Bonaire is world-renowned for its incredible diving and snorkeling possibilities, due to its protected coral reefs and successful reef restoration programs. Divers and snorkelers flock annually to see the wonders that await just beneath the island’s azure-blue water. But what about the island’s Beaches?

Are they the same famous mile long pearly white beaches, surrounded by pristine blue tropical waters that we see on the classic Caribbean postcards? Well in the long and short of it Bonaire is a very eclectic Southern Caribbean island, it has many different colors and shapes and, like its culture! Has a great diversity to it. If you drive from the north of the island to the south you bound to run into a large variety of sights, from the densely vegetated north, to the arid interior, which houses the colorful Dutch-Creole fused-style houses in the town of Kralendijk, down to the shimmering Salt pans of the South, the beauty of which, was described in the journals of the early Dutch Colonial sailors.

The beaches of Bonaire have the same variety to them, they aren’t all endless miles of white pearly beaches like in Union island or Anguilla, but there are a few beaches on Bonaire which do have this classic long stretch of pearly white sand and the island most definitely houses the classic crystal clear azure-blue water that the tropical islands of the Caribbean are famous for. Even more so in fact, as being an arid island, there is no water run-off, making Bonaire’s coastal waters some of the clearest in the whole Caribbean!

Bonaire has over 22 beaches of which some have soft white sand while others have more darker coarse coral shores made up of corals and crushed shells, that serve as the gate into discovery for the remarkable coral reef right off the coast that awaits intrepid divers and snorkelers. We can’t cover all of these beaches but will give you a brief overview of key ones to showcase the diversity, and focus specifically on the ones which you can drive to.

Donkey Beach and Te Amo Beach

These are the two beaches that are most popular with locals, located in a very close vicinity to each other. Te Amo is close to the airport and Donkey Beach slightly further down the road. They both have a small stretch of white sand and easy access into the Caribbean Sea, they can get crowded on the weekends with barbeques and sunbathing, being a firm favorite of the beachgoers.

Bonaire te amo beach

Atlantis Beach

This is an international hotspot for Kitesurfers! So much so that it is often referred to instead as “Kitebeach”. Located on the south of the island, it’s a great place to go to if you would like to watch the colorful kites, take part in Kitesurfing or even get lessons from one of the two Kitesurfing schools located on the beach.

Atlantis Beach Bonaire Kitesurfers

Sorobon Beach

Bonaire is also often also referred to as Windsurfer’s paradise, due to the ideal wind conditions, and the shallow waters located at Sorobon Beach. Sorobon Beach houses international windsurfing competitions due to its idealistic conditions for the sport, and has the most beautiful azure-blue shallow waters with a soft white sand beach that is frequented by sunbathers. There is a great restaurant and ample parking for your car to drive out to relax at this slice of paradise.

Pink Beach

Adding yet another unique color to the spectrum of beaches in Bonaire, Pink Beach derives its name from the color created by the crushed shells of microscopic foraminifera, which are bright pink sea creatures. This formed pink sand that gave the beach its famous name. Sadly a large part of the pink sand was washed away in a tropical storm in 1999, however it’s still a beautiful spot to snorkel or watch Flamingos fly over. Also located on the South you can easily drive to both Pink Beach and Atlantis to see the Kitesurfers in one trip.

pink beach Bonaire

1000 Steps

A beautiful beach, which often is wonderfully quiet, it gets its name from the steps which lead down to this spot. A limestone staircase, luckily consisting of only 67 steps! Leads down to a very picturesque cove of limestone cliffs, white sand and bleached chunks of coral. Snorkelers and divers can be seen amidst the changing hues of tropical waters that lap this beach. This is seen as an essential beach to visit when on Bonaire and should definately be on your itinerary.

The Beaches of Washington Slagbaai Park

These are located in the northern part of the island in Washington Slagbaai Park, which is a designated national park of the island, where you will require a pickup in order to enter. However, apart from the beautiful nature you will encounter here, there are also three fascinating beaches Boka Slagbaai, which was once a plantation harbor now a great spot to picnic with nice white sandy beaches which are popular for snorkeling to, Boka Kokolishi is a black sand beach which like Pink Beach, derived its sand color from crushed tiny black snails. It is a beautiful beach to visit but dangerous to swim due to the wild currents of the east coast. Playa Chikitu (meaning small beach) is one of the first stops in the park, also not safe to swim but very beautiful to visit or picnic at due to the secluded cove, sand dunes and wild crashing waves.

No name beach

For those craving the classic long stretch of pearly white sand, lapped by calm crisp blue tropical waters, then Bonaire can answer you with No Name Beach. This is Bonaire’s classic Caribbean style beach, which sadly can’t be reached by car as it’s found on the little islet of Klein Bonaire, located just off the coast of Bonaire. However, you can drive downtown to Kralendijk and catch a water taxi for approximately $15 and take a trip to spend the day on the islet of Klein Bonaire and get your fix of relaxation on a classic “Postcard style" Caribbean white sand beach.

This is a brief overview of a handful of the eclectic mix of beaches found on Bonaire, if you love variety and would like to experience a palette of beaches of different shapes, contrasts and colors then Bonaire is definitely the island for you! For more info on the beaches of Bonaire, you can visit the official tourism site which has a summary of some more for you to read and see.

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