Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire#9 in Best Things To Do in Bonaire
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 provides a safe and peaceful oasis for more than 400 orphaned donkeys.
The donkeys are very friendly (recent travelers compared them to cute, oversized dogs), and they aren't afraid to interact with you. The sanctuary also sells bags of food you can feed to the animals—another sure-fire way to earn some donkey affection. One TripAdvisor user says, "We heard during our last trip that the donkey sanctuary was fun... I would give up several dives just to go again."
The sanctuary welcomes visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can tour the sanctuary on foot or by car or bike. Admission for adults costs $7, while admission for children 12 and under is $3.50. The Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is south of Kralendijik, five minutes from Bonaire International Airport. For more information, visit the sanctuary's website.
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#1 Diving and Snorkeling
As part of Bonaire National Marine Park, the island's entire coastline has been protected for more than 30 years, making Bonaire one of the Caribbean's best diving destinations. With 53 easily accessible diving spots dotting the entire leeward side of the island, Bonaire offers divers an abundance of places to explore underwater splendors. As one TripAdvisor user says they "Love that you can pull over, put on your scuba gear and within 5 minutes be on top of the most beautiful reefs."
Remember that you must be certified before you can plunge into the deep blue sea. Though many island resorts offer diving packages—which include PADI certification—training before your trip may cut down the overall cost and allow you to start exploring from day one. All divers are required to purchase the mandatory $25 nature tag, which you must attach to your scuba gear. The fee grants you one year of unlimited diving, and the proceeds help maintain Bonaire Marine Park.
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