Bonaire Travel and Dive Information
An island surrounded by an oasis of reefs
Because the island of Bonaire essentially is nothing but an exposed mountaintop, the coral reefs begin within easy swimming distance of the rocky shoreline. Snorkeling is almost as good as the diving.
Not everything takes place underwater. Bonaire's developing ecotourism offers kayaking, nature hikes, bird watching and long distance cycling (a perfect activity here since much of the island is pancake flat).
A nature tour is an excellent way to get to know the island, no matter how well you think you know it.
Pronounced "Crawl-in-dike" and meaning coral dike, Kralendijk is Bonaire 's main city. Quite small, you can walk the entire length of the business district in less than 10 minutes. Kralendijk's shopping is limited compared to neighboring Aruba and Curacao.
But the waterfront restaurants specializing in seafood and Indonesian cuisine are second to none. They're also perfectly situated for watching the rare and famous green flash at sunset.
An easy place to explore by rental car, Bonaire's 24-mile length is divided into two distinct districts, north and south. At the northern tip, 13,500-acre Washington-Slagbaai National Park protects birdlife, especially migratory species. Flamingoes, the island's national symbol, inhabit the park but you'll probably see more at Goto Meer, on your drive to the park entrance.
Flamingoes, in fact, traditionally have outnumbered people on Bonaire. Their main nesting grounds are at the island's southern end, within the boundaries of the massive solar salt works.
Bonaire also has some excellent caving that demands little skill beyond handling a flashlight. Some caves contain Arawak petroglyphs. Lac Bay, located not far from the solar salt works, provides ideal conditions for windsurfing.
However, it's Bonaire's easy shore diving, the Caribbean's best, that makes it so popular.
The reefs are protected and all divers and snorkelers. pay an annual park entrance fee.
It was introduced by Capt. Don Stewart, the man who made Bonaire famous.
Easy Shore Diving