Washington Slagbaai National Park
The majority of our visitors enjoy driving around the park and seeing the fantastic scenery. The long route takes about two hours and there are 20 highlights explained in the brochure, including bird watching spots, beaches, saltpans with flamingos, blowholes and historic sites. The park has 34 km (21 miles) of dirt roads. You can choose the long route (the most points of interest are on that route), or the short route. We do not recommend entering the park with a standard passenger car; most are too low to the ground to pass safely over the rocky roads. The latest in the day that a car is permitted to enter the Park is at 14:45 pm.
The roads and scenery of the park make it a great ride for mountain bikers. The tour, which is 34 km (21 miles) long, has a great variety of views and terrain. Long stretches of flat roads beside the sea contrast with severe up and down hills between mountains. Be aware, this ride is for people used to biking regularly; do not attempt it if you aren’t in good shape. Although the highest altitude on the bike route is only about 100m (333feet), temperatures get very high and the terrain is rough. It is not mandatory. However, we highly recommend a back up vehicle if you decide to go for it!
We do recommend bringing plenty of drinking water. Use sunscreen and a hat, especially if your hair is thin. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on the backs of your hands, the tops of your feet, your ears, your lips, and the back of your neck.
Light-colored clothing will be more comfortable when you are in the direct sun.
Be prepared for the possibility of scrapes to yourself and punctures in your bike tires.
Begin early in the morning (the Park opens at 8:00 am). The cooler temperatures are more comfortable for bikers and the resident animals are more likely to be seen.
The park does not provide bicycles
The Park features three trails. All three trails have orientation signs to guide you. We do not recommend that anyone hike alone. Remember to bring adequate shoes, socks, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of water! You will be more comfortable if you are in light clothing when you are in direct sunlight.
The shoreline from Boka Bartol to Boka Slagbaai is one of the most beautiful shorelines of the island. The limestone terrace protects the shore from strong winds, making the water calm and transparent. There are many bokas and playas (inlets and little beaches), some inaccessible except from the water, where you can stop and rest or maybe do some snorkeling.
About 210 species of birds have been spotted on Bonaire, although some of these are migratory and can only be observed at certain times of the year. The Park is one of the best places on the island for observing birds, due to its remoteness and also the many types of habitat it includes: salt-flats, fresh water wells, beaches, limestone plateaus by the shoreline and thorny forests.