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Kralendijk Port of Call

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Reef squids © Dan Hershman

The small boomerang-shaped island port of Bonaire, which means good air in French, forms part of the Lesser Antilles, together with Curacao and Aruba, and oozes British and Dutch colonial charm. This small island port is much quieter and more relaxed than other ports with only one casino and very little glitz and glamour.
The breathtaking Bonaire National Marine Park is regarded as one of the top destinations for shore diving in the Caribbean, while Washington-Slagbaai National Park has Brandaris, the island's highest point. Other popular sights include the salt pyramids and Willemstoren Lighthouse.
Cruise ships dock at the island's capital and largest town, Kralendijk, which means Coral reef in Dutch. The dock takes cruise passengers to Wilhelmina Park and Queen Beatrix Way where a brick-paved path, lined with a few shops, restaurants and bars leads along the waterfront. Nearby Fort Oranje was built in 1639 to defend Bonaire's main harbour.


Contact

Tourist office, Kaya Grandi

Tel: +(599) 717 8322

info@TourismBonaire.com

Transport

Taxis can be hailed quite easily outside the disembarkation area with fixed rates set to various destinations. Price lists can be produced by taxi drivers on request. Scooters and mopeds are also a good option for getting around and can be hired easily. Parts of the town are easily accessible by foot and many find this the easiest way to get around. Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National, as well as a number of local car hire companies have offices in Bonaire.

Attractions

The main attraction in Bonaire has to be the fantastic diving and snorkelling opportunities. Boasting some of the world's most diverse marine life, including the elusive seahorse, Bonaire's reefs and waters are a treasure trove for avid divers. Glass-bottom boat tours are also available while landlubbers will enjoy the Donkey Sanctuary, Flamingo Sanctuary and the original Spanish settlement of Rincon, founded in 1527. The Washington-Slagbaai National Park, pride of Bonaire and the Caribbean's first national park, is also a must!

Restaurants

Chibi Chibi at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino - casual waterfront eatery with great seafood dishes, perfect for the family

Zeezicht - Romantic eatery with delicious fresh seafood and picturesque sea views

The Lion's Den - Good value family restaurant with children's menu

Best Dish

Fresh local linefish

Shopping

Bonaire is not known for its shopping, and one could visit every store in Kralendijk within a few hours. The main shopping area is on a block on Kaya Grandi.

The Bonaire Gift Shop sells unique jewellery made from black coral and other marine specimens. Littman's, at the open-air Harborside Mall, stocks a wide selection of resort wear, T-shirts, watches and custom-designed gold and silver jewellery.

Best Buy

Dive watches, underwater cameras

Excursions

Scuba dive in Bonaire National Marine Park

Explore the Donley Sanctuary

Ride on horse-back on pristine beach trails

Check out the Flamingo Sanctuary

Visit the Salt Pyramids

Become our Bonaire Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Bonaire travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Bonaire or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.