For many years, the Caribbean island of Bonaire has been a favorite year-round shore diving and windsurfing destination for scuba divers and windsurfers from all around the world. But also for those who are looking for a more relaxed vacation, Bonaire is the place to be. Bonaire is Dutch territory and together with Saba and St. Eustatius, it is called the BES-islands.
All coastal waters around Bonaire (National Marine Park) and more than 20% of Bonaire’s land area are protected by law. The reefs surrounding Bonaire are covered with miles of untouched corals and are well known as the healthiest in the Caribbean, while the national park offers a safe haven for numerous other species.
STINAPA Bonaire has been managing the protected areas of Bonaire and caring for the preservation and conservation of nature on the island. Everyone that enters the Bonaire National (Marine) Park needs to pay an entrance fee, named ‘Nature tag’. Divers pay $45 per calendar year. Swimmers, snorkelers, sailors and all others that enter the waters of the National Marine Park pay $25.
A Little Background Info
Whether you are looking for a destination for an active dive vacation, windsurf or kitesurf vacation or for nature and beaches, Bonaire has got it all! Always dreamt of seeing flamingo’s, iguanas, or donkeys in the wild? For sure you will see them here! Also sea turtles and dolphins are regularly spotted in the beautiful blue waters around Bonaire.
The island may be small, but there are many activities and sights you should not miss. What about sailing, rock climbing, mountainbiking, kayaking, swimming with horses or (cave)snorkeling? With over 200 species of birds, birdwatchers will enjoy Bonaire.
The friendly locals on Bonaire are welcoming tourists with a warm heart and love to share their stories about the island with you. With average temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86F), Bonaire is great to visit year-round.
Because the island is small, the atmosphere is very relaxed. As soon as you step out of the airplane, you will notice this.
The Kaya Grandi and boulevard form the ‘city center’ of the capital Kralendijk. Great for a stroll, shopping, eating the best ice cream or sit on a bench and watch the ships dock in the harbor. You might even be lucky and score some freshly caught fish from one of the local fishermen! At night, you will also find this fish in most restaurants on Bonaire as Catch of the Day!
Bonaire measures 111 sq. miles, and has a population of around 20.000 inhabitants. Bonaire is now home to people of 106 countries and apart from the local language Papiamento, English, Spanish and Dutch are fluently spoken. Bonaire is the most eastern island of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).
The official currency is USD (American Dollar). Euro’s are not accepted. In most stores and restaurants, you can pay with debit or credit card. There are multiple ATM’s on the island if you need some cash.