Take Your Pick
Caribbean Netherlands, Bonaire
A Stone's Throw From Venezuela
Lacre Punt Light - As far as lighthouses go, the Lacre Punt Light is a really nice one. The crimson and white vertically striped light overlooks the rocky southern shore of Bonaire, a mere 50 miles from Venezuela. Near the base is a one-story light keeper's house that lies in ruins, but makes for some really nice photos. The station was established in 1837 and the round cylindrical masonry tower with gallery stands an impressive 75 feet tall. The tower itself is currently closed, but you are able to walk up to the light unimpeded and walk around the coastal area.
Caribbean Netherlands, Bonaire
Slave Huts
Red Slave Huts - Located on the south end of the island, close to the Cargill Salt Works, are nearly a dozen small pink-hued (red slave) Slave Huts. These huts are what remain of an active 1600s salt trade, where solar salt was harvested by African Slaves. Bonaire at the time was a plantation island of the Dutch West Indies Company. Slaves were forced to not only work the salt, but to cultivate the corn fields (maize) and cut dyewood. At night the slaves slept in these cramped quarters after working all day. The slave huts are well maintained by the parks department and can be entered if you are very small.
Caribbean Netherlands, Bonaire
Best View of the Island
Seru Largu - For the best view of Bonaire, day or night, head to the top of Seru Largu (long hill). From this vantage point you can see the capital of Kralendijk, the small islet of Klien Bonair to the south and on a clear day, the island of Curacao 40 miles away to the west. At night the view is just as beautiful with all the stars dancing in the sky unhindered by city lights. In 2000 a nice monument to the Virgin Mary was built with a large cross towering over a multi-tiered yellow and white structure.
EEG Boulevard, Bonaire
Cargill Salt Works
Salt - In 1633 when the Dutch captured the island of Bonaire, they had slaves collect "solar salt" - salt that was dried in the sun, for use in preserving meat and fish. This was a long time before refrigeration and the end of slavery. Today salt mining continues and nearly 445,000 tons of salt per year is produced on the island (the island surface area is nearly 10% salt pan). You may wonder what is so great about a bunch of salt piles, but they are actually very pretty. The snow white crystals gleam in the Caribbean sun and reflect off the mirrored waters that surround them. To get to the salt piles, just head south on the coastal highway from the Flamingo Airport and you'll be there in minutes.
Klein Bonaire, Bonaire
Little Bonaire
Klien Bonaire - Klien Bonaire, which means "Little Bonaire" in Dutch, is a small 1500 acre uninhabited islet only a half mile from mainland Bonaire. The islet offers great snorkeling, scuba diving, sun worshiping and turtle watching. Back in 2011 it was rumored that Charlie Sheen was going to buy Kliene Bonaire and make it a resort area, but so far all efforts to develop the islet have been prevented in order to keep it natural. Day trips by water taxis to Kline Bonaire's "Unnamed Beach" are available from the main pier in Kralendijk and take only about 10 minutes. If you have time and love crystal clear waters, hop a taxi or swim to this tiny island.
Kralendijk, Bonaire
1000 Steps?
1000 Steps Beach - Even though there are actually only 67 steps, they say when you are trudging scuba equipment up and down the stairs, it feels more like 1000 steps. 1000 Steps Beach is located just north of Kralendijk on the west side of the island and offers some wonderful scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities over colorful coral reefs in warm clear waters. Even if you aren't a water enthusiast, the view from the top of the 67 stairs is worth the trip.
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Bonaire's Capitol Building
Kralendijk - Bonaire's capital of Kralendijk (which translates to dyke made of coral) is the island's largest city with just over 3,000 residents. The capitol building or Governor's Mansion was built in 1837 and serves as the main administrative building and is part of the Caribbean Neatherlands. Near the mansion are Fort Orange, a small fortress and lighthouse built in 1796; Museo Bonairiano, the island's quant and informative historical museum; and dozens of candy-colored restaurants and shops. You can walk the entire "city" from one end to the other in about 15 minutes, so take your time and enjoy this little island paradise.
Rincon, Bonaire
Bonaire's National Park
National Park - Washington Slagbaai National Park was established on May 9, 1969, making it the first Natural Sanctuary of the Netherland Antilles. Prior to becoming a National Park, this northern area of Bonaire was a plantation which supplied salt, charcoal, aloe extract, divi-divi pods (used in leather tanning), and goats for export to Curacao and Europe. Today the area is a great place to see parrots, flamingos, iguanas, cacti and other native plants and animals. There are excellent hiking opportunities with beautiful rocky beach vistas and ice blue ocean panoramas. Be sure to see Malmok, the most northern point of the island which has an abandoned lighthouse and research center. And most importantly, if you plan on visiting, be sure to rent a four wheel drive vehicle - they won't let you in with one of those little windup cars.