Bonaire is a small mostly flat island that is part of the Netherlands’ overseas territories. Along with Aruba and Curacao it makes up the ABC islands – Bonaire is by far the least developed of these three islands. Very popular with divers – there are numerous marked dive sites – especially along the Queens Highway north of Kralendijk (the primary town on the island). Many of these dive sites can be accessed directly from the shore.
The island is quite dry – with plenty of cacti scattered throughout it’s landscape. And the temperature is fairly constant throughout the year – often with breezes blowing (some wind turbines are located on the island).
Highlights include the Cargill Salt Works – an active salt production company (used to be more common in the Caribbean), tiny slave huts, the Cadushy Distillery which is known for their cactus produced liqueur (and a variety of tastings on site), the town of Rincon (the oldest community in all of the ABC Islands), a land sailing race track where those spirited with a sense of adventure can sit behind the wheel (no brakes) and whiz around the track and the Bonaire Botanical Garden where a personalized tour with Manuel reveals the diversity of medicinal plants on site.
And no trip to Bonaire is complete unless you see some of the famous pink flamingos – good viewing spots include Goto Meer – next to Washington Slagbaai National Park and the Oranje Pan in the southern part of the island.
Kralendijk is a small town spread among the waterfront – good place for casual walking, although it gets a bit busy when a cruise ship is in port. A culinary highlight of a stop here is the restaurant, It Rains Fishes.
For more information about spending some time on this lovely island, visit: www.tourismbonaire.com