Bonaire is one of the best kept secrets of the Caribbean. If you like to dive, you know about the island’s charms. Bonaire is considered one of the best places to dive in the world. An island filled with Divi Divi trees, flamingos, and pristine beaches,
Bonaire has something to offer everyone who enjoys the outdoors. From windsurfing to kiteboarding, Bonaire’s amenities give the larger islands a run for their money. Bonaire embodies tranquillity and those who visit understand that best.
Bonaire is located in the southern Caribbean near Venezuela. It is the B in the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Curacao). The island vibe is relaxed; the people are not rushed. They are eve more relaxed the many other Caribbean islands are known to be. The food on the island is exquisite. Bonaire chefs take pride in both the presentation of the food and the taste. The local language, Papiamento, sounds like a synthesis of dialects and inflections. You could listen to people speaking for hours on end.
Take a cave walk and view stalactites and stalagmites. See the variety of exotic animals that dot the landscape. Enjoy the fresh air and the island’s untouched beauty.
If you are a diver, Bonaire has a host of treasures in store for you. The waters have been protected since 1979, which has resulted in unspoiled beauty. Coral reefs lie just past the shore. The east coast of the island is rough but the leeward side offers fun in the sun and an enjoyable beach experience. If what you are looking for is a relaxing trip to the beach, you can find it in Bonaire.
Size: 112 square miles
Language: Dutch but also English, Spanish and Papiamentu
Currency: United States dollar (US$)
Main City: Kralendijk
Main Airport: Flamingo International Airport
Telephone Country Code: 599
Local Beer: Polar Beer
National Dish: Goat (kabritu) stew
Entry Visa: All visitors to Bonaire must have a valid passport and depending on country the necessary visa. Furthermore, all visitors must have a return or onward ticket plus sufficient means to support themselves during their stay in Bonaire. Maximum stay is 14 days with the possibility of extending the visit to 90 days. Beyond three months, a visa will be required to remain in the island.
When to go: Bonaire’s climate remains a stead 82° year round. The island is fairly dry, averaging a little over 2.5cm of rain per month. Much of this falls from September to early December. The Caribbean hurricane season typically bypasses Bonaire but in recent year, January rains have caused minor flooding and muddied the water for divers. The high season for cruise ships runs October to April.
Marriage Requirements: A special licence must be obtained from the Registrar’s Office in Bonaire four weeks prior to the wedding date. A written request for temporary residency and permission to marry is also required.
Documents Required: In addition to the completed application for marriage and temporary residency permit, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
• Three passport photos each
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Note: You should make copies of all documents before sending them and take copies of those documents to Bonaire. All will be in Dutch.
Residency: Ten days for either bride or groom.
Fees: The fee for the special marriage license is: US$150.
Witnesses: Two people are required. If foreign, they also must apply for temporary residency.