Updated: Dec 6, 2019
An insider's guide to 48h on the island: what to do, where to go, what to see and what fun not to miss out on.
Bonaire is a small Caribbean island and a pristine tropical paradise. It is well worth a visit if you are looking for a relaxing, immersed in nature, yet fun and adventurous holiday. The island offers a mix of picturesque views, many sports to choose from, beaches beautiful above and under the sea, and cool local hotspots; it is a place where everyone can fit in and find something that interests them.
KLM (klm.com) and TUI (tui.nl/vliegtickets/) both fly directly to Bonaire Flamingo International Airport on a daily basis from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. American Airlines (www.aa.com) flights fly directly to Bonaire Flamingo International Airport from Miami three times a week, and from New York, Houston and Atlanta depending on the season. There is also a weekly flight directly connecting Bonaire to Toronto during winter time (www.sunwing.ca).
Morning: Start your first day on the island with a breakfast and coffee at Coffee Company Bonaire (a bagel and coffee is around 10$), which is located right in the centre of Kralendijk, the main town. After you can enjoy a nice stroll around and have a look all the cute shops and boutiques with local products. Grab an ice cream at Gio’s which is known for the best and hand-made ice creams on the island. If you are interested in Bonairean and Caribbean history, take a look inside Terramar Museum which presents the subject in a short yet concise way. Have freshly caught seafood lunch at It Rains Fishes for a taste of Caribbean cuisine.
EXTRA TIP: Cadushi Distillery is a great shop option as it offers Bonaire’s own and world’s unique cactus liquor, as well as Salt Shop, which sells pure sea salt from the island.
Afternoon: Ease into island living by spending the afternoon relaxing at Ocean Oasis, a new beach club offering drinks and food in a beautiful yet cosy setting. This is the perfect location to wind down and also go swimming, snorkelling and exploring the blue underwater world of Bonaire.
Night: Go for drinks and salsa dancing to Cuba Compagnie or Coco Beach and feel the spirit of the Caribbean.
Morning: Grab a freshly brewed coffee and breakfast to-go at Peanut’s, which offers fresh and organic local ingredients. Then take a drive to Sorobon Beach, the world’s best windsurfing location, where you can either take a lesson and try windsurfing yourself, or just chill on the beach and watch the pros do their thing. Exciting either way! The Beach Hut offers nice lunches and drinks, and they also have beach service, which makes the experience just perfect. On the way to Sorobon you drive past the salt pyramids, Bonaire’s local salt production, which are surrounded by a pink lake. This place is definitely worth a quick stop as the scene is truly breathtaking and unique, an out of this world experience.
EXTRA TIP: Spot flamingos in the pink waters, where they like to linger and feed on the tiny pink shrimp, which also give them their signature colour.
Afternoon: It’s time to explore the North side of the island! Drive to 1000 Steps Beach which is one of the best snorkelling and diving locations on the island. Here you can scuba dive if you have the skills or just snorkel, which is just as amazing as the turquoise sea here is beautiful and rich with underwater life. On the way to 1000 Steps Beach you can drive through Rincon, which was the first town on the island. Here you can find some old Spanish colonial architecture, and local life at its purest. If you feel like exploring and tasting local food you can stop at Rose Inn for dinner.
EXTRA TIP: 1000 Steps Beach is the best place on Bonaire to spot sea turtles, so keep your eyes peeled!
Evening: Enjoy tropical cocktails and sitting on the water at Karl’s Beach Bar.
Before arrival checklist:
- Beach necessities (swimwear, beach towel, mask and snorkel, reef-safe sunscreen, water shoes)
- Driving license or driving partner, as there is no other way to get around, and don’t forget a map of the island
- Mosquito spray
Written by Neza Toplak
Follow @nezatoplak on Instagram for more