Marina Melis/Marina Melis, Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

Key Info

Kaya IR. Randolph Statius van Eps


Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

After you've explored the island's underwater life, dry off and direct your attention to the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Established in 1993 by Dutch Nationals Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman, the sanctuary has provided a safe and peaceful oasis for hundreds of orphaned donkeys over multiple decades.

The donkeys are very friendly and comfortable around humans, whether you tour the sanctuary by car, scooter, bike or on foot. To earn some extra donkey affection, purchase some carrots from the shop to feed them. Recent visitors loved getting up close and personal with the animals and recommended spending part of your day here. 

The sanctuary is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with final entry at 4 p.m. Admission costs $9 for adults and $4.50 for children ages 12 and younger. The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is south of Kralendijik, 5 minutes from the Bonaire International Airport. For more information, visit the sanctuary's website.

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#1 Bonaire Diving and Snorkeling

Thanks to Bonaire's marine conservation programs – some of which have been in place for almost 60 years – the island is one of the Caribbean's best diving destinations. With 63 official dive sites on the main island (and an additional 26 spots on the islet of Klein Bonaire), the island offers an abundance of options for divers' underwater explorations. 

Remember that you must be certified before you can plunge into the deep blue sea. Though many resorts offer diving packages, training before your trip may cut down on overall costs and allow you to dive right in on day one. All divers are required to purchase the mandatory $45 nature tag, which you must attach to your scuba gear. The fee grants you one year of unlimited diving, and the proceeds help maintain the Bonaire National Marine Park.

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Courtesy of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire
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