CLIMATE: Average daily high temperatures range from 29 Centigrade to 32 Centigrade. Hottest months are May-September. Rainfall levels in Bonaire are low (less than 22 inches annually). The ‘rainy’ season is from October to January. Driest months are March to June.
ELECTRICITY: 110-127v AC at 50 cycles, so you will need to bring your transformers for any 220-240V devices. Also, for European travellers, bring your adaptors too. Remember that devices set up to run on 60 cycles will not function 100% normally (eg electric clocks will not keep time properly).
DRESS CODE: Casual dress is normal although some hotels and restaurants require ‘elegantly casual’ in the evenings. Please ensure to cover up if you are venturing into the shops from the beach. Officially nudity is against the law in Bonaire and is frowned upon to the islanders. It can become cool in the evenings, especially in the hills so a light jacket or a shawl is recommended.
GOVERNMENT: Bonaire is one of five islands of the Netherlands Antilles with a Central Government in Curacao made up of a parliament including representatives from the five islands: Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, Curacao and Bonaire. A Queen-appointed Governor handles relations between Netherlands and the islands.
Locally, Bonaire has a Queen-appointed Lt. Governor and Island Council of various commissioners seeing to Bonaire’s welfare. Bonaire handles day to day island operations, while the Netherlands takes care of defense, foreign affairs and most judicial issues including the courts, with Dutch law taking precedence. Major departments such as customs, immigration and post fall under the central government in Curacao.
DRINKING WATER: Bottled water is readily available in shops or at your hotel. Water supplies in Bonaire come fro a number of purified seawater.
SUNTANNING TIPS: Always have sun block ready, as even on overcast days you can easily become badly sunburnt and spoil your holiday. Try to get a sun block that is water resistant as it is tedious to continually keep reapplying suntan cream every time you get out of the water. For those travelling on boats the need for sun block is especially great; you’ve got very little shade and the consistent breezes may well make you feel that your skin is not burning.
LANGUAGE: English. Papiamento is widely spoken – a language with its roots in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, Arawak native languages, as well as African languages.
TIME ZONE: Atlantic Standard Time (4 hours behind Britain, 1 hour ahead of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard).
Commercial: Open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday. Sat 8.00 am – 12.00 noon.
Banks: Mon- Fri: 9.00 am – 3.30 pm. Closed at weekends.
Post Office: Open 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.
COMMUNICATIONS: Bonaire provides a range of reliable services including cardphones, payphone, credit card calling facilities and reliable internet services. For a complete picture of cellular roaming services available in Bonaire, click here.
CURRENCY: Netherland Antilles Guilder (ANG). Known locally in Papiamento as a ‘Florin’. Exchange rates: US$1.00 = ƒ1.79.
PASSPORTS & VISAS: ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Citizens of most countries in the world do not need a visa for their entry to the island. However, visitors from the certain countries are required to have a visa for stays of up to 3 months (90 days). The Netherlands Antilles has, as of the beginning of 2005, synchronized visa requirements among Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles with the Dutch Kingdom. The maximum total days that one can stay on the island is 90 days! If you wish to stay longer, you will need to go through the further procedures. For more details visit the infobonaire site.
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY:
Latitude – 12°15′N
Longitude - 68° 28′W,
In the Caribbean, 50 miles north of the Venezuelan coastline.
Area: 112 Square miles (290 sq. km), 24 mi long, 3-7 mi wide. Highest point: Brandaris at 241m (791 ft).