary. While humans can't swim there, it's an amazing sight to see, both for the unique natural occurrence and colors, but also for the bird watching; in addition to flamingos, osprey, heron, and frigate birds also call the Pink Lake home.

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Explore Deeper into Bonaire
Fort Oranje
Things to Do
Snorkel or Dive
Things to Do
1000 Steps
Things to Do
Flamingos at Goto/Gotomeer Lake
Things to Do
Downtown Kralendijk - Bonaire's Capital
Things to Do
Salt Pans
Things to Do
Fort Oranje
Things to Do
Customs House
Things to Do
Smoothies By The Sea....
Restaurants
Jibe City Water Sports
Things to Do
Taxi to the airport
Transportation
The coldest beer in Bonaire
Restaurants
BETTER THINK TWICE
Transportation
Flamingo Airport
Transportation
Cheap Dutch/American food
Restaurants
Klein Bonaire Water Taxi
Transportation
Snorkel on Klein Bonaire
Things to Do
Ice Cream by the sea
Restaurants
See the island by scooter
Things to Do
Bonaire's Desert
Things to Do
Don't miss the land animals
Off The Beaten Path
The Slave Huts
Things to Do
Washington Slagbaai National Park Visitor Center
Things to Do
Snorkeling trip with the best!
Things to Do
Salt Pits photo op--
Things to Do
Washington Slagbaai National Park
Things to Do
Snorkel trip with Woodwind
Things to Do
Birdwatching
Things to Do
Salt flats
Things to Do
Slave huts
Things to Do
Flamingos at Goto Lake
Things to Do
Washington Slagbaai National Park
Things to Do
Bonaire's Scenic Drive
Things to Do
By Water Taxi or Boat
Transportation
Bonaire's Salt Works
Things to Do
Coming in by cruise ship
Transportation
Cruise information
Favorites
Money matters
Favorites
See the Flamingos!
Things to Do
Pink Beach
Things to Do
Map of Bonaire

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