second largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, the westernmost group of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. It lies 50 miles (80 km) north of the Venezuelan coast and 20 miles east of Curacao. The northern part is hilly, with a peak, Brandaris, 787 feet (240 metres) high, while the southern part is flat, with desertlike vegetation. An adjacent islet, Klein Bonaire (Little Bonaire), with an area of 3 square miles (8 square km), is uninhabited, but its sandy white beaches are popular with skin divers. The temperature averages in the low 80s F (28 C); the fresh and dry easterly trade winds bring less than 20 inches (500 mm) of rain a year.
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