Is it really $25 per person? I thought that was per car until I read a recent post. That seems like a hefty price...
Yes, $25 per person. But, if you have paid for a marine park tag, the cost of that tag is deducted from the cost of the park entrance if you have the receipt from when you purchased the tag. So, if you are a diver and have the receipt, entrance to the park is essentially free. If you are a snorkeler or windsurfer and have the receipt, the cost to enter the park becomes $15.
Thanks, AmateurGO! We won't have any tags as we are just flying over from Curacao for a day or two. We are going to rent a car and explore the island. For 3 ppl who will not be snorkeling/diving, $75 seems like a bit much for what I'm sure will be 3 hours at the most.
But perhaps it's worth it if that's the main land attraction on Bonaire? We are mainly visiting just to explore and see sights, so I'm not sure what is recommended. I do see there is a museum at the park as well as in Kralendijk. Any recommendations are appreciated!
Actually, a trip through the park is probnably 3 hours at a minimum. Even the "short route" through the park takes 3 hours, even without stopping much.
If you are only going to be in Bonare for a day or two, I would not recommend dedicating such a big chunk of time to the park. I believe you can visit the park museum without paying and going into the park. Take a drive up that way, through Rincon, and see the sights, but I'd vote for skipping the park until you are there for a week or so.
I would skip the park for that fee too. You can drive North through Gotomeer and into Rincon which I think is nicer anyway. Stop in Rincon at the Cadushy distillery, a very nice stop. You can also do a drive south, past the salt pans, slave huts, lighthouse, the rough east coast (nice to see), and over to Lac Bay. You can also hit town for shopping and dining. Plenty to do in a day or two without that hefty fee.
Thanks to you guys for your advice! Yes, I think skipping the park is the best decision since we are visiting for such a short time. I have mapped things out a bit and made sense of the route. We will probably go south by the slave huts, salt pans, and Lac Bay then head up Queens Highway through Goto Meer and back through Rincon. We will definitely stop at the Cadushy Distillery - I checked this out and it looks like a neat little place to visit..and taste!
Any other sights along the way? Where the best few places to take a dip in the ocean? What is the best way/place to chill at Lac Bay for a few hours? Any suggested stops along the coast? (We don't need facilities, we will just stop on the side of the road and hop out for some pictures or to cool off quick.)
I always like 1000 steps. But that road goes one way and you would need to go there and then Rincon. You don't want to miss that drive up the coast. It's breathtaking.
I would reverse your order as the road goes one way past 1000 steps north. Makes much more sense to drive North through town, the N East coast, Gotomeer, Distillery, Rincon, then south towards Lac and around the south point lighthouse and north again past the huts and salt pans back to the hotel.
I just checked out the 1000 steps (actually 67, lol) and we will definitely want to go for the view and some pictures....they are so gorgeous!!!
Snorkeler6 - Thanks for pointing out the routing situation. I do think that you gave a wise suggestion, and if we start first thing in the morning, Lac Bay will be a welcome stop when we are done with most of the driving. If we split into two days, we will probably go North on one day and South on the other and hang out at the beach, hotel, and downtown with the free time.
Unless you stop for very long times, you could head out early AM, get great pics, spend an hour (plenty) at the distillery, and make it for a nice lunch at Lac! ......but, there are some great stops along the coast and through Gotomeer, so you might end up spending a good chunk of time. Might want to stop at a local joint in Rincon for lunch after visiting the distillery. If you split it in two days, you could also hit the overlook at Seru Largu on the day you drive North, well worth the trip up the hill!
I will add that to the list - thanks! I doubt it would be possible to make Lac Bay for lunch. We definitely stop and smell the cactus (haha) and like to absorb it all without rushing. We get so distracted...we pull over for pictures or get caught up looking for shells on the beach or browsing at a little local store or stopping to an animal shelter, etc, etc....we love to explore and get a real feeling for the island.
People think we are crazy for how much we drive around but that's how we find ourselves ending up in adventures and enjoying unique experiences. I feel the most memorable times are the unexpected and unplanned...and many times off the beaten path. And most of the best food is also just happened upon - if we see the locals lined up at a certain food stand, we get in line too!! :)