Flamingo Sanctuary Photo from Bonaire Tourism
Bonaire Island Caribbean ABC Island
Bonaire Island

The Unique Island of Bonaire

Bonaire is a gorgeous island in the Leeward Antilles of the Caribbean Sea. In fact, it is one of the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao and is located 80 km (50 miles) off the coast of Venezuela. Even more alluring is the fact that The ABC Islands lie outside Hurricane Alley.

Bonaire’s capital and its main port are Kralendijk, whose name comes from the Dutch word for “coral reef. As well, there is a coral reef surrounding the island. This reef draws divers from all over the world. However, the Island is small and covers about 112 square miles. In fact, it is just 24 miles (39 kilometers) long and about 9 miles (11 kilometers) wide.

The Island has unsurpassed natural beauty within its small footprint. As well, a bounty of diverse ethnic influence adds to its rich history, culture, and it’s delicious cuisine. The Island has a long history of nature preservation. As such, its citizens work to find the delicate balance between environmental protection and growth. They strive to maintain their nature and culture in tandem. Above all, their dedication and drive determined its recognition as a “Blue Destination.” https://www.tourismbonaire.com/bonaire-blue-destination Furthermore, Bonaire is a world leader in the development of sustainability and economic growth opportunities.

Bonaire Island and its beautiful beaches
Bonaire Island and its beautiful beaches

Fun Fact

More than 20% of the total land area of Bonaire and 100% of the waters surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire are National Parks and protected by this designation.

Bonaire Island is a Top Diving Destination

Bonaire is recognized as one of the top destinations in the world for diving. In fact, the entire coastline of Bonaire is designated as a marine sanctuary. Actually, the Island’s narrow, fringing reef practically starts at the shoreline and extends to a maximum depth of 200 feet (60m). Furthermore, this entire area is protected as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park. Additionally, for the 28th consecutive year, Bonaire was recognized by “Scuba Diving Magazine” as the number one Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This honor is a “Readers’ Choice Award.”

Diving in Bonaire
Diving in Bonaire

Enjoy Bonaire Island’s Beaches and its many water sports

Bonaire Island boasts 22 stunning beaches. It also offers a selection of kite surfing, windsurfing, boating, sailing, diving, and snorkeling activities.

As a special note:

Users of the Bonaire Marine Park are required to buy the Marine Park Tag. The cost of the tag is $45.00 for divers and $25.00 US for all other users.

Revenue from the Nature Fee provides the funds to manage the parks and to guarantee Bonaire’s lasting success in nature protection and conservation.

Coral Reef photo from Bonaire Tourism
Coral Reef photo from Bonaire Tourism

The Best Time to Visit Bonaire

A great time for you to visit Bonaire is from May to October. Not only is it less crowded, but you will find lodging rates are also lower than they are November through April, which is Peak Season. Also, during “Peak Season,” the desirable 80-degree temperature produces busy hotels, restaurants, and beaches. This, too, results in higher prices overall. A lovely time to visit is between January and July. If these dates are in your plan, make sure to include a visit to Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary. Here you will see thousands of pink, Caribbean flamingos during their breeding season. 

What’s more, Bonaire’s temperate climate and unique location, just north of the equator and safely outside the hurricane belt, pose little threat of tropical storms, no matter the season. That said, anytime you choose to visit will be the “right time.”

Photo from Tourism Bonaire

Cultural event and activities on Bonaire Island

An array of events and festivals are held in Bonaire each year

  • Simadan Festival, a folk festival held in April, was originally a harvest event.
  • Bonaire Dive Festival Bonaire hosts this festival each year in June. It focuses on conservation. The non-profit organization CORAL (Coral Reef Alliance) holds the event to raise awareness of the need to preserve marine life and maintain its reefs’ beauty.
  • Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival is held every July. This “Jazz Fest” features numerous concerts and activities. In fact, each year, hundreds of visitors and musicians come to the Island for workshops and interactive events that promote jazz and music among the young population.
  • Bonaire International Sailing Regatta is an annual sailing event that takes place every October. The regatta includes a variety of boat races along the coast. Also, vessels worldwide come to compete in the race while numerous windsurfing and freestyle competitions occur.

Bonaire Wellness

In the end, a trip to the Caribbean is not complete without a rejuvenating trip to the health spa. That said, this sunny Island with its desirable climate promotes a desire for relaxation, fitness, health, and wellbeing. You will discover that Bonaire’s nature and beauty are prime for an array of outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, kayaking, and more. However, if you want to pamper yourself and experience a relaxing opportunity to reinvigorate your body, you will discover ample Spa and wellness facilities to meet your needs.

More eco-adventures await you on Bonaire

In the end, whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a more active experience, Bonaire has a variety of options for everyone. That said, come and enjoy the fantastic weather and experiences the Island has to offer.

by Danette Ulrich

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