Things to do in Bonaire - Activities, Tours, Attractions
There's a wide variety of things to do in Bonaire. You have the chance to explore the snorkeling paradise - the underwater at the Bonaire National Marine Park, and there are over 86 shore dives for scuba divers as well as snorkelers. You can visit the Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary or spend the day in Kralendjk as well as view incredible places such as the historic slave huts at Witte Pan. You can take a ferry ride to the deserted island of Klein Bonaire and lounge on the perfect white sand beaches or you can take a trip up Seru Largu for a panoramic view of the area. The natural beauty of Bonaire can be found at Washington-Slagbaai National Park where you can view flamingos at Lake Gotomeer. No matter what your interests are in life there is an a Bonnaire attraction that is just right for you and family.
4WD and Off-Road Tours
When you feel the need to get away from crowds and pump your adrenaline up, then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to book a 4WD and Off-Road tour. These excursions offer you the chance to drive an off-road vehicle to such exciting spots as Spelonk Cave, the Eastern lighthouse and follow the bumpy Bara di Karta Trail which includes the longest tree on Bonaire. Along the way you will learn interesting facts about the island and enjoy a bit of an adrenaline rush as you break trail while driving a 4WD vehicle. If you are looking for an exciting adventure that includes everything from white sand beaches to stalactites to the natural beauty of Bonaire, then these excursions are perfect for you.
Bonaire Sightseeing Tours
Whether you arrive by cruise ship or you are staying on the island, one of the best things to do in Bonaire is to take a sightseeing tour. These excursions are perfect for viewing the history as well as culture of Bonaire and your expert guide will explain interesting facts to you along the route. You can visit scenic places such as Washington-Slagbaai National Park, the Witte Pan where there are historic slave huts and take a hundred of panoramic photographs from the top of Seru Largu. There are specific tours of the east coast where you can watch windsurfers at Lac Bay or the west coastline where at Pink Beach you can view the flamingos. There is a nice variety of half and full-day tours that travel by conventional coach or off-road vehicle. Whether you want to learn the history and culture or view natural beauty, there is a perfect excursion for you.
Washington Slagbaai National Park In Bonaire
One of the best things to do in Bonaire is to take a trip to Washington-Slagbaai National Park where you will find a vast array of differing eco-systems. Located on the northwest portion of the island, Washington-Slagbaai National Park is situated on 14,000-acres of former plantations that were acquired by the government in 1979. The park offers a spectacular look at over 200 species of birds as well as an unparalleled look at the native flora and fauna that exists on the island. You can visit one of the beaches like Playa Chikitu or Playa Funchia and you can see the northern most lighthouse on the island at Seru Bentana. There three hiking trails that range from an easy hike on the Lagadishi Walking Trail to a more intense adventure on the more difficult Kasikunda Climbing Trail. You can stop at the visitor’s center and walk through the many exhibits that explain the history and various eco-systems within the park or take one of the many drive through routes in park. There are also a number of half and full-day excursions that are ideal, whether you arrive by cruise ship or you are staying on the island.
Biking Tours In Bonaire
When you visit Bonaire and want to get a little exercise with your sightseeing, then a perfect thing to do in Bonaire is to go on a biking tour. You will travel the southern shoreline of the island on an electric bike that allows for you to enjoy the scenery and the beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea. You will stop at such sites such as Witte Pan where you can view historic slave huts, Pink Beach where you can watch the flamingos at Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary and view the salt pans. Biking tours are a great way for families to bond and are perfect for all ages as well as skill levels.
Seru Largu In Bonaire
If you are looking for panoramic views of the varied landscapes on Bonaire, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to take an excursion to Seru Largu. Located in the central portion of the island, Seru Largu translates to Large Hill. Once you are at Seru Largu you will be amazed at the diversity of the landscape on Bonaire as well as enjoying superb views of the Caribbean Sea and Klein Bonaire. Seru Largu also has a monument that is written in the Papiamentu language and reds “Christ, Yesterday, Today and Forever”. Many visitors choose to visit at sunset and then view the incredible stars once dark. If you are around Bonaire for New Year’s Eve you will enjoy a spectacular firework show from the top of Seru Largu. You can visit this monument and hill on several half or full-day excursions of the island that will leave your family smiling.
