From scenic strolls along rolling hills to strenuous scrambles that take you to the island’s tallest peaks, there’s something for every skill and activity level.
What You'll Need
The great news is that you don’t need a lot to explore Bonaire on foot.
A sturdy pair of shoes (tennis shoes are A-Ok), sunscreen and lots of water are the three basics that will make every hike more comfortable and safe. You might like a brimmed hat (extra sun protection) and a bandana (it gets hot and dusty on the trails).
I wear a small hydration backpack to keep my thirst quenched in a hands-free way (plus it gives me a spot for my phone, car keys and other essentials). But if you’re not traveling with one, carrying a bottle of water works.
Definitely don’t begin any expedition without adequate water. It also helps to start early when it is cool and the wildlife is most active.
Easy Does It
If you’re more interested in a relaxed walk than a strenuous scramble, here are a few of my favorite scenic strolls.
Lagadishi Walking Trail
This laid-back trail starts and ends just inside the entrance of Washington-Slagbaii National Park. The easy 2-hour walk takes you over a limestone plateau, and past salt pans, blowholes, a pristine beach and historic sites.
Dos Pos Walking Trail
Park at the Dos Pos sign along the road to Rincon, and follow the pink stones. Filled with native vegetation and birds, this is a peaceful trail with minimal elevation gain.
Let's Sweat (Medium)
When you’d like to add a little sweat and stunning vistas to your journey, these hiking routes have you covered on both counts with elevation gain and great views.
While you can actually drive all the way to the top, walking it (like the island residents do) is a fun way to get some exercise and reward yourself with breathtaking 180 degree views of the southern part of the island. Take Kaya Piedra Precioso up the hill just north of Kralendijk, and park where the road forks to the left (next to the Seru Largu sign). Then just start walking until you reach the top.
Montaña Hiking Trail
Park at Dos Pos (see link to map below) and walk along the road back toward Goto Lake until you see the pink sign on the kunuku road on your left. Follow that road until you hit the hiking trail, also on your left. Then head up a gentle rise. You’ll have a mild scramble to get to the top and enjoy the views. This hike is an easy out-and-back route.
Mind Your Step (Hard)
Want bragging rights? Hit up these options. Just be careful. Help is likely more than just a phone call away. Both hikes are in the Washington-Slagbaii National Park.
Head up to the highest point on Bonaire and get the signature photo standing next to (or on top of) the kadastral marker at the summit. A relatively easy start with medium elevation gain transitions into a traverse across a narrow path followed by a 50 meter steep scramble to the top. The last 1/3 of the hike up is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but totally worth the effort for 360 degree views of the island and sea.
Find the trailhead at the entrace of the national park. Head to the top of a volcanic hill and be rewarded with impressive views of Bonaire’s north and east coasts, from Malmok to Spelonk. The uneven terrain and rapid elevation gain will make you work for the views.