The Best Bonaire Travel Guide – From Bonaire’s pristine waters to their tallest peak, Brandaris, you will feel the magic of Bonaire wash over you. From the moment you arrive and throughout your visit, you will enjoy Bonaire’s unhurried pace. On Bonaire, there is a peaceful ambiance for daily life, without the hassle of traffic lights, hustle and bustle, or normal, day-to-day worries. Nowhere else is vacationing as easy as on Bonaire, as our warm, friendly people welcome visitors from around the world. Bonaire has a reputation for being one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, however visitors should take normal precautions and keep personal properties secure. Hotels have safes to store passports, tickets and other valuables.
A small island with a desert landscape, Bonaire is not for everyone, but it is definitely for divers and snorkelers. The beauty of Bonaire is that the coral reef, designated a national park, is just a few feet from the shoreline. Dozens of exceptional dive sites are easily accessible from the shore and teeming with life, making this island an independent diver’s (and snorkeler’s) paradise.
One of the most notable features that greet arriving visitors is the line of white salt pyramids at the southeastern end of the island. Each pyramid stands about 50 fee high, of 99.6% pure salt. The solar salt facility, one of the largest in the Caribbean, is today owned by Cargill, a Minnesota based private company. The facility covers approximately 13 percent of the island.
In Bonaire you will find world-class windsurfing on Lac Bay and excellent kayaking among the mangroves. There are plenty of biking trails thru the hills, and driving routes to show off the island’s historical and natural sights. Classy but low-key resorts and restaurants complete the picture – perfect for travelers who prefer their adventure with some amenities. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on Bonaire, visit here, or visit us on Pinterest.
Bonaire Weather – When to Visit Bonaire
Bonaire is blessed with one of the gentlest climates in the Caribbean, with very little rainfall (less than 22 inches annually) and a prevailing easterly trade wind that provides a consistent 15 mph breeze.
The best time to visit Bonaire is from May to October when there are fewer crowds and bargain hotel rates. If you’re planning a winter getaway, keep in mind that December through April is Bonaire’s peak season, so there will be packed hotels and higher prices. Bonaire’s temperate climate and unique location, just north of the equator and safely outside the hurricane belt, poses little threat of tropical storms, no matter the season. During January and February is the Karnaval which is Bonaire’s biggest celebration. It includes music and costumes, parades and parties.
Top 5 Bonaire Beaches
No Name Beach, Klein Bonaire
Klein Bonaire is a little piece of paradise right in front of Bonaire. No inhabitants, no buildings and no facilities are found here. You can enjoy a beautiful drift snorkel along the reefs that surround Klein Bonaire. Take a 15-minute water taxi ride here.
The beautiful shallow water Lac Bay is located in the South-West of Bonaire. From your beach chair you have the most amazing view over the bay, where local and international windsurf champions practice their tricks. Watch the pros, have a drink at the Hangout Beach Bar and enjoy life.
Te Amo Beach
Together with Donkey Beach, Te Amo is one of the local people’s favorite beaches. During weekends there’s a lot of sunbathing, swimming, playing and BBQ-ing going on! A nice reef is located right in front of Te Amo, so definitely take your snorkel gear. On the beach is Kite City, a food truck that serves excellent fresh (fish) dishes.
Bachelor’s Beach consists of a small, sandy, white beach, accessed by a rocky path/stairs. Atop is a small seafront area with some tables and benches. Take your cooler and watch one of Bonaire’s spectacular sunsets from up here.
Donkey Beach is a stretched out beach with some nice sandy areas and easy access to the Caribbean Sea. You can find some shadow under one of the trees. During weekends Donkey Beach gets rather crowded with a great local vibe and atmosphere.
Best Bonaire Restaurants
At Sea $31 – 60
Not just the best restaurant in Bonaire — one of the best restaurants in the Caribbean — period. Every meal is a culinary adventure — and will challenge your notions of traditional food. No visit to Bonaire is complete without a meal here — if you can get a table. The menu is best to describe as International cuisine with a Caribbean and creative twist. Telephone: 599-701–0134 Web: At Sea.
