Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

,, Bonaire's countryside is far more interesting than its towns, and the best way to see it is independently and leisurely by rental car. An organized guided tour can cover the highlights in 3 or 4 hours if time is limited. At the top of the must-see list is Washington/Slagbaai National Park, followed by Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary, but neither compares with the remarkable underwater attractions.(C.T., 2019)

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“Bonaire is not ‘picture perfect,’ partly because two-thirds of the island was left to nature rather than being manicured to suit tourist tastes. This rawness suited me perfectly. However, the high prices are an issue. It is said that almost everything costs as much as 40 percent more than in the Netherlands. But they produce almost nothing on the island. I chose the island for kite surfing, but to be honest, after five days, I was getting tired of always doing the same thing in the same place. The problem was with my enthusiasm. Towards the end, we should have spent more time snorkeling.” (2021)


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“Bonaire's flora and fauna are not very diverse but are all the more exotic and charming for that. The highways are teeming with iguanas, and domesticated, and now free-living donkeys keep a suspicious eye on tourists from the side of the road. Flocks of tiny hummingbirds fly around the bushes. The giant cacti, which grow up to 10 meters tall, are used by the locals to make hedges to keep curious and hungry donkeys away from their well-kept gardens. If you look closely at the license plates of the island's cars, you will notice that they all feature the slogan ‘Divers’ paradise.’ This is no surprise, as the strictly protected coral reef, with its exceptional features and diverse and very rich marine life, offers plenty of attractions and diving adventures for those who enjoy diving. From large predatory fish to turtles, rays, and green morays, you can encounter almost all kinds of interesting aquatic life, making it, in effect, a spectacular, open-water aquarium experience that you can visit, and you can even explore the wreck of the sunken ship ‘Hilma Hooker’. After spending a few weeks on the island, you will look at fast-paced Western life through different eyes.”

Practicals

Transport

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Bonaire - water taxi

Food

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Bonaire - rich sandwich

Public safety

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Bonaire - sign

Health

Tap water in Bonaire is drinkable and even tastes good. The island has its water filtering system

Background

Bonaire - national flag - The black circle symbolizes a compass, referring to the image of the Bonaireans as good sailors and fisherman

Destination in brief

Bonaire is a part of the so-called ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) islands, off the northern coast of Venezuela.

Population: 20,104 (2020)

Capital city: Kralendijk

Language: The official language is Dutch, but for about 58% of the inhabitants, the Papiamentu (a native language) is the primary language. For only 16% of the population, Dutch is their primary language, and 15% have Spanish as their main language.

Bonaire used to be part of a constituent country named the Netherlands Antilles. This country (belonging to the Kingdom of Netherlands), however, was dissolved in 2010.   That left Bonaire as a particular municipality of the Netherlands (along with Sint Eustatius and Saba.)

Bonaire has informally acknowledged as the shore diving capital of the world. More than 50 shore diving sites ring the coastline.

Climate

Because of its unique position in the Leeward Antilles, Bonaire very rarely get a direct hit from hurricanes. Bonaire has only been hit by the core of a hurricane every 29 years (on average), making this the perfect Caribbean destination during hurricane season.

Attractions

Kralendijk

Bonaire - Kralendijk - Kaya J.N.E. Craane - s.v. photo

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