- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call
Washington–Slagbaai National Park
Washington–Slagbaai National Park Review
Once a plantation producing divi-divi trees (the pods were used for tanning animal skins), aloe (used for medicinal lotions), charcoal, and goats, the park is now a model of conservation. It's easy to tour the 13,500-acre tropical desert terrain on the dirt roads. As befits a wilderness sanctuary, the well-marked, rugged routes force you to drive slowly enough to appreciate the animal life and the terrain. (Think twice about coming here if it has rained recently—the mud you may encounter will be more than inconvenient.) If you're planning to hike, bring a picnic lunch, camera, sunscreen, and plenty of water. There are two routes: the long one (22 mi [35½ km]) is marked by yellow arrows, the short one (15 mi [24 km]) by green arrows. Goats and donkeys may dart across the road, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you may catch sight of large iguanas camouflaged in the shrubbery.
Bird-watchers are really in their element here. Right inside the park's gate, flamingos roost on the salt pad known as Salina Mathijs, and exotic parakeets dot the foot of Mt. Brandaris, Bonaire's highest peak, at 784 feet. Some 130 species of birds fly in and out of the shrubbery in the park. Keep your eyes open and your binoculars at hand. Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are permitted, but you're asked not to frighten the animals or remove anything from the grounds. Absolutely no hunting, fishing, or camping is allowed. A useful guide to the park is available at the entrance for about $6. To get here, take the secondary road north from the town of Rincon. The Nature Fee for swimming and snorkeling also grants you free admission to this park—simply present proof of payment and some form of photo ID.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Just wanted to share our recent experience with renting a villa on Bonaire. Read more
First trip to Bonaire--feedback
Arrange for taxi before showing up. Read more
My husband and I both early 50s are trying to decide where to go on our next vacation. Read more
· News & Features
Choosing a destination for your honeymoon can prove nearly as challenging a task as finding "the one."... Read more
Come August, trips to the Caribbean seem all but off the table for a few months.... Read more
Nothing beats a getaway with the girls, whether you hit a nearby foodie haven like Portland for the weekend... Read more