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Bonaire is quiet, dry and quite scrubby, and if those conditions don't sound appealing then just wait until you see what's below the waterline! Dry and scrubby on-land equals crystal clear and shimmering water with bright corals and tropical marine life. The majority of the best places to stay on Bonaire are immaculately set up for divers and snorkellers. However, this is also a beautiful spot if you're just looking for some peace and pale sands...
Bonaire is a mid-sized member of the Dutch Leeward Islands, entirely classified as a national park because of the island's spectacular reefs, and often described as the quiet cousin of Curacao.
As well as the exceptional diving and snorkelling conditions, Bonaire is also known for its windsurfing conditions. And, of course, for its flamingos!
Historically, this island was more involved in harvesting salt (a backbreaking and brutal task) than the sugar trade, and there are several museums dedicated to informing guests about the island's chequered past.
What Not To Miss
- Bonaire National Marine Park is the perfect spot to head off diving, whether on your own or with an instructor to guide you. Home to a wide variety of marine life, this definitely promises to be a memorable experience that you won't forget in a hurry!
- Spend your day at Klein Bonaire beach, with its lovely white sand and turquoise waters filled to the brim with tropical fish - ideal for snorkelling. Bring along a picnic and be sure to check out the local flamingos.
- Head off on a tour of Cadushy Distillery, a unique spot where they make liqueur out of cactuses! The tour covers the entire distillation process and, of course, allows you a taste of their various drinks.
- Kids will love visiting Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire, home to over 400 rescued donkeys who roam the area freely. You can even buy some hay or carrots to go round and feed them, getting up close and personal with the animals.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Bonaire range from great value beachside retreats to all out luxury with five star facilities.
For great value
- Den Laman is a cool collection of condos right on the beach, offering accommodation in rooms or apartments which sleep up to four. They all have their own kitchens and private balconies, but there's also a restaurant onsite. And a dive centre, of course. Plus, rooms start from just £78 per night.
- Sonrisa is a bright yellow, boutique style hotel just one street back from the beach. Inside the decor is more muted, but it's still modern and chic. There are just 10 rooms, starting from £80 per night.
- La Pura Vista is a four room guesthouse on a quiet residential street with lovely views out to sea. Rooms are chic and modern - one has a private hot tub. What's more, they have balconies overlooking a central courtyard with a large swimming pool.
To treat yourself
- Harbour Village is a tropical hideaway resort right on a white, sandy beach. Dutch-Caribbean style cabanas are only separated from the sand by their own private patios, and there are five star hammocks, a five star pool and five star dive facilities.
For An Apartment or Villa
- If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available with our partner, booking.com.
- Visitors can fly into Bonaire International Airport. There are no direct flights offered from the UK; usually you'll have at least one changeover, (most commonly in Amsterdam).
- Given that it's located in the Caribbean, Bonaire enjoys wonderful weather year-round. In fact, there's only 3°C difference in temperature between the warmest month (September, averaging 30°C) and the coldest (January, averaging 27°C).
- December to April is the island's peak season, so it's probably best to visit from May to October if you're looking for more peace and quiet as well as cheaper accommodation.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Bonaire
Sonrisa 10 rooms from £80Bonaire
A charming boutique hotel painted yellow set around a courtyard swimming pool strewn with palm trees. Contemporary chic rooms and suites have all the mod cons, muted tones, and walk-out terraces. Excellent value, close to the beach and all the attractions.Value chic - Good prices, close to the beach, 5 minutes from the airport.Sights nearby - Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary, Bonaire Butterfly Garden.Diving - Diving course and PADI lessons.Restrictions on children - 10 and over welcome.
Den Laman 16 rooms from £78Kralendijk, Bonaire
A collection of condos directly on the beach. Rooms and two apartments (sleep four) each have kitchens and enormous private balconies, all simply decorated beach-style. Restaurant, pool, and a diving centre on site. Ideal for water sports enthusiasts or families. Great value.Beach Life - Ideally positioned on the beach for sporting enthusiasts.Views - Views directly onto the beach.Families - Two apartments sleep four.Active Holiday - Diving centre on site.
Harbour Village 40 rooms from £532Bonaire
A glorious tropical hideaway resort directly on the beach. Sumptuous Dutch-Caribbean cabanas in creams with four poster beds, splashes of colour, and patios leading onto the beach. Hammocks amongst the palm trees, swimming pool, Five Star PADI pool. Romantic, family friendly, luxurious.Diving - Five Star PADI diving centre.Views - Great views from hotelBeach LifeActive HolidayRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels, Fodors
La Pura Vista 4 rooms from £131Bonaire
An intimate guesthouse on a quiet residential street with stunning views over the island and out to sea. Contemporary chic rooms and a suite have all the mod cons, one, a private hot tub, and balconies onto the courtyard. Large swimming pool, family friendly, and a library.Views - Stunning views over the island and out to the Caribbean sea.Private Hot Tub - The suite has a private jacuzzi.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor