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Welcome to the official Bonaire Website

Look into the faces of Bonaire and see a kaleidoscope of history. Bonaire’s first inhabitants were Caiquetios, a branch of Arawak Indians from Venezuela, believed to have arrived around 1300 BC.  

In 1499, (possibly September 6th) Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci arrived in Bonaire and claimed Bonaire for the Spaniards.  By 1636, after having been to Bonaire before, the Dutch took possession of the Island.  A plaque in Wilhelmina Park honors Mr. van Walbeeck the Island’s first Dutch Commander.  In the late 1600’s, African slaves were brought to work on the Island.

During the period of 1799 -1816, sometimes referred to as the “time of confusion” the Island was occupied off and on by various countries and individuals.  This was due to changing European politics, which in turn affected the Caribbean Islands.  In 1816, Bonaire returned back to the Dutch.

Rincon

Rincon Village is the oldest village on Bonaire. Additionally, it is the oldest in continual existence within the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.    Originally settled by the...

Salt Industry on Bonaire

Historically, salt as a commodity was the root of war and struggles amid European factions.  The eventual Dutch takeover of Bonaire, close to four centuries ago, served to underscore...

SCUBA Beginnings

The start of Bonaire's sport diving industry can be traced back to a momentous event that took place in the year 1962, with the arrival of Captain Don Stewart . Within a year of his...

Related information

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

HIGHLIGHTS

Kaminda di Arte

Bent u een liefhebber van kunst? De Kaminda di Arte is weer begonnen is op... Read more

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