On the rocks with SALT: a day in Bonaire

As our cruise ship docked, we saw the colorful buildings and clear turquoise blue waters of the captivating island of Bonaire, one of the Dutch ABC islands off the coast of Venezuela. We couldn’t wait to explore!

We were greeted by our affable tour guide, Eddy, who was knowledgeable and engaging. After a brief tour of the town, we went off-road to find graceful flamingos in their natural habitat. Eddy shared fascinating insights about their behaviors, migration patterns, and how the vibrant pink hue of their feathers is influenced by their diet. Bonaire has a unique ecosystem due to the salt flats on the island. These expansive flats serve as both a breeding ground for flamingos and a vital source of salt production for the island. 

Exporting salt was a big part of Bonaire’s trade history and the practice of creating shallow ponds where seawater evaporates, leaving behind glistening salt crystals is still alive. The entire process takes close to a year. As we approached the salt flats, we noticed a pink, or even magenta color. Eddy explained that as the salinity of the salt ponds increase, different types of algae and early bacteria thrive giving the ponds their unique pink color.

We asked Eddy about the white “mountains” that we saw in the distance. He chuckled and continued to educate us, letting us know that those were 50 feet high salt pyramids ready for shipping!  

We left Bonaire with a better understanding of how this valuable mineral is cultivated and prepared for the world.  Now when I order my margarita on the rocks with salt, I will think of the beautiful island of Bonaire and our fabulous day there.

Highlighting some of my personal favorites: Curaçao, Alaska, and river cruising on the Danube. 

As humans, we dream. As travelers, we fulfill those dreams. To help you both dream of future vacations and fulfill your wanderlust, we bring you this edition of Escape. On the following pages, you will find a parade of luxurious travel experiences, from boutique cruise ships and immersive tours to all-inclusive resorts and regal transatlantic voyages.

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