Bonaire National Marine Park is the model for conservancy in the Caribbean. It’s home for staghorn coral, sea turtles, dolphins and (at last count) 469 species of fish. It’s the perennial list-topper in Scuba Diving magazine's annual Readers' Choice issue. And The Road Less Traveled, with its familiarity with the island and connections with top instructors, is the favorite choice for developing teen divers.
There’s a lot to see on land, as well. Washington Slagbaai National Park with its green and blue vistas is ideal for mountain biking and eco-hikes. Sun-loving iguanas, wild donkeys, and exotic birds, including flamingos, abound. Old stone huts stand as sobering reminders of Bonaire’s slave trade past.
The Dutch paradise of Bonaire manages to strike a careful balance among commercial, natural, and historical interests. We support that work as responsible, respectful visitors.
Your world awaits...
learn more about our teen diving and environmental community service trip bonaire: bon bini
Bonaire is a Dutch island that lies less than a hundred miles off the coast of Venezuela near Curacao. The island is located below the hurricane belt and is fortunate to enjoy predictable sunny, warm weather. It also has some of the best off-coast windsurfing conditions anywhere on the planet.
In 2009, we ran our first Florida Keys Dive Program. Through this program, we were fortunate to work with Ken Nedimyer, the founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Ken's mission was to implement simple and cost-effective solutions to keep our precious coral reefs alive. In addition to his restoration efforts, Ken focused his attention on developing strong relationships with local communities and developing educational opportunities for divers and citizens across the globe.
In 2013, The Coral Restoration Foundation launched a branch in Bonaire, and Ken invited us to join. We did, and have been blessed with years of amazing adventures and learning opportunities. A friendship forged in the states has blossomed into an incredible global connection, and together, we've assisted in the restoration of the shallow-water populations of Elkhorn and Staghorn corals in Bonaire and built passionate communities across the globe.
Yes! Our Bonaire program is open to completing 8-12th graders and does not require any previous diving experience. Students diving with us for the first time will earn their PADI Open Water Certification, providing them with the skills, confidence, and certification to dive anywhere in the world. Experienced divers can build upon previous certifications to earn PADI Advanced Diver Certifications or further their advanced certification with specialized skills such as fish i.d., and underwater photography.
Lac Bay is known for its shallow, turquoise waters and steady trade winds. It is a mecca for international windsurfers, and many of the world's best windsurfers reside on Bonaire or travel to the island to compete. The bay's unique shape caters to surfers of every level and the shallow marine reserve waves provide the ideal setting to try out the sport.
When people ask me about my RLT course, all I can say is that it honestly changed my life. Being so absorbed in nature with people who loved and understood me, was more than I could ever ask for... I loved all of the amazing new things that I got to try on my trip, being underwater was like nothing I had ever experienced before, I will always remember the moment when I saw a giant white octopus and just observed its beauty and tranquility," Stevie S., Bon Bini Alum
"Looking back on my trip, I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to experience an RLT trip and meet so many new people, and really force me out of my comfort zone to try new things. My trip leaders (Max and Beth) were so supportive and comforting, and whenever we got the opportunity to chat, they helped me figure out myself and made me feel so much more confident," Delaney J., Bon Bini Alum.
Jake spoke to us, at length last night about his understanding of the group dynamics and his appreciation of getting to know the other participants in such a deep and meaningful way. Jake loves adventure. He loves to travel. He is committed to Service Leadership. But you can feel proud that you run an organization that, in addition to these wonderful things, can provide a kid with a feeling he has never experienced. This is the greatest of achievements and we are so grateful to you and RLT," Nancy and David L., Bon Bini Alumni Parents
The Road Less Traveled is committed to providing exceptional travel experiences for young adults. In 2016, the American Camp Association recognized The Road Less Traveled as the winner of the 2016 Gordie Kaplan Program Excellence award. This ACA award honors outstanding student travel programs and recognizes organizations that develop positive and creative responses to the needs of people and ecosystems across the globe.
Our work with children is serious business. Our commitment to safety is unrivaled and we always place quality before quantity. This conviction has empowered and inspired us to provide only the best in training, emergency preparedness, and staffing over the years. To learn more about our ACA accreditation, our exceptional safety record, our Markel's Safety 1st Recognition, B-Corp Certification, and extensive leader training please visit this page.
To enhance PADI diving skills and certifications with top instructors
To scan the Pekelmeer flamingo sanctuary’s spectacular salt flats
To trek up Brandaris, the 13,500-acre natural park that features vast saline plains, beaches, bird-filled trees and – to take it all in – the highest point on the island
To work with Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire, the foundation that manages the protected areas of Bonaire
To give hands-on help to the Coral Restoration Foundation
To participate in a local parrot conservation cause to support regional wildlife
To appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of African slaves who were brought to the island in the 1600s to work on farms and salt flats
Windsurf Lac Bac with its perfect combination of warm water and steady breezes
Take a glass-bottom trimaran sailing excursion and see underwater life up close, from up above
Paddle a sea kayak above reefs and snorkel through mangrove tunnels
We invite you to start your journey to BONAIRE today.