North Coast Drive, Rincon Village, and South Side Salt Flats
Bonaire's history is deeply rooted in its inhabitants and their culture. The tranquil beauty of the island is reflected in the faces of her people. From the first inhabitants, the Caiquetios (a branch of the Arawak Indians) who sailed from the coast of Venezuela almost 1,000 years ago, to the many cultures now living and working in Bonaire today, the island has a distinct character that is all its own.
This excursion will begin as you drive through Kralendijk, the main village of Bonaire. This diminutive cluster of red tile roofs hugging the island's western coast is Bonaire's lively capital. The main street is a browser's collection of dive shops, boutiques, arts and crafts galleries, restaurants, and bars. The tour will first take you through the residential and resort areas. You will be able to enjoy the nature of Bonaire, as you are told about various trees and plants that were used for export in the past. Remnants of geological changes will be observed along the way.
The first stop will be Goto Lake, one of the best places to see flamingos in the Southern Caribbean. Flamingos get their beautiful pink color from their food - brine fly and its larvae. These exotic birds are usually busy feeding, as their food source lives in the lake along with more than 100 other species of birds. The breeding season for flamingos lasts from January to July, and every day the entire flock of flamingos takes off to nearby Venezuela where they feed in lagoons along the coast of the Falcn peninsula. There will be time at Goto Lake for picture taking, as well as an explanation of the life of the flamingos.
You will also visit Rincon, the oldest village in continual existence in the Dutch Caribbean. Originally settled by the Spanish in the early 1500s, Rincon was strategically nestled within a valley to ward off impending danger from pirates and other threats. Slaves were brought to Bonaire and worked tending crops and in the salt pans. They lived in Rincon with their families and walked to the salt pans in the south to work, staying there for the entire work week. They would return to Rincon to gather supplies at Mangazina di Rei (Kings store house), and to be with family before heading back to the salt pans. You will have the opportunity to visit this old plantation house that has been restored with an indoor museum display of tools, household items, and furniture from that era.
Reviewer: BONNIE J KRAMER
Very nice relaxing time seeing Bonaire. Just the right amount of stops and information of the Island. Would have enjoyed a more detailed description of the harvesting of the salt and mining operation.
Reviewer: Xavier Fernandez
This excursion in Bonaire was conducted by a driver and guide. An improvement from that experienced in Aruba and Curacao. The guide was knowledgeable and very informative. The excursion is highly recommended. It provides a good overview of the island.
Loved this tour. It was a small group and our guide was very informative. We felt like we really got to see the ENTIRE island and all the different aspects of it. We even asked our guide the best place to get some local cuisine and he actually drove us there after the tour and told the owner to take care of us.
Reviewer: hugh crawford
Interesting tour which included the salt drying areas on the beach, some former slaves homes, the very sleepy town of Rincon and a scenic tour of the area. Found the sights and the tour worthwhile.
Reviewer: John and Bev Holden
Our driver and tour guide were very good. Tour guide was very knowledgeable about his island of Bonaire. Informative and fun.