Bonaire is the second-largest island in the former Dutch Antilles, and has desert-like terrain offset by inviting turquoise waters. Beneath the water’s surface, rainbow-hued fish drift in between coral, and many believe argue that the diving and snorkelling here is the best in the Caribbean; Bonaire’s relative lack of tourism means much of its coral has gone undisturbed. For those seeking sailing or windsurfing, the characteristic windswept postures of the divi divi trees show that Bonaire’s warm, dry and breezy climate is ideal for these sorts of activities.
Bonaire is highly eco-friendly and keen not to impair the fragile infrastructure of the coral, nor unsettle the island’s serenity with heavy development and glitzy nightlife. Consequently, Bonaire’s beautiful beaches and safe waters have remained intact. Flamingos wander the landscape of multi-hued salt plains, and multitudes of birds enjoy this paradisiacal sanctuary.
Bonaire was part of the Netherland Antilles until its dissolution in 2010. It is now a special municipality of The Netherlands.
290 sq km (112 sq miles).
19,408 (CBS value 2016).
60 per sq km.
The National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands acts on behalf of the Government of the Netherlands. The Kingdom Representative for the public bodies of Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba represents the Government of the Netherlands on Bonaire.
King Willem-Alexander since 2013.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte since 2010, represented locally by Kingdom Representative Gilbert Isabella since 2014.
127 volts AC, 50Hz. North American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without round grounding pin) are most common.
Most visits are trouble-free.
Visitors should be aware that the Islands are used as a drug passageway from South America to Europe and North America. It is advised never to leave bags unattended nor agree to carry a package for anyone.
The hurricane season in the Dutch Caribbean normally runs from June to November.
The threat from terrorism is low. But travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice:
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 020 7008 1500.
US Department of State