On August 21,2017, we visit for first time Bonaire, so decided to do the full tour around the Island. Ingrid, our driver and guide was specialized in showing the highlights of Bonaire while sharing the history, culture and customs of its wonderful people.
The tours begins in Kralendijk, the busy port of Bonaire. Translated into English, Kralendijk means embankment of coralstone and Ingrid drove us along the coast.
Then we went south, we saw the pink waters and massive piles of Bonaire’s pristine salt. She told us that it is some of the purest in the world and like no other in the Caribbean. Salt production has been a major industry on Bonaire for more than 350 years. Cargill Incorporated has been operating the salt production on Bonaire since 1997. These wonderful mountains of white salt crystals can be seen on the southern part of the island. Bonaire affectionately refers to them as the Bonairean Alps.
We enjoyed Bonaire's turquoise waters along the coast. We made a stop at the historical slavehuts. These small buildings were used during the 1800's as small shelters for the slaves who toiled in the salt pans. They stand as a mute testimony to a painful time in the history of humankind and have been preserved as a reminder of that period.
Then we went north, the coast road heads inland and an increase in elevation reveals Bonaire's scenic hills, cactus, trees and more.
We went to Gotomeer Lake with a possible sneak peak of the flamingos in the lake. This inland lake is perhaps one of the most picturesque spots on Bonaire. Chances are, we viewed one of Bonaire's shy signature bird, the pink flamingo. The northern route winds along the lake's southern shore. Sorry, the flamingos were to far to take a picture!
We passed through the village of Rincon that it looks like time stood still. This town is the oldest of the Netherlands Antilles. It was founded in 1527 by the spanish. In this former slave-town it looks like time stands still. Mangazina di Rei is the second oldest stone building on Bonaire. It was originally used to store provisions for the government slaves. The structure has been completely restored and now features a museum and an open air museum of historic houses. The Mangazina is an important part of the history of Rincon and their people.
Throughout Bonaire’s elevated northern end,we saw the desert landscape with varying cactus species, including Candle and Prickley Pear, are present. The last stop was at Seru Largu which has the most beautifull vista over the island. Our highest point of the tour at 404 feet is Seru Largu (Long Hill). Many local people get married at this beautiful landmark.You will have a great view over the south and east of Bonaire and on a clear day even see Curacao!
After the tour ended we decided to stayed in Kralendijk the capitol of Bonaire.
Downtown main street has great shops featuring local souvenirs and a mixture of delicious international restaurants. A quaint little town, Kralendijk is lined with delightfully painted pastel stucco houses, in pinks, oranges and lime green. It was an amazing tour,.
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