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Things to do in Bonaire

Dive into the crystal-clear fish-filled warm waters and protected coral reefs in Bonaire's Washington-Slagbaai National Park where pastel-coloured sponge gardens edge powdery sand. Explore the cactus-hemmed trails in Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve to aloe vera fields and crumbling plantation buildings. For some history, visit Fort Oranje in Kralendijk or witness the rustic Slave Huts from the island's pre-emancipation era, a chastening reminder of the island's salt trade and its resulting social ills.

Goto Meer, Bonaire. Courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire
Bonaire Museum, Bonaire. Courtesy of Bonaire Museum
1

Bonaire Museum

Folkloric displays and exhibits

Bonaire Museum in Kralendijk is housed in a plantation mansion that has been restored to its original splendour. Artefacts depict the era of the enslavement of Caiquetios Indians to the arrival of the cultures living on the island today.



Cost

US$2

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 7.30am-12pm & 2.30pm-5pm

Address

7, Kaya van de Ree, Sabana, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 717 8868

Transport

Taxi

Fort Oranje, Bonaire. Photo by Chris Richards, courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire
2

Fort Oranje

Kralendijk's protector and beacon

Built in 1816 in Kralendijk, this former Governor's residence also once served as a prison and, after the addition of a lighthouse, helped guide salt-laden vessels out to sea. Today Fort Oranje houses historical artefacts from Bonaire's past.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Address

Fort Oranje, Waterfront Promenade, Fort Oranje Bonaire

Transport

Taxi

Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve, Bonaire. Courtesy of Bonaire Tours
3

Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve

Cactus-flanked Bonairean landscape

The private Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve, east of Kralendijk, is a rugged Bonairean Kunuku landscape. The cactus-flanked plantation building sits among aloe vera fields and dam remnants from 1908. Visits are by prior appointment only.



Cost

US$12

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5pm (last admission 3pm)

Address

Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 717 8489

Transport

Taxi

Website

Rooi Lamoenchi Reserve Website

Slave Huts, Bonaire. Photo by Chris Richards, courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire
4

Slave Huts

History of slavery remembered

The simple Slave Huts provide a chastening reminder of the slavery behind Bonaire's once booming salt trade. Located in the south of the island, the shacks once housed slaves in cramped conditions close to salt pan harvesting sites.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Various

Address

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Transport

Taxi or tour operator

Boca Cocolishi, Bonaire. Photo by Kanako Kobayashi
5

Boca Cocolishi

Rugged, hidden sands

The resplendent black-sand bay of Boca Cocolishi in Washington-Slagbaai National Park sits on a rocky stretch of coastline and comprises a deep seaward side and a calm, shallow basin, separated by a ridge of calcareous algae, coral and shells.



Cost

US$10; children US$2

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5pm (last admission 2.30pm)

Address

Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 785 0017

Transport

Tour operator

Website

Washington-Slagbaai National Park Website

Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary, Bonaire. &copy Ayman Van Bregt
6

Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary

Safe haven for donkeys

This safe haven for injured, malnourished or abandoned animals provides care for up to 300 donkeys. Visitors can feed and meet the residents in dedicated petting areas. Educational talks and tours are also very popular.



Cost

Donation only

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm)

Address

Lima z/n, Tera Kora, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 9 560 7607

Bonaire Butterfly Farm, Bonaire. Courtesy of the Bonaire Butterfly Farm
7

Bonaire Butterfly Farm

Tropical gardens and butterflies

The Bonaire Butterfly Farm near Lac Cai is 400 square metres of butterfly-filled tropical gardens. There are magnificent vibrant blooms, birds and towering palms as well as exhibits and conservation projects relating to more than 80 native Caribbean breeds.



Cost

US$12; under-10s US$10

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 9am-5pm

Address

Lac Cai, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 7856450

Transport

Taxi

Website

Bonaire Butterfly Farm Website

Klein Bonaire, Bonaire. Photo by Karen Winona van Dijk
8

Klein Bonaire

Reefs and marine life

In 1999, uninhabited islet Klein Bonaire was incorporated into Bonaire National Marine Park. Located just 805m offshore, it offers world-class diving and snorkelling in pristine, coral-rich waters and is easily reachable and navigable at just 6km square.



Cost

US$10 for a one-day pass

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5pm (last entrance 3pm)

Address

Bonaire Marine Park, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 717 8444

Transport

Tour operator

Website

Bonaire Marine Park Website

Goto Meer, Bonaire. Courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire
9

Goto Meer

Top birdwatching spot

Huge petrol storage tanks herald an unlikely top spot to view some of the island's 5000-plus flamingos in the wild. Head inland to Goto Meer to watch over 100 species feed in the shallows of a pretty saltwater lake at sunset.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5pm (last admission 2.30pm)

Address

Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire

Telephone

+599 785 0017

Transport

Tour operator

Website

Washington-Slagbaai National Park Website

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