Location: Bonaire is part of the Caribbean Netherlands and lies in the southern Caribbean 50 miles (80 km) to the north of Venezuela, 30 miles (48 km) off the East Coast of Curacao, 86 miles (138 km) east of Aruba and about
1720 miles (2752 km) from New York.
Size: 24 miles long by 3-5 miles wide covering approximately 112 square miles.
Weather: Bonaire lies just outside the hurricane belt and enjoys a sunny climate all year round. The average
air temperature is 82°F with the water temperature only a few degrees lower. Rainfall is moderate at 22 inches
Getting to Bonaire: Currently the number of flights from North America varies depending on the time of
year. Delta Airlines offers 1-2 flights weekly from Atlanta and at certain times another flight from JFK.
United Airlines has 1-2 weekly flights to Bonaire from Houston and another weekly flight from Newark most
of the year. Definitely check the airline websites before making plans. Insel Air has flights from Charlotte, NC that stop in Curacao. Insel Air and American Airlines also offer direct flights into Curacao from Miami where you can connect with a smaller airline ( Dutch Antillies Express, DiviDivi, Insel Air ) for the 20-minute flight to Bonaire. Several major airlines fly from the U.S. into Aruba where Dutch Caribbean Express also offers regular service to Bonaire. From Europe, KLM offers daily service to Bonaire.
Airport Departure Tax: Bonaire has an airport departure tax currently at $35.00 per person. This is now included in the cost of the tickets on most major airlines.
Other Taxes: Tourist Hotel tax of US$5.50 to $6.50 per person per night. Car rentals are taxed at US$ 4.50 per
day. There is also a 6% tax on car rentals, meals, services and general purchases.
Language: Dutch and Papiamentu. English and Spanish are widely spoken.
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern
Currency: The US dollar is the official currency as of Jan 1, 2011. Banking hours are generally Mon - Fri
8.00am - 3.30pm.
Drinking Water: Bonaire's drinking water is distilled and purified seawater. It is safe to drink.
Electricity: 127 volt, 50 cycles. Most U.S. appliances will work, but will run hotter. Sensitive items not listed for
50 cycles should be plugged into a transformer or protected circuit. Most computers and their charges work on 50 Hz.
Hospital: San Francisco Hospital has 60 beds and a recompression chamber. The hospital has an air
ambulance service to Curacao and Aruba.
Pharmacies: There are 3 pharmacies on the island, also known as Botika. Botika Bonaire in the center of
town on Kaya Grandi 27. Botika Korona on Kaya Korona 180 and Botika Rincon in the village of Rincon.
Shopping: Shopping hours vary by store but generally are Mon - Fri 8:00am - 6:00pm. Sat 8:00am - 5:00pm.
Sun 8:00am - 1:00pm. Some stores close for lunch for a few hours, often between 12:30 - 3pm.
Food Markets: There are several grocery stores on Bonaire and selection varies. The largest one is Van Den Tweel, open 8am to 8pm daily. Next is Bonaire Warehouse from 8am to 6pm. In addition you will also find numerous smaller markets and convenience stores.
Communications: To call Bonaire from the U.S. first dial "011-599" and then the seven digit phone number.
To call the U.S. from Bonaire dial "001" then the area code and number. Cell phone rentals are readily
available and offer the cheapest calling rates to the U.S. Additionally, some U.S. cell phones will work but may
need to be unlocked by your carrier before leaving the US. Calling the US and Canada is free from our home with
our US phone. Local calls are free with our Bonaire line.
Crime: Bonaire remains one of the safest islands in the Caribbean but unfortunately crime is everywhere and
thefts do occur. Use common sense. Don't leave anything in your vehicle (or at least in view) that someone
might want. Don't leave anything in view in your room that someone might want. Lock your doors and windows
when you are away and at night. Check to make sure that sliding glass doors are secure. Some accommodations, like our place at LighthouseBeach, have the added protection of iron security bars and/or security windows.
U.S. Govenment Department of State: Travel information and passport requirements for Bonaire
available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/bonaire-st-eustatius-saba.html
For more information on Bonaire visit Bonaire's Official Tourism Website & InfoBonaire
BONAIRE TRAVEL TIPS & INFORMATION
Copyright 2006-2010 Gregg Babcock