Goto Meer (Goto Lake), Bonaire

Goto Meer, Bonaire
Goto Meer Brian and Shannon, / CC BY 2.0

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 34.73221 N -68.375309 W
No:315        (list of all attractions)
Category:Ecosystems, Lakes, bays and streams
Address:North America, Caribbean, Bonaire, northern part of the island, north-western coast
Area:˜ 155 ha
Alternate names:Gotomeer, Goto Lagoon, Lagun Goto, Goto Lake, Salina Goto
Interesting species:Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber)

One of the best places to see the flamingos in Southern Caribbean is Goto Meer in Bonaire.

Former sea bay

This lake (155 ha) is former sea bay, divided from the sea with some 70 m wide bar of corals.

The water in the lake is salty - most likely there is ongoing some water exchange with the sea through the porous limestone, lake also does not have any significant freshwater inlets and the salt may have accumulated here over the time.

Goto Meer offers a beautiful scenery - from the roads around the lake opens a nice view on the lake with its small islands and nearly pristine nature around it. Bonaire has dry climate and here has developed a dry forest with numerous enormous cacti.

Lake is located in Washington-Slagbaai National Park, since 1980 it is also Ramsar site - a wetland of international importance.

General tourists are nit allower to access the lake in most places.

Goto Meer with flamingos, Bonaire
Goto Meer with flamingos / gailf548, / CC BY 2.0


In the swampy lake live several hundreds of Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber). This is one of the best places in Southern Caribbean to see them - only the wast plains of Pekelmeer in the south of Bonaire have more flamingos, more than 6,500.

In Goto Meer lives the food source for flamingos and more than 100 other species of birds - brine fly and its larvae. Flamingos get their beautiful pink color from their food.

The breeding season of Flamingos lasts from January to July every years. A beautiful sight can be observed then every day - all the flock of flamingos take off to nearby Venezuela, where they feed in lagoons along the coast of Falcón peninsula.


See Goto Meer on the map of Bonaire!


  1. Jeff Wells, Adolphe Debrot. Important Bird Areas, Bonaire, accessed on April 15, 2012

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