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Why This Lesser Known Caribbean Island Is Breaking All-Time Tourism Records

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Now is the perfect time to visit the Caribbean, but in light of recent travel safety warnings issues for 2 popular Caribbean destinations, many U.S. travelers are wondering where they should go instead.  

Enter Bonaire. This Caribbean Island is as safe as it is beautiful. And it’s also breaking all-time tourism records right now.  

View of flamingos in Bonaire

Almost 170,000 visitors were welcomed in 2023 which is 8% more than the previous record-breaking year of 2019.  

Here’s why this lesser-known Caribbean Island is breaking all-time tourism records:  

So Much To See And Do 

Bonaire is an incredibly small island measuring just 24 miles long and 3 to 7 miles wide. But despite its small size it’s big on things to see and do.  

Washington Slagbaai National Park -Views around the Caribbean Island of Bonaire

Bonaire is the shore diving capital of the Caribbean. It is a great place to scuba dive both for experienced divers and those newbies hoping to gain their PADI scuba accreditation. Bonaire is surrounded by protected reefs where you will find a wide array of marine life such as turtles, sharks, and rays 

Other water activities that Bonaire is well-known for are snorkeling and windsurfing. There are few places better to visit if you’re looking for a water sports vacation. 

Away from the beautiful white sand shoreline, you can enjoy exploring the colorful architecture in the capital city of Kralendijk or visit the Seru Largu Lookout, which is an incredible spot to get a view of the island and its western shoreline.  

a flock of flamingos in water during the day in Bonaire

And don’t forget to take a trip to visit the island’s famous flamingos: it is said there are more flamingos than people in Bonaire.  

Visitors Keep Coming Back 

One of the main reasons why Bonaire is breaking its all-time tourism record is because visitors keep coming back for more.  

The biggest tourism market in Bonaire is Dutch travelers who represent 47% of visitors. This is followed by American visitors who represent 23% of arrivals.  

Main street Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk on the island of Bonaire

Bonaire has one of the highest repeat visitor rates in the Caribbean. A whopping 56.5% of all visitors to the island last year were travelers who had already visited Bonaire before.  

Its popularity with visitors who want to come back again and again is a huge part of the island’s success story and is a testament to just how beautiful and welcoming the island is.  

Safe And Secure  

Bonaire is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. It has been awarded a Level 1: Exercise normal precautions rating by the U.S. Department of State.  

Aerial view of a town frm the water in Bonaire,

This is the lowest and safest rating that a country can be awarded. The rating system ranges from Level 1: Exercise normal precautions to Level 4: Do not travel.  

Though petty theft and street crime can happen on the island the occurrence of serious crime is very low. With the exception of opportunistic thefts, crime on Bonaire is rarely targeted at tourists. 

Bonaire regularly appears in lists of the Caribbean’s safest islands. This means that Bonaire is a great island to explore and enjoy the nightlife without fear of crime or worries about your personal safety.   

Thousand Steps Beach In Bonaire

It is also located outside of the Caribbean’s Hurricane Alley meaning that you’ll be safe from that perspective too.  

Explore More  

Bonaire is part of the ABC Island chain. This is Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Aruba and Curacao are more developed, while Bonaire is smaller and more rugged.   

All of these islands are Dutch dependencies and they are all well connected meaning that commuting between the 3 islands is incredibly easy. It’s also cheap.  

aerial view of Aruba

Because each of the islands is unique you can turn your visit to Bonaire into a wider island tour. Get out and explore and enjoy different experiences on each island.  

The ABC islands are the sunniest islands in the Caribbean and they are made for island hopping. So you can enjoy relaxation as well as satisfy your need for adventure at the same time.  

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