Useful information to know when you go to Bonaire:
Every good traveler knows the value of thorough preparation. Preparation, whether good or bad, has the potential to make or break a vacation and is therefore imperative. By preparing adequately, you will avoid unexpected surprises during your vacation, keeping in mind that some surprises can never be foreseen. On this page, we share insight into the most important practical steps you can take to prepare you for the best possible stay on our beloved island.
Since January 1, 2011, the US dollar is used as the primary currency on Bonaire. The Euro is also accepted, but the exchange rate is often unfavorable, and we, therefore, recommend the US Dollar as the most appropriate currency to bring along. Just like in the Netherlands, there is an abundance of ATMs at various places around the island, and it’s also possible to pay with your debit card at shops and restaurants. You can also use your credit card to pay, however, please note that you need your credit card PIN and a valid ID for this to be authorized. Finally, it is customary to tip waiters in restaurants, taxi drivers and tour guides. This should be about 5 to 10% of the total amount.
Bonaire is a safe island, where your main focus can be to simply just enjoy your holiday. However, just like at your home, precautionary measures are advised. For example, it is important that you always ensure your rental car is locked when not in use, and that your holiday home is securely locked up before leaving it unoccupied. Valuable items should not be left in your rental car or loosely in your villa, but rather locked away in the safe of your room, or alternatively handed in at the reception of your accommodation provider.
Also, make sure to take care of bags and suitcases in busy places. In general, luggage should never be left unattended, and it is strongly advised to never accept packages or items from strangers, under any circumstances.
There are also loose donkeys on the island. They are generally harmless, but extreme caution must be taken whilst driving at night, in that the donkeys enjoy lying on the warm asphalt at night. After dark, especially when driving on ill-lit streets, care should be taken to drive slowly and alertly. In short, the island is safe, but think logically goes a long way.
The official languages spoken on the island are Papiaments and Dutch. In addition to these, Dutch is also the official language of the government on the island. Due to the tourist-centric nature of the island, many people in the tourism industry speak Spanish and English as well.
When you travel to Bonaire you do not need any vaccinations, so there are no exotic illnesses to worry about! The sun is intense here, so make sure to always apply sun cream, and to wear a hat and sunglasses in order to avoid sunburn and skin damage. In Kralendijk and Ricon there are several pharmacies where you can get most medicines and any pharmaceutical advice you need. In addition, almost all doctors speak Dutch and English, and there is a hospital on the island. Don’t forget to make sure you have good travel insurance that includes medical aid cover.
Making phone calls and receiving phone calls is unfortunately very expensive on the island.
When calling to the island from a different country, one is charged with an international fare. On the other hand, to make an outbound call from the island also includes a ‘foreign expense’, which makes the price significantly high.
We, therefore, recommend that you rather use a desk phone through your hotel or villa provider. In Belize on Bonaire, it is possible to make relatively cheap calls and use the internet at relatively affordable rates. When calling to the Netherlands or any other foreign country, make sure to first check the country dialing code. When calling a local, make use of prepaid local sim card.
Welcome to Bonaire!
A beautifull island you always want to return to