Capriccio Ristorante $31 – 60
The pastas and breads are house-made. The wine cellar includes hundreds of labels and thousands of bottles. Ask for a pairing with your meal to fit your taste and your budget. You can opt for casual à la carte dining on the terrace or a romantic meal in the tonier, air-conditioned dining room. If your appetite is hearty, go for the five-course prix-fixe menu. Otherwise, choose from 50 regular offerings. Telephone: 599-717-7230 Web: Capriccio Ristorante.
La Balandra $31 – 60
Its breathtaking location, creative specialties and nautical décor have made it a guest favorite for years and guarantees an unforgettable dining experience. La Balandra features Chef Johnny Statie, who delights guests with his original culinary creations. La Balandra offers a breakfast menu and an all-day Club Menu, as well as cocktails at the bar. Beach Service is also available. Candlelight dining on the beach is available upon prior request. Telephone: 599-717-7500 Web: La Balandra.
Bistro de Paris $11 – 30
Serving the best French food on Bonaire, owner Patrice Rannou has transformed a marina venue into an intimate dining setting. There are two delightful dining experiences on-site–-Bistro de Paris with a traditional evening menu, and Zazu Bar, offering a casual light bite menu. Both offer a French-international cuisine from a lovely waterfront terrace location. Jazz nights, held every other Tuesday, are quite popular and reservations are recommended for this dining and music event. Wednesday is Divemaster Night featuring 8-ounce burgers and free house rum when purchasing a cola. Telephone: 599-717-7070 Web: Bistro de Paris.
Hang Out Bar $11 – 30
Hang Out Bar offers libations and tasty delights including fresh house-made smoothies and healthy and delicious salads and sandwiches, and there’s always a daily special, usually fresh-caught fish. They also serve Dutch snack treats including bitterballen (meatballs) and frikkendel (hot dog). There’s a lively bar scene, with a great happy hour. Free beach loungers and plenty of tables and chairs in the shade, as well as free Wi-Fi are available. Select evenings feature local and international music acts. Telephone: 599-717-5064 Web: Hang Out Bar.
Best Bonaire Bars & Nightlife
Hang Out Beach Bar
Is an Island-style living spot! The bar is covered in surfboards, license plates from all over the world, driftwood art and is full of Caribbean colors. The drinks are ice cold and the sandwiches and salads at lunch time are delicious. They are also famous for their table BBQ every Thursday night. Another Hang Out event is the monthly Full Moon party! The Hang Out Beachbar is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, Sundays they stay open until the last person leaves. Telephone: 599-717-5064 Web: Hang Out Bar.
Karel’s Beach Bar
You can’t overlook it while strolling on the downtown boulevard. This famous bar on the pier is well known with all locals and visitors on the Island and you can enjoy a coffee in the morning, a cocktail at Happy Hour, a beer at night and it has a great view of the Caribbean sea all day long. It has a vibrant nightlife with DJ’s and many events. Every Wednesday Karel’s Beach Bar has a Karaoke night. Telephone: 599-717-8434 Web: Karel’s Beach Bar.
The Beach Hut
Here you find the perfect laid-back atmosphere to enjoy a cool drink and a bite next to the blue waters of Lac. The boat shaped bar looks over the bay where windsurf freestylers will amaze you with their world famous tricks. The Beach Hut is specialized in locally fished tuna that comes in fresh almost every day. You can order healthy fruit shakes and cocktails and they also serve excellent coffee. The Beach Hut is open daily from 10 AM to 6.30 PM, no shoes are required. Telephone: 599-701-6500 Web: The Beach Hut.
Spice Beach Club
Is a trendy beach bar and the perfect spot at any time of the day. Enjoy a lounge chair on the beach or your cold drink around the pool, grab a bite for lunch or dinner and watch the sun go down. Dance barefoot in the white sand after sunset with a DJ or live music. Spice Beach Club offers special evenings and great events that are most often free to enter. Telephone: 599-717-8060 Web: Spice Beach Club.
Zazu Bar at The Bistro de Paris
Is located on the north entry of the Harbor Village Marina. This bar is a favorite by visitors and locals alike. The friendly and relaxed atmosphere make it possible to come in on flip-flops and shorts. Every Wednesday they have a “Dive master” nigh with a great hamburger deal. After your drink, you can have dinner in an air-conditioned room or on the terrace overlooking the marina. Telephone: 599-717-7070 Web: Zazu Bar at the Bistro de Paris.