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Captivating Caribbean – Quaint Bonaire

I fell in love with Bonaire from the moment I set foot on it. It’s bursting with subtle beauty – earthy coloured official buildings across the port and bright ones just a little inside – but the true magnificence of this Dutch municipality is for those that are adventurous enough to seek it…underwater.

A tiny, almost flat island, Bonaire has a friendly minimalist feel to it. Don’t get fooled by the quietness of the town though – even when a couple of cruise ships are docked on the port – for it has enough activities to keep the sea-loving naturalist in you delighted and excited.

Whether visiting Bonaire for a day or longer, you cannot go away without exploring its underwater exquisiteness. The corals, the fish, there’s as much beauty surrounding the island as there is on the surface and the sights are just out of this world making Bonaire one of the premier destinations for snorkelling.

As it also happens, Bonaire is the very first place I ever snorkelled, and maybe that’s why it will always be special to me.

The best way to explore Bonaire is by walking its streets. You can also hire a quad-bike and head to the hills to explore some of the natural greenery that the island cultivates, or go down to a beach and catch some rays.

For me though, admiring the various buildings that add a bit of history and culture to Bonaire was all the more inserting, mainly because of the dash of colour that these places add to the surroundings.

It’s easy to get carried away as the island makes you feel welcomed and the cosiness is comforting enough to make you want to stay a little longer. It’s a place where you don’t want to do anything but lounge around, relax, maybe visit a bar in the evening, and then let the time just roll on by. Be-warn though, if like me you’re part of a cruise, the ship won’t give two hoots about this and will leave you behind.

What makes Bonaire all the more special is the people that inhabit it. The locals are welcoming and add a certain charm and attractiveness to the region. As the tourism industry is one of the primary forms of revenue, you will see them displaying their artistic talents and/or operating miscellaneous tourist driven activities, but rest assured, no one is pushy or hassles, instead get used to being greeted with a broad smile everywhere you go.

Bonaire packs in a two-in-one deal as it comes along with its own little islet, Klien Bonaire. Long ago, this small flat piece of land served as a Chlorella check-post where ships would have to stop, and the passengers were medically examined before they could proceed to Bonaire. Klien Bonaire till the 1970s was a private island that was later bought by the government of Bonaire – with the help of the locals and authorities – to keep it raw and undeveloped to save the natural fauna and flora of the region. The waters around Klien Bonaire are brimming with life and energy of which the locals are incredibly protective.

Bonaire struck the right chord for me as it has remained “undeveloped” by choice. The locals believe that the natural beauty of the region needs to be preserved and thus very few “modern” constructions have been allowed over the years.

In fact, so passionate are they about nature that surrounds them, the locals even use it as part of their humour routine; Take the “Tourist Tree” for example:

I’m not sure how many people got the joke when our guide informed us of this wonderful tree on our way to a Woodwind Sail & Snorkel Tour (highly recommended) in Bonaire.

She introduced it as the “Tourist Tree”.

While we waited for her to carry on the conversation, when it wasn’t forthcoming, curiosity got the best of someone in the group who finally after a minute asked her “Why?”.

“Because it’s RED and PEELING!” came a sarcastically flat, but well practised, reply.

Now, I don’t plan on explaining the joke to you – which I found to be hilarious – because either you got it or you’re just not a sun person… which, to be honest, is a shame!

Bonaire is all about the quintessential island life; uncomplicated and self-indulging, it is full of so much splendour and simplicity that it makes you realise how hectic life can get back home as we juggle our duties trying to make it through another day. The people and their obsession towards keeping the island as natural as possible is truly exemplary.

Just remember, whenever you are there,  make the most of your time on the island, for it will leave a little mark, that will make you yearn for it, even decades later.