Photo by J. Stephen Conn
Lake Gotomeer (Goto Lake)
If you like watching birds and you are fascinated with flamingos then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to visit Lake Gotomeer. Located in the northwest section of Bonaire, Lake Gotomeer is situated within the Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Lake Gotomeer is a former sea bay which is separated from the sea by a 210-feet strip of coral reefs. This 383-acre lake is salt water and there are no freshwater inlets leading to the lake. Lake Gotomeer offers travelers a chance to watch fabulous flamingos in their native habit. The surrounding area of Lake Gotomeer has a dry forest with large cacti everywhere. Lake Gotomeer is a fabulous place for photographs and can be accessed by several half and full-day tours that combine stops at Rincon, Washington-Slagbaai National Park as well as Seru Largu.
Photo by BrianBoardman
A trip to the deserted island of Klein Bonaire is an ideal thing to do in Bonaire for everyone from singles to couples to families. Located off the western shoreline of the main island of Bonaire, Klein Bonaire is an undeveloped 1,483-acre island with several stellar white sand beaches for you to enjoy. The island is managed by the Bonaire National Marine Park and offers fantastic scuba diving as well as snorkeling opportunities for travelers of all skill levels. You can reach Klein Bonaire by water taxi which leaves twice daily from the Town Pier in Kralendjk. There are several historic slave huts on Klein Bonaire but there are no services offered so come prepared with whatever you might need from food to drinks to watersport equipment and enjoy a spectacular day on a deserted island.
Photo by Scuba_thib
Woodwind Sailing & Guided Snorkel In Bonaire
If you like to sail and snorkel the blue waters of Caribbean Sea, then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to give Woodwind Sailing and Guided Snorkel a call. Since 2003 Woodwind Sailing and Guided Snorkel has offered incredible snorkeling experiences for cruise ship guests as well as for people staying on the island. You will sail out in a nice 37-foot boat which will take you to some of the most interesting places around Bonaire where there are 86 shore diving sites with many of the sites perfect for snorkeling. Whether you are a beginner or expert there are lots of interesting places to explore in the waters surrounding Bonaire that will leave you with lasting memories.
Photo by Roban Kramer
Sea Cow Snorkeling Trips In Bonaire
When you want to go snorkeling around the waters that surround Klein Bonaire, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to contact Sea Cow Snorkeling Trips. Located in Kralendjk, Sea Cow has several snorkeling trips that are ideal for cruise ship passengers as well as for people staying on the island. Sea Cow has great 3-hour snorkeling excursions that take you to the underwater world that surrounds the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire. They offer tremendous snorkeling opportunities within Bonaire National Marine Park as well as several shore diving sites which are ideal for snorkeling. Whether you are a novice or expert Sea Cow has the ideal snorkeling excursion for you and your family.
Photo by SNORKELINGDIVES.COM
VIP Diving In Bonaire
If you like exploring the underwater world, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to contact VIP Diving. Since 2009, VIP Diving has been offering a wide range of scuba diving services from beginning course to dive master to specialty dives. VIP Diving is the premier shore diving company on Bonaire and offers excursion to most of the 50 shore diving sites around Bonaire as well as many unmarked sites that have tremendous opportunities for viewing different marine life. VIP Diving is a land based company and does not use boats to ferry scuba divers to the various shore sites. This gives your adventure a more personal touch with added narrative about the history of Bonaire as you drive to your destination. When you want to go shore diving a call to VIP Diving is a must do for scuba divers.
Photo by Scuba_thib
Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire
If you like to help rescue animals and are looking for a good way for your family to help, then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to go to the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Located just south of the Bonaire International Airport and the capital city of Kralendjk, the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is the creation of Marina Melis and Ed Koopman who are Dutch Nationalists that opened the sanctuary in 1993. The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is an ideal way to learn about helping distressed animals especially feral donkeys. The sanctuary boasts a comfortable surrounding for sick, orphaned or wounded donkeys that need some tender loving care and a nice place to live. The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire currently gives tours of the grounds for people in cars, riding bikes or by scooter as well as walking excursions of the property. Currently the sanctuary has around 400 donkeys in various stages of care. The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is much more than a petting zoo and a great place for people to learn about helping distressed donkeys from around the Caribbean.
Photo by Roban Kramer
Lac Bay In Bonaire
If you like to windsurf then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to visit the amazing area of Lac Bay. Located on the eastern shoreline of the island, Lac Bay has consistent winds that are perfect for windsurfing. Along Lac Bay is Sorobon Beach where there are several windsurfing shops like Jibe City you can rent equipment or replenish your own at one of the shops. You can find a qualified instructor that can teach novices the basic information on windsurfing as well as instruct experts on new tricks. Lac Bay also offers tremendous snorkeling opportunities but you should be careful and mindful of the windsurfers. Snorkelers will be delighted with the coral reefs that contain such species as elkhorn and staghorn as well as numerous species of marine wildlife. Lac Bay boasts plenty beach thing to do in Bonaire, an area for relaxing and services for food as well as drink can be found at the Hang Out Beach Bar.
Photo by Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
Bari Reef In Bonaire
When you are interested in viewing the number one site for marine life diversity in the Caribbean Sea, then the only thing to do in Bonaire is to snorkel or scuba dive the Bari Reef. Located on the western coastline of the island, Bari Reef is situated directly in front of the Sand Dollar and Den Laman Condominiums. To access Bari Reef you must park just south of the Den Laman Condominiums because you cannot use the docks unless you are staying at one of these properties. Once in water the Bari Reef is spectacular with over 404 known species of marine life such as spot yellowhead jawfish, moray, tarpon, barracuda, sea horse as well as several species sponges like rope and elephant ear. Snorkeling depths around the docks is roughly 10-feet and the Bari Reef’s sandy bottom is some 130-feet deep if you are scuba diving the area. The coral reef in this area is stunning and spawning takes place in August of every year.
Photo by SNORKELINGDIVES.COM
Jibe City In Bonaire
When you are seeking a premier place to windsurf or learn how to windsurf, then the ideal thing to do in Bonaire is to visit Jibe City. Located on the eastern coastline overlooking Lac Bay, Jibe City is situated directly on Sorboron Beach. Jibe City is perfect for novices and experts with consistent winds as well as plenty of blue ocean water. Jibe City offers a lesson for people of all ages, rentals of windsurfs and standup paddleboards as well as there is an onsite shop boasting a wide selection of windsurfing items. Jibe City has a laid back atmosphere and you can grab a cold libation or lunch at the Hang Out Bar which serves up island specialties as well as live music.
Photo by Paul Arps
Slave Huts In Bonaire
If you like learning about history and culture when you travel, then the perfect thing to do in Bonaire is to visit the several slave huts that exist on the island. Slave huts are located around the island at places like Rincon, Cabaje and the various salt pans. The slave huts were originally constructed with coral stone and thatched roofs but have since been restored with more durable material on the roofs. The slave huts are a reminder of the slave trade and plantations that the Dutch West Indies Company carried out throughout the Caribbean. The slave huts are small with little room for a person to stand-up inside and only a small hole as a door and were constructed to sleep six people. At the Witte Pan you will find a marker that explains the various plantations and salt industry that occupied Bonaire.
Photo by BrianBoardman
Salt Pier In Bonaire
The Salt Pier is one of the most spectacular things to do in Bonaire for shore diving. Located on the western coastline of the island near the salt pans, the Salt Pier is owned by Cargill Salt Company and scuba divers must receive permission before entering the water. The Salt Pier has a tremendous amount of growth on the pilings with numerous species of sponges and corals. You can scuba dive at the Salt anytime throughout the day or night. The amount of tropical fish that congregate around the pilings is amazing and you might even see an occasional barracuda. With its colorful corals and sponges as well as thousands of tropical fish, the Salt Pier is a perfect place for underwater photography.
Photo by amanderson2
If you are seeking a premier company that offers plenty of things to do in Bonaire, then you should trust Outdoor Bonaire for that perfect excursion. Outdoor Bonaire has been in the business for over 10 years and boasts a wide range of options for outdoor adventure. Founder and guide, Hans Voerman, has a wide portfolio of experience from sailing to dive instructor to offshore survival teacher. Outdoor Bonaire can take you kayaking through mangrove forests, snorkeling in underwater caves and hiking around the beautiful tropical landscape of Bonaire. Other tour options include climbing, rappelling, birdwatching and even team building on request. You can mix and match different adventures to make your own special moment that will leave lasting memories forever.
Photo by Photo RNW.org
Fort Oranje In Bonaire
Fort Oranje is an easy thing to do in Bonaire for families, groups and couples who like want a premier view of the Caribbean Sea and the capital city of Kralendjk. Located just steps from the cruise ship port in Kralendjk, Fort Oranje was constructed in 1639 by the Dutch. The fort is small but very well kept and portions have been rebuilt over the years. Fort Oranje has four canons that were originally taken from a British warship in the early 1800s. You can see photographs of the older buildings within the fort as you stroll through the grounds. The wooden tower was replaced in 1932 with the present day stone structure which can be seen as cruise ships approach the island. Over the years Fort Oranje has been occupied by government offices like the police, fire department and was the governor’s mansion until 1837.
