With over 60 shore dive sites along the coast of this Caribbean Island you can spend nearly all day every day underwater. Prepare to be pruned. But Bonaire much offers more than just ocean delights…
Our favorite adventures:
- Diving of course! As avid scuba and free divers Bonaire has always been a dream destination. One of the few places in the world where you can do dozens of shore dives to magnificent reefs in crystal clear water at your leisure. Rent a car, fill some tanks and dive dive dive. The entire island is surrounded by the Bonaire National Marine Park, one of the oldest marine reserves in the world. Swimming, snorkeling and lounging also strongly encouraged. You are required to do an orientation dive upon arrival and then, if you are certified, the world is your oyster. We dived the Salt Pier and the Hilma Hooker wreck. Both were great dives with incredible coral, sponges, sea turtles and abundant schools of colorful reef fish. Water is usually around 80 degrees so a 3 mm suit is perfect year round.
- Washington Slagbaai National Park: Cacti, hiking, flamingos, cliff jumping and even more beautiful bays and dive sites. This was a highlight of our trip. Go early because it gets hot hot hot hot, bring snacks, water and sunscreen. A 4×4 vehicle is nice but not necessary. You could spend the whole day here exploring all the offerings.
- Donkeys: The wild donkeys of Bonaire have been an island staple for more than 500 years. There is a sanctuary you can visit but you are also guaranteed to see them driving down the road as they are truly ubiquitous… and adorable. Once beasts of burden, they are now a beloved part of the local ecosystem. Remember to be cautious driving at night.
- Cave exploring. There are over 400 caves on Bonaire courtesy of its karst, limestone topography but only a few offer guided tours that involve swimming amongst stalagmites and witnessing fossilized corral heads embedded in ancient chambers inhabited by bats. We went with Dirk from Cave Tours Bonaire and had a blast.
Where to nosh:
There was good food on Bonaire but our favorite meal was on our last night, from a little take away BBQ place called Bobbejan’s. We smelled it from our balcony and followed the mouth watering aroma to this little gem in Kralendijk. A line of locals suggested it was good eating and they were right.
Where to hang out when you are not exploring:
Jibe City is the place to go if you want a bit more action. This windsurfing mecca with a long shallow beach, lounge area, bathrooms and food/drink options is a fun, super chill place to spend non dive days.