Our returning visitors love Bonaire for its beauty and nature as much as the sense of freedom and relaxation you feel soon as soon as you arrive. Shorts, hats and sunglasses on, down the road you venture, maybe passing a wild donkey along the way. You stop and stand on an ancient marine terrace among cacti and divi trees and look out over the sea and its myriad shades of blue.
The arid landscape combined with the azure Caribbean provide a unique backdrop for many different experiences on Bonaire, whether you’re after adventure or a quiet retreat. To get around our small island, you can rent a car, scooter or bicycle. Taxi service is also available at the airport and across the island in general. There are even frequent water taxis out to Klein Bonaire, a small nearby island. If you prefer, Hamlet Oasis can arrange a group or private guided tour – just let us know ahead of your visit.
Nature is undoubtedly Bonaire’s main resource and thanks to early pioneering and conservation efforts, we still have much of it to enjoy! For a start, learn about Stinapa and our National Parks, the oldest in the Dutch Caribbean. Since 1979, the Bonaire National Marine Park has protected the delicate fringing coral reef encircling the entire island, making it world famous as a hotspot for marine biodiversity. This park also includes the nearby undeveloped island of Klein Bonaire and mangrove and seagrass communities in Lac Bai.
Washington Slagbaai National Park, our land park in the north, was established even earlier in 1969 and is expansive, occupying 35 km2, nearly a quarter of the island. It is largely arid forest with cactus scrub as well as marine terraces, caves, sandy beaches and saliñas (salt flats). Slagbaai is an important and secluded sanctuary for all kinds of native plants and wildlife. You will undoubtedly enjoy these parks as a diver, snorkeller, hiker, birdwatcher or just by roaming around – just be sure and buy an online Marine Park Dive or Nature tag if you do - https://stinapabonaire.org/stinapa/nature-tags/!
Along with the parks, you can visit the solar salt flats in the south or saliñas to the north. There are restaurants, shopping and museums in Kralendijk as well as local crafts and restaurants available in Rincón and other spots around the island.
Even if you don’t venture far, your porch at Hamlet Oasis is great for armchair travel! Many guests enjoy the challenge of photographing our Ruby-topaz hummingbirds in our gardens. We also have the spectacular yellow and black Troupials, parrots and prikichi, iguanas, lizards and even bats from nearby caves visiting us.
“STINAPA is dedicated to manage and share, protect and restore, promote and educate the resources, biodiversity and values of Bonaire’s nature.”
- Visit the website of Stinapa
- Visit the website of Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance
- Check out the Nature tag