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The island of Bonaire is located at almost 50 kilometers from Curaçao, 80 kilometers north of Venezuela and 138 kilometers east of Aruba. Bonaire is about 38 kilometers long and between 5 and 11 kilometers wide. Bonaire has about 15.000 inhabitants. Most people live in the biggest town, Kralendijk. The first inhabitants of Bonaire were the “Caquetio”, a tribe of the Arawak Indians from Venezuela. Probably they came to Bonaire around 1300 BC. In 1499 the island was claimed by the Spaniards and in 1636 the Dutch took possession of Bonaire. At the end of the 17th century African slaves were brought to Bonaire to work there. The current population is a mix of over 80 nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Bonaire has a small, but vibrant economy. The majority of the working population works in the tourism industry. The salt industry and oil terminal t also contribute to the employment. Bonaire is known as a ‘Divers’ Paradise’. The combination of the calm waters, the good under water visibility and the beautiful coral formations and fish make Bonaire the place to dive!


Rincon is not only the oldest village of Bonaire, but also the oldest of the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Initially the Spaniards built this settlement in the early 16th century. Rincon was strategically built in a valley, out of the sight of enemy powers, like pirates and other ships. Slaves were brought to Bonaire to work on the plantations or salt pans in the south. The slaves lived with their families in Rincon. That way they could walk to the salt pans and stay there for the whole workweek.

The Bonaire flag

The yellow triangle represents the sun and the bright yellow flowers that bloom after rainfall. The white strip in the middle represents the purity of the people of Bonaire and the blue triangle reminds the people of the Caribbean ocean that defies all around their island. The star in the Bonaire flag counts six points which represent the initial six settlements. The compass represents the brave seamen who assisted the Dutch Marine Corps during the Second World War. Furthermore, the flaming red color in the compass represents the fighting spirit of the people of Bonaire (information via Bonaire Tourism bureau).

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