- Continental region – Southern Caribbean.
- Currency symbol of Bonaire –United States Dollar($)
- Capital City – Kralendijk
- Official languages – Dutch
- Population – 20,104 (2019)
- Country dialling code – (+599)
- Official website – Bonaire
- Top 3 biggest industries –Industries: tourism (Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire), petroleum refining (Curaçao)
- Google Maps link –Bonaire
- Where is it? –Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands, lies off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean.
Bonaire In Pictures
- How did the country get its current name? -The name ‘Bonaire’ is thought to be derived from the Caquetio word ‘Bonay’, meaning ‘low country’. The early Spanish and Dutch modified its spelling to Bojnaj and also Bonaire.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? – The earliest inhabitants were Caquetio Indians – noted for their tall stature – who travelled from Venezuela by canoe about a thousand years ago.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? -The first inhabitants of Bonaire were the Caiquetios, a tribe of Arawak Indians who are believed to have been relocated from the Venezuela mainland 1,000 years ago.
- When it was first recognized as a country? – 10 October 2010 it became a special municipality of The Netherlands.
- Who was the first leader of the country? -In 2017, Bonaire Mission was established as a part of Dutch Caribbean Union Mission. The first president of Bonaire Mission was Pastor Suandy Selassa.
Five Significant Events
- Bonaire Carnival: Late February/early March sees the most colourful and spectacular festival of the island’s calendar and is one of the best times of the year to visit Bonaire. (https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/caribbean/bonaire/festivals-and-events)
- Simadan Festival: A folk festival held in April, the celebration was originally a harvest event. Originally farmers, with the assistance of friends and family. (https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/caribbean/bonaire/festivals-and-events)
- Bonaire Dive Festival: Bonaire has hosted this dive festival every June since 1997, which focuses primarily on conservation. (https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/caribbean/bonaire/festivals-and-events)
- Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival: Held every July, Bonaire’s jazz fest has been running since 2005. (https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/caribbean/bonaire/festivals-and-events)
- Bonaire International Sailing Regatta: An annual sailing event every October, the Bonaire regatta includes a variety of boat races along the coast. (https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/caribbean/bonaire/festivals-and-events)
Five Places to Visit in Bonaire
- Bonaire National Marine Park, Bonaire: Comprising a system of fringing reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, beaches, and lagoons, Bonaire National Marine Park is one of the Caribbean’s premier dive destinations. The park encircles all of Bonaire, as well as Klein Bonaire islet, and is famous for its water clarity, calm seas, and diversity of fish life. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/netherlands-antilles-nan.htm)
- Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire: Occupying about one-fifth of the island of Bonaire, the Washington-Slagbaai National Park encompasses cactus-covered hillsides, mangroves, beaches, sand dunes, and salt pans. The park is best navigated in a four-wheel-drive vehicle because of the rugged dirt roads. It’s an excellent place to spot some of the island’s many species of birds, including flamingos, herons, and parakeets, and the plant life reflects the island’s arid climate. Many species of cacti as well as mesquite and Brazilwood trees grow here. Other animals found within the park include sea turtles, donkeys, goats, and iguanas. Subi Brandaris, the highest point on the island, offers a fine view of the surroundings. On clear days, you might even glimpse the coast of Venezuela. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/netherlands-antilles-nan.htm)
- Klein Bonaire, Bonaire: Part of the Bonaire National Marine Park, Klein (“little”) Bonaire is a flat, uninhabited islet lying a mere 800 meters off Bonaire’s concave west coast. Fringed by white sands, turquoise waters, and coral reefs teeming with marine life, this island is a favorite of divers and snorkelers. Large reef fish, many pelagic species, turtles, and seahorses swim these translucent waters, and many dive sites can be accessed from shore. No Name Beach here is one of Bonaire’s best beaches. Water taxis and dive boats transport visitors across from Kralendijk, but you need to bring your own food, refreshments, and shade protection. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/netherlands-antilles-nan.htm)
- Lac Bay, Bonaire: On Bonaire’s eastern windward side, Lac Bay (Lac Baai) is a hot spot for windsurfing. Smooth waters and steady winds create excellent conditions for both beginner and more advanced windsurfers. Thanks to the bay’s shallow waters and prolific marine life, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking are also popular here. The mangrove forest of Lac Bay is one of the best preserved in the Caribbean. In the seagrass beds between the mangroves and reef, snorkelers may spot queen conchs, stingrays, and lobsters. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/netherlands-antilles-nan.htm)
- Mangrove Kayak Tours, Bonaire: The Mangrove Information Center offers guided kayaking and snorkelling tours through the pristine mangrove forests of Lac Bay. The seagrass beds here are a fertile environment for marine species such as conch, lobsters, stingrays, juvenile reef fish, and green turtles, and the clear, shallow waters are perfect for snorkelling. Paddling through this fragile environment, you’ll learn all about how the plants and animals are uniquely adapted to survive here. Tours are also offered in solar boats for those who prefer not to kayak. (https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/netherlands-antilles-nan.htm)