- Location: Caribbean
- Capital: Kralendjik
- Language(s): Dutch, Papiamento
- Population: 15,987
- Total Area: 294 sq km
- Currency: United States Dollar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Fine wines from Europe are available
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: Not available
- Most Popular Drink(s): Wines, beers
Bonaire (meaning Good Air) is one of the largest islands of the Netherlands Antilles. This island group is in the western part of the Lesser Antilles. Alongside Aruba and Curaçao, Bonaire forms the group of islands referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles which forms a group in the southern portion of the Lesser Antilles. Bonaire lies to the north of the Latin American nation of Venezuela and it lies to the east of Curaçao. Initially, Bonaire was part of the Netherlands Antilles but later became a special municipality in 2010. In the centuries past, Bonaire was used as a kind of slave port and today, a vast majority of the residents on the islands are actually those that descended from the Black African slaves. The island has stretches of white beaches and is very popular with divers and snorkelers who fall in love with the crystal clear waters of the island. Like in other parts of the Caribbean, tourism is a great revenue earner for the island. Agriculture is also a significant contributor to the local economy.
As mentioned earlier, the island is populated mainly by the descendants of the Black African slaves who were brought to the island during the Slave Trade era. Apart from those with African roots, there are others with ancestors from the Netherlands and Spain. There is also a significant population of Native Indians and those with mixed lineages. The predominant religion on the island is Christianity and the most important denomination in the country is the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the locals engage in agriculture and a plant produce known as aloe is exported.
Although the island is quite small, there are various dishes and foods on the island. You will be surprised with the diversity of cuisine on the island. From the delicious goat (kabritu) to spicy conch stew (called karko), I enjoyed all that is food on the small diving island of Bonaire. Fried blood is also available if you are bold enough to taste it. Bonairian drinks are also waiting for you in many of the bars, hotels and restaurants. From local coconut-flavored drinks to wine imported from Europe, you will surely have a memorable stay.
Interesting Facts About Bonaire
- The island’s international airport is actually named for the flock of pink flamingoes found on the island.
- In the capital city of Kralendjik, you will always stumble on nice Dutch buildings.
- The island exports aloes.
- The island was first settled by the Spanish but later on, Dutch colonists claimed the island for themselves.
- With Aruba and Curaçao, Bonaire forms the ABC group of islands.
- The economy of the island depends solely on the tourists.
- Bonaire is considered by many to be the best diving location on the planet.
- There is a school of medicine on the island.
- Papiamentu is also spoken in parts of the island.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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