The Willemstoren Lighthouse, Bonaire’s first lighthouse constructed in 1837 is the most famous of the three lighthouses, which have historically guided mariners around Bonaire. Lighthouses often seem steeped in mystery! To us they appear to be solitary beacons of strength proudly facing the wild and unknown ocean guiding sailors away from treacherous encounters.
The Willemstoren Lighthouse is no exception to this image. It is located on the southern tip of the island, close to the beautiful Pekelmeer Sanctuary, facing the mainland of Venezuela. It shines out on the unruly side of the coasts of Bonaire where the waves and coastline are at their wildest.
Bonaire is known as having three lighthouses and two lightbeacons, all of which were restored by the Rijkswaterstaat in 2011. The Willemstoren Lighthouse is the most popular and easiest to access, you can rent a car and take a simple trip round the southern end of the island, where you can see the slave huts, Kitesurfers at Atlantis Beach, Salt pans, Pekelmeer Sanctuary and Willemstoren Lighthouse, all in one swooping trip round the South of the island!
For all the divers out there, the Willemstoren Lighthouse is also a special dive site recommended only for experienced divers. At this site you will find a pristine reef of soft corals, due to the reason that there aren’t many opportunities to dive there leaving a very intact and healthy reef. The currents are strong which carries a lot of plankton and draws in larger fish like dolphins, barracudas and tarpons. It is strongly recommended that you dive here with a guide due to strong currents and especially during rougher weather conditions.
On the reef you will also find wrecks, chains and anchors of ships that sank around the site.