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Bonaire

Bonaire Travel Guide

Why Bonaire?

  • Eco-resorts
  • Snorkeling, snorkeling and more snorkeling!
  • Scuba diving - shore and boat diving
  • Diving in Marine Park
  • Windsurfing, fishing and off-road biking!
  • Pink beach
  • Horseback riding and hiking

Bonaire Island Guide

Now that you've finally made the decision to visit Bonaire, take time to explore the Hotels and Resorts or Villa Rentals, although few, to find just the right accommodations for you and your traveling companions. Further investigate the activities, dining, and places to see.

Bonaire Weather/Climate

Average Temperatures
Highs Lows
January 84 ° F 76 ° F
February 85 ° F 76 ° F
March 86 ° F 77 ° F
April 87 ° F 78 ° F
May 88 ° F 79 ° F
June 88 ° F 80 ° F
July 89 ° F 79 ° F
August 89 ° F 80 ° F
September 89 ° F 80 ° F
October 88 ° F 79 ° F
November 87 ° F 79 ° F
December 85 ° F 77 ° F

Average Rainfall
January 2.1 inches
February 1.1 inches
March 0.7 inches
April 0.9 inches
May 0.8 inches
June 0.8 inches
July 1.3 inches
August 1.7 inches
September 1.7 inches
October 3.2 inches
November 3.6 inches
December 3.7 inches

Overview

Bonaire license plates read "Diver's Paradise," an appropriate description for this boomerang-shaped island just 50 miles north of Venezuela. The cactus-strewn dry climate (only 22 inches of rainfall, usually in November) ensures no runoff to spoil underwater visibility that averages 75 feet. The Bonairean government's forethought 40 years ago to designate the coral reefs around Bonaire and neighboring Klein Bonaire a Marine Park has ensured the preservation of this pristine and bountiful underwater world. The park features more than 80 dive sites.

Popular boat diving spots include a double-reef complex with site having names such a Alice in Wonderland and Angel City, home to Bonaire's most notorious shipwreck, Hilma Hooker, a 1,000-ton sunken freighter. There are few beaches along Bonaire's coastline, although shore diving and snorkeling are very popular. A jagged limestone shelf winds its way along the leeward shoreline with dive and snorkel sites marked by large painted rocks along the road. Bonaire's offshore island, Klein Bonaire, is easily accessible from shore and accessible by boat features 24 reef additional sites.

The many resorts, hotels and motels cater to water sports enthusiasts, offering dive packages and boat diving on lush reefs and wrecks (we only have one real wreck for recreational dives.) Scuba instruction and advanced courses are offered at the nearly a dozen dive operations on the island. This is a great place for the family to try diving, snorkeling or windsurfing in the sunny climate and the clear, teeming, 80° turquoise water.

This clear, calm water is the same reason fishing is so popular on Bonaire. Depending on the season, the waters are teeming with marlin, sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, amber jack, yellowfish, yellowfin and bonito. Sea kayaking is another popular sport on the island and many visitors rent kayaks to explore the uninhabited offshore island, Klein Bonaire.

Off-road biking has become a popular land sport due to the more than 300 kilometers of trails. There are a few local bike shops which offer rentals and guided tours. Horseback riding at the Warahama Ranch is another riding option. A ride through the ranch grounds will reveal various animal and plant life indigenous to Bonaire.

Salt production made Bonaire a desirable colony, changing ownership several times before permanently becoming one of the Netherlands Antilles under Dutch control in 1816. The salt ponds, slave huts, and colonial history can be seen driving around the island's south shore and in the capital city of Kralendijk. Rent a car to explore the topside attractions starting with a trip through Washington-Slagbaai National Park. This hilly 13,000 acre flora and fauna preserve is home to over a hundred bird species, including a large flamingo colony, iguanas of all sizes, magnificent lignum vitae trees and 20 foot high cacti.

Trade winds, at a constant 15 to 25 knots per hour, sweep across Bonaire year round making Lac Bay, with its clear, waist-deep waters, the ultimate boardsailing location. You can rent equipment or take a lesson at Ernst van Vliet's Windsurfing operation. Adjacent Sorobon Beach Resort features a clothing optional beach for true nature lovers. Continue around the island (watch out for wild goats) to the white hills of salt sparkling like diamonds in the sun. The Antilles International Salt Co. operates these historic brown and pinkish salt pans. Across the road are the tiny stone huts built around 1850 to shelter the slaves and three 30-foot obelisks built in 1838 to guide the salt ships to their moorings.

Bonaire enjoys a perfect climate. International cuisine featuring seafood and Caribbean specialties grace the menus of many island restaurants. The variety of accommodations, many with a pool, dive shop, kitchen, and dock or small beach make Bonaire an easy Caribbean destination to visit, and one you'll want to return to again and again.

Transportation on Bonaire

Getting to Bonaire and getting around. Our transportation tips will help make your trip smoother. More good sand advice.

Entry Documents

Proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate with a photo ID) and a return or ongoing ticket.

Airlines Flying Here

American Airlines and Continental from the U.S. KLM from Amsterdam

Airport

Flamingo Airport.

Departure Tax

$32 U.S. and $7.00 inter-island. Tickets purchased after October 1, 2010 have departure tax included in ticket price.

Driving

On the right - valid driver's license required.

Bonaire Weddings and Honeymoons

Vacationers don't just stay in Bonaire villas - they come to paradise to get married and celebrate their honeymoons! A bit more difficult than most islands. A letter to the Governor must be written several months prior, requesting temporary residency and permission to marry on the island. Copies of passports, birth certificates, proof of good conduct and marriage eligib

Know Before You Go...® - Bonaire Travel Tips

Before making their way to Bonaire villas, vacationers like to know a little bit of helpful information to make them feel more at home during their stay. Take a look at our travel tips to make your time in villas in Bonaire even more relaxing.

Capital: Kralendijk
Population: 14,000
Size: 112 square miles
Electric Current: 120/127
Time: 20:23 pm zone:-4 (GMT/UTC -4)
Official Language: Dutch; Papiamentu is widely spoken. English and Spanish is common.
Telephone: Local area code is 5997. From the U.S. dial 011-5997 plus the local number.

Bonaire Tourism Corporation

Kaya Grandi #2
Kralendijk, Bonaire, N.A.
Netherlands Antilles

+(599) 717-8322
+(599) 717-8322
www.tourismbonaire.com

Bonaire Hotel & Tourism Association

(599) 717-5134
info@bonhata.org
www.bonhata.org
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