Tolo: Off-The-Beaten-Path Beach on Bonaire

Tolo: Off-The-Beaten-Path Beach on Bonaire

We thought we’d share a few photos from another gorgeous off the beaten path Bonaire beach. This one is the dive site called Tolo.

What makes this Bonaire beach a little more off-the-beaten-path than many others is that you have to commit to it! Once you continue past thousand steps on the road toward Tolo there’s literally no turning back. The Queen’s Highway becomes a one-way road at a certain point before arriving at Tolo. To get back to wherever it is that you came from you have to continue North toward the little town of Rincon and then double back. Really for anyone from anywhere that’s not Bonaire, this should not be a big deal. You are guaranteed to not encounter traffic – probably not a single other car for miles. But still, it’s hot and isolated and the two way road back towards civilization is kinda on the beautiful side making it hard to commit to getting back via the “back road.”

But Bonaire is for adventurers. And Tolo is worth it. The two little cement benches under the trees have been there as long as we’ve been visiting the island.  So if you don’t have chairs you know you’ll at least have a place to sit that’s not on thorns and with a bit of shade.

The only real novelty from previous years is the amount and density of the sea urchin population. If you plan to swim plan your entrance carefully. It is possible to dive, swim and snorkel here. There’s even quite a bit of open space for playing paddle ball or having a slightly larger group of people than at a smaller and thornier beach like Jeff Davis.

Tolo is the perfect off the beaten path Bonaire locale. Have a picnic, get some shade and get away from it all. If you are  exploring the Queen’s highway on a day trip we’d suggest a stop at Tolo after having a swim at Oil Slick Leap, checking out the little sandy beach at Jeff Davis, having a snorkel at Weber’s Joy and making the descent down to Thousand Steps.

If you continue on through Rincon after stopping at Tolo, stop for a Bonairian style lunch at the non-touristy, off the beaten path Bonaire local restaurant Rose Inn.

queen's highway bonaire scenery; off the beaten path bonaire divi divi tree on bonaire at Tolo; off the beaten path Bonaire

tolo dive site off the beaten path bonaire sea urchin invasion bonaire 2018; off the beaten path bonaire

Running on Bonaire

Running on Bonaire

One of our favorite places to go running on Bonaire  is the coastal road “Queen’s Highway”  where you find the dive sites Thousand Steps, Jeff Davis and Witch’s Hut (Weber’s Joy.) We suggest parking your car at Caribbean Club Resort which you’ll come across just before the dive site Oil Slick Leap and right across the street from Stinapa Bonaire Headquarters. From Caribbean Club start your run or walk down the short hill towards the water. You can stretch a little at Oil Slick Leap and take in the views before starting your run. From Oil Slick to Thousand Steps is under a mile so round trip you’d only do a two mile run if you stop at thousand step but you can go much further and the road continues to be just as beautiful. This run is better in a group of two or more as the road can be pretty isolated as you head farther north, off the beaten path…  From Oil Slick Leap to Thousand steps there will be a few cars driving by now and then but further north you may not pass anyone at all. The road becomes especially quiet as you pass Karpata and are on a one way street. (Surprisingly the Queen’s Highway is a two way road until you reach Karpata.) In our opinion this is the prettiest place to go running on Bonaire.

Go early before it’s too hot, bring water, stop in at Caribbean Club afterwards to check it out and get a drink or have breakfast at their restaurant. Another idea is to pack a bathing suit and go for a swim at Oil Slick leap after your run. Oil Slick has a deck with a ladder down to the water – a gorgeous place for a swim and a cool down after your workout.

 

Jeff Davis Dive Site – The perfect off the beaten path beach day on Bonaire

Jeff Davis Dive Site – The perfect off the beaten path beach day on Bonaire

On arrival at the popular Thousand Steps for a little snorkeling one Friday afternoon we stumbled into about seven or eight cars in the “parking lot” – that’s a crowd on Bonaire! We put the car in reverse and drove back toward where we’d come from to choose a spot with a bit more privacy and elbow room – Jeff Davis Dive Site.

Our brief search took us about a half mile down the road to the dive site Jeff Davis. This special place is named for medical researcher, war veteran, and NASA scientist Dr. Jefferson Davis, an American medical doctor who pioneered the use of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of decompression sickness in divers.

What a beautiful spot to go for a swim, snorkel or just to take in the view. There was one couple at the beach – one scooter parked in the “parking lot” and an entire beach for our own private enjoyment. Amazing snorkeling, shocking crystal clear blue water and even some sand, unusual on Bonaire. This beach is the perfect off-the-beaten-path place to beach for the day.

The entrance into the sea is pretty rocky – you will need to step down a few steps on rocks – there is no ladder or any easy access. There is a small amount of shade in some thorny trees. No facilities nearby so water and snacks are a good idea.

Jeff Davis Dive site is marked by one of the iconic yellow stones that indicate all marked dive sites on the island of Bonaire. It’s located on the Queen’s Highway along the same road where you will find Thousand Steps, Weber’s Joy, Tolo and Karpata. This is a wonderful road for biking, running, walking or just going for a ride to check out Bonaire’s amazing scenery.

Tip: bring beach chairs  and watch for thorns on the ground!

   

Where to go on your first day on Bonaire? Bachelor’s Beach

Where to go on your first day on Bonaire? Bachelor’s Beach

Bachelor’s Beach Bonaire; it’s close to pretty much everything on Bonaire and is a no stress place to just stop and take in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea. It’s the perfect place to break in your new mask and snorkel.

Just landed? Want to take in some of that turquoise water but it’s already late afternoon? Here’s the perfect beach to go on your first day! Or any day…

Bachelor’s Beach is a quick ride from the airport or from Kralendijk or Belnem. The beach is not visible from the road – it’s looks like a little rocky parking lot with a couple of cement and thatched beach huts. Park your car or bike right there and take the ladder/steps down to the secluded sandy beach. If the tide is in there may not be any sand but swimming there is always gorgeous. If there’s no beach visible you can leave your things on the steps. Never crowded. Great place to snorkel – super easy, fun, zen away from it all but yet so close to it all.

Bachelors beach is located on the main oceanfront road – the same road as the airport – EEG blvd.  If you make a left turn leaving the airport it will be on your right just past the road to Sorobon. Two cute little huts with a thatched roof mark this location. The huts are basically in the parking lot for Bachelor’s beach and are for public use.

Bring towels, beach chair and definitely don’t forget to bring a mask and snorkel gear. Entrance into the water in any location on Bonaire is easier with a mask so that you can watch for coral and rocks as you get in. Bachelor’s beach is particularly sandy for a Bonaire beach, so the entry into the water is fairly easy. This is also a good spot for catching some small waves on a windy day.

bachelors beach bonaire   Bachelor's beach - drive up and go for a snorkel