Bonaire partners with the Caribbean isles of Aruba and Curaçao to form the sun-splashed ABC islands. Situated off the coast of Venezuela, well outside the hurricane belt, these islands offer a year-round warm and dry climate, perfect for a sunny Caribbean holiday.
Featured Bonaire Hotel
A mere 100 miles from South America, Bonaire’s shoreline is protected by Bonaire National Marine Park. The caverns, lagoons, beaches, and wildlife of Washington Slagbaai National Park are also sheltered here.
A special municipality of the Netherlands, Bonaire has its capital in the lively and colorful city of seaside Kralendijk, a variation on the Papiamentu word for “coral reef.”
Considered one of the world’s top snorkeling and dive sites, Bonaire’s magnificent coral reefs amid vibrant turquoise seas are readily accessible from the shoreline. These reefs are home to more than 350 varieties of tropical fish.
The history of Bonaire dates back to the Caquetio Indians who traveled here from Venezuela over a thousand years ago. You’ll find relics of this ancient civilization in the rock paintings and petroglyphs in caves at Spelonk, Onima, Ceru Pungi, and Ceru Crita-Cabai.
What To Do
Vacationers in Bonaire can dive headfirst into a variety of ocean activities. The island’s award-winning diving and snorkeling are readily accessible year-round. Bonaire National Marine Park along the island’s entire coast offers a protected reef. Swim with sea turtles and over 350 varieties of multi-colored fish.
Horseback ride at Rancho Washikemba in the east or Horse Ranch Bonaire, to the west, just a short drive from the capital, Kralendijk.
Stroll through the colorful capital city, with its charming shops, restaurants and open-air Wilhelmina market displaying island-made products from November through April.
Visit Washington Slagbaai National Park along the water’s edge in the northern part of the island. Dotted with cactus, two of the preserved plantations here once exported salt and livestock to Europe.
Explore Bonaire's still-flourishing salt industry with a visit to the southern salt pans, stocking piles of salt crystals and home to a flamingo reserve.
When to Go
Bonaire boasts a year-round temperate climate. Due to its location near the equator, islanders and vacationers experience 12 hours of sunlight each day, plus an average temperature of 82 F.
Bonaire receives only about 22 inches of rainfall per year, with about 76 percent humidity.
If you travel to Bonaire in October, you may be able to catch the week-long International Sailing Regatta off Kralendijk.
Between late February and early March, you’ll discover the biggest Carnival of the year with festive music, dancing and harvest celebrations.