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Useful information for excursions in Kralendijk
In the following paragraphs, you will find information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and a lot of useful information for shore excursions in Kralendijk.
The most beautiful sights in Kralendijk
Kralendijk (Dutch for “Korallendeich”) is the capital city of Bonaire, which ist a dutch island of Lesser Antilles in the north of Venezuela and in the very east of ABC-island. In the southern part of this city there is Flamingo International Airport. Kralendijk is divided into three districts: Playa (the center), Playa Pabou and Playa Pariba. The official spoken languages are Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento.
Famous for diving and bird watching, the island Bonaire with around 80 diving sites is considered as one of the most 10 beautiful diving areas in the world. The capital city Kralendijk is also called as “the sleeping capital city” of Bonaire. One of the main attractions in Kralendijk are the houses covered with beautiful pastel stucco, in pink, orange and lime green. The island is famous for its diving and the large number of flamingos, which can be up to 15000 on the island during the mating season. Due to the underwater pink corals, the beaches of Bonaire has the color of pink. Besides what’s mentioned above, people can also make unique hiking tours on the island.
Snorkeling and diving tours
The island offers various snorkeling tours, whereby many dealers offer water taxis at the cruise docks. As snorkeling usually takes place very close to the shores and beaches, all that people need is just a swimming goggle and a suitable snorkel, which means life jackets are not required at all. Guided snorkeling tours usually cost between 50 and 60 USD. However, to swim in the sea costs 10 USD and the diving costs 20 USD, which can be paid in various diving shops.
The ABC-Island are known to be flat and dry, as there are no mountains, and no clouds and rivers as well, and as a result, after rainfalls no alluvial particles are washed into the sea so the sea is therefore clearer. This circumstance allows a wide visibility when diving and thus offers the best diving conditions.
The Washington Slagbaai National Park
One of the top attractions ist the Washington Slagbaai National Park, which was opened in May 1969 and is located in the northwest of the island. It has varied terrain and about 145 species of birds, in addition, the park has an area of about 5,643 hectares. One of the most famous birds species is the “bananaquit”, which can be recognised by its yellow chest, it is known to steal sugar from the tables of the guests in the park and in the restaurants. Many Flamingos have their home in this park and are particularly well protected there, what’s more, an extra area has been set aside for them to build their mud nests.
One of the most famous main shopping streets in Kralendijk ist “Kaya Grandi”, where you can find attractive shops with gemstones, wood, leather, silver and ceramics. Besides that you can also find paintings and pictures of birds and island dolls here. The historic buildings along Kaya Grandi were built in the late 18th and early 19th century. The buildings have been renovated and restored to the present day but they are still very traditional. The basement is equipped as a shop and the family apartments on the upper floor.
The Fort (Festung) was built around 1640 and is located in coastal road Kaya C.E.B. Hellmund, which was built to fortify Bonaire’s harbour. In 1810 the English settlement “Playa” was built around the fortress, which was taken over by the Dutch 30 years later and renamed the present “Kralendijk”. In 1932 the lighthouse was built, which is still enthroned in the middle of the fortress, surrounded by some old British cannons from the early 19th century, which stand on the approximately 10 foot (3 m) high walls of Fort Oranje. Nowadays the regional court is located in the fortress.
Little Bonaire is a flat and uninhabited coral island with an area of approximately 2,3 suqare mile (6 km²). It is about 2625 foot (800 m), on the opposite side of the harbour of Kralendijk, many diving and snorkeling tours lead to Small Bonaire. It takes no more than 25 min with a water taxi to reach the island, which is one of the most desirable destinations for many tourists and is considered a nature reserve. Except the coral reef, you can also find seahorses diving and rare turtles on the white Caribbean beaches. Usually the tourists meet herds of flamingo here as well. Don’t miss the chance to visit this uninhabited and quickly accessible island and book a guided shore excursion with us.
Map of the cruise port in Kralendijk
At the port of Kralendijk there are two harbours, where two cruise ships can dock at the same time. The way from the jetty to the city centre is only a few metres and can be explored on foot. At the ship terminal there are many information stands for tourists, which offer among other things, round trips or also boat trips with snorkel tours.
On the whole, people can say that Kralendijk offers only a few sights. The appealing highlights here are the unforgettable snorkeling and diving opportunities, as there are few sandy beaches and the island is surrounded by an extensive coral landscape. Here a guided shore excursion is recommended, which would allow you to a diving and snorkeling highlight. Book your shore excursion and have an unforgettable experience with us.
Things to know before your trip to Kralendijk
Shipping companies and routes
During the high season from December to April cruise ships visiting are offered in Bonaire. The shipping companies offering stops in Bonaire include Princess Cruises, SilverSea Cruises, P&O Cruises, Holland America, Cunard Cruises. There is no ferry connection between the islands of the Netherlands Antilles.
Entry and Visa
Visas to Bonaire are not required by the UK citizens. However, a passport is required during the visit.
To be on the safe side, we generally recommend that you obtain information about all valid entry requirements directly from your cruise company and from the Federal Foreign Office in good time before your cruise.
Taxi and public transport
It’s possible to find taxis all over the island. The prices are fixed by the government and are also regularly controlled. Besides, a taxi list available from the tourist list. It is regulated that between 19:00 and 24:00 o’clock 25% surcharge is charged and between 24:00 and 06:00 o’clock it would be 50%. To explore the island, you can easily rent bicycles and also mopeds.
The water taxis are also very popular here, which are well worth it to explore the famous and amazing diving bays and at the same time to drive around the island. Water taxis are also used for trips from Kralendijk to the opposite island “Little Bonaire”. Usually there are three departure times, but this can vary and depends on the water taxi companies. There is no bus service on the island.
The official currency in Kralendijk since 1 January 2011 is the US dollar. Although Kralendijk belongs to the Netherlands, the official currency is the US dollar. As a tourist you can easily withdraw US dollars from any ATM in the city, but these are very rare in Kralendijk. Of course, one can also pay here easily with the credit card.
The travel season is possible all year round, from January to December you can expect super warm weather. Throughout the year the temperatures are between 27 and 31 degrees. During the month of November there can also be rainfall.
Website port operator and tourism organisation
- Official port site: Whatsport Bonaire
- Official website: Tourism Bonaire/Sightseeing
- Online travel guide: Wikivoyage
Video: Impressions of Kralendijk
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