Discover Bonaire

Images compliments Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA)

The most eastern of the Leeward Islands, Bonaire is located 50 miles north of Venezuela and 38 miles east of Curacao. Twenty-four miles long and 3 – 7 miles wide, the total land area is 112 square miles. The official language for Bonaire’s ±15,000 residents is Dutch. The local island language is Papiamentu. English and Spanish are widely spoken. The year-round average air and water temperature is 82 degrees, and rainfall averages 22 inches.

Bonaire has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the environment both above and below the water and was the first Netherlands Antilles Island to establish a national park. It was recipient of the prestigious Islands Magazine/Caribbean Tourism Organization 2008 Sustainable Tourism Award and was also designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as having the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean (January 2008). Additionally, the readers of voted Bonaire as their favorite dive destination in the world in July 2008.

For 20 consecutive years in Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards, Bonaire has been selected as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This year, it received 17 awards, more than any other Caribbean destination. It was voted number one for Beginner Diving, Advanced Diving, Macro Diving and Underwater Photography also in the Reader’s Choice Awards. Also this year, Bonaire ranked #5 on the list of best Caribbean islands on TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers Choice.

Bonaire is blessed with one of the gentlest climates in the Caribbean, with very little rainfall (less than 22 inches annually) and a prevailing easterly trade wind that provides a consistent 15 mph (= 25 Kmh) breeze. This trade wind is also one of the coral reefs best friends and a major reason these reefs are among the most prolific in the world. When the wind blows continuously from the same direction, one side of the island has “rough” water conditions (the windward side), the other side (the leeside) is almost always clam. Since Bonaire lies at a 90 degree angle to its trade winds, the island’s western side (where you’ll find all of the snorkeling operations) is always calm and protected. Not only does this provide perfect snorkeling conditions, it also allows corals to grow prolifically in shallow water (rough water tends to knock some of the corals over, preventing them from attaining full growth).

There are several flights each week direct from Houston, Newark and Atlanta in the US. Flights are also available from Canada and Europe.

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Events & Festivals

February or March: Carnival

August: Heineken Bonaire Jazz Festival

October: Bonaire Regatta

Marriage Requirements:

  • Photo copy of first page of passport (Signature & Photo page)
  • Original Birth Certificate. Birth Certificates must be issued by the state or province of birth, feature a raised seal, have the names of both the mother and the father on them, and for citizens of the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, or the United Kingdom, they must have an Apostille affixed to them
  • Declaration of Marital Status by the Civil Registry
  • If divorced or widowed, divorce decree or document of proof is required affixed with an Apostille

* We try to keep this info as current as possible so please contact the local tourism office for any changes.

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Bonaire

1. Snorkeling and scuba diving at Klein Bonaire
2. Hiking at Washington Slagbaai National Park
3. Flamingo and bird watching around the Goto Lake
4. Visit Bonaire National Marine Park
5. Explore Kralendijk

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