About the Island

The Island

Bonaire was part of the Dutch Antilles, 5 islands located in the Caribbean Sea. On 10 october 2010 the Dutch Antilles ceased to excist. Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba became a part of the Netherlands, while Curacao and St Maarten recieved a “status apart”.
Bonaire is, after Curacao, the largest of the five islands, although still relatively small (the island is 25 miles long and 3 to 7,5 miles wide). Most tourists visit Aruba or Curacao while Bonaire has lots to offer. First, Bonaire is world renowned for its easy (shore)diving. That’s why all the cars of Bonaire have license plates with “Diver’s Paradise”. But also other water sports such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, snorkeling and wakeboarding are very popular.

But Bonaire not only has a lot to offer on the water, even on land there is plenty to see and enjoy. A visit to the impressive Washington Slagbaai National Park is more than worth it. Or go soak in the atmosphere of the old Rincon, not only the oldest village on Bonaire but of the entire Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Time seems to stand still there… Also a visit to the slave cabins is a must, to over think the turbulent history of Bonaire: Bonaire slaves were brought to work on plantations or in the salt pans in the south. The slaves who worked at the salt pans had to walk 35km every weekend to Rincon, to buy food at the Mangazina di Rei (“storehouse of the king”) and to visit their families. They had to make this long walk every week! The uninhabited and protected island “Little Bonaire” is also a must see: during the day you can enjoy the soft white sandy beaches and you will find the best snorkeling spots. At night the island belongs to the huge sea turtles who come to lay their eggs.

Bonaire has are many other (exciting) activities to offer, such as: abseiling and rock climbing, sailing and land sailing, horseback riding, kayaking in the mangroves, cycling and mountain biking, etc … Or rent your own boat to explore the beautiful waters around Bonaire.

Off course just relaxing is also an option!

In short, Bonaire has lots to do and see!

Click here for a nice promofilm about Bonaire

Climate

You can visit Bonaire all year round, there are few days when the sun does not shine. Bonaire has a tropical-arid (= dry and arid) climate, with lots of sunshine. Bonaire almost always profits of refreshing trade winds. The average annual temperature is 81°F. There is little difference between day and night temperatures and temperature difference between summer and winter is to be neglected . January and February are the coolest, 84°F C during the day and at night about 77°F. September and October are the warmest, 31 ° C during the day and at night about 80°F. There is almost not a day without sunshine. On average, each year has approximately 20 inches of rain. Most rain falls in the months October, November and December. Tropical storms do not occur on Bonaire. The water temperature averages about 81° F. (Source: www.landenweb.net)

Money

The US Dollar($) is the only official currency. There are many ATM’s and banks on the island.

Food & Drinks

Bonaire is a paradise for the gastronomies among of us! Everywhere you will find good food and on every budget. Whether it is a culinary diner you are looking for or just a snack at a local “snack” while enjoying a cold beer, it’s all possible on Bonaire. How about a nice cocktail, while sitting on a pier and enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets ever! A lot of “Happy hours”, nice bars and good restaurants to discover! We have already tried many of them and continue to seek special nice bars and eateries.

Language

In addition to Dutch, Papiamentu is the official language on Bonaire. Papiamentu originated from Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and some African. Papiamentu’s name is derived from the word “papia” that means talking. Most people on Bonaire speak fluently Papiamento and Dutch and often they have an have excellent knowledge of Spanish and English. A few handy Papiamenty words:

Bon dia, bon tardi, bon nochi: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening

Kon ta bai: How are you

Bon, Danki: Fine, thank you

Ayo: bye


January 3, 2010