Sightseeing in Bonaire

Sightseeing in Bonaire

Underwater world

The most beautiful thing Bonaire has to offer is its underwater world. Bonaire is one of the best snorkelling and diving destinations in the world. Along almost the entire west coast of Bonaire you will find coral, which in most places grows very close to the land. As a result, you hardly need to make any effort to see fish and other marine life with your own eyes. There is a great diversity of marine animals to discover, including unusual ones such as moray eels, barracudas, seahorses, rays and sea turtles.

Washington Slagbaai National Park

This nature reserve is spread over some 5643 hectares of land in the northwest of Bonaire. There are many educational as well as recreational activities. These include a tour by mountain bike or car, hiking, kayaking, diving, snorkelling and birdwatching. There are many rock formations with different looks. There are also chalk ridges and chilled lava flows. The flora and fauna in this park are special with some unique species.


Saliñas are salt lakes. In the north of Bonaire in the Washington Slagbaai National Park is the large Saliñas. Since water can only flow into the lake and not out of it, it is called a salt lake. There are also salt pans, which can be found in the south of Bonaire. Salt pans are referred to as artificial lakes. Together with Curaçao, Bonaire is very important as a salt supplier.

Slave houses

The economy of Bonaire used to be mainly based on salt extraction. Nowadays, there is hardly any manpower involved, but in the days of slavery it was different. Back then, they were slaves performing the hard labour on the salt flats. Their home was in Rincon, but when they were working on the salt flats, they slept in small houses built between the salt flats and the sea. The cottages were built around 1850 and have only been used for 13 years. Now they are historical heritage that can be visited free of charge.


Centrally located on the island of Bonaire is the village of Rincon. This place used to be the capital of Bonaire. Rincon is a lot more authentic than the contemporary capital Kralendijk. You can visit two different churches in Rincon, drink the local cactus liqueur at Cadushy or enjoy authentic cuisine at Posada Para Mira. Here you can try goat stew and iguana soup, among other things.


This 8 km² shallow lagoon is of great importance to sea turtles, karkos and other animals that live here. Sea grass grows on the bottom and it has a coral dam that separates the lagoon from the Caribbean Sea. The beaches of Lac Bay all have their own character. While mostly hip young people are on Sorobon Beach, it is mainly the locals who enjoy Cai. Some parts of this area are closed off to the public to allow animals to rest.

Klein Bonaire

Klein Bonaire is a small island off the coast of Bonaire that is about 6 km² in size. It is mostly flat and has some cactus species and some small shrubs. The island is now a protected area and part of the Bonaire National Marine Park. Snorkelling and diving tours can regularly be booked to this small island, which is known for its seahorses and sea turtles.

Lake Goto

Lake Goto, together with Slagbaai, Lake Brine and the Saliñas, are water areas of international significance. They are of great importance as habitats for water birds, among other things. These are also known as 'Ramsar sites'. At Goto Lake in Bonaire, many flamingos can be seen. Although the hatchlings are grey at birth, the adults are typically pink thanks to their diet of sea creatures and snails. Entry to the eastern part of Lake Goto is free of charge. The other part is in the Washington / Slagbaai National Park.

Bonaire Museum

This is Bonaire's only official museum in Kralendijk and it houses the (cultural) history of the island. There is also a 760-year-old skeleton and prehistoric artefacts. The building in which this museum is located dates back to 1885 and has the typical local style of country houses on Bonaire.

'Donkey's Sanctuary

Donkey's Sanctuary' is located on a 120,000 m² area south of Flamingo Airport. Here, sick and/or neglected donkeys are lovingly cared for by a number of volunteers. By buying a bag of donkey food, you support the donkeys and make friends very quickly. It is possible to go through this park by car, but there is also a section where you can walk among the donkeys. There is also a garden where iguanas and turtles can be admired. You may bring old bread or carrots to feed the donkeys. You can also buy bags with carrots at the reception of the donkey shelter.