Bonaire’s second town, Rincon, is rather sleepy and that may simply be because it’s old. Over 500 years ago Spaniards established a settlement here because a) it was fertile and b) it was hidden from passing pirates. Most of the residents are descended from slaves, who worked the farms and made the long trek to the salt flats in the south.
Lac Bay is one of the world’s premier windsurfing destinations. The windswept shallows are good year-round for beginners; peak conditions are November to July and pros descend in May and June. The powdery beach is good year-round. At the end of the main road on the south side, Bonaire Windsurf Place has all things wind-surfing (plus kayaking and paddleboarding).
Washington-Slagbaai National Park
Covering the northwest portion of the island and comprising almost 20% of the land, Washington-Slagbaai National Park is a great place to explore. Roads are rough and all but impassable after rain, but it’s well worth the effort. The terrain is mostly tropical desert, and there is a proliferation of cactuses and birds.
South of Kralendijk
The south end of Bonaire is flat and arid, and you can see for many miles in all directions. Multihued salt pans where ocean water evaporates to produce salt dominate the landscape. Metal windmills are used to transfer water out of the ponds. As evaporation progresses, the water takes on a vibrant pink color from tiny sea organisms.
East of Kralendijk
The road from Kralendijk to Lac Bay is a highlight. Off the main road, a branch goes around the north side of the water. Close to the water there are dense mangroves and flocks of flamingos. It’s a popular ride for cyclists. The Mangrove Info & Kayak Center is right on the mangroves and offers various tours.
North of Kralendijk
The road north along the coast is like a roller coaster, but in good shape. There are great vistas of the rocky seashore and frequent pullouts for the marked dive sites. About 5km north of Kralendijk the road becomes one way, north, so you are committed at this point. After another 5km you reach a T-junction. To the right is the direct road to Rincon.