Kralendijk is the largest town on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. It's also the island's capital. A sleepy Caribbean capital of around 3,000 residents, Kralendijk does not overwhelm the visitor with noise, and its streets are noted for their cleanliness. Many locals simply refer to their capital city as Playa, or Beach, and there are some good beaches in the immediate area that are ideal for some fun and relaxation. The list of things to do in Kralendijk can involve more than hanging out on the beach, and visitors will be happy to know that some interesting destinations are close by when the temptation to explore beautiful Bonaire sets in.
When it comes to the Kralendijk attractions, the beaches figure among the most popular. There are two public beaches in the capital, and they include Windsock Beach and the beach at the Bonaire Sunset Beach Hotel. The former can be found just south of the small downtown area, while the latter is on the near northern side of the heart of town. You won't have any trouble spotting the runway of the Flamingo International Airport from Windsock Beach, as the beach lies at the western end of the landing strip. It's worth noting that the Flamingo International Airport is where you'll arrive should you be flying to Bonaire, and there are some good Kralendijk hotels to choose from if you want to stay close to the airport.
When a trip to the beach is part of the plan for your vacation to Kralendijk, Windsock Beach can be an ideal place to relax, not to mention go snorkeling. This is one of the best places on the island to go snorkeling, as the reefs found just offshore are full of marine life. In recent years, Windsock Beach has seen increased development, though it still remains a relatively peaceful place. It can get noisy when a plane is landing or taking off, thanks to the proximity of the airport runway. That being said, the small sandy areas that are found here are nonetheless good spots for relaxing pursuits, such as picnicking or kicking back between snorkeling sessions. In addition to snorkeling, those who are looking for fun things to do in Kralendijk can also go scuba diving. At the public beach just north of downtown Kralendijk, it's possible to arrange a scuba diving expedition through the local dive operators.
While the public beaches in Bonaire's small capital city are worth visiting, serious beach enthusiasts can also see what the beaches of Klein Bonaire have to offer. This uninhabited island can be reached by boat from the capital, and the ride out only takes about ten minutes. An immaculate reef surrounds Klein Bonaire, so when you're not enjoying the pristine beaches, you can enjoy amazing scuba diving and snorkeling. Another good beach that is worth visiting on a vacation to Kralendijk is Pink Beach. This is arguably the best beach on mainland Bonaire, and it doesn't take very long to reach it from the capital.
Beaches aren't the only Kralendijk attractions worth visiting, and visitors are encouraged to bring a good pair of walking shoes. Enjoying a walking tour is one of the best things to do in Kralendijk, and interested visitors can pick up a special brochure that highlights the main attractions. There are 25 attractions that are highlighted in the tourism brochures, and they include a World War II monument, a Protestant church that was built in the 1840s, and Fort Oranje. Fort Oranje was built way back in 1639, and thanks to its age, it arguably tops the list of historical Kralendijk attractions. The cannon that can be found at the fort has existed since the early 1800's.
There are enough fun things to do in Kralendijk to warrant a visit, and since some of the best hotels in Bonaire are in or near the town, it can make for a good travel base. Bonaire is a relatively small island, so it's pretty easy to get around to all of the top attractions regardless of where you choose to base yourself. Back in the capital, the shops that line the main street of Kaya Grandi can fill a few hours or more when you're not enjoying side trips to places like the Washington Slagbaai National Park. There are also some good restaurants and bars near the water in the capital that you can also enjoy, and nightlife enthusiasts might try some gambling at the Divi Flamingo Resort.
Image: nydiscovery (Flickr)