Life on a tropical island gravitates around the beach. Most of Bonaire beaches are still natural and wild, with no touristic amenities of any kind. We’ve seen areas marked as turtle nest on many of them, which is a great indicator of the degree of wilderness they still manage to keep. This is perfect for us! We prefer just to enjoy the beauty of the nature in the sound of the waves when we go on the beach, rather than having a crowded and noisy sun-bed area, in an artificial setup.
Since there are more than 20 beaches on Bonaire, we have where to chose from. No matter where you stay (check here for the best options), you’ll have at least one beach nearby. I’m presenting here just a selection of the beaches we regularly go to, our favourites or the ones most convenient to us.
Te Amo Beach
This is the most popular among locals, due to its proximity to the city. It can get crowded in the weekends, especially late afternoon, but otherwise it is a quiet and peaceful area. The sandy shoreline with easy access to the water makes it perfect for kids. Te Amo beach is Andrei’s favourite place to relax, admiring the sunset in the sound of the waves.
A southern extension to the previous one, Donkey Beach is practically a strip of rocky land between the street and the sea. Protected by trees and bushes, it offers a great spot for a barbeque or a weekend gathering with friends, but it is rather empty during the week. You can get here a spectacular panorama for planes watching, as it is right across the street from the airport.
Just 2-3 minutes walk (ok, maybe 5 minutes with 2-year old Eric) from our apartment, this is our perfect place for a quick swim. Just a few steps from the parking lot and you are in the refreshing blue waters. Very small and narrow, you can barely find a spot to sit on the sand, so it is not very comfortable for longer stays, but, on the other hand, it is rather empty.
One of my favourites, this narrow strip of sand guarded by palm trees is often the place where I’m writing my articles. It is great to go with Eric here, as you never quite know if he wants to play with sand or to throw rocks in the water, and here he can have both.
The sandy shore and shallow waters of Lac Bay make Sorobon the perfect beach location for kids. You can walk for minutes in the warm blue waters not crossing your waist line. Eric was scared at first about the waves, but Sorobon was the place where he got over his fear and started to enjoy the sea.
Lac Cai Beach
The scenery that impressed me the most, Cai beach is hidden next to the mangroves. It offers an idyllic natural view and you can easily get lost in time daydreaming here. As a downside, the bay area is so protected that you can hardly feel the ocean breeze on this side, making the heat more intense than in other sides of the island.
1000 Steps Beach
Luckily, there are less than 100 stairs to get to this quiet, hidden beach. Guarded by steep limestone cliffs and covered in white coral fragments and rocks, you need proper shoes to be comfortable here. But this ensures the waters are even more clear than on other beaches, featuring unreal blue shades.
Boka Kokolishi Beach
Last, but not least, our all time favourite, this beach is located in the Washington-Slagbaai National Park. Covered in crushed shells sand, this is the most secluded beach we found on the island. One of the few beaches located on the north-eastern side of the island, Kokolishi beach is protected by semicircular limestone structures where the strong waves crush in spectacular splashes.
Most of Bonaire beaches are suitable for diving and snorkelling, as the reef is very close (I mean really close!) and you can dive from shore. You will see here more divers than beach lovers so, no matter the beach you are on, you will find for sure a quiet relaxing place to enjoy the sea and the sun.
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