Goto Driving Trail (1 hour)
Along this driving trail you have an excellent view of the village of Rincon, you can visit an old plantation house and admire Lake Goto.
Explore the countryside of Bonaire
At the Cadushy Distillery you can see how the world’s only liqueur made from cactus is created right on the premises. And of course, you are invited to sample some for yourself! Come and relax in the tranquil, shaded garden under the calabash trees to enjoy a variety of artisan distilled liqueurs and spirits. In the garden you can enjoy the birds while the kids play in the playground. Some parts of the Cadushy estate are over a century old. Have a look at the ‘Kas di Hala’ heritage house and Cinelandia, Bonaire’s oldest theater.
MUSEO CHICH’I CHAN
This traditional home is transformed into a museum. You will get a tour of the house and garden. The guide will tell you all about the live and culture of the past. This museum has original home appliances, tools and musical instruments.
Altamira Unjo can be translated into the ‘Overlook of Uncle Joe’. From this vantage point Rincon and the valley can be seen at its best. Both the rugged east coast and the generally much calmer west coast can be overlooked from here. For the Spanish this was the reason to build their village here in 1527: they could observe both coasts, while the pirates could not see the village. Rincon is the oldest village in the Dutch Caribbean. It is a fertile valley and has nice cooling winds coming from the ocean.
Hiking trail Roi Sango starts at the entrance of the road to Altamira Unjo.
TRADITIONAL STONE WALL
This wall was the northern border of the Karpata Plantation. After slavery had been abolished in 1863, Bonaire was divided into large plantations like Bolivia, Colombia and America, and sold by the Dutch government. These handmade stone walls were built around all the plantations, to keep the goats in, and to keep thieves out.
Near this site, many archeological artifacts were found of the Indians who used to live here. They were fishermen who would canoe around the whole island.
Behind the wall is Bonaire Petroleum Corporation (BOPEC). It was established in 1974 as an oil transfer station. In 1989 a Venezuelan company bought the oil terminal. Oil is brought to Bonaire in small tankers from Venezuela, which has shallow ports where supertankers cannot dock. In this deep-water port on Bonaire, the oil is transferred to supertankers and then shipped around the world. BOPEC provides employment to many people in Rincon.
REI WILLEM-ALEXANDER MARINE RESERVE
The Bonaire National Marine Park is a legally protected ‘underwater park’ that surrounds the entire island and Klein Bonaire. The park was established in 1979 and is managed by STINAPA. The Park starts at the high water line and extends to a depth of 60 meters (200 ft.); it covers an area of 27 km², or 6672 acres, all around Bonaire.
This part of the marine park is named after the present Dutch king. It is a reserve, where it is prohibited to snorkel, fish or dive. This reef is similar to reefs on Klein Bonaire. A study is being done to see the impact of recreational diving on the reefs by comparing these untouched reefs with the ones that are visited by divers daily.
Lake Goto is an important foraging and nesting area for various migratory birds, which nest in North America. The water is brackish. Seawater seeps into the lake through the coral between the sea and the lake. Rainwater washes down the hills and adds to the lake. The lake is shallow, which makes it perfect for flamingoes to forage.
The large peninsula in Lake Goto is a farm named ‘Falcón’. Here maize, pumpkin and watermelon were grown, and goats and chickens were raised.
In the distance you can see our highest hill, the Brandaris (241 m/790 ft.).
The meaning of Dos Pos is ‘two water wells’. The wells have provided the people of Rincon with drinking water for centuries. Farmers, livestock and wildlife still depend on the water source. Dos Pos is an excellent place to watch birds.
The Dos Pos Plantation, across the road, was one of the island’s few areas with a fresh water source and it was possible to grow tropical fruit trees like mango, coconut, soursop and guava. Now the Echo Foundation is located here, a sanctuary and research center for the endemic parrot the Amazona Barbadensis. For a small fee you can visit their site and experience the diversity in wildlife.
The hiking trails Dos Pos and Montaña and the MTB trails Dos Pos and Kunuku start here.
The driving trail takes a turn to the right, but it’s worth going left to make a stop at the former Plantation Karpata. This was an important port and a commercial center, where castor oil, aloe vera, charcoal and goats were produced.
The typical yellow mansion was built in 1870 and consists of a large center house, surrounded by various smaller buildings, an oven to cook aloe vera and a limestone kiln, used to heat limestone to produce a kind of cement. The plantation is now deserted; the government is looking for an entrepreneur who can create a sustainable destination for it.