Bonaire Travel Guide

Useful Tips

Everything you need to know before you fly to Bonaire

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Average Trip Cost

NA

When To Go

Year-round

Currency

United States Dollar

Ideal length of Stay

7 to 14 days

About Bonaire

Bonaire is one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean, but if you like to dive, you are sure to know about the island’s charms as 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 for Bonaire is relaxed and the people are not rushed.  They are even 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 is an enjoyable beach experience.  If what you are looking for is a relaxing trip to the beach, you can find it in Bonaire.   

Where To Stay In Bonaire

Visitors to Bonaire stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Bonaire include:

  • Bellafonte Luxury Oceanfront Hotel Bonaire
  • Belmar Oceanfront Apartments
  • Courtyard by Marriott Bonaire Dive Resort
  • Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino
  • Eden Beach Resort
  • Harbour Village Beach Club
  • La Pura Vista Boutique Hotel
  • Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire

Activities In Bonaire

Major tourist activities in Bonaire include:

  • Diving and snorkeling in the Bonaire National Marine Park at one or more of the 100+ official dive sites 
  • Admiring the architecture and exploring the capital city of Kralendijk
  • Hiking and exploring Washington-Slagbaai National Park which covers 20% of the island
  • Visiting the Bonaire Botanical Garden to learn about medicinal plants, organic gardening and general principles related to permaculture
  • Taking a day trip to Klein Bonaire, a deserted island with one of the most attractive beaches: No Name Beach

Facts About Bonaire

Size:

112 square miles

Population:

15,800

Official Language:

Dutch but also English, Spanish, and Papiamentu

Demonym:

Bonairean, Dutch 

Capital City:

Kralendijk

Government:

onstitutional Monarchy, oversees region of The Netherlands

Telephone Country Code:

599

Driving:

right side of the road

Local Beer:

Polar Beer

National Dish:

Goat (kabritu) stew  

Main Airport:

Flamingo International Airport (BON)

Electricity:

127v / 50Hz – plugs are US standard two-prong 

Visa Information For Bonaire

Bonaire is a Dutch Caribbean island, and as such, immigration rules for The Netherlands apply. That said, visitors from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom do not need a visa to visit Bonaire.     

All visitors to Bonaire must have a valid passport.   Furthermore, all visitors must have a return or onward ticket plus sufficient means to support themselves during their stay in Bonaire.  

How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Bonaire

With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes two weeks for a Bonaire visa application to be processed by the nearest Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. An approved visa application grants entry to Bonaire for three months.  



Is It Safe In Bonaire

In comparison to major American and European cities, Bonaire is relatively safe, but there is some crime. As such, it is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas. 

How To Get To Bonaire

Most visitors to Bonaire arrive via Flamingo International Airport (IATA: BON, ICAO: TNCB), also called Bonaire International Airport, located near Kralendijk.  

From Canada, book flights to Bonaire via:

  • Sunwing Airlines: Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson

From the United States, book flights to Bonaire via:

  • American Airlines: Miami
  • Delta Air Lines: Atlanta
  • United Airlines: Houston–Intercontinental, Newark

From Europe, book flights to Bonaire via:

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: Amsterdam
  • TUI fly Netherlands: Amsterdam

From within the Caribbean region, book flights to Bonaire via:

  • Aruba Airlines: Aruba, Curaçao
  • Divi Divi Air: Curaçao (Charter: Aruba)
  • EZAir: Curaçao (Charter: Aruba, Baranquilla)
  • Sky High Aviation Services: Santo Domingo–Las Americas
  • Winair: Curaçao

When To Go To Bonaire

High Season for Bonaire in January through June. With the weather warm and sunny, hotels are booked far in advance, and everything is open.  The low season for visiting Bonaire is October through December as while sunshine is still plentiful; there is an increased probability of intermittent rain.  

Major events attracting visitors to Bonaire include: 

  • February – March: Bonaire Carnival 
  • April: Simadan Festival
  • October: Bonaire Sailing Regatta 

Weather In Bonaire

Bonaire’s climate remains a stead 82° year-round.  The island is relatively 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 years, January rains have caused minor flooding and muddied the water for divers.  The high season for cruise ships runs October to April. 

Getting Married In Bonaire

Marriage Requirements:

To get married in Bonaire, a special license must be obtained from the Registrar’s Office in Bonaire four weeks before 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:

  • passports 
  • birth certificates along with driver’s licenses 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 Requirement:

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.   

Share with Friends!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Get Updates And Stay Connected to the latest offers and news from the Caribbean