  • Anindya Sundar Basu
    Posted 30 December, 16 at 2:07 PM

    The tourist tree is a concept which I will share with everyone 😉

  • Shelley @Travel-Stained
    Posted 31 December, 16 at 8:06 AM

    Looks incredible. I love the colourful buildings of the town. A Caribbean cruise is high on our list of need-to-do travel activities. Look forward to reading more. All the best for 2017! 😀

    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 31 December, 16 at 8:34 AM

      Thanks Shelley. Although the Caribbean should be explored slowly but for someone like us living on the other side of the planet a cruise works great as we can cover most of of the Sea through it. Wonderful experience and certainly recommended.

  • hellodays
    Posted 4 January, 17 at 5:23 PM

    Nice pictures

  • Gem
    Posted 26 January, 17 at 4:14 AM

    The pictures are breathtaking!
    Traveling is my book of firsts. My first time hiking was in Aruba, first time scuba diving was in Cancun. I can go on!
    I totally understand why Bonaire is special to you because it was where you first snorkeled. Places do hold great memories.
    Happy traveling!

  • coloradotravelingducks
    Posted 26 January, 17 at 7:29 AM

    Really appreciated this post. We have never visited Bonaire, but would love to experience it now.

    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 26 January, 17 at 8:14 AM

      It’s a different island in the sense it’s quiet and laid back and simple. Love the vibe there

      • coloradotravelingducks
        Posted 26 January, 17 at 8:20 AM

        Hope to visit soon. Beaches and snorkeling sound fabulous.

  • Erin
    Posted 8 November, 17 at 2:22 PM

    Oh this place looks gorgeous and I’d never heard of it before! Thanks so much for sharing! Your pictures do it great justice but I love how you explain why its so quaint by way of the chosen non-development pledge this community has made. I’d love to see the tourist tree too and enjoy some of the local humour you mention!

  • Vanessa Ball
    Posted 8 November, 17 at 4:28 PM

    I’ve never heard from Bonaire so it was great to find out about somewhere new. I love to dive so this would be a great pull factor for me to visit. Love the fact that it has remained under-developed by choice… the brightly coloured buildings are so cute!

  • Lydia Smith
    Posted 8 November, 17 at 6:21 PM

    Such a beautiful Bonaire. The tourist tree is the highlight for me for this post. One would hardly come across such plcaes as Bonaire. I’d love to visit and get captivated by the beauty of Bonaire.

  • Yukti
    Posted 8 November, 17 at 10:00 PM

    Bonaire never heard of but it look like a hidden gem of Caribbean region. Bonaire town looks quiet, peaceful surrounded by lovely turquoise blue waters. Cruising through Caribbean must be a wonderful journey and will wait for your photo-essays on this part.

  • Lisa
    Posted 9 November, 17 at 12:12 AM

    These are great photos that capture the beauty of Bonnaire. Not much is known about it, apart from it being a Dutch territory, so thank you for sharing more about the island. Maybe I’ll get there one day.

  • FS Page
    Posted 9 November, 17 at 11:36 AM

    This small town of Bonaire looks like a grand movie set to me. Colorful houses, friendly people quiet streets, gorgeous sea. It must light up so well in the nights too. I wonder how an actual carnival would look like here.

  • Rashmi and Chalukya
    Posted 9 November, 17 at 3:14 PM

    Awe-inspiring pictures. We hadn’t heard about Bonnaire before reading your post, it does look like a lovely place with a splash of pastel-colored houses and empty streets. We love to visit such places which are less commercialized and touristy. There is a completely different charm to these places. Cruising is high on our bucket list hope to make it someday soon.

  • Indrani
    Posted 9 November, 17 at 8:03 PM

    Never knew of Bonaire before this and what a introduction to the place you have given. I like the old charm of the place and good to know the locals have taken efforts to preserve that. nEW BUILDINGS SPOIL THE LOOKS OF A CHARMING PLACE SUCH AS THIS. interesting KNOWING ABOUT THE TOURIST TREE!

  • Kate Storm
    Posted 10 November, 17 at 12:49 AM

    What a cute little island! Those palm trees sure look mighty tempting to me right now, as its cold and gray outside. So glad you enjoyed the island life–makes me want to visit that part of the world again!

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