Caribbean Tourism

Bonaire

Places to Eat & Drink - Grand Cayman

There are dozens of restaurants on Grand Cayman ranging from gourmet standards, to smaller places serving native dishes. In George Town, there are many restaurants catering for the lunchtime trade of the office workers and a number of fast-food places, takeaways and delicatessens. Prices obviously vary according to the standard of restaurant, but for dinner...

Excursions

Hire a car if you do not want to go on an organized tour. The island can be toured in a day if you start early but it is more pleasant to do a north tour on one day and a south tour another. Take food and drinks, there are rarely any available along the way, and aim to picnic somewhere you can swim to cool off. The North: North of Kralendijk the road passes...

Kralendijk

Kralendijk meaning coral dike, the capital of Bonaire, is a small, sleepy town with colourful buildings one or two storeys high. It is often referred to locally as simply ‘Playa’, because of its historic position as the main landing place. The town is just a few blocks long with some streets projecting inland. In 1999 a seaside promenade project was...

Shopping

Bonaire is not a major shopping centre, though some shops do stock high quality low duty goods. Sales tax is 5%. The Harbourside Shopping Mall contains small boutiques and a 1 hr photo processing shop, Kodalux, T7178123. Photo Tours at Plaza Resort Bonaire, also offers full underwater facilities and equipment rental. Local arts and crafts are largely sea-...

Government & Economy

Bonaire has a fairly diversified economy with salt mining, oil trans-shipment, a textile factory, rice mill and radio communications industry. The Antilles International Salt Company has reactivated the long dormant salt industry, which benefits so greatly from the constant sunshine (with air temperatures averaging 27°C and water 26°C), scant rainfall (less...

Other Sports

Tennis Courts There are tennis courts at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, open 0800-2200, T8285; the Harbour Village Beach Resort; Sand Dollar Condominium Resort, open 0900-2100, T8738; and at Sunset Beach Hotel, open 0800-1030, 1530-2100, T8291. Horse Riding There is also horse riding but little else in the way of land based sports. Kunuku Warahama has...

Food & Drink

International food at the major hotels varies on different nights of the week with barbecues or Indonesian nights, etc. Two good places to watch the fish are the Green Parrot at the Sand Dollar Beach Club and the Chibi Chibi at the Divi Flamingo (but do not feed them). Main courses in the upper-priced restaurants are about US$12-20, but several restaurants...

Festivals

Public Holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queen’s Birthday (30 April), Labour Day (1 May), Ascension Day, Bonaire Day (6 September), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Flora & Fauna

The old salt pans of Pekelmeer, needed by the Salt Company, posed an ecological problem: Bonaire has one of the largest Caribbean flamingo colonies in the Western Hemisphere, and these birds build their conical mud nests in the salt pans. Pleas from wildlife conservationists convinced the company that it should set aside an area of 56 ha for a flamingo...

Entertainment

Not well developed, but there are a few places. Check schedule of Bonaire’s Weekly Happenings update at tourist office. Kaya LD Gerharts Paradise Disco is at Kaya LD Gerharts 11, T7177345. Karel’s Beach Bar Karel’s Beach Bar has a live band, Kaya K Craane 12, from 2200 Fri and Sat. Harbour Village Beach Resort Harbour Village Beach Resort has a mariachi...

Diving & Marine Llife

The least developed and least populated of the ABC islands, Bonaire has a special appeal to devotees of the sea, whose treasures are unsurpassed in the Caribbean. Surrounding the island are coral reefs harbouring over a thousand different species of marine creatures. Bonaire is outside the hurricane belt, so storms have not damaged the reef, while with...

Beaches & Watersports

Bonaire is not noted for its beaches; the sand is usually full of coral and rather hard on the feet, and those on the leeward coast are narrow. Beaches in front of some hotels have been helped with extra sand. However, they do offer peace and quiet, and you will not get pestered by people trying to sell you things. Recommended are Sorobon (a private, nudist...

Accommodations

High season rates (16 December to two weeks after Easter) are roughly double low-season rates in the more expensive hotels; the cheaper ones tend to charge the same all year round. August is ‘family month’ with lots of good deals. Dive packages are available at most resorts. A US$5.50 or US$6.50 per person per night government tax and 10-15 percent service...

Tourist Information

Local Tourist Office: Kaya Simón Bolívar 12, Kralendijk T7178322, F7178408 www.InfoBonaire.com The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (Bonhata) T7175134, F7178534 i...@bonhata.org The Bonaire tourist map shows all the dive and snorkelling sites around the island as well as the best bird watching places. The Official Roadmap with Dive Sites is available...

Communication

Phone codes within the Caribbean: 599-7 Telephone Services: Direct dialling to the USA with a credit card is available at the airport and at Telbo in town. The international code for Bonaire is 599, followed by a 7-digit number beginning with 717. For information on services, contact Telbo, T7177000, F7175007. To rent a cellular phone, T09-5692244/6999....