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: Judy Engel
Having never been to Bonaire this was the perfect excursion because it have a great overview of the whole island.We will always book through Shore Excursions because the price is better for what you get and they are small groups. There was only four of us so we rode in a small van, not a huge bus where you couldn't hear! The driver was great talked the entire time, answered all of our questions and was very willing to stop for pictures. I would suggest this tour to anyone and everyone. We passed the big buses and they had to wait for everyone to pile out of the bus. The salt flats were so interesting and our driver was so knowledgeable!
Reviewer: Nancy Davis
Tour very interesting. Could of done without the stop at the cactus farm. Tour director very good.
Reviewer: Sandra L Rodiger
We were unhappy because we were told the tour started at 10 am and it actually started at 9 am. The tour did we return for us, but it was almost 11 am so we missed the south side of the tour. The guide took us for a short tour after the tour ended, but we did miss out. tour was good but shortened. You need to change your time on the schedule.
Reviewer: Karyne Coven
My clients really liked this tour. The only suggestion I have is include raise the price a little and include tickets to the warehouse where the slaves exchanged their vouchers for food and other items as they turned that into a museum. Overall I thought the way the entire trip was handled was the best of all three islands.
Reviewer: Dean Sane
Very interesting and enjoyed info given by tour guide. Our first visit to Bonaire. Foot stool needed to ease access and egret from bus.