The best hiking trail on Bonaire
In our opinion the best hiking trail on Bonaire is the hike up Mt. Brandaris inside the National Park.
For adventurous guests looking for some real exercise in the middle of nature we have just the thing for you! Take a drive into the Washington Slagbaai National Park and climb Mt. Brandaris, the highest peak on the island of Bonaire. It’s a difficult, yet not so difficult climb. That is to say the peak is at only 784 feet and only takes about a half hour to reach. But, the climb is steep in places and best done by those that are are moderately fit and not too too scared of heights. The views from the top and along the way make it worth the effort. Do not expect guard rails, well marked trails or handholding. Do expect a steep, hand over foot four limbed climb as you near the summit. Just a few faded yellow dots painted onto rocks mark the way. Rocks can slip out from under you. Do not expect a crowd. Expect an adventure!
- Park rules indicate you must reach the start of the hike by 12 noon so get an early start.
- Bring plenty of water and if possible it should be in a backpack, not hand-held. You need your hands free for climbing near the summit
- Wear a sun visor and sunglasses
- Wear sneakers or hiking shoes but not flip flops or sandals
- Exiting the park you have quite a long rough road ahead of you. Leave enough time for a stop at Wayaka II beach on the way out and enjoy the island’s most beautiful, isolated spot to cool off after your hike
- Bring snacks and/or picnic lunch
Keep in mind if you plan to visit the park’s other beaches by driving the long route inside the National Park – that should probably be saved for a separate day trip. It costs $25 to enter the national park no matter how many times you go in one year, so if you do the “long route”, consider doing the hike as well a different day to get the most bang for your buck. The Mount Brandaris hiking trail is located on the other route, known as the “short route.”
At the entrance to the National Park you will be greeted by the park service ranger where you will show or buy your admission pass. They can answer your questions about getting to Mt. Brandaris. The one-way rocky roads are abundant with nature; lizards, cacti, flowers, goats, iguanas, birds such as green parrots. The view from the summit is unlike anything else on Bonaire. Stunning!
The lazy tourist’s Guide to Shopping for Gifts on Bonaire
Lazy, eh? Don’t get me wrong. I love shopping but I don’t particularly love shopping for gifts on Bonaire nor do I want to spend my vacation doing so. Get me out of the gift shops and out/in/on/around the Caribbean SEA! But… someone is feeding the fish, someone’s getting my mail… I may even have left a child or two back home. They’re going to need something to ease my guilty mind and tanned body… So here we go with the lazy tourist’s guide to shopping for gifts on Bonaire.
Van Den Tweel Supermarket for easy gift shopping on Bonaire
Of course when on Bonaire I always make a trip or two to the grocery store to load up for the week (or the month…) Conveniently nowadays the grocery store IS the lazy tourist’s gift shop. The folks back home will never know.
I snapped the pictures in this post at Van Den Tweel supermarket located on Kaya Industria about a mile or so from my apartment at breezybonaire. Choose from mugs embossed with glossy Bonaire Scenery, liqueurs – TikiBon Brand, or beer – Bonaire Blond brand, made and bottled right here on Bonaire. Other options include postcards, calendars with colorful Bonaire art and photography, a pretty good variety of local sea salt of both the edible and the spa treatment variety. Scenic photographs ranging from postcard size to just barely fitting in your suitcase also make great gifts or better yet, souvenirs of your trip. For friends that have actually been to Bonaire before some grocery bags with Bonaire scenery will remind them of their own visits to the island.
Food products to bring back from Bonaire as gifts
You can also get more creative by touring around the supermarket and looking for Dutch or Bonairian food specialties to bring home. When I’m on Bonaire I usually come back to the US with at least 8 or 10 packs of stroopwafels (A type of waffle cookie filled with caramel often served heated up). Unfortunately those are becoming more common in the US and as such, slightly less interesting as a gift idea. Still they are inexpensive, pack easily in your suitcase and pretty much a delight to anyone receiving them. As an aside – if you buy them before getting on the plane, store them in the refrigerator until time to pack up and go home.
To be honest, although simple, easy and yes – lazy, these ideas appeal to me more than t-shirts or little trinkets. If this isn’t your cup of tea there are a large variety of gift shops on Kaya Grandi, the main road in downtown Kralendijk. You’ll find t-shirts, key chains and Bonaire mugs. Try to avoid downtown when a cruise ship is in port.