Mangrove Information Center#3 in Best Things To Do in Bonaire
Dedicated to protecting and educating visitors about Bonaire's unique mangrove ecosystem, the Mangrove Information Center was established in 2002. It offers visitors the chance to take tours through the mangroves at Lac Bay, which are some of the best-preserved forests of their kind in the Caribbean.
If you're looking to get moving, choose between an hourlong kayak outing ($27 for adults and $15 for children) and a two-hour kayak and snorkel excursion ($46 for adults and $25 for children, which does not include snorkel gear). Or, if you'd rather sit back and relax, opt for a two-hour solar-powered boat tour ($27), where you will ride through the mangroves with up to seven other passengers. Kayak tours can be booked online and include an additional half-hour orientation and a short lesson on the importance of mangroves to the environment. Boat tours may only be booked over the phone. Though reservations are recommended, walk-ins are welcomed up to 15 minutes prior to tour time, space permitting.
Recent travelers offered very high praise for the Mangrove Information Center, noting that the tours were fascinating and the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. In addition to the mangroves themselves, visitors enjoyed seeing a number of fish, birds and other animals. Though complaints were few and far between, some snorkelers were disappointed that they could not wear fins while swimming. Though this is a protective measure designed to preserve the trees, some felt it made snorkeling against the current more difficult.
Credit cards are not accepted at the Mangrove Information Center, so you will need to bring cash to pay for your excursion (unless you book online ahead of time). Be sure to purchase the mandatory, island-wide $25 to $45 Bonaire nature tag and bring your receipt as proof, otherwise you will need to buy one upon arrival at the center. Tours are offered from Monday to Saturday; the Mangrove Information Center is closed on Sundays. Check the center's website for more information and current availability.
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#1 Klein Bonaire
If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to live on a deserted island, hop on the next water taxi to Klein Bonaire. A small, uninhabited island about half a mile west of Bonaire's mainland, Klein Bonaire is an unblemished oasis protected from development as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park. This isolated paradise boasts pristine white sands and some of the island's best diving and snorkeling opportunities, thanks to excellent water visibility. Just keep in mind that there are no refreshment stands, changing areas or beach umbrellas on the island, so you will need to pack your own water, food, sunscreen, towels and any other supplies. Still, Klein Bonaire earns rave reviews from visitors of all ages and diving levels.
Caribe Watersport's water taxi departs from Karel's Beach Bar at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. every day, and from the Eden Beach Resort at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, there is also a 9 a.m. departure time from Eden Beach. You can hop on the taxi back to Bonaire's mainland at 12:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. or 4:45 p.m. Adult passengers will pay $20 round trip, while children 11 and younger can hop aboard for $10. For more information on Klein Bonaire, head to the Bonaire tourism website.
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