Lac, part of the Bonaire National Marine Park is the biggest lagoon of the Dutch Caribbean, 700 hectares. From north to south, Lac is 3.9 km (not quite 2.5 miles) long, and from east to west 3 km (just under 2 miles). The water surface is approximately 8 square kilometers (3.09 square miles). Lac is bordered by a barrier reef across most of its entrance to the open sea, and lush mangroves just about everywhere else. It has two peninsulas: Cai and Sorobon.
Since 1980 Lac has been a RAMSAR site, recognized globally as a wetlands of special significance.
Those who use Lac are many and varied:
For generations Lac has been a fishing ground for local fishermen. Over-fishing has not occurred since the traditional fishing method of hand lines with hooks is used. Besides fishing, these days the fishermen who live at Cai also sell refreshments. On weekends local music groups play live music and freshly caught fried fish is sold.
Kayaking through the mangrove forest at Lac is both fun and educational. The water is so clear that you can see young reef fish, sea stars, sponges and an occasional turtle right from your kayak. In order to preserve this precious resource, a certified guide is required for all mangrove kayaking activities. All kayakers need to follow the code of conduct.
Lac is the perfect place on Bonaire for windsurfing and has been recognized as one of the best places in the world to learn how to windsurf. The windsurfing schools are on the Sorobon side of the bay.
SCUBA diving outside the coral dam between Lac and the open water on Bonaire’s East coast is challenging as well as adventurous. We encourage you to dive with an experienced guide.
Birdwatchers also enjoy a visit to Lac since it is particularly important as a nesting and roosting area for birds. The entire mangrove forest is a protected bird sanctuary. The brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), the great blue and great white heron (Ardea herodias), the frigate bird (Fregata magnicicensis) and the royal tern (Sterna maxima) are the most common species in this area. Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) often feed in the open shallows, the more salty parts of this system. These birds can be seen best in the early morning or late afternoon along the roads leading to Cai and Sorobon.
The ecosystem of Lac is very fragile, to ensure a proper balance zones have been instituted.
Lac is home to three globally endangered species: the Green Turtle, the Queen Conch and the mangrove trees.
Produced and directed by Merel Notten / Pajaro Negro Productions
Land and underwater cinematography by Mauricio Handler / Aquaterrafilms