Hiking The Washington Slagbaai National Park
The MOST popular hiking trail in Bonaire.
Sunday 17 July 2016 06:42 GMT
On the northern end of Bonaire, the Washington Slagbaai National Park has 43.5 miles of rocky trails and paved paths through a desert oasis. One of the more popular route is the Kasikunda Climbing Trail starting from the Visitor Center. The Kasikunda Climbing Trail climbs a steep path up a volcanic hill.
While the Washington Slagbaai National Park is open from 8am to 5pm daily, it is highly recommended to hike early in the morning to avoid the heat. Also, the last admission to the park is at 2:45pm.
The Kasikunda Climbing Trail, which begins at the Park’s Visitor Center, is a challenging 45-minute (for those in good shape!) climb to the top of a volcanic hill. Its level of difficulty is high because of the uneven terrain and also the steepness of the climb. However, those who meet this challenge will be rewarded with the best view of North Bonaire, all the way from Malmok to Spelonk. The interpretation signs along the way explain some of the natural processes of the island.
The Lagadishi (“Lizard”) Walking Trail also begins at the Visitor Center. It’s about a 2-hour walk, on a limestone plateau that provides you with a complete spectrum of Bonairean windward scenery: historic sites, xerophytic vegetation (plants such as cactus, which are adapted to dry habitat), sand dunes, mangroves, a salt pan (a shallow seawater lake, which evaporates seasonally leaving a residue of salt), blowholes, and a true oceanic beach are some of the components of this trail. Flamingos are frequently seen in the saltpan. Interpretation signs are provided on this trail.
The Subí Brandaris Trail is a 45-minute hike to the highest peak on Bonaire, 241 m (784 ft.) high. This is a medium-difficulty climb, and the view from the top is a really fantastic reward for making the trip. On a clear day you can see the island of Curaçao (46 km [30 miles] away from Bonaire), and, on exceptionally clear days, the Santa Ana Hill in the Paraguaná Peninsula of Venezuela, and the mountain range south of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.
Unlike the other trails, the Subí Brandaris trail does not start at the Visitor Center of the Park; you need a vehicle to enter the Park and take you to the base of the hill.