About the Island

Situated about 12 degrees north of the equator and well outside the hurricane belt, Bonaire is an unpolished gem set in the southern Caribbean. As the second largest island in the Netherlands Antilles, it is a Dutch territory of about 15,000 people and almost as many flamingos. Known as the friendliest people in the Caribbean, Bonaireans are of predominantly African descent with a rich infusion of Dutch and Portuguese cultures. English is widely spoken.
Bonaire has an annual average temperature of 80° and the sun shines every day. The warmth of the equatorial sun is cooled by the constant easterly tradewinds. Wild goats and donkeys roam freely making quick meals of any accessible greenery. Vivid green parrots dart in and out of the treetops, stopping atop a tall cactus long enough to curiously eye passersby. Big iguanas and little blue-tailed lizards sun themselves on rocks, scurrying for safety in the underbrush at the sound of intruders.

Bonaire's arid landscapes contrast sharply with its spectacular underwater world teeming with exotic creatures. Maintained through a rigorous program of conservation, the surrounding coral reefs have made Bonaire a favorite destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. The trade winds make it a windsurfing and sailing mecca.

Tourism and solar sea salt production are big industries. A small oil storage facility lies on the northern shores of the island. Gift shops, jewelry stores and supermarkets are conveniently located within walking distance of most hotels. Eating out in Bonaire is a culinary experience with cuisine ranging from East Indian and Chinese to French and American. Prices range from ridiculously low to not quite enough for that big meal. Dress is always casual. Night life is what you make it. The island has some charming seaside taverns, a couple of discos and the world's first barefoot casino. You can always find live music with a meringe or calypso beat.

for more info see also: www.infobonaire.com