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What if I told you there was a tropical paradise, peaceful and unspoiled by overtourism? It does exist.

In the southern Caribbean, you will find Bonaire, a small island in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  It is a perfect place to kick up your feet and relax or hit the water for some of the best diving in the world. Honeymooners and adventurers love it, and it offers breathtaking views, varying landscapes, and a vibrant local community.

Bonaire is one of the islands that make up the ABC Islands (along with Aruba and Curacao) off the coast of South America, near the western part of Venezuela. With its temperate climate, this island is perfect for a getaway year-round as it is tucked safely away from Hurricane Alley.

You should take the plunge and buy that ticket to Bonaire for many reasons. Here is just a few.

Let’s count them down:

1. Peace and Quiet

The unspoiled land and serene beauty of the island of Bonaire is a welcome respite for the weary traveller. Bonaire is virtually immune to the traffic, litter, and nuisances of some of the other more popular islands. You can rest and rejuvenate in luxury, peace, and quiet with world-class resorts like the Plaza Beach Resort or Delfins Beach Resort and miles of pristine coastlines. Visitors come to enjoy the tranquillity of the island long before they started exploring.

Bonaire Plaza Beach Resort

Plaza Beach Resort Grand Villas

Bonaire Delfins Beach Resort

Delfins Beach Resort Poolside

2. Diving

As the locals say, you come here to dive, eat, sleep, and dive. Even if you aren’t a diver, you will want to grab your fins and dive right in after seeing the crystal waters of the Caribbean. Divers flock from all over the world to dive in the waters off the coast of Bonaire.

Bonaire diving credit Sunwing

3. Snorkeling

For a world-class snorkeling experience, contact Hank and Bria from Sea-Cow Charters. They will make you feel as if you were born with gills! In Bonaire, the water is clear, so the wonder that awaits you is just below the surface for you to take in.

Bonaire Snorkeling in Klein Bonaire

Klein Bonaire Snorkeling

Bonaire Snorkeling Klein Bonaire around Island

Bonaire Snorkeling Klein Bonaire credit Pierre Heuriet (Sea Cow)

4. Dining

Dining options are exceptional and surprisingly varied for such a small island. There are over one hundred eateries ranging from fine dining to local snacks, in many cuisines ranging from European, Asian and Caribbean. Try Posada Para Mira, nestled at the highest point in Rincon Valley near Goto Lake for local fare with a view. If you are looking for a more formal dining experience, the highly rated Ingredients restaurant at the Buddy Dive Resort features Mediterranean cuisine and uses the basic principles of French, Spanish and Italian cuisine.  You drink a cactus at Cadushy Distillery, located in Rincon, which specializes in Cactus distilled liquor and Rum.

No matter what dining option you choose, you won’t be disappointed if you are dining in Bonaire.

In Bonaire, there are miles and miles of unspoiled beaches. While other Caribbean islands have beaches littered with tourists, Bonaire does not. One beach not to be missed is the 1000 Steps Beach. As you descend a cascading set of steps toward the crystal blue water, you will think you are in heaven. The view of the water is magnificent. If you are looking for a little adventure, try windsurfing at Sorobon Beach, then sip a cool cocktail at Jibe City.

Bonaire 1000 Steps beach

Bonaire stairs at 1000 step beach

Bonaire Jibe city

6. The Salt Flats

The salt flats are one of the most interesting places on the island. The colours of the water pools, ranging from bright pink to turquoise blue, are simply unique, and there is something serene about this austere landscape. What looks like snow-capped mountains is hills entirely made of salt, one of Bonaire’s significant exports.

Bonaire Salt Flats

7. The Wildlife

The wildlife on Bonaire is second to none. Bonaire is one of the few places in the world where wild flamingos breed, and it’s truly amazing to see so many of these brightly coloured creatures in one place. Bonaire is also a great place for bird watching and nowhere on the island is it better than in the salt flats. The flamingos and other birds dine on the brine shrimp, which live in, the salty water in the salt flats.

Bonaire Wild Donkeys

Bonaire’s Wild Donkeys

Bonaire Flamingos Credit Sunwing

Flamingo Sanctuary Credit Sunwing

8. The People

Part of the charm of the island is its hospitality and friendly locals. Bonaireans are genuinely friendly, offering salutations to friends and strangers alike.  The Island is population comprises the following ancestry – Africans (about 85%), Caribbean Indians, Dutch Europeans, and Asians.

Bonaire Rincon Volunteer Guide

There are so many more reasons than these why you should visit this gorgeous island. Whether on a solo adventure, honeymoon or a girlfriend’s getaway, you won’t be disappointed by choosing this magical island.

Have you been? What did you love most about Bonaire?

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Bonaire

Travel Information:

How to reach Bonaire:  Sunwing offers Seasonal direct flights to Bonaire, in fact, its the only tour operator offering this direct route.

For more information about the Island visit www.tourismbonaire.com

Quick Facts about Bonaire: 

  • Bonaire has a water filtering system; tap water in almost all houses and hotels on Bonaire is good for consumption.
  • Languages spoken are Dutch, English, and Papiamentu ( Spanish Creole language with admixtures of Portuguese and Dutch).
  • The currency is the US dollar.
  • Most restaurants include a service charge for Tipping/Service.
  • The island lies 30 miles from Curacao, 50 miles north of Venezuela, 86 miles east of Aruba, outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt. Bonaire is 38,6 km long by 4,8 – 8 km wide credit Bonaire Tourism.
  • The average yearly temperature is 82°F (27.8°C).

Interested in additional Caribbean Destinations read my posts for:

Vacationing like a celebrity at Half Moon Resort, Jamaica 
Experience Total R&R at These 5 Small Luxury Resorts

Disclosure:  Sunwing arranged my visit to this beautiful Island, but all opinions expressed in this article are my own.