This 55 square kilometer park, is the first of its kind in the former Netherlands Antilles. The park occupies almost the entire north of Bonaire and is open daily 8.00 AM. - 5.00 PM. (no entrance after 2.45 PM). You can buy an excursion guide booklet to the park at the gate. There are different options to access this park if you own a Scuba Diving Tag or a Nature Fee:
- If you own a Scuba Diving Tag (US $25), access to the park is free.
- If you own a Nature Fee (US $10), access to the park is US $15.
- If you do not own a Scuba Diving Tag or Nature Fee, access to the park is US $25.
The Scuba Diving Tag and Nature Fee are strictly personal and are only valid with an photo ID and a proof of payment. This Nature Fee costs US $ 10, but for divers it costs US $ 25. Both are valid for one year.
The southern entrance of Washington Slagbaai National Park, which leads directly to Slagbaai, is open once a month. Every first Sunday of the month, visitors to the park entrance may use this entrance to go directly to Slagbaai, the largest beach on Bonaire. Since no cashier is available, the visitor must already hold a valid ticket.
There are two routes through the park: a short route (24 km or 15 mile) and a longer route (35 km or 22 mile). In 2008 the road system in Washington Slagbaai National Park has been graded and renovated so that all types of vehicles can traverse the park easily. Use the map to find the different locations in the park.
The first stop leaving the gate is Saliña Mathijs, a salt pan where flamingos can be spotted.
A few kilometers further, a side road leads to Playa Chikitu, a nice beach, but with a dangerously strong undertow and high surf. This beach is only useful for sunbathing. Do not swim here and keep children out of the water!
Seru Bentana (Window Hill) and its lighthouse are a few kilometers further. Here you will see the boulders that nature formed into a "window" with a look out at sea. A nice place to watch birds, is Pos di Mangel. Birds come here in the morning and late afternoon to drink.
When you are heading south, you will see Mount Brandaris (241 meter) blooming up. When you turn right at the fork, you will find one of the best snorkel spots. You can see flamingos often behind the beach. A left turn at the fork leads to Bronswinkel well. At the foot of the Brandaris, where a lot of birds come to drink, you will see blue pigeons, yellow breasts, green parrots and sometimes parakeets.
On the way back to the gate, you will some 10 to 20 feet high cacti. From Playa Funchi, the road leads you to Boca Slagbaai. This is a good place to rest, picnic, eat your lunch at the restaurant or swim and snorkel. From Boca Slagbaai to the gate, you can have a beautiful panorama of Goto Lake with its flamingos.
Do not forget to sign their guest book when you leave.
Links with more information: