Bonaire Topside Attractions

Quick-Jump List:
1000 Steps | Alta Mira | Boka Onima | Bonaire's Museum | Donkey Sanctuary
Gotomeer | Indian Inscriptions | Karpata | Klein Bonaire | Lac-Cai
Magazina di Rei | Pink Beach | Rincon | Salt Company | Seru Largo
Slave huts | Sorobon | Washington Slagbaai National Park
Willemstoren Lighthouse


Photo/Janice Huckaby
1000 Steps:
This is one of the numerous dive and snorkel sites on the northern side of Bonaire. 1000 Steps can be reached either by boat or car, but if you drive to this area you will have to take 67 steps to get down to the beach. Obviously, there are not actually 1000 Steps, but it may feel like it when you make your way up with all your gear after a dive.

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Alta Mira:
Visitors and locals alike often overlook this spot. Alta Mira Unjo is charming area that has stone benches and walls where you can sit and enjoy the constant trade winds and breathtaking view. From this point visitors can see both the windward and leeward side of Bonaire in one panoramic sweep. Look for the sign on the north side of the road leading to Rincon. The bumpy ride is worth taking!

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Boka Onima:
The legend is that the first man who arrived on Bonaire set foot at Boka Onima. The area is a natural inlet or mouth where the sea reaches the shore by traversing a long sloping beach. The surrounding cliffs make it virtually impossible for a landing, so as the myth goes, this is where the first Bonairean made landfall.

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Bonaire's Museum:
There are two museums on the island. The largest is located just outside of town, containing different works of local artists as well as exhibits from the early days of Bonaire. There is a modest entrance fee.

The second museum can be found at the northern side of the island at the entrance to Washington/Slagbaai National Park. This museum has displays of plantation life, wildlife, geology, tools and other articles. There is no charge for entrance.

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Donkey Sanctuary:
The Donkey Sanctuary is a non-profit foundation, founded in order to improve the living conditions of the donkeys on Bonaire. The Donkey Sanctuary is a nice park for the whole family to enjoy. On arrival at the park, you will be greeted by the wonderful animals.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Gotomeer:
This inland lake is perhaps one of the most picturesque spots on Bonaire. Chances are, visitors to this spot will get a close-up view of Bonaire's shy signature bird, the pink flamingo. The northern route winds along the lake's southern shore. There is also a scenic overlook where much of the island's bird life can be viewed.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Indian Inscriptions:
There are a number of locations where primitive rock drawings can be found. The most visible are located opposite Boka Onima. The drawings, whose age is yet to be determined, were thought to be made by the Caiqueto Indians, an Arawak Indian tribe. The drawings are similar to ones found in caves in South American.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Karpata:
The Land House Karpata was the mainhouse of a plantation that grew aloe and divi divi trees. It was restored and used as a research center for a number of years. Presently, the complex is being used for a substance abuse treatment center.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Klein Bonaire:
This little sister island to Bonaire was recently purchased from its owners and given to the people of the island to remain in perpetuity as an undeveloped area. The funds to purchase the island came from both public and private sources. The island has a number of dive and snorkel sites that now will be preserved for the enjoyment and pleasure for generations to come.

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Lac-Cai:
This is a popular spot among locals and visitors, especially on weekends when there is music and local food. At Lac-Cai the sea is shallow and calm, which make it a great place for kids and adults alike. Lac-Cai also is a great place to kayak through the mangroves while observing the birds in that area.

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Magazina di Rei:
The Magazina di Rei (the Kings Storehouse) is the oldest stone building found on Bonaire. It was used for the storage of crops after the fall harvest period. Presently, it has been undergoing restoration and will be turned into an open air museum and a botanical garden with plants and trees that were native to the Caribbean islands.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Pink Beach:
Pink Beach is the longest beach on the island. It features fine pink sand and is very popular for swimming and sunning. Snorkeling and diving are possible here, however you need to swim out a fair distance from shore. This beach was featured on the cover of Caribbean Travel and Life magazine as one of the best in the Caribbean.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Rincon:
Northwest of Kralendijk is Bonaire's oldest village, first settled by the Spanish. Many of Bonaire's cultural events take place in and around Rincon. On the first Saturday of each month, a local market is set up where visitors can sample local food and purchase souvenirs created by many of the talented artists of the island.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Salt Company:
Salt production has been a major industry on Bonaire for more than 350 years. Cargill Incorporated has been operating the salt production on Bonaire since 1997. These wonderful mountains of white salt crystals can be seen on the southern part of the island. Bonaire affectionately refer to them as the Bonairean Alps.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Seru Largo:
Another scenic overlook, Seru Largo (long hill) is just north of the barrio of Nort Saliņa. Daytime visitors are treated to a view of Kralendijk, Klein Bonaire and the major resort area. This is one of the best spots to stargaze and view the city lights.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Slave huts:
These small buildings were used during slavery as shelters for the workers who toiled in the saltpans. There are two sets lining the southern shore of the island. They stand as mute testimony to a painful time in the history of humankind and have been preserved as a reminder of that period.

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Sorobon:
Sorobon is located on the opposite of Lac-Cai. This area is well known for windsurfing. Beginners will enjoy learning here since the water at Sorobon is not too deep, and the winds blow toward the shore. Experienced surfers can go farther offshore for more challenging conditions. All windsurfing facilities are available at Sorobon.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Washington Slagbaai National Park:
This 13,500-acre tract of land has been operating as a wildlife preserve since the 1960s. The park is home to most of Bonaire's 190 plus bird species, including parrots, hummingbirds and flamingoes. It also contains several snorkel and dive sites. For panoramic views of the island, climb Mount Brandaris (784 feet/240 meters), which is the highest point on the island.

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Photo/Janice Huckaby
Willemstoren Lighthouse:
This historical lighthouse marks the southernmost point of the island. The lighthouse keeper's residence, awaiting restoration, can be seen next to the impressive tower. Originally, all of Bonaire's beacons were tended manually. Today, they are automatic and fueled by solar power.

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