White slave houses on the beach in Kralendijk, Bonaire

Things to do in  Kralendijk

A dose of Dutch Caribbean culture

The colorful architecture of Kralendijk—the capital and main port of the Dutch Caribbean island Bonaire—greets you with a bright and cheery disposition. Even though it only comprises a few blocks, there are still plenty of things to do here. Stroll along the main street of Kaya Grandi; tour the Bonaire Museum to learn about the island's history; and visit historic sites such as Fort Orange. Although it’s the least known of the “ABC” islands, Bonaire and its capital attract plenty of cruise ship passengers and scuba divers.

Top 3 attractions in Kralendijk

Bonaire National Marine Park

Established in 1979, Bonaire National Marine Park displays the biodiversity of Caribbean coral reefs in all of their richness and vibrancy. The park offers 6,700 acres (2,700 hectares) of reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves and is home to rare species such as the green sea turtles and queen conch.More

Klein Bonaire

Just off the western shore of Bonaire, tucked into the crook of the main island’s natural crescent shape, sits the islet of Klein Bonaire ("Little Bonaire"). The uninhabited, low-lying island is about 1,500 acres (607 hectares) in size and only rises about 6 feet (1.8 meters) out of the water. The shallow reefs around the island are lush and pristine.More

Seru Largu Lookout

Since so much time on Bonaire is spent enjoying the water and sand, it’s nice to escape to the hills for a minute and get a view of the island. At Seru Largu, or “Large Hill,” visitors are met with a sweeping view of the island’s western shoreline, where the small island of Klein Bonaire hovers just off the turquoise coast. Wild goats, and sometimes iguanas, are visible up on the hill, as is the massive monument with its signature, yellow and white cross. Since Bonaire’s landscape is dusty and dry, the view looks out over fields of cactus and sand running out to the coast, and is one of the island’s best places to watch the sunset or stars come out. Every year on New Years Eve, island locals gather up here to watch the clusters of fireworks, and at any time of year it’s a highlight of taking a small group tour of the island.More

Top activities in Kralendijk

All about Kralendijk

When to visit

Bonaire’s peak season runs from November through April, so expect the biggest crowds during this time, when lots of cruise ship passengers arrive in Kralendijk. You can scuba dive any time of the year here, so if you’re hoping for lower hotel rates and fewer tourists, consider visiting from May through October. Bonaire is situated outside the hurricane belt, so tropical storms are never a big threat.

Getting around

It’s easy to explore the historical sites of Kralendijk on foot. You will need to rent a car, grab a taxi, or book a tour to see the rest of Bonaire though. Some Caribbean cruise itineraries dock for a day in Kralendijk and may offer shore excursions. Taxis are available from the Bonaire International Airport (BON), which is less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Kralendijk. There is currently no ferry service between Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba.

Traveler tips

Between January and July, you’ll be able to spot thousands of Caribbean flamingos during their breeding season in Bonaire. Book a ride from Kralendijk via a glass-bottom boat or water taxi to Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island home to turtle nesting grounds, eagle rays, turtles, and angelfish. All visitors to Bonaire must pay a tourist entry tax, which helps support education, infrastructure, tourism development, and sustainability initiatives on the island.


People Also Ask

What is Bonaire best known for?

Bonaire is best known for its rich marine life and water-related activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing. You can explore the island’s protected reefs and swim alongside the creatures such as turtles, sharks, and rays. Bonaire’s consistent trade winds also make it an idyllic setting for windsurfing.

Can you walk to a beach from the port in Bonaire?

Yes, you can walk to beaches from the port. Cruise ships dock in Kralendijk on the west coast of Bonaire, where most of the island’s beaches are. There are a few within reasonable walking distance, including Chachacha Beach south of the port. The island’s best beaches, though, are only accessible by taxi, car, or tour bus.

What is the best month to visit Bonaire?

Most travelers head to Bonaire during the winter months, from November through April, with January being the most popular month. From May to October, there are usually fewer tourists and better hotel deals. Plus, Bonaire is located outside the hurricane belt, making any month a good time to visit.

Can you walk around Bonaire?

Kralendijk, the capital city of Bonaire, is walkable, but you’ll need to rent a car, take a taxi, or book a tour to see the rest of the island, which can easily be explored by car in a day. It only takes about 3-4 hours to drive around the entirety of Bonaire. Cruise ship passengers docking in Kralendijk can book shore excursions or guided tours.

Is Bonaire expensive?

Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Bonaire is considered affordable; it’s the least expensive of the Dutch Caribbean “ABC” islands, especially if you visit in the low season. Keep in mind that activities like scuba diving can be pricey. There aren’t any major hotel chains on Bonaire, which means that you can usually find more affordable accommodation in smaller resorts.

How safe is Bonaire for tourists?

The crime rate on Bonaire is relatively low, and the island is considered safe for tourists. But like with any travel, you should remain alert and take precautionary measures in order to reduce the chance of any incidents. Remember to never leave your belongings unattended on the beach, and avoid remote areas at night.

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