I really hope you’re enjoying all these cruise posts. Travel posts do take quite a long time to put together, but I love having them to look back on and remember our time. Today I’m sharing about our day in Bonaire.
Views from our ship as we wait to get the all clear
Bonaire is an island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Kralendijk, near the ocean on the lee side of the island. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao form the ABC islands, 80 km (50 miles) off the coast of Venezuela. Unlike much of the Caribbean region, the ABC islands lie outside Hurricane Alley. The islands have an arid climate that attracts visitors seeking warm, sunny weather all year round. Bonaire is a popular snorkeling and scuba diving destination because of its multiple shore diving sites and easy access to the island’s fringing reefs.
We were able to get off the ship a little early. Its always nice when your ship gets into port early enough to get cleared by the port authority earlier than expected. Many folks on the cruise aren’t ready to get off the ship yet, which means less of a crowd. We got off the ship and walked over to the rental car place. We had reserved a truck for the day. We came to the conclusion that trucks are super popular in Bonaire due to all the visitors who are coming to scuba dive. Having a truck would make it easy to be able store all of their gear in the bed of a truck rather than in a trunk of a car.
Here’s our truck, which cost us about $90 for the day. Most rental car places in Bonaire have a 2 day minimum, but Caribbean Car Rental just charged for a 2 day rental and allowed us to have it for the 7 hours we were there.
As we drove along EEG Boulevard, we were just in awe once again at the beautiful water. We kept seeing yellow painted rocks that were entries to different spots for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
From there we could see these white salt mounds and this weird bridge looking thing. info
On the opposite side of the road from the blue waters, you see the pink lakes where the salt is harvested.
The lakes are outlined by this sudsy looking stuff.
Here’s part of that weird bridge looking thing that is actually a conveyor belt that delivers salt to cargo ships.
Slave hut ruins
More pink lakes
Donkeys used to perform labor in the salt flats back in the day, but once modern transport arrived, the animals were left to fend for themselves.
These huts were constructed in 1850 during the slavery time, and served as camping facilities for slaves working in the salt ponds to collect and ship the salt, one of Bonaire’s most important export product. These huts were used as sleeping quarters and place to put away personal belongings of the working team. Each Friday afternoon the slaves walked seven hours to Rincon to weekend with their families returning each Sunday. info
Four Obelisks on Bonaire were used as navigational shore markers to guide ships coming in to load. The obelisks were painted red, white, blue and orange (the colors of the Dutch flag). info
Four 30-foot-high stone obelisks have also been restored. The Dutch used these tapered pillars to guide cargo ships to specific loading areas. Each obelisk was painted in a different color. Red, white and blue represented the colors of the Dutch flag while the fourth one, a bright orange, signified the Royal House of Orange. info
Orange slave huts
As we drove we would see clusters of kitesurfers.
Willemstoren Lighthouse was Bonaire’s first lighthouse dating back to 1837. Locals stop here to collect pieces of driftwood in spectacular shapes and to build pyramids from objects that have washed ashore.
On the opposite side of the road, we spotted the flamingo preserve. This is a terrible picture, but in the very far distance you see them.
We drove to the Northern tip of the island near Sorobon beach where we stopped for a bit. We saw windsurfing and kids finding huge conche shells on the beach.
Next up was Seru Largu (“large hill”). At the top you’ll find a monument which reads in the Papiamentu language as “Kristu Ayera Awe Semper” which means “Christ, Yesterday, Today and Forever”.
The views as your drive up are beautiful and from the top you can see Kralendijk, the capital city, as well as the little island, Klein Bonaire.
Here you can read about the legend of this cross.
I was still loving all the cactus!
As we continued to drive the island, we were getting hungry and needed to think about heading back to the ship. We ended up at Posada Para Mira
Kaya Para Mira, Rincon, Caribbean Netherlands
This was an open air restaurant with beautiful views.
Rob and I had the Salted Codfish. He had the platter.
I had the sandwich.
Rob had Malta to drink and I had a local beer called Polar.
From there we dropped off the rental truck and walked back to the cruise port area to do some very quick shopping and then had to get back on board.
All the pics from our day in Bonaire >>> Cruise Day 5
Look for my next Cruise post, where I share about our day in La Romana, Dominican Republic where we got to hang out with some pretty cool animals.
Other posts from this cruise listed here: Carnival Horizon::March 2022