About Bonaire


Coordinates: 12°10’46.6″N, 68°15’29.2″W
Capital: Kralendijk
Area: 288 km² is approximately 38.5 kilometers long and the width of the island varies between 4.8 kilometers and 8 kilometers.
Population: 24,090 inhabitants according to the census of January 1, 2023
Currency: US dollar
Languages: More than 60% of the population speaks Papiamentu, 15% Dutch, 15% Spanish and 5% English. More than 90% of the population is multilingual.

The average flight time from Bonaire to the Netherlands is between 9 and 12 hours. This big difference is mainly because there may be a stopover in Aruba or Curaçao, for example.

When the plane starts its descent to Flamingo Airport, Bonaire is already smiling at you, because the Caribbean island has the shape of a boomerang and that stands out beautifully against the azure blue ocean water. In the kink of the boomerang, Klein Bonaire is located 800 meters from the coast; a beautiful uninhabited reef island with an area of ​​only 6 km2. Bonaire, in Papiamento: Boneiru.

Bonaire is a beautiful tropical destination, there is plenty to do besides the snorkeling and diving that the island is known for. Governed as a Caribbean public body since 2010. As an island, it is a special municipality in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Together with Saba and St. Eustatius, they fall under the BES Island Group.
It is located off the coast of Venezuela and, together with Aruba and Curaçao, is one of the so-called ABC islands.

The island has varying landscapes and is covered with more than 500 different plant species. In addition, more than a thousand different animal species such as sea turtles, dolphins, flamingos and pelicans live in the waters of Bonaire and on land.

Time Zone

Bonaire is in a different time zone than the Netherlands. When it is winter time in the Netherlands, it is 5 hours earlier on Bonaire. During our summer time the difference is 6 hours. This is because people on the island of Bonaire do not participate in the day light saving time scheme. Due to the time difference, there is a chance that you may suffer from jet lag. But usually you suffer more from it after returning home to the Netherlands than after arriving on Bonaire.

Visitor Entry Tax

In 2022, Bonaire introduced the Visitor Entry Tax. This is a fixed amount of $75 in tourist tax that must be paid per person per visit. If you do not pay the Visitor Entry Tax, you will not enter Bonaire. It is most convenient if you pay the Visitor Entry Tax in advance online Visitor Entry Tax (bonairegov.com). Then you don’t have to queue to pay when you arrive at Flamingo Airport.

Activities on Bonaire

Bonaire’s main attraction is the breathtaking underwater world of the Bonaire National Marine Park. Bonaire’s coral reefs are home to an enormous diversity of beautiful tropical fish and other colorful sea inhabitants.

Diving on Bonaire is also very accessible. At any time of the day you can drive to any spot on the coast and do a shore dive from the beach, which puts you almost directly in the middle of the coral reef. This is what appeals to many diving tourists and what sets Bonaire apart from most other global diving destinations.

Bonaire is also the right place for tourists who do not go diving but still want an active holiday.
Renting a boat, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, hiking, mountain biking, golfing and horse riding are just a few of the many water and land activities available on the Caribbean island.

Stinapa Nature Fee

Are you going into or out of the water around Bonaire for sailing, snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking or kitesurfing? Then you are obliged to pay the Stinapa Nature Fee. You can purchase this online, Bonaire Nature Fee | STINAPA – STINAPA (bonairenaturefee.org).

Exemption: children under 13 years old and residents of Aruba Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten.


Culture enthusiasts will also find their way on Bonaire to the various museums, galleries, monuments, centuries-old churches and historic buildings.
The annual carnival and the ‘Bonaire International Sailing Regatta’ are two highlights of public life on Bonaire; schools close and there is a big party atmosphere on the island.

Climate statistics for Bonaire

We can summarize the long-term climate averages for Bonaire as follows:

  • The average maximum temperature is between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius.
  • The average minimum temperature is between 24 and 27 degrees Celsius.
  • Approximately 350 to 450 millimeters of precipitation falls annually (always in the form of rain).
  • The annual number of hours of sunshine is approximately 2800 to 3000 hours.
  • The sea water temperature is between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.
  • The average relative humidity is 75.9%.
  • On an annual basis, there are approximately 65 days in which at least 0.1 mm of precipitation falls.

Best Time to Travel

The best time to go to Bonaire is during the Dutch winter months (December to February). The rainy season ends in December. The weather is very pleasant, the island is beautifully green and there are many colorful butterflies to admire. But even outside this best period, Bonaire is a nice place to be.

From March to August, temperatures slowly rise to above 30 degrees, but the constant easterly wind keeps the weather on Bonaire particularly pleasant. There is hardly any precipitation. This can be seen in nature. Trees lose their leaves, the cacti become grayer and many lakes become dry.

By September the wind drops and it becomes hot on Bonaire. You have to be able to handle that!

From October the wind returns and the rainy season starts. The rain brings cooling, the maximum temperature drops below 30 degrees again. In general, the rainy season on Bonaire is mild, with one or two tropical showers per day. After such a shower, the sun soon shines again.


The capital of Bonaire is “Kralendijk” and this city has approximately 12,500 inhabitants. Kralendijk was founded in the early 19th century. It is a quiet town with some historic buildings, such as Fort Oranje. The Fort dates from 1796. All sights are within walking distance of each other. Kralendijk is about a 10-minute drive from Flamingo Airport Bonaire.

The Kaya Grandi and the Kaya J.N.E. Craane are the two main streets of picturesque Kralendijk. The first mentioned is the main shopping street and the second is the pleasant promenade (boulevard) on the waterfront of Kralendijk with various restaurants, cafes and bars. The Kaya Grandi and the Kaya J.N.E. Craane run almost parallel to each other and to the coastline of the Caribbean Sea on the west side of Bonaire.


Rincon (Rincón) is the oldest village on Bonaire and is located in the northwest of the island in a kind of valley. Rincon is also the oldest village in the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The first Spaniards built this settlement at the beginning of the 16th century to stay out of sight of pirates. The Spanish colonists had administrative control of the coral island in Rincon. The Spanish colonists discovered Bonaire in 1499. Rincon was founded by them in 1527.

During the West India Company period, the Dutch also brought slaves, the men worked in the salt pans during the week and the women and children had to work on the plantations, to Rincon, making the settlement the oldest slave village in the former Netherlands Antilles. The current inhabitants of Rincon are directly descended from the former slave community and are called Rinconese or Rinconeros.


Not only the underwater world of Bonaire is breathtakingly beautiful. The north of the island is hilly and belongs entirely to the impressive Washington Slagbaai National Park. In addition, there are so many beautiful sights in terms of nature spread across the island. This varies from the first traces of the origins of Bonaire to the most impressive natural phenomena such as caves, rock formations, blowholes, bays, beaches and rugged coastal areas.

The picturesque Kralendijk is located in the middle of Bonaire on the west coast and forms the political, cultural and business center of the Caribbean island. The flat south is the domain of enchanting salt pans and a turquoise colored lagoon bordered by unique mangrove vegetation.

Furthermore, Bonaire is world famous for its Caribbean flamingos. In total, there are only four places in the Caribbean archipelago where this majestic bird still breeds. The flamingos can only breed in absolute peace and Bonaire is one of the few places in the world where this is still possible. These pink-red birds are easy to observe at various locations on Bonaire.

The yellow-winged Amazon parrot is Bonaire’s other unique bird species. Of this bird species, which is called the ‘lora’ in Papiamentu, there are only 1085 specimens left in the wild (2016 census). The color combination of this parrot species, green with yellow head, only occurs on Bonaire.