Annual Events on Bonaire: Swim to Klein Bonaire
Planning on coming to Bonaire this fall? Want to participate in a fun local event, do some sightseeing and get some exercise at the same time? Try the Swim to Klein Bonaire! Swim from the closest point on the main island to the small uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire. This is one of Bonaire’s most fun and iconic annual events and of course everyone is invited.
Proceeds from the event go to benefit Jong Bonaire, the local, very active, youth foundation. The Jong Bonaire youth development program provides young people on Bonaire the chance to learn new skills, find potential career paths and receive guidance from professional youth leaders — all while having fun. For instance, Jong Bonaire organizes hundreds of activities for kids including everything from educational events to table tennis to musical instruments to beach clean-ups. Because the foundation organizes events for all the youth and sometimes adults of Bonaire every youth on the island has likely been touched by the organization in one way or another. So check out their website for info on making donations and for upcoming events.
Annual Swim to Klein Bonaire Logistics
- Location: Spice / Eden Beach Resort , north of downtown Kralendijk
- Date: each year this event kicks off Regatta Week. It’s usually the first or second Saturday in October. Check this space for updates on next year’s race
- Time: the race is typically at 9am. Look for updates on Facebook for Jong Bonaire Swim to Klein Bonaire for 2020 regarding the race this October.
- Who can participate: Everyone is invited and everyone can do it. Kids from age 3 to adults to age 93 have participated. The race attracts about 500 participants yearly.
- Cost: The price last year was $15/ adult and $10/child and includes T-shirt, lunch and a drink! Price may vary from year to year.
- What to bring: you can use floats, you can use goggles, you can wear a wetsuit. A fun swim, with no need to be competitive
- Who organizes this event? Jong Bonaire, a not for profit youth foundation, organizes the Swim to Klein Bonaire each year at the beginning of October.
- For additional information, call Jong Bonaire at 717-4304
What to expect
This physical and social event brings together families and individuals of all ages, with tourists swimming next to local residents and young and old alike swimming side by side. All this supports the children of Jong Bonaire and consequently the children of Bonaire itself. If you don’t want to swim come and cheer from the shore and enjoy the festivities at Spice Beach Club.
The Swim to Klein Bonaire is not a race, but a fun swim although there is a competitive element at the top end. For those who do not wish to swim back, there are many, many boats available to pick up swimmers and return them back to the shoreline. Participants can use fins, masks, or even flotation devices. Tens of Rescue boats, canoes, kayaks, etc. line the entire route so if you feel tired you can hop in and end your swim early. No judgement! Lots of swimmers just go for a short distance and hop into a boat.
Those who wish to save time in the early morning of the swim should purchase their ticket in advance, but all participants must be on the beach by the start of the race.
Everyone is welcome.
The annual Swim to Klein Bonaire is a super fun event for tourists and locals alike. Participants in the swim to Klein Bonaire are all ages, shapes and sizes. Swimmers can bring goggles, mask, snorkel, fins, floats, wetsuit – in short whatever makes you comfortable. Swimmers depart from Spice Beach Club at 9am and swim out to meet The Woodwind Snorkel Sail Trimaran.
What? well, almost swim to Klein Bonaire
Although it’s called the “swim to Klein Bonaire” swimmers do not actually set foot on the small island of Klein Bonaire. Instead the end point of the race is the Woodwind Snorkel Sail. At the woodwind you check in with your name and make the decision to swim back or get a lift. Lining the entire route from Spice to the Woodwind (and back) are volunteer rescue boats. Any swimmer too tired to continue is simply picked up by a rescue boat and taken back to Spice Beach. Swimmers can choose to end their swim at The Woodwind or turn around and swim back to Spice Beach. Generally speaking the swim TO Klein Bonaire is an easier swim than the swim BACK to the main island of Bonaire due to the direction of the wind and waves. If there’s a wind reversal, an unusual event, the swim to Klein Bonaire will be more difficult and the swim back would be easier. The total distance of .5 miles is do-able for most everyone so give it a try!