Bonaire, April 2005

With 13,000 year round residents and an estimated 25,000 scuba divers a year it is pretty clear to whom the island caters.   We spent most of our time diving-- managed 9 dives in 4 days and hanging out on the beach.  The beaches were were nice but since the island is volcanic in origin they do not measure up to other caribbean sand beaches.  As well we took a drive through Washington-Slagbaai national park in the north to check out the flamingos and amazing cacti (handily dealing with a flat tire and a flat spare tire!).

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caribbean map

Obligatory Overview Stats             

Area: 285 sq km

People: African descent (95%), Carib Indian, European
Language: Dutch, Papiamento, English, Spanish; Castilian
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish
Government: autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands
GDP: US$2.4 billion
GDP per capita: US$11,500
Major Industries: Tourism, petroleum refining, shipping, salt production.