Government and kite surfing industry Bonaire investigate alternative sites

Atlantis on a busy kite day| photo Inge Poorthuis

KRALENDIJK – Together with the kite surfing industry on Bonaire, the government is looking for an alternative location for the current Atlantis Beach in use for the sport. This happens after doubts which have arisen about the current location. Two prime concerns are the presence of turtle nests on the Atlantis beach and a possible disruption of the flight path of Flamingos to the Reserve is located just behind the popular kite surf beach.

Commissioner Hennyson Thielman has spoken with representatives of both the kite surfing industry and the other parties, to jointly look for possible alternatives. “The growing kite surfing market is important to the island. We are now looking into the possibility of having a better and more future-proof alternative where facilities could be built, such as toilets and storage space for materials”.

About twenty years ago it was decided that Atlantis was the best location. Research was then carried out and agreements were made with the fishermen, the diving industry, nature organizations and with Cargill, the operator of the salt pans”.


According to Thielman, there are three main issues with the current location. A group of fishermen from the Piscabon fishermen’s association has lodged complaints several times. A buoy has been placed in the light blue water to mark the area where kiters are not allowed, but according to the fishermen that rule is not always observed. In addition, nature organizations are concerned about the turtle nests, and about the Flamingo Reserve.

According to Jarne Everts, owner of a kite school on Atlantis, it is not yet clear to the kiters what the underlying idea is why things should be different. The Spatial Planning & Development Department of Bonaire Government has in the meantime suggested two alternate locations. One of these locations was tested by a group of kiters this weekend. It concerns a stretch of shoreline between dive sites Angel City and Alice in Wonderland.

For the time being, according to Thielman, kite surfing enthusiasts can continue to use the current location on Atlantis. “We are, in this phase, looking at alternatives to see if a win-win situation can be found which is to the liking of all parties involved”.

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