Tranquil waters that range in hues from turquoise to azure blue, breathtaking sunsets, deserts to verdant hills, charming Dutch Caribbean architecture, and world class diving await the nature-loving adventurer visiting Bonaire.
If you’re wondering what you’ll find at this stop on your Princess Cruise, we’ve got a complete guide from the most popular spots to the off the beaten path.
Located in the southern Caribbean about 50 miles east of Venezuela and south of Aruba, the island of Bonaire is a municipality of the Netherlands. The Bonaire National Marine Park protects its coastal reefs teaming with stunning marine life, and the on land, the Washington Slagbaai National Park shelters donkeys, lizards, birds and other wildlife across an environment that includes lagoons, beaches, caverns, and lush, green hills.
Whether you're here for a day or a week, the activities and nature are endless.
Visitors to this abundant island have a wide array of activities to fill the days and nights, whether they are docking only for one day or for a week. Here are just a few of the sumptuous sights and adventurous pursuits.
The colorful architecture in downtown Kralendijk is a delightful sight after disembarking from the cruise port, which is only open for six months out of the year. You can spend a leisurely day shopping or tasting local fare at the restaurants.
The restaurants feature everything from the freshest catch of the day to Mediterranean, South American, and of course, Caribbean fare. Aficionados will find a craft brewery and plenty of options for a cocktail while relaxing on the beach.
Neighborhoods surrounding the center of Kralendijk are named after countries and musical instruments, so navigating through the residential areas is easy even without signs pointing the way. Along the way, you can pick up one of the famous salt mills and bath salts that Bonaire is famous for, or peruse the boutiques for quaint and exotic glass jewelry.
Another relaxing option is Harbour Village Beach Club, where you can enjoy an exquisite private beach with beach chairs and umbrellas, hammocks, and refreshments along the warm ocean waves of the Caribbean.
The resort enchants with its charming Bohemian atmosphere and the peacefulness of a private villa club surrounded by landscaping bursting forth with colorful flora, red terra cotta roofs, and tiled floors.
If you’re looking to explore more of the island, renting a self-driven electric car is fantastic way for a jaunt of either the south or north portions of the island.
Heading south will take you along the coast to see the Cargill salt hills, famous diving spots, abandoned slave houses, and Jibe City. This is a perfect mode of travel for the photo seeker, diver, or windsurfer.
If an equine mode of transport sounds more enticing than an electric car, Bonaire offers that option as well.
You can head along the coast to splash in the waves or pass through deserts or open fields. The horses will appreciate a break alongside a secluded lagoon, where both horse and rider can enjoy wading in the water. Some horse ranches offer lessons, parties, and tours, so you can truly create the experience that fits your vacation group.
As the only other city on Bonaire, Rincon was previously occupied by the salt slaves who worked the salt mines. The neighborhoods are currently tranquil residential areas.
The town has lovely views of the valley, gift shops, a museum, and interactive tours. The Mangazina di Reicultural Center encapsulates the historic nature of Rincon. For a truly unique tasting adventure, the Cadushy Distillery makes cactus liquor.
From its pristine waters to the highest peaks, visitors to Bonaire will feel its enchanting atmosphere wash over them. The unhurried pace and peaceful ambiance are a perfect combination for an island that attracts divers, surfers, and nature lovers alike to try a bit of life without traffic lights or the typical daily worries.