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The nature of Bonaire
Bonaire has a beautiful nature. Well there is much to see above and below the water. To protect this nature Bonaire has established a number of National Parks.
Washington Slagbaai National Park
The whole of Bonaire North Point is the Washington Slagbaai National Park. The park, 6,000 hectares, was established in 1969 as the first park of the Netherlands Antilles. It houses a variety of habitats, including the dunes at the boca's (coves) on the north coast, the salinas (salt lakes), the pos (sources) and the mountain areas. The park is rich in birds and other animals, especially lizards and iguanas. From the entrance plotted walks. The park is easily accessible by car and mountain bikers are also welcome.
Bonaire National Marine Park
Bonaire National Marine Park is a legally protected underwater park that surrounds the entire island and Klein Bonaire. The park is in 1979 produced by among others the support of the World Wildlife Fund and managed by the Foundation National Parks Bonaire (STINAPA). There are approximately sixty dive sites. The park is one of the best dive sites in the world. More information about STINAPA can be found at: www.stinapa.org
Off the coast at Kralendijk lies the island Klein Bonaire. The island is 700 hectares, entirely flat and only covered with small bushes and cacti. On the island certainly come 76 plants and about 55 species of animals. It is surrounded by a coral reef. The beaches on the north and west are the most important nesting grounds for sea turtles. Since 2001, Klein Bonaire is a legally protected area. The island is accessible by boat for divers, snorkelers and day trippers.
Lac is a beautiful shallow lagoon in the southeast of Bonaire. The area of 700 hectares is lined with mangroves. The bay is unique because of the occurrence of seagrass and mangrove. Some of the mangroves by the limited accessibility virtually undisturbed and therefore of interest as a resting area for birds. Lac is an important resting and breeding area for many birds and marine invertebrates, including the Queen conch shell either. The area has a nursery function for reef fish and the food area for the Green Sea Turtle.
The Salt Lake and the flamingo reserve (800 ha) are part of the large water area in the southwest of the island. In this area is still being extracted salt. It is also the most important food and habitat for flamingos. In this area there are, depending on the season, between 2,000 and 7,000 flamingos. The flamingo sanctuary is the main breeding ground for flamingos in the southern Caribbean. The total population migrates between Bonaire and South America is estimated at 20,000.
The Goto (Goto Salina, Salina Grandi, Lagun Goto) in the northwest of Bonaire is the largest saliña (salt water lake) of the diving island. Gotomeer was formed by coral after forming a natural dam which created the lake water was cut off from the sea. Gotomeer is located in the Washington Slagbaai National Park and is an important foraging and nesting grounds for the majestic Caribbean flamingos.
From a high observation point there are several benches where you have a beautiful view of the lake. From this vantage point you also have views of the small islands in the lake and you can see in the distance are the top of the Brandaris (241 m). The Brandaris is the highest mountain of Bonaire.
Last update website: 23 March 2021
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