Bonaire Travel, Hotels & Lodging Guide

Bonaire Travel Tips


Airport
Flamingo Airport has a runway of almost 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length, long enough to accommodate 747 Jumbo Jets. The airport's designation is BON. (See also Departure Tax)
 
ATM / Banks
Bonaire has a number of banks, all of which have ATMs located conveniently around the island. Banking hours are Monday through Friday 8 or 8:30am until 3:30 or 4pm. Many are opened during the lunch hour.
 
Currency
The Netherlands Antilles Guilder (NAFl.) is fixed at the exchange rate of 1.77 to the dollar for cash and 1.78 for traveler's cheques. Most stores and businesses exchange it at 1.75. You can spend dollars everywhere, but will likely receive your change in guilders. Traveler's checks and credit cards are widely accepted. Be sure to have your passport or positive ID when changing Traveler's cheques at banks.
See also our Currency Converter & Travel Sheet.
 
Climate / Weather
The average air temperature is 82º Fahrenheit (30ºC) and 75% relative humidity. Average water temperature is 80ºF (29ºC). Rainfall averages 22" (52.8cm) per year. There is a constant trade wind that generally makes the evenings cool and comfortable. Average windspeed is 15 mph (25kph).
 
Customs
Besides articles for personal use, visitors over 15 are allowed 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250 grams of tobacco, 2 liters of distillated beverages, 2 liters of wine.
 
Airport tax:
If your final destination is Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba or Aruba: US $6.- or ANG 10.- and a security tax of ANG 2.50. (50 % discount for residents from 2 to 12 years and 60 years or older) All other destinations: US $34,- or ANG 60.10. Children under 2 years old do not have to pay airport tax. You have to pay the airport tax before you check in your luggage.
 
Dress Code
Casual (but no beach wear) downtown. Evening clothes are casual to casual nice.
 
Drinking Age, Casino/Gambling and DRUG Laws
The legal drinking age on Bonaire is 18 for both beer and other alcohol. The legal age for gambling in a casino is 21.
The Netherlands Antilles has its own drug laws which are not the same as Holland. Our drug laws are not lenient.
 
Drinking water
The water is distilled from seawater and is perfectly safe to drink.
 
Driving License
Foreign and international licenses are accepted.
 
Electricity
127 volt, 50 cycle. 220 volt is also available at some resorts. Most U.S. appliances will work, however a bit hotter. Dive shops and resorts have stations for guest use for charging camera batteries, etc. It is recommended that you use them to avoid damage to delicate equipment.
 
Emergencies
Bonaire has the 60-bed hospital, Hospitaal San Francisco (Kaya Soeur Bartola #2, Kralendijk), and a number of doctors. There is an ambulance plane on call for emergencies. A hyperbaric recompression chamber is located adjacent to the hospital and is run by a highly trained staff - admittance via the emergency room at the hospital. The emergency phone number is 191.
 
Entry Requirements
US and Canadian citizens must have a valid Passport and a return or ongoing ticket. See our entry requirements page for more details.
 
Ferry Services
Many people ask about ferry services of any kind between Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Venezuela. There are no ferry services between Bonaire and Curacao or any other islands.
Travel between the islands is possible by air only, see our air travel page.

 
Internet Access
Most of the accommodations offer (wireless) internet connections if you bring your own laptop with you. Cyber City Internet Cafe has 8 of the fastest computers with internet connection. Open from 09:00 AM till 21:00 PM, 7 days a week. However, there is also a 24 hour service by using our outdoor 'window' computers.

 
Language
Papiamentu (local language), Dutch, English and Spanish.
 
Store Hours
Most stores are open Monday through Saturday from between 8 or 9 AM until 12 noon when they close for one to two hours, then remain open until 6 PM. Hours vary widely and some stay open during lunch hour. The larger supermarkets are open from 8 AM until 8 PM (may close during lunch) and some may be open on Sundays from 11 AM to 2 PM.
 
Taxes, Tipping and Service Charges
There is a 5% tax on virtually all goods and services (NAOB tax). A room tax of US$6.50 is also charged per person per day. Car rental tax is US$3.50 per day.
Tipping is much the same as in the States. Some restaurants add a 10-15% service charge automatically, so if in doubt, ask.
Taxis - generally a 10% tip is greatly apppreciated. In dive shops, etc. 10% is also the norm.
 
Taxi
Taxis are available at the airport. From other locations you may call the taxi stand at the airport at Tel. 8100.

Telephone
Direct dialing is possible from most resorts. AT&T, MCI, etc. can also be accessed. The local telephone office, TELBO can also place calls to all locations. For on island calls, dial just the last four digits.
For cell phone users, you can rent a cellular phone for the length of your stay with Cell.Rent tel. 09-5692244 /6999, or CellularOne 790-8787. If you have a TDMA phone, CellularOne can also offer local service, contact them for details.
 
Time Zone
Atlantic Standard Time. Same time as the United States East Coast during Daylight Savings Time (mid-Spring to mid-Fall). Bonaire does not change time for Daylight Savings, as is the custom in the US and Europe.
 
Tourism Seasons
High Season Winter/Spring: Dec. 15 - Apr. 14
Low Season Summer/Fall: Apr. 15 - Dec. 14
Windy Season: May - Aug, moderate wind Jan-Apr
Rainy Season: Nov. - Jan.
 
Vaccinations
No vaccinations or preventative medications are recommended for travel to Bonaire. Yellow fever and Malaria are not a problem here. The Center for Disease Control in the the US offers updates and advisories for travellers.

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Flag of Bonaire
Flag of Bonaire

Flamingo

Kayaking at the Mangroves
Kayaking at the Mangroves

Church

Bird on Rental Car

Sea View



Ocean View

Trees

Coast View





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