Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba cruise holidays
The least developed of the Caribbean ABC islands (Aruba and Curacao are the others), Bonaire has many good reasons to protect its own extraordinary environment. National Park Foundation STINAPA, founded in 1962, is dedicated to the conservation of Bonaire’s natural and historical heritage through the sustainable use of its resources. The efforts have paid off. Bonaire is a pioneer of ecotourism with world-renowned diving and snorkelling opportunities. Bonaires Marine Park, which covers the coral reefs along the islands west coast, has a vast number and variety of fish, and snorkelling and diving amongst these colourful residents is a sheer delight. A more conventional national park spreads across the whole northern part of the island. Originally plantations, this freshwater swampland is now home to pelican, parrots and geese.
A short boat trip to the small offshore island of Klein Bonaire opens up an underwater paradise with impressive coral formations and all the aquatic life the Caribbean is famous for. Klein Bonaire is uninhabited, so you can really experience what life on a deserted island feels like. Another lovely hangout is called Pink Beach because of the attractive colour the coral has turned the sand. A storm in 1999 washed away a great part of the coloured sand but the beach remains a popular swimming spot for locals. Bonaire’s Lac Bay boasts one of the best-preserved mangrove forests in the Caribbean and an up-close tour is a must. Kayaks and solar-powered boats offer easy access, and local naturalist guides will explain the ins and outs of this crucial nursery for many species of tropical fish. A secluded beach with shallow waters sits at the northern end of Lac Bay, while at Lac Cai beach there is live music at weekends and the beach shack serves delicious fresh seafood and ice-cold beverages.