Bonaire National Marine Park is the oldest marine reserve in the world. It includes the sea around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire from the water line to a depth of 60 meters. The park was established in 1979 and covers 2600 hectares of coral reef, seagrass and mangroves. The Lac Bay lagoon is also part of the underwater park.
Lac Bay is an 8 km2 shallow lagoon in the southeast of Bonaire. The azure colored inner bay is bordered on the northern side by a unique mangrove forest and is closed on the east side by a coral dam. The beaches in this protected nature area are bright white. The water is a paradise for windsurfers.
Washington Slagbaai National Park is the oldest nature park on Bonaire. The park has existed since 1969 and covers 5643 hectares. The park is located in the northwest. The area consists of sand dunes, beach, mangrove, saliña (salt lakes and inlets of dead coral) and forest. Washington Slagbaai National Park with its many flamingos and iguanas is one of Bonaire's most famous attractions.
The unique slave houses on Bonaire are world famous. In fact, in most places in the world all memories from the time of slavery have been carefully erased. On Bonaire they still remember the colonial era of the West Indian Company (WIC). You can find the slave houses on the dyke that separates the salt lakes from the Caribbean Sea.
The salt lakes in the southwest of Bonaire are a feast for the eyes. The reflection of sunlight in the constantly changing salt content, creates a certain hypnotic purple glow. Together with the snow-white salt mountains on the edge of the lakes, this creates a surreal alien landscape!
Fort Oranje is the oldest building in Bonaire. This building from 1639 is located in the south of the capital Kralendijk, near the coast. Shortly after the fort was built by the Dutch, it was an impressive building that was visible from afar. From 1639, four powerful English guns kept watch at the fort. These guns date from the years 1808 - 1812.
Rincon, the oldest village of Bonaire, was founded in 1527 by the then Spanish settlers. It is a beautiful Caribbean village with various churches, historic buildings and monuments. Rincon is centrally located on the island. From the hills of Rincon you have a view on both the eastern side and the western side of the Caribbean Sea.
The Willemstoren in Kralendijk is the oldest lighthouse in Bonaire. The tower from 1838 has the shape of a Doric column and is named after King Willem I. The Willemstoren still works. The lights now work fully automatically on solar cells. The nearby lighthouse keeper's house is now a ruin.
Klein Bonaire (small Bonaire) is a small and uninhabited island off the coast of Bonaire, right in front of the capital Kralendijk. The island is part of Bonaire National Marine Park. The reef around Klein Bonaire is known for its large number of seahorses and other marine life. Klein Bonaire is also a nesting place for sea turtles (especially the leatherback turtle). That is why Klein Bonaire is very popular as a diving destination.