Bonaire is world-famous for its stunning dive sites, but that doesn’t mean you’ll spend your entire vacation in your scuba gear. What is there to see and do above sea level on Bonaire? We have a few suggestions!
Kralendijk is the quaint capital city of Bonaire. We use the term “city” loosely—in fact, the town of Kralendijk is just a few blocks across. It’s an easy few minutes’ walk from Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino. Explore the dozens of small shops and cozy local restaurants here in a place that feels authentically Caribbean.
See the Breathtaking Salt Pans of Bonaire
The southern end of Bonaire is home to vast solar salt farms. Sea water is channeled into man-made ponds and sealed off, and as the water slowly evaporates, the high salt content naturally turns the remaining water a bright pink. At some points, you’ll see pinkish-purple water on one side of the road and Bonaire’s vivid turquoise ocean on the other. Rent a car and drive down to experience this otherworldly sight.
Visit Jibe City
Jibe City is a tiny outpost on Lac Bay on the southeastern side of the island. The bay stays shallow almost as far as the eye can see, making it possible to walk straight out to sea for as long as half an hour without ever getting in above your waist.
The more common activity at Jibe City, though, is windsurfing. The area counts among one of the top windsurfing locations in the world. Rent your windsurfing equipment from the small shack onsite, or take the lessons offered for all levels. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards if you want to explore the area on your own terms.
After a long day on the water at Jibe City, visit the nearby shop for Jibe City souvenirs and surfing equipment, stretch out on one of the chaise lounges or relax at the Hang-Out Bar with a cold drink and the sandwich special of the day.
Experience the White and Orange Slave Huts of Bonaire
Bonaire has been inhabited for almost 1000 years, when the Arawak tribe first migrated to the island. The origins of Bonaire as we know it today can be traced back to the 1500s, when it first became a Spanish colony. Ownership eventually transferred to the Dutch West India Company, and the island became a salt plantation where many people were enslaved.
In the 1850s, slaves built their own quarters near the salt pans, to the specifications of the company. The tiny huts served as their sleeping place during the week. On the weekends, they walked seven hours to the inland town of Rincon to visit their families.
The huts still stand today as a somber reminder of the island’s history.
Sample the Wares at Cadushy Distillery
Cadushy Distillery, located in Rincon, is the only distillery on the island of Bonaire. It’s created a different type of specialty liqueur for each of six islands in the Dutch Caribbean. Cadushy also makes its own varieties of rum, vodka and whiskey. Sign up for a tasting and learn first-hand how the spirits are produced.
Eric Gietman, a Dutch native, founded the distillery with his wife Jolande in 2009. They decided to move to Bonaire after more than 20 years of visiting the island, and soon realized that the local cadushy cactus could be used to develop a liqueur. This recipe became Cadushy of Bonaire, a cactus liqueur with a cooling lime taste and the first in the distillery’s Island Liqueurs line.
Itching to explore Bonaire both above and below the water? Stay at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino and take scuba diving classes with Divi Dive Bonaire, a five-star PADI dive center. Bon bini na Bonaire!