Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands, lies off Venezuela’s coast in the southern Caribbean. Its reef-lined coast is protected by Bonaire National Marine Park. Beyond its rich marine life, the island shelters lizards, donkeys and birds within its immense Washington Slagbaai National Park, marked by beaches, lagoons, caverns and desert-like hills.
Upper Hell's Gate
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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.
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.
Clearbottom Mangrove Kayak & Snorkel Tour
Mangroves are one of Bonaire’s most important ecosystems. Discover them with an experienced nature guide on this clear-bottom kayak tour of Lac Bay’s mangroves, with snorkeling gear so you can see even more. Learn about four different species of mangroves and the complex relationship between plants, animals and fish as you paddle.
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