The Washington Slagbaai National Park (WSNP) can be visited in various ways. You can comfortably explore the park by car and experiencing it like a safari, but if you are more athletic you can ride a mountain bike or put on sturdy hiking shoes.
Explore the Washington Slagbaai National Park with a car.
The park is easily explored by car. There is a 15 miles (2-hour) route (green route) and a slightly longer 21.75 miles (3.5-hour) route (yellow route) marked out. Both routes start and end at the park entrance. Both the green and yellow routes are one-way. Therefore, you must complete the chosen route in its entirety. If you opt for the green route you won't pass along the north coast of the park; it runs more inland. Some sections of the green and yellow routes overlap.
Tip! Rent a four-wheel-drive car!
If you're planning to explore Washington Slagbaai National Park by car, it's highly recommended to choose a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The road is unpaved and, in some places, has potholes and gaps. Therefore it is strongly advised to use a vehicle that can handle these conditions well such as a jeep, pickup truck, or a high-clearance car. We have had good experiences with the local car rental company: AB Car Rental. Read our review about AB Car Rental!
Opt for a four-wheel-drive vehicle if you plan to drive in the park.
The maximum speed in the park is 16 miles per hour. Additionally, it's important to start your adventure in the WSNP with a full tank, as there are no refueling options within the park. Mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, quads, and other motorized vehicles are not welcome in the WSNP. The car routes in the WSNP were originally laid out by students from the Dutch Wageningen University.
The park offers three diverse tourist hiking trails: a flat walking trail (Lagadishi walking trail), a climbing route to the highest point on the island (Brandaris climb route), and a second climbing route (Kasikunda climbing trail).
The hiking trails in Washington Slagbaai National Park are well-marked with yellow posts. There are three beautiful hiking trails set up in the park.
A flat hiking trail starts at the entrance of Washington Slagbaai National Park. The Lagadishi walking trail (green arrows) will take you approximately 105 minutes to complete and leads you to the rugged east coast of the park. Here you'll find the beautiful Playa Chikutu and the fascinating Suplado blowhole, among other attractions.
The Suplado blowhole is the highlight of the Lagadishi walking trail.
The sea at Playa Chikutu may appear very inviting for swimming but please be cautious. We are on the east side of the island and going into the water here can be extremely dangerous. The Suplado blowhole is a true sensation. It's a small funnel-shaped inlet where ocean water is forced through with tremendous pressure, creating an impressive fountain of water several meters high. There are dozens of blowholes along the rugged coastline of Bonaire, but the Suplado blowhole is an absolute must-see!
In addition there is a second climbing route, the Kasikunda Climbing Trail. This hike takes you to the top of a volcanic hill (Juwa Pass) in about half an hour and provides a magnificent view of the northern side of the island. During this hike you can encounter beautiful volcanic basalt formations that are adorned with colorful lichens in some places. Even during the descent, you'll pass by a beautiful viewpoint that offers a great view of a large salt lake in the park (Saliña Matijs), the park entrance, the rugged east coast, the lighthouse ruins within the park, and tens of thousands of cacti. It's important to note that the Kasikunda Climbing Trail is not an easy hiking route. The trail is strewn with large rocks that require climbing, both uphill and downhill. Sturdy hiking boots and a lack of fear of heights are an absolute necessity for this hike.
The Kasikunde Climbing Trail is an enjoyable hiking route, and once you reach the top, the reward is truly impressive.
What a magnificent view over Bonaire!
You can see the route of the Kasikunde Climbing Trail very clearly on this sign.
The Subi Brandaris Trail (yellow arrows) takes approximately 180 minutes and leads you to the roof of Bonaire. Particularly, the final part of the climb is challenging and not suitable for those with a fear of heights. On this 241-meter-high mountain you'll have a magnificent view of the Caribbean island. On clear days it's even possible to see the outlines of Curaçao and Venezuela. The Brandaris is a unique part of Bonaire as it represents the oldest section of the coral island. Over 70 million years ago, immense volcanic forces pushed the highest mountain of Bonaire to its current height of 241 meters. If you plan to do the Brandaris climb route make sure not to arrive at WSNP too late, as it's not possible to begin the climb after 12:00 PM.
The hilly terrain of the park is perfectly suited for exciting mountain bike rides. Inside the park, there's a beautiful and varied 21 miles route. Be sure to bring enough water and be aware that it will be a challenging ride. You should be in good physical condition to tackle this stunning route. Unfortunately it's not possible to rent a mountain bike within Washington Slagbaai National Park.
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