Bonaire is home to over 200 bird species, including endemic lora parrots, pelicans, frigate birds, and one of the world's only breeding colonies of Caribbean flamingos. Bonaire Dive & Adventure, Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 77A (tel. 599/717-2227; www.bonairediveandadventure.com), offers expertly guided trips to the island's best bird havens for $50.
Accessibility, calm waters, and abundant fish have always made Bonaire an attractive fishing destination. However, due to global declines, the catch rate has dropped off somewhat even here, in what seems an unspoiled paradise. As fishing locations continue to be moved farther offshore, the prices seem to increase accordingly. The catch varies by season but includes marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, amberjack, yellowfin, and bonito. Piscatur Fishing, Kaya H.J. Pop 4 (tel. 599/717-8774; www.piscatur.com), and Multifish Charters, Kaya Pikuditu 8 (tel. 599/717-3648), offer deep-sea, reef, and bonefishing (catch-and-release) options. A half-day deep-sea or reef charter (up to 5 hr.) with up to six people runs $400; a three-quarter day (6 1/2 hr.) is $475 and a full day (8 hr.) is $550. A half-day wading trip is $250 for one or two people up to 4 hours, and a half-day shore trip is $300 for three people up to 5 hours. If your group has more than six people, they can be added for $25 each. Strict regulations on fishing and size limits and high levels of concern about the reef fish mean that catch and release may be the best way to go even if your guide says otherwise.
Washington-Slagbaai National Park's terrain is interesting and varied. Climbs up the steepest hills are rewarded with panoramic views, while cliff-side beaches with crashing waves make ideal picnic sites. After going on patrol with a ranger, we could see that this is a big park and it's surprisingly easy to get lost, injured, or dehydrated, so it may be best for beginners to go with a guide. Outdoor Bonaire (tel. 599/791-6272; www.outdoorbonaire.com) can arrange hiking, free climbing, and overnight camping adventures in the park.
While kayaking through the mangroves of Lac Bay, take time to observe the baby fish and bizarrely shaped tree roots. Bring protection from the sun and the ravenous mosquitoes. Guided trips and kayak rentals are available from Bonaire Dive & Adventure, Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 77A (tel. 599/717-2229). In Sorobon, Jibe City (tel. 599/717-5233; www.jibecity.com) rents one-man kayaks by the hour for $10; double kayaks are $15 per hour and stand-up paddle boards are $15 per hour. A half-day guided tour through the mangroves can be arranged through Mangrove Info and Kayak Center (tel. 599/780-5353; www.mangrovecenter.com). A 1-hour tour is $27, and a 2-hour tour costs $46. For those who are not able to kayak but still want to see the ecosystem, tours on a solar-powered boat for $26 per hour are available. The center is closed on Sunday. Outdoor Bonaire (tel. 599/791-6272 or 785-6272; www.outdoorbonaire.com) offers both day and night kayaks and specializes in small groups. The owner Hans will even take you kayaking to Klein Bonaire, but it's farther than it looks so be prepared for a workout if you go.
This extreme sport combines windsurfing with kite flying and allows boarders to sail, leap, and flip along the water's surface. On Atlantis Beach, at the southern end of the island, Kiteboarding Bonaire (tel. 599/786-3470 or 599/700-5483; www.kiteboardingbonaire.com) helps beginners get started with 3-hour intro lessons or multiday packages. Those who've already taken an intro course and received certification are allowed to rent equipment and go it alone, though it often takes several weeks to master this challenging sport.
Explore Bonaire's scenery on its 290km (180 miles) of trails and dirt roads. Ask at the tourist office for a trail map that outlines the most scenic routes. You can check with your hotel about arranging a trip, or call Bonaire Wellness Connexions (tel. 599/717-4241; www.bonairewellness.com), which offers guided bike excursions for every skill and endurance level from the leisurely pedal pusher to the grit-in-your-teeth, mud-splattered enthusiast. Mountain bikes can also be rented from a number of other locations, including the Bike Shop (tel. 599/560-7000). Buddy Dive Resort (tel. 599/717-5080; www.buddydive.com) has mountain bike rentals for $16. You can rent bikes for Washington Slagbaai National Park through Caribbean Sports Bonaire (tel. 599/787-0270; www.caribbeansportsbonaire.com) for $18 per day.
Several hotels have courts lit for night play, but the best facilities are at Harbour Village Beach Club, Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot (tel. 599/717-7500; www.harbourvillage.com), which offers clinics, racket services, and a resident pro. Memberships to courts are available for $50 per 1-week membership and $75 for 2 weeks; a 1-hour private lesson is $50.
Shallow protected waters and steady breezes make Lac Bay perfect for beginners and pros. Sorobon has two equipment-rental centers: Jibe City (tel. 599/717-5233; www.jibecity.com) and Bonaire Windsurf Place (tel. 599/717-2288; www.bonairewindsurfplace.com). Boards and sails are $50 for a half-day, $75 for a full day. Beginner lessons at 10am, 1pm and 4pm cost $50 each, including equipment. Packages are available.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.