I made it. Bonaire is the 100th place on the official territory list that I have been to. I still have quite a way to go on the official country list, but in terms of nations, I have made the 100. I am about 2 ahead of Jill but she should tick up her 100 in the next week or two.
Kralendijk is the capital of Bonaire, a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea. The place is typical of most Dutch territories with colourful architecture dominating most of the buildings.
The main shopping area is Kaya Grandi and the Bonaire Museum has archaeological finds, shells and old photos.
Importantly off the coast is the Bonaire National Marine Park which is a protected area for coral reef and tropical fish.
This Marine park stretches west to Klein Bonaire Island, where the sandy beaches provide a nesting ground for sea turtles. Klein Bonaire was our first port of call as we hopped off the ship and onto a water taxi for a 4-hour snorkel and laze on the beach. Talking to the lounge dude on the boat he told me about the current.
So when you get dropped off on the beach you get set up on the shite fine sandy beach. Once established you walk to the left for about 10 minutes until you get to a yellow pole that says enter here. At this point there is a break in the coral and you can wade out to the other side of the reef. From here you keep the reef to your left and the current will let you float and just drift all the way back to the beach where you started.
The other thing that you notice is that the beach is full of lizards. Officially they are the Bonaire Whiptail but they are these electrically coloured lizards that dart around relentlessly. They were added to when we went across into town and saw a 2 foot long iguana just cruising the streets of town.
The water is crystal clear and warm, the reef is a bit trodden on but is still in pretty good condition. There is plenty of fish life to see and still lots of live coral. While it is no Great Barrier Reef, it is still a lovely spot to loll about on the beach and experience some nature. Sadly we didn’t see any of the turtles.
Once we got back from the swimming we had some lunch on the ship and changed before hitting Bonaire proper. We had landed in the capital Kralendijk. The main town centre was pretty small but was well appointed.
Added to town was a really nice and usable waterfront area with actual footpaths (often a rarity) and the usual mix of bars and restaurants.
Ad we even got to check out some pretty cool street art. There wasn’t tons, but for such a small place it all added up to create a really nice feel to the place.