Bonaire's magnificently preserved coral reef, clear waters, and rocky beaches make it a perfect destination for shore diving, snorkelling, and scuba diving. Wind and kite-boarding are also popular at places like Lac Bay. For nature lovers, Bonaire's marine systems, flamingo colonies, and mangrove forests are marvels not to be missed while the wildlife and flora at Washington-Slagbaai National Park makes the trip over a long, bumpy road well worth the trouble. You can hike, picnic, or swim at various spots around the park and stop by the former Spanish settlement of Rincon on the way back to shop for local produce at the farmer's market. Head south of Kralendijk and visit the Donkey Sanctuary for a fun family outing, or go further down to the flats where the Dutch have been harvesting salt for hundreds of years — it continues to be Bonaire's only export.
Bonaire accommodation is not cheap, but book off-season and it won't burn a hole in your pocket. Be sure to try some of the local treats of cacti, rock lobster, and more traditional iguana meat. To get around, there are minivans that masquerade as an informal bus system, as well as cabs and rental cars.
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You can fly via the US or Aruba on several international airlines, using the local Dutch Antilles Express or charter flights on Tiara Air to connect to Bonaire's Flamingo Airport (BON). American Airlines, Continental, Delta, and KLM all offer flights to Bonaire from various cities in South America, the Caribbean and the US.
Be sure to factor in the cost of departure tax at Bonaire airport into your airfare budget — it is applicable on all international destinations.
Bonaire enjoys a tropical climate and temperatures average between 27-31°C year-round. The rainiest months are from late October to January, but even during this time, there are sunny spells and the temperature does not drop substantially. The Carnival at the beginning of the year is always a busy period so avoid booking flights during the peak season from December to February/March. Prices do not fluctuate all that much between the peak and off-peak season, but if every dollar counts, then opt for flights from March/April to May, and from September to November.
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