Photo by Roger W
Hilma Hooker In Bonaire
If you are a scuba diver and want to visit one of the best shipwrecks for diving in the Caribbean, then the only thing to do in Bonaire is to scuba diving at Hilma Hooker. Located just offshore between two coral reefs, the Hilma Hooker rests on the sandy sea bottom in an area known to scuba divers as Angel City. Hilma Hooker was constructed in 1951 and named Midsland and was later renamed the Hilma Hooker in 1979. The ship was detained on Bonaire when a secret cargo hull was found with 25,000 pounds of marijuana. Subsequently when the owner did not claim the ship, Hilma Hooker was towed to anchorage and would later fill with water. When the ship began to dramatically list on September 12, 1984, the Hilma Hooker found its new resting place 100-feet in the water on the Caribbean Sea floor. Although the 240-feet long Hilma Hooker offers little penetration diving, scuba divers have a prime place to view the colorful underwater world as well as visit the coral reefs of Angel City.
Photo by amanderson2
Bonaire East Coast Diving
Taking a dive with Bonaire East Coast Diving is the best thing to do in Bonaire if you want to experience the underwater world off the east coast of the island. Bonaire East Coast Diving has the only boat on the island that has been specially designed for the rougher seas that exist on the east coast of Bonaire. Bonaire East Coast Diving has explored almost all of the sites located between Willemstoren lighthouse and Boka Onima on the east coast. They can assure you of an excellent adventure and are open to helping you complete the perfect dive of your choice. Bonaire East Coast Diving offers two daily dives that can accommodate up to 10 people for each diving adventure. When you are ready to dive the east coast of Bonaire the only people to call are Bonaire East Coast Diving.
Dive Friends Bonaire
If you are a scuba diver, then welcome to underwater world that exists around the island of Bonaire. Dive Friends Bonaire is one of the most convenient things to do in Bonaire because of their five tank fill locations and four different retail stores where you can replenish your supplies. When you do go out to sea with Dive Friends Bonaire they will assure that you do not visit any of the offshore sites and they offer two tank dives daily. Dive Friends Bonaire can accommodate a wide range of scuba divers from novices to certification to rescue to expert deep divers. Dive Friends Bonaire has been in operation since 2002 and can make a detailed diving plan or schedule for you based on your needs as well as experience. They offer a wide variety of specialty courses that appeal to all types of scuba divers and are sure to have an adventure that will leave lasting memories.
Bonaire National Marine Park
The Bonaire National Marine Park is a must see thing to do in Bonaire if you are a scuba diver or snorkeler. Located on the western coastline of the island just south of Kralendjk, the Bonaire National Marine Park is situated on 6,700-acres within the Caribbean Sea. The Bonaire Marine National Park was established in 1979 and features such fascinating areas as mangroves, fringing reefs and seagrasses. Within Bonaire Marine National Park the fringing coral reefs are home to more than 340 species of marine life and the mangrove areas are home to many species of birds like flamingos, ospreys, herons and frigate birds. The seagrass beds are ideal for green turtles and queen conch as well as a variety of reef fish species. The Bonaire Marine National Park also oversees conservation efforts at the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire which is an important nesting ground for hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. With a wide range of activities available at Bonaire Marine National Park your family will surly find those lasting memories of Bonaire.
Washington-Slagbaai National Park In Bonaire
If you like to relax or hike in the natural environment and are a fan of national parks, then the perfect thing to do in Bonaire for you is to experience the Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Located in the northwestern section of the island, the Washington-Slagbaai National Park is situated on two former plantations and encompasses 14,000 acres in size. The Washington-Slagbaai National Park was founded in 1969 when the Dutch government secured the Washington plantation. The former plantations were instrumental in providing charcoal, salt, divi-divi pods, goats and aloe extract to the neighboring islands and Europe. Today the park is known for being the home to over 200 species of birds as well as allowing for world class hiking experiences. You can take an intense hike on the Kasikunda Climbing Trail or something easier like the Lagadishi Walking Trail. A trip to Washington-Slagbaai National Park is an ideal thing to do in Bonaire for viewing several habitats from salt flats to caves to mangroves to cactus to sandy beaches. You can make a whole day adventure by combing a stopover at the historical city of Rincon and view the slave huts as well as learning interesting facts about Bonaire’s history.
