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BONAIRE

Bonaire is the leeward island of the Netherlands Antilles, located 50 miles north of Venezuela, 30 miles east of Curacao and 86 miles east of Aruba. Bonaire is located in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone (like the United States East coast) however, unlike the US and Europe, Bonaire does not change time during daylight savings time. The island is 24 miles long, ranging from 3 to 5 miles in width, and has approximately 12,000 in population. The languages of Bonaire include: English, Dutch, Spanish, Papiamento (local language).

Click here for a map of Bonaire

Click here to see descriptions of available accommodations/liveaboards in Bonaire

TRAVEL TIPS/INFORMATION

Seasons/ Weather/Climate/Water Conditions
High Season Winter/Spring: Dec. 15 - April 14
Low Season Summer/Fall: April 15 - Dec. 14
Windy Season: May - Aug, moderate wind Jan. - April
Rainy Season: Nov. - Jan.

Bonaire has an annual rainfall of approximately 22 inches, creating a tropical climate with average air temperatures around 82F, with a relative humidity of 75%. Light and casual clothing is suggested.

Due to the location of the island, which is just below the hurricane belt, diving is good year round with average water temperatures ranging from 76F to 86F, and water visibility ranging from 60 to 100 ft +.

Transportation
When traveling to Bonaire, you will fly into the Bonaire Flamingo International Airport (BON). American Airlines, Continental and Jamaica airlines fly to Bonaire from major airports across America and Europe.

Taxis are available at the airport, as well as rental cars. ABC Rental, Avis, Dollar, and Hertz are the available rental car companies. For your convenience, foreign and international licenses are accepted.

Entry and Exit Requirements
When entering/exiting Bonaire, all travelers must provide a passport vaild for at least 6 months past the date of exiting Bonaire and a return ticket.

When departing Bonaire, you will be required to pay a one-time departure tax of $32.00 US per person. Please note that credit cards are not accepted as payment for the departure tax.

Currency/Banks/Taxes
Bonaire's local currency is the Netherlands Antilles Guilder (NAFI), and is fixed at an exchange rate of 1.78 to one US Dollar. U.S. Dollars can be spent throughout Bonaire, however be prepared to receive change in guilders.

For your convenience, Bonaire has a number of banks with ATMs, conveniently located around the island. Bank hours: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Closed on Saturday and Sunday).

Major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Bonaire.

Bonaire imposes a 5% tax on almost all goods and services.
A room tax of US$ 5.50-$6.50 is also charged per person per day.
A departure tax of US$20 is charged per person.
Car rental tax is US$3.50 per day.

Telephone/Cell Phone
Most resorts offer direct dialing utilizing the local telephone company, Telbo, AT&T, MCI, etc. can also be accessed. For on island calls, dial just the last seven digits.

For your convenience, while on the island, you can rent a cellular phone for the length of your stay from CellularOne. Please note that Bonaire does not support GSM type cellphones.

Electricity
Electrical output on Bonaire is between 110 and 130 volts, 50 cycles, however 220 volt is also available at some resorts. If you are bringing small appliances, you may want to pack a voltage adaptor.

Medical Information
There are no required or suggested inoculations needed to enter Bonaire. Yellow fever and Malaria are not of issue in Bonaire. For more information on traveling abroad, contact the Center for Disease Control in the US.

In the event of a medical emergency, Bonaire has the San Francisco Hospital with 60-beds and a decompression chamber (requires admittance through the hospital emergency room) located within downtown Kralendijk. An ambulance can be requested by dialing 112, or the hospital at 110.

Shopping on Bonaire
Most stores are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until Noon, then from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Hours will vary from store to store, and some are even open during lunch hours.