Washington Slagbaai, Bonaire’s National Park, was the first Nature Conservatory created in the Netherland Antilles. This national park & reserve, covering close to 22 square miles, is located on the northern end of Bonaire and managed by STINAPA Bonaire, a non-profit foundation, on behalf of the Bonaire government. When you arrive at the visitor center, you will be given a map of the park, which details all the stops and activities.
Our family takes the long route through the park, stopping for a picnic at Boka Kokolishi. There are rock areas which provide some shade. The warm bay has natural whirl pools, and very calm water.
We always leaving enough time to go snorkeling in Wayaka. The cliff jumping at Boka & Salina Slagbaai looks incredibly fun, but not something I have mustered the courage for! Across from Salina Slagbaai is a flamingo preserve where you can admire this beautiful bird from afar.
Visiting the Washington Slagbaai is a wonderful all day activity. There are no services in the park, so pack up all your drinks and food for the day. We bring along a garbage bag as well. You are required to have the marine park tag to go through the park. If you already have it, make sure to bring your receipt and ID, both are required. If you don’t already have the tag, you can buy one as you enter.
There is so much to do in the park – hiking trails, biking trails, snorkeling, sightseeing, birdwatching, cliff jumping … the list goes on. This is a day well worth spending.