10 activities on Bonaire that have nothing to do with diving

In the beautiful waters surrounding Bonaire, the lure of diving beckons, but did you know there is so much more to do on Bonaire? This blog is dedicated to vacationers who are also curious about what the island has to offer beyond the underwater world. Discover with us the top 10 activities on Bonaire.

Activiteit mangrove bonaire kajakken

1. Kayaking & snorkeling in the mangrove area of Lac Bay

The Lac Bay mangrove forest is one of the best-preserved mangrove forests in the Caribbean. In this area you will find three different types of mangrove trees in crystal clear water. As you kayak, you’ll understand why we call this area “the nursery. During the one- or two-hour kayak tours, you will be taken to snorkel through a mangrove channel, among other things. This offers an interesting perspective that visitors to Bonaire rarely experience. Between the mangroves and the barrier reef you will discover large areas covered with seagrass, crucial for the habitat of queen crown snails and other marine animals such as baby rays, lobsters and seahorses. Seagrass also plays an important role in filtering water in Lac Bay, keeping it clear. You book this excursion through the Mangrove Info Center.

2. Explore the caves of Bonaire

Bonaire has more than 200 caves, some with fresh water, essential for local wild goats. Four are accessible to people, including one with a ladder. The caves reveal beautiful formations such as stalagmites and stalactites, they also house various animals such as bats. Conservationists and cavers still have a big job to do to explore and protect this underground world. You’re not allowed to enter the caves without a guide; besides being forbidden, it’s just plain dangerous. But good news! There are special cave tours you can join to explore the caves. Good to know, to explore the caves, you have to descend via ladder, stairs or even with ropes over the rocks, especially in the cave where you can swim and snorkel.

3. Visiting the donkeys at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is home to as many as 800 donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary provides them with food, water and medical care, and promotes awareness about donkeys among islanders, schools and tourists. Volunteers help in emergency situations with wild donkeys and sick animals are cared for at the shelter, with help from a veterinarian if needed. Visitors are welcome to explore the park, with the opportunity to buy grass chunks and feed the curious donkeys. Driving around is allowed by car, golf cart, scooter or bicycle. Walking around is also possible, of course. For more information, visit the Donkey Sanctuary website.

4. Kitesurfing & wingfoiling on Bonaire at Atlantis (Kite-Beach).

In the south of Bonaire, near the salt flats, you’ll find the “dive site” Atlantis, better known today as Kite-Beach. This is the place to learn to kitesurf and wingfoil. You can book 2/3 hour private or semi private lessons where you will learn all about this cool sport. If you can already kite-surf, you can rent equipment here to just do your own thing. There is also an intermediate option called “launch & pick-up,” in which an instructor will keep an eye on you and possibly pick you up if you disappear just a little too far towards Curacao…. pretty handy. Check out the Bonaire Kiteschool website for more information.

5. Windsurfing on Bonaire at Sorobon/Jibe-City

Besides kite-surfing, you can also windsurf on Bonaire! This is not in the same place but a little more southeast on the island, at Sorobon. This is a very relaxing place to spend a day chilling at a beach club anyway, but that aside for now. The water at Sorobon is about meters high, ideal for windsurfing because if you fall off your board you actually get back on in no time. You can take windsurfing lessons at Jibe-City or just rent equipment if you can already surf.

6. Visit Washington Slagbaai National Park

In the very north of Bonaire you will find the Washington Slagbaai National Park. You can explore this park by car, there is a long route (about 3 hours) and a short route (about 1.5 hours). Along the way you will stop at several places where there is something special to see, such as wild cliffs with water gushing up, an old lighthouse, etc.

Washington Slagbaai National Park is a 4,286-acre protected area in northwestern Bonaire. Established in 1969, it is the first nature reserve in the Netherlands Antilles. It provides a safe haven for native and endangered species such as parrots, flamingos, parakeets, iguanas and sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beaches. The park also has a rich historical legacy, once inhabited by South American natives and with two of the largest plantations during the colonial period. The visitor center at the entrance offers a lot of information, you will be given a folder and there is also a museum.

You can also do fantastic hiking here. The park offers three hiking trails, each with orientation signs. The Lagadishi “Lizard” hiking trail is easy and takes 2 hours. The Kasikunda climbing route is moderate and takes 45 minutes. The Subi Brandaris route is difficult and takes 1.5 hours. The Brandaris rises to a height of 241 meters, making the top of the mountain the highest point Bonaire marks.

7. Visit Klein-Bonaire for swimming & snorkeling

Of course you can snorkel and swim in lots of places on Bonaire, almost every dive site where divers enter the water has potential. A really nice outing for snorkeling is Klein Bonaire. This is the little peninsula you see from the west coast. On Klein Bonaire you can enjoy swimming, relaxing and snorkeling. For the rest, there is nothing. No habitation, no hospitality etc. However, there are 3 saliñas that attract flamingos and a diversity of flora and fauna. Surely the main reason people visit Klein Bonaire is for a day of sun, sea, beach.

Klein Bonaire is about 800 meters by boat (20 minutes). Nice to know, once a year there is even a swim from Bonaire to ‘Klein’. Fortunately, you can get to Klein a little easier, namely with the water cab that leaves several times daily. The Caribe Watersports website has all the information about the ferry.

8. Sailing on Bonaire’s west coast & Food Cruises

Various sailing and boat trips are offered on Bonaire by companies that have, for example, a catamaran or a very nice schooner. The concept is pretty much the same; sailing in the calm waters of the west coast, a snack, drink, brunch, BBQ or dinner and often the opportunity to snorkel/swim. It is a very relaxed activity that you can join individually or even rent the whole boat as a group. On viator’ s site you will find a nice overview of the options.

9. Landsailing on Bonaire

Landsailing, also known as blokarting, is a sport in which participants race across the land in three-wheeled sailing carts powered by the wind. On Bonaire, Bonaire Landsailing Adventures offers this adventurous activity, where enthusiasts can experience the thrill of windsurfing on wheels, with the island’s constant trade winds as their powerful companion. This is a super fun group activity to do on, say, the last day of vacation, but do be a little careful 😉

10. Various excursions

On Viator’ s website you will find many more excursions offered on Bonaire, often by small companies. Take a good look at the reviews, but generally these types of excursions are viewed very positively and there is quite a variety to choose from. A photo shoot, yoga on the beach or SUP, a night tour, a visit to Rincon, mountain biking. There really is a lot to do on Bonaire that has nothing to do with diving at all. 

Also on vacation to Bonaire?

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