Introducing Kralendijk

It may be the capital town of Bonaire, but Kralendijk still feels like a sleepy village. There are no high-rise buildings, just lots of charming Dutch-style architecture, all painted in pastel shades. Divers love the clear waters and vivid coral surrounding this exclusive Caribbean island, but it’s also the perfect place to while away your time and relax on the beach beside your luxury hotel.

Things to do

Many of the old colonial buildings of Kralendijk are being renovated and restored to their former glory. One worth a visit is Fort Orange, the island’s first stone building that dates back to 1639. Although this was a defensive fort, the old cannons here have never been fired.  

When the Spaniards landed here they brought donkeys with them. Five hundred years later their descendants are still here. The Donkey Sanctuary cares for over 400 creatures, as well as iguanas and tortoises, and makes a lovely day out for children.

The island of Bonaire is outside the hurricane zone, which means that the coral is almost completely intact. Visibility is incredible too, with views of up to 90 metres.   

Top Tip from SLH

If you’re here to dive, look out for the drive-through filling stations – roadside establishments where you can trade your empty oxygen canister for a full one.