We thought we’d share a few photos from another gorgeous off the beaten path Bonaire beach. Come swim, snorkel and relax at the dive site Tolo.
A long drive home
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 along the Queen’s Highway past Thousand Steps on the road toward Tolo you literally cannot turn back. The Queen’s Highway becomes a one-way road at a certain point before arriving at Tolo. To get back to your home base you have to continue North toward the little town of Rincon and then double back. Most likely you won’t 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 long back road.
Why we love Tolo
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 bring beach chairs you know you’ll at least have a place to sit that’s not on thorns and with a bit of shade.
Sea Urchins on Bonaire
The only real novelty from previous years is the amount and density of the sea urchin population. If you want to swim plan your entrance carefully. You can scuba dive, swim and snorkel here with a fairly easy entrance. There’s even quite a bit of open space for playing paddle ball. This location also works for a slightly larger group of people to come gather than at a smaller and thornier beach like Jeff Davis.
Tolo is the perfect off the beaten path Bonaire day trip. Have a picnic, get some shade and get away from it all. When out exploring the Queen’s highway on a day trip we suggest a stop at Tolo after other stops along the way. First have a swim at Oil Slick Leap, then check out the little sandy beach at Jeff Davis, next a snorkel at Weber’s Joy and last make the descent down to Thousand Steps. Round out your exploration of this route with a swim at Tolo.
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. Tip: try the goat stew – cabritu stoba.
One of our favorite places to go walking, running or jogging on Bonaire is the coastal road north of Kralendijk called Queen’s Highway. Along the Queens Highway you find the dive sites Thousand Steps, Jeff Davis and Witch’s Hut (Weber’s Joy.)
Drive your car to get there:
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 but steep hill towards the sea. Stop to stretch and enjoy the view at Oil Slick Leap and take in the scenery before embarking on your run. The run from Oil Slick Leap to Thousand Steps is under a mile so round trip you’d only do a two mile run if you stop at thousand steps. But you can go much further and the road continues, beautifully winding along the bright blue coast.
Go with a running partner
We recommend running in a group of two or more since the road can be pretty isolated as you head farther north, passing Thousand Steps. Between Oil Slick Leap and Thousand steps a few cars are sure to pass by now and then but further north you may not encounter anyone at all. The road becomes especially quiet as you pass Karpata where it becomes a one way street. Surprisingly the very narrow oceanside Queen’s Highway supports two way traffic until you reach Karpata. In our opinion this is the prettiest place to go running on Bonaire.
Tips for your run, walk or jog
Go early before it’s too hot, bring water, stop in at Caribbean Club afterwards to check it out and get a drink or try breakfast at their restaurant. Don’t forget 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. Oil Slick and the rugged coast along the Queen’s Highway make for an isolated and beautiful place to stretch and do yoga after your run as well.
On arrival at the popular Thousand Steps for a little snorkeling one Friday afternoon we stumbled onto seven or eight cars in the parking lot. Well, that’s a crowd on Bonaire! We put the car in reverse and drove back toward where we’d come from. We wanted a spot with a bit more privacy and elbow room – Jeff Davis Dive Site.
What we love about Jeff Davis Beach
Our brief search took us about a half mile down the road to the dive site Jeff Davis. This special place, named for medical researcher, war veteran, and NASA scientist Dr. Davis, cannot be beat for privacy. Dr Davis, an American medical doctor, pioneered using hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of decompression sickness in divers. This treatment remains in use for divers suffering from that illness.
What a beautiful spot to go for a swim, snorkel or just to take in the view. We found only 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 wins for perfect off-the-beaten-path place to beach for the day.
Entering the water for a snorkel, swim or dive
The entrance into the sea is pretty rocky – you need to step down a few steps on rocks because no ladder or any easy access exists. Shady areas consist only of thorny rocky areas under thorny unwieldy divi divi trees, so bring beach chairs. No facilities are in the are so make sure to bring water and snacks.
Jeff Davis Dive site, marked by one of the iconic yellow stones that indicate all marked dive sites on the island isn’t hard to find. The location on the Queen’s Highway along the same road where you find Thousand Steps, Weber’s Joy, Tolo and Karpata provides gorgeous scenery and abundant nature. 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!
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 for that matter. Delta, United, Sunwing and American Airlines each offer direct flights to Bonaire from the US and Canada with arrivals around 4pm. That means a large amount of our arriving guests need a quick beach idea for their first day. We think Bachelor’s beach fits the bill.
Easy to get to and pristine swimming conditions
Bachelor’s Beach Bonaire; located close to pretty much everything on Bonaire this beach offers a no stress place to just stop and take in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea. What a perfect place to break in your new mask and snorkel.
Bachelor’s Beach is a short ride from the airport or from Kralendijk or Belnem. From breezybonaire apartments the drive to Bachelor’s beach takes about 5 minutes. The beach is not visible from the road – it’s looks like a little rocky parking lot with a couple of poured concrete beach huts with thatched roofs. Park your car on the cliff overlooking the sea and take the ladder/steps down to the secluded sandy beach. If the tide is in there won’t be any sand but you can still swim and it will be memorable. With no beach visible just 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.
Find Bachelor’s Beach on the main oceanfront road EEG blvd. Make a left turn leaving Flamingo International Airport and the beach will be on your right just past the road to Sorobon. Look for the two huts which are for public use.
What to bring
Bring towels, beach chairs 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, particularly sandy for a Bonaire beach means entry into the water is fairly easy. This is also a good spot for catching some small waves on a windy day.