Discover stories of the past

Explore the history of Bonaire the Caribbean region through spectacular exhibits, fascinating artifacts, 3D reconstructions and interactive experiences.

The collection on display at Terramar Museum is extremely varied and can be divided into several components. Amerindian objects spanning nearly 7,000 years of human history include stone, shell, and flint tools, ceramic vessels and fragments, artifacts of personal adornment such as figurines and beads, and ritual objects and paraphernalia such as ceramic adornos, a three pointer zemi, and a cohoba pestle. Objects dating to the colonial period include clay tobacco pipes, glass slave beads, slave shackles, and Spanish olive jars. Objects found in underwater contexts and on historic shipwrecks include glass wine bottles, ceramic gin bottles, personal objects of sailors such as shoes, cups, and cutlery, and ship parts such as wooden pulleys and iron nails. Objects in the museum’s collection come from a wide variety of islands and countries throughout the Caribbean, including Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Jamaica, Martinique, Haiti, the Bahamas, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Grenada.

Why do ships explode? What do a hammock and a barbecue have in common? Who smoked the first cigarette? Our fixed exhibitions will reveal the answers! These are set up ‘Ikea style’, whereby you will follow a certain route that advances through history. This way, the exhibition will take you on a journey through time. The central room provides an overview using a 4 minute video projection and spectacular 20-meter-long timeline composed of drawings, photographs, dates and events. 

In the following rooms are beautifully designed display cases and information panels, housing artifacts from all over the Caribbean. These include some of the earliest tools and enigmatic ritual objects used by Amerindian people. One finds artifacts relating to the European colonizers, the slave trade and even objects recovered from historic shipwrecks.  A cultural encounters brings the past to life as one “meets” a person in each room who tells you about his/her life.
When you are finished with the tour, you will have an entirely new appreciation of history!

Reef Renewal