Bonaire's nightlife is for the most part subdued and relaxed. Head out along the waterfront in Kralendijk and follow the small crowd to find the fun; then order the island's signature beer, Heineken Bright, or try a Polar, brewed in Venezuela.
Local musician Moogie plays bongos while serenading the crowd with familiar favorites and original tunes. His sound is distinctive and he lends a fun, relaxed vibe to every venue. He plays during dinner on Wednesday at Cactus Blue restaurant (tel. 599/717-4564; www.cactusbluebonaire.com) and Monday and Thursday at Rum Runners (tel. 599/717-8290).
Look in the back of Bonaire Nights for dates, times, and locations of evening slide and video shows, given by local experts. It's a great way to learn more about Bonaire's spectacular marine life, or just pass an hour or two with fellow nature lovers and dive enthusiasts. They usually take place around 6:30pm about once a week, and are commonly held at either Captain Don's Habitat or Buddy Dive. Best of all, they are free and open to the public.
City Cafe, Kaya Isla Riba 3 (no phone), the island's most popular hangout, and is the place to see and be seen, whether you're a tourist, a local, or a resident American med student taking a well-earned study break. The Divi Flamingo Casino, J.A. Abraham Blvd. 40 (tel. 599/717-8285), is depressing as far as casinos go. It offers blackjack, roulette, poker, wheel of fortune, video games, and slot machines, all of which are popular with the locals. Its hours are Monday to Saturday from 8pm to 4am, and Sunday 7pm to 3am. If the slots don't inspire you, or you're overwhelmed by the cloying smell of cigarette smoke, walk over to the beach bar and indulge in a glass of house wine.
Karel's Beach Bar and Cappuccino Bar, on the waterfront (tel. 599/717-8434), features high ceilings and sea breezes. Sit at the long bar with the island's dive professionals, or take a table overlooking the surf. Local bands entertain on Friday, and you can watch games on the flatscreen TV.
Little Havana, Kaya Bonaire 4 (tel. 599/786-0717), with its dark-wood furniture and Cuban feel, is the current hot spot of the island's tiny nightlife scene. Live jazz on weekends and mellow jazz vinyls spun by a DJ all week long attract people to the indoor and outdoor tables just steps away from the waterfront. Enjoy a Cuban cigar on the veranda or find a spot inside to boogie down.
To really get away from it all, try some romance on the high seas aboard the Samur (tel. 599/786-5592; www.samursailing.com), an authentic Siamese junk that offers starlight evening sails with champagne, appetizers, or a full seven-course homemade Thai dinner. Charters leave from the pier in between the Sand Dollar Condominium Resort and Den Laman Restaurant at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 77.
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.