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.
Best Bonaire Hotels & Accommodations
Oh my gosh! I want to go here! First, salt pyramids. But mostly a marine park, parrot sanctuary, and a donkey haven! It’s like an animal lover’s dream vacation! That said, I’d skip on the windsurfing. Thanks so much for this exciting article. I’m definitely putting this island on my bucket list!
Great Jade, you will love a vacation to Bonaire! Thanks for visiting my Bonaire Travel Guide.
Sounds like An amazing place to visit! It’s kind of crazy how there are all of these amazing places that I would not even think of, or know enough about to want to travel too without stuff like this.
Love the extra in depth about all of the attractions as well: 🙂 now if you could just come be my travel guide as well that would be great.
I will be your travel guide Travis 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed my Bonaire Travel Guide.
Great and very useful travel guide, I really enjoyed reading it. I have traveled in SouthEast Asia for some time and encountered amazing beaches for snorkeling, but I have never been to the Caribbean and I am making a travel list for that part of the world.
I do prefer to mix lively destinations with quieter ones and Bonaire sounds like the perfect combination of a peaceful gateway plus some high quality diving in the always calm waters of the western side and kayaking.
I didn’t know much about smaller Caribbean islands before reading your article, and the desert landscape of this specific one seems pretty unique! The salt pyramids and the donkey sanctuary look like something interesting to see as well. Thanks for bringing this place to my attention, I’m off exploring the rest of your articles for more ideas on my travel planning 🙂
Great Nicky and I am glad you have enjoyed reading the Bonaire Travel Guide. You will find lots of other amazing island getaways on BeachTravelDestinations.com, and I hope that when you start planning, you will let me help you put together a dream vacation!
Wow…. this place looks amazing! Coming from the UK I new little – correction – nothing about Bonaire. Yet it looks so tranquil. And the safety thing is also a factor too. But it sounds like I’ve missed the best window of opportunity for this year, but will certainly be looking here for 2018. Thanks for the information and for sharing this. Much appreciated.
You are very welcome Sean! I am glad you enjoyed reading and I do hope you can plan and make a visit to the beautiful island of Bonaire!
Oh wow, Bonaire sounds amazing, and how peculiar, the weather being totally different on each side. It especially appeals to me because of the water sports and restaurants (my two favorite things about a holiday). I have always wanted to go to the caribbean, but living way over here in Britain it is such a long way.How many flights do you think it would take from here? I’m sure it would be a few.
Actually you can fly directly into Amsterdam, and then on to Bonaire, making only 1 stop along the way. It will be a fairly long flight though….13 hours. I have made long flights for sure, so with this, I don’t think it would be too bad actually. Anywhere in the Caribbean, should be similar, flying into Amsterdam and then on to the Caribbean island of choice. Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.
Before reading this article I had heard about bonaire but that didn’t really know anything about what things you can get up to there or anything about the place. After reading this article I now feel like I know everything I need to in order to get the most out of travelling to bonaire.
I appreciate how you went over every detail from getting there, when to go and how to get the most out of the place once you’re there.
Great Jacob! I am glad you enjoyed reading the Bonaire Travel Guide. I am glad you can now feel like you will get the most out of your vacation to the Caribbean Island of Bonaire. You will have a blast!
I love your reviews of the islands and especially Bonaire because I’m totally unfamiliar with it. It sounds like a gem. Every time I read one of your posts I end up adding another island to my bucket list.
Bonaire sounds like it is a great place for someone, like me, who finds most of the Carribean too touristy and chock full of tacky tourists. Bonaire sounds like it’s just enough out of the way to be a different kind of experience.
You never mentioned the tall white mountains? hills? dunes? in the main photo. What are those?
Again, you do a thorough job of giving us all the details that we would need to plan a trip there. Thanks
Oh my gosh you are right! Those are the salt pyramids, and each one is about 50 feet high of 99.6% pure salt. There is a solar salt facility there, one of the largest in the Caribbean and the facility covers about 13% of the island. Thanks for reminding me, I have to go back and add that 🙂 Glad you enjoyed reading the Bonaire Travel Guide!
I have another destination to put on my Tour the World list now. I’ve never heard of Bonaire before, but now that I have I really want to see it for myself.
Thank you for writing this and letting everyone know when the peak tourist season is since I do not like crowds.
The 1,000 step beach sounds like a lot of fun and I love swimming so thank you!
You are very welcome Michelle. I am glad you found a new destination to put on your bucket list. You will absolutely love it there, and any time of year, the crowds are a lot less then other Caribbean Islands.
My brother wants to travel to the Carribean, but he is not sure where to go. He loves snorkeling and quiet places. So I think the Bonaire would be a fantastic idea! I’ve read that travelers should take their precautions, is it possible to know why?
However, my brother comes from Belgium, and I am pretty confident that he won’t want to go back home after spending some time there:)
The video is beautiful. It makes me want to go the Bonaire right away!
I’ll share this article with my brother. I am sure he will make up his mind very fast:) I am already jealous!
Thank you for this excellent post!
Your brother will really enjoy Bonaire and yes, it is one of the more quieter Caribbean Islands where you can really unwind. I think that travelers need to take their precautions in any foreign country. You’ll find the safety here is about the same as most any Carribbean Island. Just takes a little common sense to avoid something from happening. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com Daniella.
Your site is very comprehensive and very well organized. I had not heard of Bonaire before, but have been looking for a unique Caribbean beach destination. This looks like the place which would be perfect. I like that it is not in the Hurricane belt making it easier to travel pretty much any time of the year. Do you know how long the flight would be from Miami?
This would be a great unique Caribbean getaway for sure. If you were to get a non-stop flight from Miami, the flight duration is going to be about 20 hours. A bit of a flight for sure. But, yes, you pretty much have the flexibility to go any time and enjoy beautiful weather. Thanks for visiting the Bonaire Travel Guide.
Another great article. There are so many hidden gems in the Caribbean. That Hangout Beach Bar seems pretty cool. Not sure if I’m ready for the 1000 step beach. lol. You present wonderful information about this beautiful location. Wonderfully done.
Thank you so much! Yes, the Hangout Beach Bar is probably the coolest place and the 1000 steps beach actually doesn’t have 1000 steps, thank goodness! Glad you enjoyed reading the Bonaire Travel Guide.
Wow, that is an amazing place it makes me want to go and forget about life for a few days. I like very much the way you take us to a place through your writing and photos. Very nice job!!
Thanks Rodney 🙂 I try to help provide everything so you can visualize, be “there” and then plan it. Just a passion of mine for sure.
Great article! One of the things I want to mention is how fun it is to explore Bonaire (or many other Carribean islands) on a scooter. I always have a blast doing so and I recommend this to anyone with enough courage to spend the first 20 minutes getting the hang of riding one. It is, however, quite easy… you’ll see. The memories will last forever! 🙂
I agree completely. To feel the sun on your back, and the wind thru your hair. …. so much nicer than a car rental for sure. I think they are just like riding a bike….piece of cake. Thanks for reading 🙂
WOW! Bonaire sounds like a perfect getaway place. Normally we go on our winter vaction for 3 months to Asia however this year we were thinking of South America however Bonaire sounds wonderful we just may come there for few days. Do you have any ideas of prices for car hire?
Not actually too bad for car rental. You will pay about $27 a day for a car rental on Bonaire. You will love it there. Please let me know if you need any other information. Thanks for visiting the Bonaire Travel Guide.