How To Pay Your Bonaire Nature Fee
Bonaire is world-famous for its pristine fringing coral reef system and offers some of the best shore diving and snorkeling anywhere in the world. This natural wonder has been nationally protected since 1979, when the Bonaire National Marine Park was established.
Since that time, the entity tasked with managing and preserving the marine park is STINAPA (Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire). Funding for STINAPA’s efforts comes primarily from revenue from the sale of marine park tags (a/k/a nature fees). Every user of Bonaire’s waters is required to pay a use fee before dipping a toe in the crystalline waters surrounding the island.
The traditional “proof” of payment has always been a colorful disc (scuba diving) or square (non-scuba diving) plastic tag. You were required to display your tag whenever you were in the water. For repeat visitors to the island, collecting and saving these colorful tags is a time-honored tradition. It’s not unusual to see long-time, repeat dive guests sporting a large collection of dive tags dangling from their BCDs — Bonaire diving bling with bragging rights, if you will.
But after nearly 40 years of this tradition, STINAPA changed the process for paying your required Bonaire nature fee. The old way of paying cash (always cash!) at one of the dive shops and receiving a plastic tag has been eliminated.
Bonaire Goes Digital
1. Island visitors can visit the STINAPA website and pay their nature fee online. All marine park fees are good for one calendar year. Starting in 2023:
- One fee for all users/water activities – $40.00 per person
- This includes entrance into Washington Slagbaai National Park. Children 12 and under do not have to pay the fee!
2. Upon completing your online purchase, you’ll receive a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. This is your proof of purchase but is NOT your electronic dive tag. That electronic tag will arrive in a second, separate email from email@example.com.
3. Be sure to check your junk folder if you don’t receive either or both of these emails, as some purchasers have reported that their spam filters are catching these messages. If you don’t see one or both of these emails within a few hours of purchase, please direct your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional assistance.
While you’re on the island, you’ll need to provide proof of purchase of your marine park fee — both at the dive shop and if requested by STINAPA while you’re in the Marine Park or National Park.
You can show the email on your phone or print out a copy and show that instead. Since most people don’t want to carry their phones while they’re out diving, printing out a copy is a good idea.
Pro Tip: Some creative divers and snorkelers are printing out their bar codes and laminating them before they arrive on the island, so they can keep their “proof of purchase” in their BCD pockets.
And don’t worry if paying online isn’t your thing or you forget in all the pre-vacation excitement. Most island dive shops will still be able to process your nature fee payment (cash or credit card!) and issue a receipt on the spot.
Visiting Washington Slagbaai Park
A popular activity for many visitors to the island is spending a day exploring the rugged natural area of Washington Slagbaai National Park. This expansive area covers the top third of the island, and features dramatic scenery, rocky coastlines, white sand beaches, and a great collection of Bonaire’s wild animals.
You’ll need to show proof of nature fee purchase along with a photo I.D to access to the Park.
For more information on Bonaire’s nature fees, visit STINAPA.