Things to do in Bonaire mostly revolve around eco-related pursuits, and this has a lot to do with the island's fantastic year-round weather and ideal water conditions. Being that the Bonaire attractions are largely natural ones, this is an eco-adventurist's dream destination. Other attractions in Bonaire range from small beaches, sailing spots, and a small town ideal for learning a bit about the island's history.
Things to do in Bonaire
Diving tops the list of the things to do in Bonaire, and there are few destinations in the world that can rival the Bonaire diving experience. Bonaire is surrounded by the waters of the Bonaire Marine Park, and these waters are filled with reefs and curious creatures. The dive resorts are understandably popular with visitors, and numerous vacation packages include unlimited diving.
Snorkeling in Bonaire
When visitors aren't scuba diving on a Bonaire vacation, they are often snorkeling. Most of the top dive sites double as excellent snorkel sites, and you don't need to be certified to go snorkeling. Some of the best Bonaire attractions can be found below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, with reefs like the Bari Reef being especially easy to reach and explore. Thanks to the clarity of the water off Bonaire's leeward coast, snorkelers can get a pretty good look at some of the underwater attractions without having to dive deep. It's even possible to partially admire the Hilma Hooker shipwreck while snorkeling. This wreck rests at a depth of about 100 feet.
Jibe City Windsurfing
On the windward side of the island, windsurfing tops the list of things to do in Bonaire. Lac Bay is the destination of choice for windsurfing enthusiasts, as it boasts shallow waters that remain relatively calm in spite of the consistent trade winds. The Kontiki Beach Club and Resort at Lac Bay is a great place to stay if you want to enjoy a lot of Bonaire windsurfing, and there is an interesting resort on Sorobon Beach that can also make an east coast base.
Hanging out at the beach is one of the top Bonaire activities, even if the island's beaches don't get a ton of respect. Most of the beaches on the island's edge are relatively rocky, with little in the way of soft sand. That being said, the Bonaire beaches are usually deserted, and they can be especially ideal for picnics. Bonaire beaches such as 1000 Steps and Pink Beach double as dive and snorkel sites, as is true of most of the beaches on the calmer leeward side.
Sailing in Bonaire
The majority of the Bonaire activities are water related, and sailing has long been a popular pastime. Bonaire has turned out some of the best sailors in the world, and it is an excellent place to learn how to sail for those who are inexperienced. Three marinas can be found on the leeward coast, with the marina at the upscale Harbour Village Resort being the most complete. Small boats can be rented at Harbour Village, provided that you can display the necessary skills, and sailing charters can be booked by those who prefer having a qualified captain and crew.
Washington Slagbaai National Park
Washington Slagbaai Park
Whereas the Bonaire Marine Park is dedicated to protecting the area waters, Washington Slagbaai National Park was created to help preserve part of the ecosystem on land. This delightful park is one of the top tourist attractions in Bonaire, and it can be found in the hilly northern region. Save for when rain turns the dirt roads to mud, driving through the park can be an ideal alternative to hiking, though you'll want to make sure that you have a 4WD vehicle. Some great views of the island can be had atop the hills in Washington Slagbaai National Park, with the highest hill in the land rising to a height of 774 feet above sea level. Birding and hiking figure among the top things to do at the park.
There are only two main towns on the island of Bonaire, with the capital of Kralendijk being the largest. As for the smaller town of Rincon, it deserves a look when you're up for an inland adventure. The historic town of Rincon was founded by Spanish settlers a handful of centuries ago, and when the Dutch moved in, they took over the site. There isn't much to Rincon, though it is home to some historical Bonaire attractions that offer some good insight into the history of the island. The monthly market is the big attraction in Rincon, and the residents celebrate some traditional holidays that can be fun for tourists to experience.
Klein Bonaire, or Little Bonaire Island as it is also known, is a small, flat islet that can be found off Bonaire's leeward side. Visiting this island is one of the most popular Bonaire activities, as it is home to some of the best beaches in the immediate area. Uninhabited Klein Bonaire is also surrounded by the waters of the Bonaire Marine Park, and some excellent dive and snorkel sites also help to attract visitors.