Plan to get there at least by noon to give yourself enough time to explore the park at a somewhat leisurely pace. We were told initially that we should plan at least six hours, but not necessary unless you plan to do a lot of hiking, stopping at beaches to swim, etc. The park closes at 5 p.m.
We stopped at the supermarket in Rincon before heading into the park to stock up on snacks and beverages, and we also gassed up there. I recommend taking a cooler along. There is a restaurant midway through the park where you can stop for lunch or an early dinner - it's located a couple hours in, otherwise, you are on your own in terms of food, so better of taking some snacks with you to get you through the first part of your day. The park is huge, and roads are one way from beginning to end. Take a hat, sunscreen and plenty of drinking water.
We drove in through the town of Rincon, and I have to make a point to say here that the locals in Rincon are WAAAAAAY friendlier than what you will come across in Kralendjik. We drove through Rincon, people were waving at us as we drove by and saying hello. Not so much in town where getting the cold shoulder seemed pretty much commonplace throughout the entire week -- if you are an American citizen, that is -- (read my other reviews about our overall perception of Bonaire in terms of American tourists).
For Non Residents: We didn't have to pay an admission fee to the park since we already paid the mandatory $25 fee for scuba diving. However, to bypass the admission fee, you MUST bring with you a copy of the written receipt of that payment, the dive tag received, and a valid I.D. (C-card or drivers license) as proof of identification. If you don't have this, you will have to pay the entrance fee of $10 for non scuba divers, and $25 for divers, good for one calendar year. There is also an optional one day $10 pass for scuba divers (there are various dive sites throughout the park).
The park is very scenic, and ideal for hiking, mountain biking, swimming, snorkeling, shore dives, bird watching, or just touring with your car.
There is an abundance of cactus. Some beaches are ok to snorkel and swim, others are not, and are posted accordingly. Beautiful panoramic views throughout. We saw some interesting birds, some we could not identify, others were parakeets (looked like what we call at home "Love Birds"). We also saw termite nests, various lizards and iguanas, wild goats, cattle, pelicans, flamingos, and two striking hawks meandering amongst the flora.
We stopped at the blow hole, various beaches and vantage points throughout.
The National Park was definitely one of the nicer parts of our trip to Bonaire, but unless you dive, it is hard to ignore that it’s a fairly unattractive island (aside from the national park), absent of nightlife and really not much to do, and absolutely the least friendly island we’ve encountered in our travels throughout the Caribbean, to be perfectly honest. We always try to give an honest review of our travels - both the good and the not so good, and try to remain objective in doing so. To us, traveling to foreign destinations is about the people and the culture – Bonaire does not have much to offer in terms of culture, and the biggest disappointment was that they are not very friendly towards Americans (not just our opinion, but it was also the perception of other Americans we met there). We've never ended any vacation before with the thought that we couldn't wait to get back home.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.