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Bonaire: Best Things To Do, Hotels + Packing List – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Glynda Abraham



Welcome to Bonaire, a hidden gem in the Caribbean that offers breathtaking natural beauty, pristine beaches, and a tranquil atmosphere. Located in the southern Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela, Bonaire is part of the ABC islands, alongside Aruba and Curaçao. This small Dutch Caribbean island is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its world-class diving and snorkeling sites, diverse marine life, and captivating landscapes.


Bonaire is renowned for its commitment to preserving its natural resources and marine ecosystems. In fact, it was designated as a marine park in 1979, making it one of the world’s most incredible dive destinations. The island boasts more than 80 dive sites, including vibrant coral reefs, underwater caves, and a unique underwater sculpture park. With crystal-clear turquoise waters and visibility that can reach up to 100 feet, divers and snorkelers will be in awe of the colorful marine life that calls Bonaire home.


Aside from its underwater wonders, Bonaire also offers a myriad of activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Explore the stunning Washington Slagbaai National Park, where you can hike trails, spot flamingos, and encounter native wildlife. Take a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and navigate through the mangroves of Lac Bay. Immerse yourself in the indigenous culture and history by visiting the slave huts, historic forts, and museums.


When it comes to accommodations, Bonaire caters to all types of travelers. From luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy boutique hotels and budget-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration. Many accommodations offer stunning ocean views, on-site amenities, and proximity to popular attractions and diving spots.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best things to do in Bonaire, explore the top hotels on the island, and provide you with a packing list to ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip. Whether you’re a seasoned diver, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking to relax in paradise, Bonaire is sure to exceed your expectations.


Things to Do in Bonaire

Bonaire offers an array of activities and attractions that cater to every type of traveler. From thrilling underwater adventures to exploring the island’s natural landscapes, here are some of the top things to do in Bonaire:

  • Diving and Snorkeling: Bonaire is known as the “Diver’s Paradise” for a reason. With its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will be in awe of the marine life that surrounds the island. Explore iconic dive sites like the Salt Pier, Hilma Hooker wreck, and the famous Bari Reef, which offers an immersive snorkeling experience.
  • Windsurfing and Kitesurfing: With constant trade winds and shallow, turquoise waters, Bonaire is a haven for windsurfers and kitesurfers. Head to Lac Bay, known as one of the best windsurfing spots in the world, and ride the waves or take lessons from expert instructors.
  • Explore Washington Slagbaai National Park: Embark on an adventure to Bonaire’s largest protected area, Washington Slagbaai National Park. Hike through lush landscapes, spot unique flora and fauna, and visit historic sites. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness stunning panoramic views from the park’s highest point, Brandaris Hill.
  • Visit the Donkey Sanctuary: Bonaire is home to a unique population of wild donkeys, and at the Donkey Sanctuary, you can get up close and personal with these gentle creatures. Help feed and care for the donkeys and learn about their conservation efforts.
  • Explore the Mangroves of Lac Bay: Discover the picturesque beauty of Bonaire’s mangroves by taking a kayak or stand-up paddleboard tour through the serene waters of Lac Bay. Marvel at the intricate root systems and spot various bird species that call the mangroves home.
  • Discover the Salt Flats: Bonaire’s salt flats are not only visually stunning but also an important part of the island’s history and economy. Visit the salt pans and learn about the traditional salt harvesting process. Don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing pink hues during sunset.
  • Experience Island Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of Bonaire by sampling the local cuisine. From fresh seafood dishes to mouthwatering Caribbean specialties, the island offers a diverse culinary scene. Don’t miss out on the famous “Kadushi” cactus soup, a unique and traditional delicacy.

These are just a few of the many activities and experiences that await you in Bonaire. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or the chance to immerse yourself in nature, this captivating Caribbean island has something for everyone.


Best Hotels in Bonaire

Bonaire offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to intimate boutique hotels and cozy guesthouses. Here are some of the top hotels in Bonaire that ensure a comfortable and memorable stay:

  1. Harbour Village Beach Club: Located on a private beach, Harbour Village is a luxury resort that offers elegant rooms and villas with stunning ocean views. With a PADI 5-star dive center, a spa, and a beautiful infinity pool, this resort is a haven for relaxation and water enthusiasts.
  2. Buddy Dive Resort: Perfect for divers, Buddy Dive Resort provides spacious villas and apartments just steps away from its own dive center. With easy access to some of Bonaire’s best dive sites, as well as amenities like multiple pools, a restaurant, and a beach bar, Buddy Dive Resort caters to both divers and non-divers.
  3. Sorobon Beach Resort: If you’re seeking a tranquil and eco-friendly retreat, Sorobon Beach Resort is the ideal choice. Nestled by the picturesque Lac Bay, the resort offers simple yet comfortable bungalows and beachfront cabanas. It’s a paradise for windsurfers with direct access to the shallow waters of Lac Bay.
  4. Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino: Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Divi Flamingo offers spacious rooms and suites, as well as a casino, three swimming pools, and multiple dining options. With a prime location near the vibrant town of Kralendijk, guests can easily explore the local restaurants, shops, and nightlife.
  5. Den Laman Condominiums: Located just a few steps from the beach, Den Laman Condominiums offers oceanfront apartments and studios with all the comforts of home. The property provides easy access to Bonaire’s main dive sites and is also within walking distance of restaurants and shops in the heart of Kralendijk.
  6. Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire: Situated on a private beach, Plaza Beach Resort offers spacious suites and villas surrounded by lush gardens. Guests can enjoy amenities such as multiple swimming pools, a spa, water sports, and a beachfront bar and restaurant. The resort also boasts a PADI 5-star dive center.

These are just a few examples of the best hotels in Bonaire, each offering its own unique charm and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious beachfront escape or a cozy retreat in nature, Bonaire has accommodations to suit every preference and budget.


Packing List for Bonaire

When preparing for your trip to Bonaire, it’s important to pack appropriately to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here’s a comprehensive packing list to help you prepare for your time in paradise:

  1. Swimwear: Bonaire is famous for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, so be sure to pack plenty of swimwear. Whether you’re diving, snorkeling, or simply relaxing by the beach, having a few swimsuits on hand is essential.
  2. Beach Essentials: Don’t forget to pack essentials such as a beach towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the Caribbean sun. A dry bag or waterproof phone case is also handy for keeping your valuables safe while enjoying water activities.
  3. Dive and Snorkel Gear: If you have your own dive or snorkel gear, consider bringing it with you to Bonaire. However, if you prefer to travel light, most dive shops on the island offer equipment rentals, so you can still enjoy the underwater wonders without the extra baggage.
  4. Light and Breathable Clothing: Bonaire has a warm tropical climate, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts, and dresses. Light long-sleeved tops and pants are also recommended for protection against the sun and mosquitoes in the evenings.
  5. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Bonaire offers a variety of outdoor activities and nature trails, making comfortable walking shoes a must. Whether you’re exploring national parks, strolling through town, or hiking, opt for sturdy shoes that provide support and comfort.
  6. Reef-Friendly Sunscreen: Bonaire is committed to protecting its marine ecosystems, so it’s important to use reef-friendly sunscreen to minimize the impact on the underwater environment. Look for sunscreen brands that are labeled “reef-safe” or “coral-safe” and avoid products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate.
  7. Insect Repellent: While Bonaire doesn’t have a significant mosquito problem, it’s still a good idea to bring some insect repellent for evenings and outdoor activities. Look for a repellent that contains DEET or, if you prefer a natural alternative, opt for repellents with ingredients like lemon eucalyptus or citronella.
  8. Travel Adapter: Bonaire uses a Type A/C electric socket, so be sure to pack a suitable travel adapter to charge your devices and keep them powered throughout your trip.
  9. Travel Documents: Don’t forget to bring your passport, flight tickets, and any necessary travel documents. It’s also a good idea to make a copy of these documents and keep them separate from the originals.
  10. Cash and Credit Cards: While credit cards are widely accepted on the island, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments and local markets. US dollars are accepted, but it’s recommended to have some local currency, the Antillean guilder, for convenience.

Remember to pack light and pack smart, bringing only the essentials and items that you will truly need during your stay in Bonaire. With the right preparation, you’ll be ready to make the most of your time in this Caribbean paradise.



Bonaire is a hidden gem in the Caribbean that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and a tranquil atmosphere. Whether you’re an avid diver, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation on picturesque beaches, Bonaire has something to offer every traveler.


With its commitment to preserving its marine ecosystems, Bonaire has become a haven for divers and snorkelers. The crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life make it an incredible destination to explore the underwater world. But Bonaire is not just for water enthusiasts. The island also boasts stunning landscapes, national parks, and opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture and history.


When it comes to accommodations, Bonaire offers a range of options to suit every preference and budget. From lavish beachfront resorts to cozy guesthouses, you’ll find a comfortable place to stay and unwind after a day of exploration.


And let’s not forget about the mouthwatering cuisine. Bonaire’s culinary scene offers a delightful fusion of Caribbean and international flavors. Whether you’re looking to try fresh seafood, traditional island dishes, or indulge in fine dining, the local restaurants will satisfy your taste buds.


As you plan your trip to Bonaire, be sure to pack the essentials, including swimwear, beach gear, sun protection, and comfortable clothing. And don’t forget your sense of adventure and curiosity as you explore the island’s natural wonders and immerse yourself in the laid-back Caribbean lifestyle.


With its breathtaking beauty, commitment to conservation, and welcoming atmosphere, Bonaire is a destination that will leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure or a peaceful retreat, Bonaire’s charm will captivate you and create memories that will last a lifetime.