Bonaire Travel Tips

Good things to know before you travel to Bonaire.


Travel here, and you’ll discover why people love Bonaire. Where historic Caribbean, European, North and South American cultures come together and welcome visitors from around the world - you’ll never feel out of place.


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Flying to Bonaire

  • Don't leave home for your flight to Bonaire without proper proof of citizenship. For U.S. and Canadian citizens, a valid passport is required.
  • It’s a good idea to reconfirm your flights prior to departure. On Bonaire, we suggest you do this at the airport at the reservation booth. Check ahead on all baggage allowances for individual carriers.
  • Pack a carry-on bag with items you must have in your first 24 hours, just in case your baggage does not make it when you do. This includes medications, eyeglasses, and the all-important swimsuit!
  • Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your international flights’ scheduled departure from Bonaire.
  • Bonaire departure taxes are typically included in your international ticket. If you purchased an interisland ticket from Curacao or Aruba, you will need to pay a small departure fee at the Tax kiosk at the airport on Bonaire. You can do this prior to your departure date or prior to check in for your flight.
  • Upon departure, you might consider checking in for your flight first, and then turn in your rental car (in case there are flight delays that might allow you to leave the airport for some additional vacation time).

Getting Around Bonaire

  • Taxis are the least expensive way to get from the airport to your lodging if you don't have a car at the airport or transfers included in your vacation arrangements. Fares are government controlled. There is no public transportation.
  • You can arrange for bonaire car rental once you have arrived on Bonaire (except during peak periods when cars may be all reserved). We suggest arranging your rental car in advance for best availability and rates.
  • Car rental agencies offer Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) for about $10-$15 per day and some offer Full Insurance options for additional fees. Read the agreement carefully as to what the deductible and terms are. Check with your car insurer at home or credit card company to see what might be covered for the type of vehicle you plan to rent on Bonaire.
  • Upon arrival, we suggest sending the person that the vehicle is reserved under to get your car while others are collecting baggage.

Money & Currency on Bonaire

  • Official currency on Bonaire is the U.S. dollar.
  • ATM's are available at several banks in and around Kralendijk and open 24 hours. Bank hours are 8am-3:30pm (although this can vary).
  • A 10% to 15% service charge may be added to your bill at restaurants. Check with your waiter.
  • Some credit cards will bill you a transaction fee for purchasing any goods or services abroad -- check with your card company before you use it on Bonaire.

Communicating with Your Friends & Relatives Back Home

  • Be sure and leave your phone number and itinerary with family or friends so you can be contacted in case of emergencies. Call Bonaire from the states by dialing 011-599-717 and then the four-digit phone number.
  • To call the states from Bonaire, dial 001 then the area code and number.
  • Internet access is available at most resorts and some public cafes. Cell phones with reasonably priced pre-paid calling can also be arranged.
  • Electrical is 127 volt/50 cycle and most U.S. appliances will work. We suggest a portable surge protector for laptops and chargers.

Food & Supermarkets on Bonaire

  • The Van den Tweel and Warehouse supermarkets in Kralendijk are large and well stocked. There are several mini-markets around town.
  • You can also get fresh fruits and vegetables right off the boats from Venezuela at the harbor front pavilion in Kralendijk.
  • Restaurant choices include everything from local fast food (called snacks) to all types of cuisine. Prices vary from inexpensive to expensive depending on where you dine.
  • Store hours vary but most are open by 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. Some close for two hours at lunch and may be open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Crime on Bonaire

  • Bonaire is a safe, friendly place, but thefts do occur.
  • Don't leave anything in your car (or at least in view) that someone might want. Translation - don't tempt a thief. Always lock your car at night or in town.
  • Don't leave anything lying around your room, condo, etc. (or at least in view) that someone might want. Lock doors and windows when you are away and at night. Check to make sure that sliding glass doors are secure. Use resort safes for valuables.
  • If you are shore diving at remote sites, take precautions and do not leave anything of value in your car. Check with your rental car company on their specific instructions/suggestions.

Enjoy the Bonaire Attitude!

  • Relax and slow down. Things don't move fast in the islands.
  • Try a few Papiamentu phrases for talking to locals (even though most everyone speaks English):
    • Kon ta bai (hi, how are you).
    • Bon dia (good day).
    • Bon tarde (good afternoon).
    • Bon nochi (good evening).
    • Danki (thanks).
    • Masha danki (much thanks).
    • Ayo (goodbye).
Visit www.tourismbonaire.com for more details on island information.


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