Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk, Bonaire

Kralendijk is the chief town of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles. Tourism is the economic mainstay, though salt mining is also a significant industry. The island is known for its fine beaches, skin diving, and pink flamingos.

Kralendijk is the capital of Bonaire, a Dutch island just of the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean.

Bonaire was part of the Netherlands Antilles until the country’s dissolution in 2010, when it became a special municipality within the country of the Netherlands.

The main street in Kralendijk is Kaya Grandi where shops, banks and restaurants are to be found. The Harborside Shopping Mall, located by the sea has an internet cafe.

Bird watching is popular on Bonaire, the pink flamingo being the most famous resident. Water sports including kayaking, snorkelling, sailing and windsurfing are all offered as is horse riding.

Rincon is Bonaire’s oldest village and there are tour guided and self guided walking tours available.

The disabled cruiser visiting Kralendijk, Bonaire

Where You’re Docked

You’ll be docked in downtown Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire, off Kaya C.E.B. Hellmund. Shopping, dining, bar hopping and even snorkeling and diving are within walking distance of the dock. You will pass through Harborside Mall, a small open-air shopping center, to get from the pier to the street. There are public restrooms here, but they cost $1 to use. Just outside of the center, you can find taxi and tour operator stands for independent exploration. The town center is within walking distance.

Good to Know

Bonaire, like Curacao, is known for being a bit windy. Don’t expect gale-force winds, but there are ample breezes for excellent windsurfing.

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency 

The U.S. dollar is the island’s official currency. ATMs are available at local banks downtown, the supermarket, Harborside Mall and several resorts.

Language

The official language of Bonaire is Dutch, but Papiamento, the local dialect of the ABC islands, is widely spoken. “Masha danki” means thank you very much in the language. English is spoken by most locals.

Shopping

Shopping won’t take long because there aren’t many shops in Kralendijk, but there are handmade ornaments, paintings and artwork from local artists at the arts and crafts market in Wilhelmina Plaza. The Bonaire Gift Shop (Kaya Grandi 13) has a little bit of everything and the salt shop — where you can find salt for your dinner or your bath — is next door.

For unique jewelry, try Elements Bonaire (Kaya Grandi 26) or Littman’s (Kaya Grandi 33-35). Littman’s also has the best collection of resort wear, T-shirts, fine watches and custom-designed gold and silver jewelry. All are downtown at Harborside Mall and along Kaya Grandi, the main street.

Look for lionfish blackboard specials when in Bonaire — they are an invasive (and tasty) species to the island. For something truly regional, sip on some cactus, whether it’s in a soup or a cocktail. Tekibon is the national drink of Bonaire — liquor similar to tequila — extracted from the yatu cactus.

There are a number of popular restaurants along the Waterfront Promenade within a couple of blocks of the ship pier, including Karel’s Beach Bar and It Rains Fishes.

Points of Interest

  • Kralendijk – a seven-

Kralendijk Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Kralendijk Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible