ADD TO LISTBonaire's most visited attraction is the Donkey Sanctuary. It also has some pretty nice beaches and parks, and a decent number of travelers making their way through Netherlands Antilles stop by Bonaire to check them out. Take a look at this Bonaire travel guide to find out more about things to see and do there.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Bonaire
Plaza Resort Bonaire (http://www.plazaresortbonaire.com/) is a good place to stay, though I've heard there are some places that cost a bit less but maybe not as nice. This place has it all, though, especially if you are a SCUBA diver. Bonaire, in general, is one of the best places I have ever dived. It is very easy beach diving. Just rent a pickup at the airport, get your gear and go around the island to the marked sites (look for a painted yellow rock or two w/the dive site name on it) and park on/near the beach and go. It's really easy. The nightlife is so-so. I found the service to be really slow. Maybe it depends on where you go, but of the places I went to (can't quite remember the names right now), they were generally slow so don't expect fast service. Bring snorkeling/SCUBA gear, camera, sunscreen, etc. The visibility underwater is probably 50-80 feet, perhaps more. The whole island is a protected marine sanctuary. Getting around: you can rent 4 door pickups at the airport and beat-up motorcycles in town. If you stay on the main roads you'll be fine, but if you venture off, you could be in trouble as sometimes the road really dissolves into remnants of what might have been a road years ago.
Bonaire is a divers paradise. It is basically the tip of a mountain sticking out of the water so you can dive the sides of the mountain sloping into the water all day. They call these dives "wall dives". I went with a Dutch dive master that had trianed the fish. He could pick up a French Angel fish out if the water for a photo op and then put it back in the water it would swim around him and then he would take it out again for another photo op. You have to be careful diving the walls. One person on our dive had a tooth squeeze from going so deep. You don't realize how for down you are going, you easily reach 100' depth before you know it. Another neat thing about the island and it's people. i had a friend from HS who was form there, is the crazy mix of cultures and ethnicities. They speak a language, I beleive it is called papiamiento. It is a mixture of 5 languages. I know it has Spanish and Dutch, I believe French but I am not sure of the other two. The other thing you might here about is the hill. It is like a pimple on a flawless face. But a facinating pimple, none the less. Aruba is flat, completely flat. Like that old joke, a Pirate's dream, a Sunken Chest. but it has one boob. This one hill. lol. I have a weird sense of humor, sorry!
If you're a scuba-diver, chances are you've heard of this place. The waters surrounding this entire island are part of an underwater marine park, and the locals are crazy gung-ho about protecting the reef, which is SPECTACULAR! All you need when you show up is a dive site map. All the sites are marked along the road, with yellow painted rocks with numbers which correspond to the map. This place is REALLY set up for diving.
In addition to the coral heads which are unbelievably beautiful, we saw seahorses, octopus, eels (on a night dive) tons of parrot fish, a HUGE tarpin (also on a night dive) along with the usual clown fish angel fish, barracudas....
There is a beach in Bonaire called Pink Beach. The sand is of course made of pulverized coral which, at sunset, shimmers the most beautifully delicate shade of pink, over the blue/green/turquoise waters of the Caribbean, with the huge mountains of sea salt across the way.
I try never to go back to the same place twice - it's a big world after all - but I will definitely return to this island one day....
Bonus, it's outside the hurricane belt, so there's never a bad time to go!
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