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 completed along the Playa section of Kralendijk, which will eventually be extended south to the Divi Flamingo hotel. Most of the shops are in the small Harbourside Shopping Mall and on the main street, the name of which changes from J A Abraham Boulevard to Kaya Grandi to Breedestraat.
The Museum (Department of Culture), Sabana 14, houses snippets of folklore, archaeology and a shell collection. Weekdays 0800-1200, 1300-1700, T7178868. The small Fort Oranje has been renovated and now houses the Bonairean court of justice as well as a permanent archaeological collection with items found during the renovation. There is a plaza called Wilhelminaplein, in which stands a monument to the Bonaireans who were killed in the Merchant Marines in the Second World War, and a fish market built like a Greek temple.
Stop in at the Bonaire Art Gallery, Kaya LD Gerharts 10, run by Bonnie Kerr. Most of the artwork is made on the island and there is a thriving culture of drift-wood art. Personal exhibitions are held November- April. The most famous artist living on Bonaire is Vgo. He is best known for his image of a barracuda with a heart and his artwork is represented worldwide.