Goto Meer (Goto Lake)

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

WorldBlue  In short

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

3.3 out of 10 stars 32.8%

GPS coordinates
34.73221 N 68.375309 W
Location, address
North America, Caribbean, Bonaire, northern part of the island, north-western coast
˜ 155 ha
Alternate names
Gotomeer, Goto Lagoon, Lagun Goto, Goto Lake, Salina Goto
Interesting species
Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber)

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Former sea bay

This lake (155 ha) is a 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 water exchange with the sea through the porous limestone, the lake also does not have any significant freshwater inlets and the salt may have accumulated there over time.

Goto Meer offers beautiful scenery – from the roads around the lake opens a nice view of the lake with its small islands and nearly pristine nature around it. Bonaire has a 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 not allowed to access the lake in most places.

Goto Meer, Bonaire
Goto Meer / Brian and Shannon, / 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 the 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 year. 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 the Falcón peninsula.


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

WorldYellow Linked articles

Group of fish near Klein Bonaire Island
Group of fish near Klein Bonaire Island / Marcel van der Hoek, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wonders of Bonaire

Most tourists come to Bonaire for the numerous spectacular dive sites, while above the sea there is not that much to see. The dry land here has some interesting natural landmarks – mainly the impressive flamingo habitats in salt lakes and some petroglyph sites in caves and cliff shelters.

The lake of acid in Ijen Crater, Indonesia
The lake of acid in Ijen Crater / © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, Wikimedia Commons

Lakes and streams

There are many factors that can make lakes, sea bays, or rivers unusual. Some lakes have unusual chemical properties and even do not contain water at all – such as lava lakes. Others may have unusual animals living in them or… legends about such animals.

Dragon's Blood Trees, Soqatra
Dragon’s Blood Trees, Soqatra / Rod Waddington, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0


Biotope is a rather small area with uniform environmental conditions and a specific community of life. Wondermondo describes biotopes and ecosystems which have striking looks, look very beautiful, or have other unusual characteristics.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Bonaire Dive Map & Reef Creatures Guide

This colorful guide is perfect for divers, snorkelers, and nature lovers! Side One is a mini-map of Bonaire, with nearly 90 dive and snorkel sites named and located. Side Two is a fish identification guide with more than 100 species of colorful reef creatures beautifully illustrated.


Here is a brand new edition of our guide to Bonaire. Touring the island, details on all of the beaches, diving & snorkeling, boating, fishing, hiking & biking – it’s all covered. And then the hotels and restaurants are described – the good features and the bad ones, along with all of the information you need about shopping and nightlife on the island.

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