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. Now view our Bonaire travel guide to help plan your next Bonaire vacation!
Bonaire Weather – When to Visit
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.
Bonaire National Marine Park
The Bonaire National Marine Park is the island’s star attraction, a unique and precious resource that attracts divers and snorkelers to explore miles of pristine coral reef. The protected area covers the entire coast of the island, including Klein Bonaire, to a depth of 200ft. Between the two islands, there are about 90 named dive sites, many of which are accessible from the shore. Look for the painted yellow rocks. Conservation is taken seriously. Divers new to Bonaire must do an orientation and check-out dive at a local dive shop, to get comfortable with weights, conditions and park rules.
Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire
Do you feel like you are surrounded by donkeys? You will in Bonaire, because the animals live free and wild on the island. The vast Donkey Sanctuary offers safe haven for these gentle creatures. Visitors can meet the newborns and survivors in the special-care unit, observe the droves from the watchtower, and drive the circuit to meet all the resident jack and jennies. Bring some carrots and you’ll make some friends, for sure!
About 1km off the coast of Kralendijk, this little deserted island is where you’ll find the region’s most attractive beach, No Name Beach. There are no facilities, aside from the marked dive sites. But this is a popular spot for cruisers and other beach bums who come over to snorkel the turquoise waters and lounge on the white sands.
Echo Parrot Sanctuary
Bonaire’s most beloved bird is the Yellow-throated Amazon Parrot, but the lora is endangered with threat of extinction and there’s less than a thousand birds living on Bonaire. Learn about Echo’s efforts to preserve the parrot’s habitat, rehabilitate injured birds and save the lora.
1000 Steps Beach
Located just north of Kralendijk on the island’s west coast, 1,000 Steps Beach boasts pristine azure waters and an impressive, multihued display of coral, sponges, and fish. Though it’s a popular diving spot for locals and tourists, 1,000 Steps doesn’t cater to the landlubber set. The beach is rough with a narrow strip of sand, and cacti shrubs dot the shoreline—not ideal conditions for sunbathing. But even if you don’t plan on exploring the sea life, the view from the top of the limestone steps is worth the trip. Note: There are no diving schools located on 1,000 Steps, so you must bring your own scuba gear. And as long as you’re carrying a nature permit, you do not have to pay to dive here.
Bonaire Tours & Activities
SoloBon Private Sail & Snorkel Safari
Charter your own private yacht to sail across the turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean for a half-day snorkeling adventure. Set an itinerary with your captain depending on your interests and the weather conditions for the day. Then spend your time swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the warm Caribbean sun and enjoy tasty snacks and an open bar on board the yacht. Read more about SoloBon Private Sail & Snorkel Safari
North & South Tour on Bonaire
The journey begins at Kralendijk, the island’s capital, before heading towards the South side of the island where we will be stopping at the Salt Company and the Slaves huts. Our journey continues to the north side where you will see some of Bonaire’s most well-known landmarks. Your first stop is 1,000 Steps, an island beach reached by a long, steep staircase. The bleached coral and white sand beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs and is a famous diving spot, thanks to the frequent presence of sea turtles in the clear, shallow water. Continue to Goto Lake, a saltwater lagoon and popular hangout for the island’s flaming-pink flamingos. Stop to watch and photograph the flamingos in one of their very few nesting areas. You’ll also have views of the Washington Slagbaai National Park. In Rincon Village, learn about the settlement’s history as the island’s oldest village. Then, head for the Cadushy Distillery to see how cactus liqueur is made and sample some for yourself. Read more about North and South Tour on Bonaire
Bonaire Island Tour
Explore the highlights and landmarks of Bonaire with this 3.5-hour tour. With your local guide, tour Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire, visiting historical buildings such as the Government House and the Old Fort. Drive along the island’s rugged northern coastline, including Rincon, 1000 Steps and Goto Lake, home to an impressive population of flamingos. Learn about the island’s history and culture from through your guide’s engaging narration along the way. Round-trip transportation via air-conditioned coach from Bonaire hotels is included. Read more about Bonaire Island Tour
National Marine Park Snorkel Sail Tour
The vibrant corals and exotic marine life of the Bonaire National Marine Park make it one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean. On this shore excursion, make the most of your time in port and set sail aboard a small boat, stopping to swim and snorkel amid schools of tropical fish and dramatic coral reefs. Read more about National Marine Park Sail and Snorkel
Washington Slagbaai National Park Tour in Bonaire
Spend your day in Bonaire exploring Washington Slagbaai National Park on a guided tour. You’ll go off the beaten track in a 4×4 to deserted beaches and blowholes located within the national park, a former plantation turned into an ecological reserve. You’ll have the opportunity to see wildlife, go snorkeling and take a hike for scenic views of the Caribbean. Snacks, lunch and round-trip hotel transport are provided. Read more about Washington Slagbaai National Park Tour
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.
Best Bonaire Hotels
The Laughing Seahorse
Dreams do come true- An oceanfront villa with a world class dive site accessible straight from the garden. These beautiful guest rooms each come with stunning ocean views, divine king-sized beds, and private balconies to enjoy a leisurely coffee. With a flair for style, their rooms are dressed to impress and they’re certain there is a match for everyone’s taste.
One Ocean Boutique Apartments & Suites Bonaire
One Ocean Boutique Apartments & Suites Bonaire features ocean front accommodations with modern interior, a beach garden with a plunge pool with easy access to the Caribbean Sea and ocean views from all terraces. Diving, snorkeling and kayaking can be done from the accommodations beach garden One Ocean Boutique Apartments and Suites Bonaire.
Penthouses on the Beach
The penthouse on the beach has a great Ocean View and over Bonaire. Each penthouse has 2 bedrooms. It has been completely renovated and everything is brand new. Enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves while sitting on the balcony. See the pelicans dive for fish and the osprey catch its prey. What more do you want?
From fully-furnished rooms to a great swimming pool. Goood resort on Bonaire has everything you could possibly hope for during your Caribbean vacation. Do you want to spend your time on the island relaxing in the sun? Grab a book and wind down in one of our hammocks, have enjoy a luxurious soak in our Jacuzzi or simply drift in the pool. We offer you cold drinks, great breakfast, and snacks at affordable prices throughout the day. When you stay at our Bonaire resort, you’ll quickly discover what it means to have a Goood time.
Windhoek Resort Bonaire
Windhoek Resort Bonaire is a luxury four-star Eco Resort in one of the best locations on Bonaire, the upscale area of Punt Vierkant. From the resort it’s just a couple of minutes to the beautiful southern diving spots, the windsurfing beach Sorobon and the kite boarding beach Atlantis. Windhoek Resort has comfortable and fully equipped one- and two-bedroom villas set in a tropical garden. There is a lovely swimming pool with sunbeds, a covered lounge area, and a communal BBQ that you are free to use.