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Galloping over a white sandy beach and cooling off, horse and all, in the turquoise Caribbean Sea – it sounds too good to be true. But riding horseback across the rugged landscape of Bonaire is a guaranteed cinematic experience. Jump into the saddle and explore the unusual rock formations, mangrove forests and bright pink flamingos of Bonaire.
Whilst sitting on the back of a horse, you can experience Bonaire from a completely different angle and discover things that may otherwise remain hidden. The unpaved trails of the Bonaire countryside – the ‘kunuku’ – are perfect for exploring on horseback. These paths take you past giant cacti, salt lakes and remote farms, far from the hustle and bustle of the capital Kralendijk. Whether you are an experienced rider or complete novice, you can enjoy and discover Bonaire from the saddle.
Bonaire has a number of stables that offer trips by horseback, usually with horses of the South American Paso Fino breed. These beautiful animals are calm and well trained and can even be led across the island without a bit. The tours usually last half a day, giving you plenty of time to explore the island’s unusual landscape. Another plus is that the groups are small, with usually no more than 5 people per group.
The dry landscape of the kunuku is reminiscent of the desert, with cacti in all shapes and sizes and the occasional darting salamander or iguana. Your horse for the day completes the cowboy fantasy. One spot definitely worth visiting is Pekelmeer, a large salt lake where flamingos gather and feed on tasty morsels in the salty water. These birds get their gorgeous pink colour from eating shrimp-like crustaceans.
“Your horse for the day completes the cowboy fantasy”
Lac Baai on the south-eastern coast is one of the loveliest areas of Bonaire to discover on horseback. This azure blue lagoon borders a picturesque white sandy beach and is lined with mangroves on one side. These unusual trees are very important for the ecosystem as they secrete salt from their leaves and offer protection to young fish. The bay is partly enclosed by a coral dam, making the water very calm and shallow – perfect for horses, who love to gallop into the cool water with rider and all.
“The horses love to gallop into the cool water with rider and all”