Keeping the wild in Bonaire's wilderness
A brief guide to STINAPA
When you spend generations working to make sure wilderness areas remain pristine and untouched, you learn a few things along the way. Having a dedicated agency with a singular mission and the proper resources, for instance, is essential.
For that reason, Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA Bonaire) was organized by Bonaire’s government in 1962. STINAPA is a non-governmental, nonprofit foundation dedicated to managing, protecting, restoring, promoting and educating about the resources, biodiversity and values of Bonaire’s nature. Its charter encompasses both the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) and the Washington Slagbaai National Park (WSNP).
Bonaire National Marine Park
Our mission to protect Bonaire’s wild areas doesn’t stop where the sea begins. So in 1979, we established our National Marine Park, the world’s first underwater park. It comprises all the wetlands, mangrove swamps and the Caribbean sea surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, from the high tide mark down to 60m (200ft). It covers an area approximately 27 sq km (nearly 6700 acres) and offers 86 different dive sites for both the casual visitor and serious diver alike. Shore reefs are easily accessible from many beaches and are ideal for snorkeling. Deeper reefs and wrecks further offshore offer unparalleled tropical diving for certified SCUBA divers. Your Nature Tag includes access to all these dive sites.
Washington Slagbaai National Park
For generations, we’ve worked hard to keep the wild areas on Bonaire wild. More than a half century ago, in 1969, Bonaire established Washington Slagbaai National Park as first nature sanctuary in the Netherlands Antilles.
Located in the northwest corner of the island, the park’s 4,286 hectares (over 10,500 acres) offer a safe refuge for all the wildlife on Bonaire, especially endangered species. Ironically, during the colonial period, the park was the site of two of the largest plantations on the island. Thanks to this visitor center, museum and hiking trails near the park’s entrance offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about Bonaire’s rich historical and cultural heritage.
Washington Slagbaai National Park provides refuge or nesting sites for a wide variety of fauna including countless species of bird, parrots, flamingos, parakeets, iguanas and all four species of sea turtles found in the Caribbean.
Your Nature Fee helps protect Bonaire's wildlife
The cost of your Nature Fee is small, but combined with fees from tens of thousands of visitors, the money helps to keep the Bonaire Marine Park and the Washington Slagbaai National Park wild and untouched for generations to come.