Shore diving at one of 55 marked sites
This mostly flat, rocky island embodies everything diving is supposed to be. Shore diving at one of the 55 marked sites gives visitors the ability to dive on their own schedule.
The Bonaire Marine Park has been in place for more than 20 years and encompasses the entire coastline down to a depth of 200 feet and includes more than 70 sites with boat moorings.
The Kralendijk (pronounced kray-len-dike) Town Pier is one of the world's most renowned night dives. Lesser known but equally spectacular, the Salt Pier on the southwest coast is a short car ride away and easily accessed from shore. There are about 20 sites at Klein Bonaire, a shore boat ride away and well worth the trip.
When you're done diving, check out the flamingo colonies at Goto Meer, a saltwater lake in the north, or at the Rode Pan salt flats. They can number up to 15,000 at a time. Washington-Slagbaai National Park is a good place for birding. Most of the island's 130 bird species can be spotted there.
Dirt roads crisscross the 13,500 protected acres of the rolling parkland and make for an enjoyable mountain biking excursion.
Dutch is the official language. Papiamento and Spanish are commonly spoken, but almost everyone speaks some English.
Air Aruba, ALM, American and Air Jamaica all provide service, which usually connects through either Curacao or Aruba.
Money is the Netherlands Antilles florin (or guilder), US$1 = NAfl$1.80.
Departure tax is US$20.