The Cadushy Distillery In Bonaire
If you like to experience firsthand knowledge on how many types of liquors are made, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to take a visit to the Cadushy Distillery. Located near the town of Rincon in the northern section of the island, the Cadushy Distillery is unique in the fact that cactus is the main ingredient in the distilling process. The Cadushy Distillery distills several types of liquor from vodka to rum to whiskey and all are made from cactus. When you visit the Cadushy Distillery you can learn the process of making the different types of liquor as well as the history of Bonaire. At the Cadushy Distillery you can sit in the tropical courtyard and sip your favorite drink or try something new like a Green Bonaire with Cadushy of Bonaire Liqueur or a Curacao Blue with Cadushy vodka. You can combine a tour of Cadushy Distillery with a walk through the historic city of Rincon or a stop at the Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei.
Van Den Tweel Supermarket In Bonaire
If you are looking to cook your meals in the apartment or condominium that you rented, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to stock up on groceries at Van Den Tweel Supermarket. Located near the end of Kaya Industria in Kralendjk, Van Den Tweel Supermarket is the largest and most modern grocery store on the island. Van Den Tweel Supermarket is owned by Albert Heijn which is a Dutch corporation and is open from 8 A.M. until 8 P.M. every day of the week. You will find fresh cheeses, meats, fruits and plenty of other staples to please your pallet after a relaxing day on the beach or your daily adventure. Van Den Tweel Supermarket also sells local and Dutch specialties around the holidays like olieballen which is similar to doughnut.
Terramar Museum In Bonaire
If you are searching for a great family learning adventure, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to go visit the Terramar Museum. Located in the heart of Kralendjk, the Terramar Museum is situated in one of the few historical buildings left in downtown Kralendjk. The Terramar Museum will take you from 7,000 years ago to present day Bonaire in a unique learning environment that includes many interactive exhibits. You will view interesting archaeological and historical facts about the salt industry, slaves and the early inhabitants of Bonaire. You can listen to fabulous folklore tales while you stroll through the museum. When you get hungry there is a three restaurants onsite that include the Illy Coffee Company for libations and tapas; the Ice Cream Parlor Luciano makes award winning ice creams and La Creperie has wonderful Belgian waffles as well as French pancakes.
Rancho Washikemba In Bonaire
If you like to experience horseback riding in a magnificent island setting, then the best thing to do in Bonaire is to visit Rancho Washikemba. Located in the Washikemba area near Lagoon, Rancho Washikemba is situated in a rugged landscape on the eastern portion of Bonaire. Rancho Washikemba was constructed in 2010 and contains 11 stables, an arena, patio, tropical garden and beautiful pasture or kunuku. Rancho Washikemba offers a wide variety of services from riding instruction to horseback riding tours to even taking your horse into the Caribbean Sea for a swim. During their excursions you will have expert guides help you with your horse and give you interesting narrative about the island. Horseback riding at Rancho Washikemba is a fantastic way for families to bond and have a great day on Bonaire.
Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary In Bonaire
The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is a perfect thing to do in Bonaire for viewing the incredible variety of birds including flamingos that flock to Bonaire. Located in the southern portion of the island near Lake Gotomeer and Pink Beach, the Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is situated in a large white salt pan. The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary has a pink color that is created by the millions of rose colored brine shrimp that live in the water. The white salt flats are a great contrast to the pinkish looking area. The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary cannot be entered and watching the beautiful flamingos from a distance is a great way to see these magnificent birds. The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is one of only four breeding places in the world for flamingos. Birdwatchers will also enjoy viewing osprey, heron, cormorants and frigate birds. You can include a day with Witte Pan for a perfect memory of Bonaire.
Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei In Bonaire
If you are looking for an interesting thing to do in Bonaire and like mingling with the locals as well as learning about the culture, then the Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei is perfect for you. Located near the village of Rincon, the Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei is composed by the second oldest house on Bonaire that overlooks many traditional style houses. The building that still stands was constructed in 1824 and was used primarily to store staples for the slaves. During the daytime hours the Cultural Park Manganzina di Rei hosts several tours that stop by and people walk the area for around 30-minutes before leaving to their next destination. The Cultural Park Manganzina di Rei offers several great thing to do in Bonaire - souvenir shops and a bar for refreshments as well as a big party on the last Saturday night of each month. On this day many local vendors and musicians bring the Cultural Park Manganzina di Rei alive with plenty of entertaining performances.