From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search

Bonaire is a Caribbean island east of Central America and north of Venezuela. The island is part of the ABC Islands together with Aruba and Curaçao. It is a mostly flat, riverless coral island renowned for its dive spots. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit).

Politically, Bonaire is a "special municipality" fully integrated in the Netherlands proper but does not share identical laws. Bonaire uses the US dollar as its currency.


Slave Huts


The climate is Tropical marine with little seasonal temperature variation. Bonaire sits outside the Carribean hurricane belt. "Rainy" season lasts from the last week of October to the end of January, but it is still relatively dry. During rainy season, late night and early morning rains are common, usually clearing shortly after sunrise.


The southern portion of the island is flat with few hills, sparse vegetation and negligible natural resources other than white coral beaches and salt. The northern part of the island is a rugged and arid national park. The southern tip of the island is a series of giant water filled salt pans for sea salt production and and off limits flamingo sanctuary.


The official language is Dutch although many locals speak Papiamento. Some English and Spanish are usually understood as both are used with Dutch in Papiamento.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

KLM [1] offers five weekly non-stop service from Amsterdam to Bonaire on the way to Quito. American Eagle [2] also offers daily non-stop flights from San Juan to and from Bonaire and other major U.S cities. United Airlines [3] operates weekly non-stop flights from Newark and offer connections in Houston. Delta Airlines [4] offers weekly flights between Bonaire and Atlanta on Saturdays. Several smaller airlines connect Bonaire with the neighbouring islands including Dutch Airlines Express [5] and Arkefly [6].

Charter Airlines include Tiara Air [7].

Departure Fee for all international destinations is USD $33.40 per person, payable in cash or debit/credit card at the airport prior to check-in. MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Maestro, are all accepted, but American Express is not.

By boat[edit]

Bonaire travel map.png

There are not currently any passenger ferries operating to or from Curaçao or Venezuela. Cruise ships do increasingly visit Bonaire, especially "in season" (winter). Some shops and restaurants may remain open extra hours to cater to their passengers.

You can also use different Bonaire Water Taxis including and the Seacow Watertaxi.

Private boat moorage is available. Dive operators operate boats to many dive sites including those located off the small uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire. Some boat operators also specialize in snorkel tours and there are regularly scheduled passenger boats to Klein Bonaire. Some include the Woodwind, Bonaire Pirate Cruising, Oscarina, Bowalie and more.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Automobiles can be shipped to Bonaire and Rental cars are available at the airport and at selected hotels. Reservations are strongly suggested as, especially during peak times, all vehicles may be rented. You can drive around the entire island in a couple of hours!

By bus[edit]

There is an informal bus system on the island that utilizes vans. There are a small number of medium sized tour buses on the island as well.

By taxi[edit]

The island has a small fleet of cabs to service cruise ships and the airport. Rates are not set and should be negotiated beforehand.

By bicycle[edit]

Bicycle rentals are available.

By other[edit]

Scooters, motorcycles, golf carts, are also available for rent.


Pink Flamingos
  • Lizards, birds, corals, reef fish, sea turtles
  • Historic Slave Shelters
  • Fort Orange built 1639
  • Washington-Slagbaai National Park
  • Indian Rock art
  • Salt flats
  • Mangrove forests
  • Soroban beach, popular with windsurfers


Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) on Bari Reef, BES Islands
  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kiteboarding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Cave exploring
  • Sailing
  • Bird Watching


There are a few shops on Bonaire:

  • 3 Bookstores
  • 3 Department Stores/Hardware/Household Goods
  • 1 Electronic/Appliance Store
  • 3 different flower shops
  • Jewelry: Atlantis, Litmans and a few more typical for cruise ports.
  • 3 hospitals/pharmacies
  • Around 23 Souvenir/Clothes Shops


Bonaire has many restaurants and quite varied cuisine given the overall island population. "Aki ta Bende Kuminda Krioyo" will inform a visitor that local-style food is available, generally heavy on soups, stews, fried foods and fish. Traditional foods that may be found on the menu include conch, cacti, wahoo and rock lobster. Much of the fish is caught locally by line fishermen in season. Though traditionally eaten, iguana is not generally served in restaurants.

Bonaire has little in fast food, though there is the "smallest KFC franchise outlet in the world" in a shopping plaza by Kralendijk and a Subway sub shop. Check out "Swiss Chalet", a local favorite serving Fondu. Bobbejan's is an extremely popular weekend-only barbeque joint. Other cuisines common on the islands are Argentine, Italian, Indonesian, Suriname, and lots and lots of Chinese. Island-made ice cream is available in many places, with Lovers Ice Cream being a local favorite. Arrive before noon, as they often sell out.

Almost all eateries are open for limited hours during the day, and many close briefly during siesta time between 2-3PM. Call or check ahead to determine if a restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, both, or only open on weekends. Some are closed certain days of the week, such as Sunday.


Despite the small size of the island, Bonaire has a lot of possibilities when looking for places to stay, from large resorts to small privately owned houses which you can rent on a daily basis. Along the coast you have multiple places that combine a dive school with cabañas where you can sleep for a moderate price. Most of the accommodations on the island are relatively small, averaging 15 rooms or less.

Several mid-size apartment complex devoted to tourists exist. These tend to be a bit more upscale than the smaller accommodations. There are several larger, more resort like places as well. These are still somewhat small, with only the Plaza Resort Bonaire and Captain Don's Habitat having over 100 rooms.

  • Plaza Resort BonaireJ.A. Abraham Boulevard 80, Kralendijk (Less than five minutes' drive from the airport), toll-free: +1-800-766-6016, e-mail: . A dive resort that offers spacious air-conditioned villas and suites with views of the lagoon, marina, or ocean. On-site PADI dive center available including snorkeling and windsurfing. US $190-300.
  • Lizard InnKaya Amerika 14 +599 786-0277. Small and cozy inn, owned by Dutch immigrants, good for the ones with a small budget. 70 usd.
  • Sun Rentals BonaireKaya Grandi 65, Kralendijk, toll-free: +1-866-464-1786, e-mail: . Sun Rentals Bonaire offers a wide range of vacation villas and apartments as well as free dive tank delivery right at your doorstep. US $99-300.
  •   Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & CasinoJ.A. Abraham Blvd 40, Kralendijk (Exit the airport and turn right onto the main island road. At the first intersection, turn left, then take a sharp right turn at the end of the road. Continue until you see resort entrance on your left.),  +599 717-8285, toll-free: +1-800-367-3484, e-mail: . Intimate and informal, with 129 rooms and studios, all air-conditioned, with a private patio or balcony, two swimming pools, on-site casino and its own natural beach. On-site PADI five-star dive center with custom dive boats, gear storage, a fully equipped dive shop. The capital town of Kralendijk is a 5-minute walk away. US $130-300.
  • Eden Beach ResortBulevar Gob. N. Debrot # 73 +599 717 6720.

Stay safe[edit]

There is little serious crime on Bonaire; however, 911 can be used for emergencies. Secure your bicycles and scooters.

Go next[edit]

  • Venezuela is only a short distance away, as are Curaçao and Aruba. For Venezuela, consult what can be frequently changing travel advisories and visa requirements, especially for U.S. citizens.
This city travel guide to Bonaire is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!
12.183333; -68.25Map mag.png