Add Bonaire Island To Your Bucket List Destinations

If you’re the type to embark on an escape from the ordinary, Bonaire Island will become a playground of unparalleled experiences. The island is located in the Netherlands and is part of the ABC Islands in the Dutch Caribbean (with Aruba and Curaçao). This hidden gem boasts its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and a mellow atmosphere that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Plan a holiday in Bonaire Island if activities like scenic hikes, diving into crystal clear waters, and exploring wildlife excite you. The island exudes beauty and authenticity, which people of all ages and interests would delight in.

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Promoting sustainability in Bonaire Island

Turquoise waters, white beaches, and tropical trees will greet you the moment you step onto Bonaire Island. Generations of people prioritized preserving the island so it remains largely untouched. 

“We are merely stewards of the island, protecting it for the future the way it was protected for us,” says their website. “It’s a responsibility we take very seriously.”

The island balances economic growth with environmental sustainability. Its first marine park went up and running in 1962 and led renewable energy initiatives. Efforts like the Reef Renewal Foundation ensures the locals uphold the health of Bonaire’s natural resources at the highest regard. Check this link to explore the rest of their causes for nature.

The island will appeal to tourists who seek calm away from the daily rush of life. Anyone is simply free to choose how to spend their day when in Bonaire Island.

“Once a visitor, always a friend,” so they say.

A vacation to Bonaire Island is an exceptional experience due to its laid-back way of life, culture, and vibrant marine beings and wildlife.

Exploring sanctuaries and the town capital

The surrounding blue waters make Bonaire Island an ideal place for watersports and other water-related activities. Vacationers can enjoy snorkeling, free diving, and technical diving, among other things. However, there is more to the island than just delighting in the beaches and its more than 85 diving spots.

One of the island’s must-do upon visiting is exploring its capital city, Kralendijk. The word means coral reef or coral dike in English. The town is lively and colorful, where people can enjoy Caribbean architecture. It is also a popular cruise ship destination due to their recent infrastructure upgrades, according to U.S. News. Museums and malls populate the town, so do trendy cafes and places to meet local artisans.

Kralendijk is Bonaire Island’s capital city and is a popular cruise ship stop
Kralendijk is Bonaire Island’s capital city and is a popular cruise ship stop/Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Slagbaai National Park and the Bonaire Marine Park are also among the places one should include in their itinerary. The former is situated in a 4,286 hectare-area, in the northwest part of the island. It is a safe habitat for endemic or endangered species of Bonaire like parrots, flamingos, parakeets, iguanas, and other species of birds and reptiles. 

Getting to the Washington Slagbaai National Park will require getting on a four-wheeled vehicle.

Meanwhile, Bonaire Marine Park consists of 2,700 hectares of coral reef, seagrass beds, and mangroves. It serves as the habitat of 50 coral varieties and 350 species of reef fish. UNESCO deemed the park’s reefs, mangroves, and seagrass meadows as “in superb condition.” 

A liqueur made from cactus

You’re in for an unusual surprise if you get to visit Bonaire Island’s The Cadushy Distillery. It is a place where the world’s only liqueur is made from cactus. Tourists should visit it to learn about Cadushy’s distilling process. 

Some of their cactus-derived drinks are: the Cadushy Vodka, “Salu!” or their Caribbean gin, and Cadushy of Bonaire, an island drink. 

One of Bonaire Island’s most interesting offering is their cactus-based liqueur, like this island drink: Cadushy of Bonaire
One of Bonaire Island’s most interesting offerings is their cactus-based liqueur, like this island drink: Cadushy of Bonaire/Photo via Instagram @cadushy

Explore The Cadushy Distillery’s inventory of must-try drinks on their website.

The culinary delights of Bonaire Island

Bonaire’s culinary scene has international influences, reflecting its history as a crossroad of trade. Its restaurants offer a Caribbean twist on international dishes which they pair with wines around the world.

Part of their local gastronomic adventure features seafood, goat, local fruits like soursop and mango. They also highlight sweet treats like rum raisin cake and exotic ice cream flavors like Ponche Crema and their tropical sorbets. 

Other must-visit attractions

Including Pink Beach Bonaire in one’s island itinerary is recommended. The breathtaking playa gets its color from millions of foraminifera’s crushed shells. The species are microscopic, bright pink sea creatures. It is an excellent beach to visit for those looking into doing snorkeling or scuba diving, or having picnics with your friends or family.

The pink sands are made up of crushed pink shells from “foraminiferas”
The pink sands are made up of crushed pink shells from “foraminiferas” /Photo via Instagram @bonaireisland

Another attraction that one must visit is Gotomeer, a saltwater lagoon near the island’s northern end. This serves as a flamingo hangout as the animals may be seen in the area. The best time to visit is between January to June.

Flamingos mingle together in the water
Flamingos mingle together in the water/Photo via Instagram @bonaireisland

Tourists may also visit Bonaire Island’s cave formations. Several of them are readily accessible while some are filled with water. Stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and helictites populate the caves and some have ancient coral imprints. More than 400 caves presently exist in the island.

Include these places when you decide to embark on an adventure in Bonaire.

Bonaire is rich with its picturesque landscapes, stretches of sand and seawater, its culture, and its global flavors. Its welcoming atmosphere ensures a trip that is one for the books for travelers seeking an authentic, enriching Caribbean getaway. 

Banner photo via Instagram @bonaireisland.

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