Nestled in the western-most range of the Leeward Antilles islands in the Caribbean Sea, the idyllic isle of Bonaire boasts breathtaking beauty at every turn. Representing the ‘B’ in what are commonly known as the ABC Islands, the island is often referred to as the Caribbean Netherlands, not because it is full of dikes and tulips, but because it is a municipality of the Dutch nation. Surrounded by coral reefs, the island boasts exquisite turquoise waters brimming with a kaleidoscope of brightly colored marine life. Offering some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, Bonaire’s vivid coral and friendly fish are sure to amaze.
Thus, begin your epic yacht vacation on the water with a guided dive trip or a leisurely snorkel around Klein Bonaire. The uninhabited stretch off the coast of Bonaire offers white sand beaches, calm waters, and stunning underwater life. While exploring the area, be sure to keep an eye out for rocks that have been painted yellow. Each labeled with a different name, these rocks are indicators of famous dive sites. They can be spotted throughout Bonaire and are an important part of the local culture.
The entire island of Bonaire is protected by a set of national parks, which means you won’t be able to anchor around the island. Instead, you’ll be docked in the primary marina in Kralendijk. Spend time on land walking around the vibrant town where influence of the Dutch is abundant. Peruse the quaint boutiques and walk past the colorful buildings before enjoying lunch at El Cantina. The open-air restaurant boasts delicious dishes with local flare. After lunch, venture further inland to Rincon where you’ll find The Cadushy Distillery. Enjoy tastings of “The Spirit of Bonaire,” a rum inspired by the island. Then take a tour of the distillery and watch how the local liqueur is made from the Kadushi cactus plant found on the island. It is the only liquor in the world distilled from cacti and has elegant flavors of lemon and lime. Finish your evening back on the yacht, where your chef will prepare an excellent dinner using the fresh catch of the day that you can enjoy on the aft deck
Wake up to a warm breeze drifting across the salty ocean. Bonaire’s location below the hurricane belt makes it generally protected from tropical storms and hurricanes. Regardless of the time of year, the temperature will hover between 80° to 85°, making it the perfect place to escape and unwind. If you’re looking for a more exhilarating adventure, rent ATVs and take a guided tour through the Landgoed Bolivia plantation. You’ll cruise past the Spelonk Lighthouse, one of four on the island. Stop at the Bonaire Caves to walk past the impressive stalagmites and stalactites, and keep an eye out for the ancient rune paintings of stories from a time long past that are scattered throughout the walls of the caves. Finish your ride by the lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos can be seen feeding. If you’re looking for a more relaxing day, schedule a massage or spa treatment onboard your yacht. Revel in the sounds of the ocean as you enjoy healing and recharging.
A trip to Bonaire wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop at the salt flats. Located on the south end of the island are these vivid pink pools and towering white pyramids. Produced by the salt, sea, and wind, here you’ll find some of the purest salt in the world. Salt has been one of Bonaire’s primary exports and has been essential to the island since before the Spanish arrived in 1499. As you drive past the blush, coral, and fuchsia pools you’ll spot another brilliant hue of pink at the flamingo sanctuary. Here you’ll see nesting flamingos of all sizes and ages; the more brightly colored, the older the flamingo.
Finish your spectacular yacht vacation with a sunset cruise around the island. Enjoy happy hour and dinner onboard as you gaze upon the picturesque island from the azure water. As the sun sets beyond the horizon, the shimmering lights of Kralendijk will guide your way home. Look above and you’ll be delighted by the magnitude of the twinkling stars overhead.