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Courtesy of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire

Key Info

Washington Slagbaai National Park

Details

Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

A veritable bird-watcher's paradise, Washington Slagbaai National Park's nearly 14,000-acre desert oasis plays host to more than 200 different types of birds. Several beaches, outdoor exhibits, and snorkeling and diving spots are also available. The park also offers ample hiking trails suited for both amateur and expert trekkers. Hikers can choose between three routes. The 45-minute Kasikunda Climbing Trail – which begins at the park's visitor center – is a steep trek up a volcanic hill, but the views of north Bonaire are worth the effort, according to travelers. The Lagadishi Walking Trail, which also begins at the park's visitor center, is a less intense two-hour walk that provides a complete snapshot of Bonaire's native flora and fauna. Lastly, for a hike that offers unparalleled views of neighboring Curaçao – and on clear days, the Santa Ana Hill on Venezuela's Paraguaná Peninsula – take the 45-minute Subí Brandaris Trail.

You'll find Washington Slagbaai National Park on the northwestern tip of the island. Plan to start your hike in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat, and pack plenty of water, sunscreen and food to keep you energized. If you plan to swim, pack a swimsuit. The park is open to visitors every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 2:30 p.m. Park entrance fees vary. If you have purchased the island's $25 nature tag, entry costs $20. Entrance fees are waived if you purchased the $45 nature tag. If you did not purchase a nature tag, you will pay $45 to enter the park for a single day. For more information, visit the Washington Slagbaai National Park’s official 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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