Doesn’t matter we are already on a small beautiful island… if there is a wilder, more isolated islet near by, we will go there for sure! This is the logic for most island lovers. And this is why a boat ride to Klein Bonaire is probably the most popular day trip in Bonaire.
Klein Bonaire (dutch for Little Bonaire) is a tiny inhabited island located less than 1 km west from the main island. It is just 6 square km and very flat, rising barely 2 meters from the sea level.
The islet was highly exploited in the past it is now almost deserted. All the native trees were removed back in the XIX century. For some time, goats were raised on the little island. It was private property until 1999, when Dutch government took it over, mostly to be able to better protect this environment. There were some attempts to develop Klein Bonaire in the past, but they faced strong resistance from the locals and also from various environmental agencies.
Klein Bonaire is now administered by STINAPA, as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park. It is actually one of the only land surfaces in the world administered by a marine park. They have several reforestation programmes here and the small island is also a very important habitat for turtles. We noticed several turtle nests on the beach and they are regularly spotted during dives on Klein Bonaire coasts.
It takes just about 25 minutes to reach Klein Bonaire No Name Beach. The water taxi runs regularly from the city center boardwalk, next to Karel’s bar, or from Eden Beach. You can check in advance the schedule or reserve your seats online, even though this isn’t necessary in the low season. Make sure you have some food and water with you, as there is nothing available on Klein Bonaire. It is truly a wild, deserted island. Also, take plenty of sun protection too. There are just some small bushes where you can escape the heat.
The water taxi leaves you at No Name Beach, one of the most wild and natural beaches I’ve ever seen. The white powder sand and clear blue waters are postcards perfect. I actually never imagined the sea can take so many shades of blue until I’ve seen it myself here.
Klein Bonaire is ideal for snorkelling. There are lots of great places on Bonaire also, but the reef on the western side of No Name Beach was the best snorkel experience I’ve ever had. Since it is more isolated, the water here is even clear than on Bonaire coast, with excellent visibility. The entrance to the water is marked by a yellow pole, few minutes away from No name beach. Here, the water is shallow and you can easily cross through the reef. Than just let yourself carried by the current and enjoy the view. You’ll end up at the beach in about 20 minutes but, during this time, you will feel like in a National Channel documentary. It is just unbelievable what lies in beneath sea surface, just a few meters from shore! Various shapes of corals, colourful fishes and other marine creatures can be easily spotted. Unfortunately I’m not enough familiar with marine world to be able to recognise most of them, but I’m getting better each week.
There are snorkel tours organised around Klein Bonaire, that allow you to try 3-4 different sites not accessible from the beach. I think they are really cool, but it was a bit difficult for us to try that. We need to organise most activities in turns, one of us to stay with 2.5 year old Eric. But we didn’t get bored on the shore neither. The sea is shallow and calm, so he could run and play in the water as long as he wanted. Then we took a snack from what we packed in the morning, walked through the beach and played in the fine white sand. It was a fun day, but I can’t wait for Eric to be old enough to go snorkel together, all the three of us!
Have you ever been on a deserted island?
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