GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Bonaire and diving are inextricably linked. It is with good reason that the license plates on the island read ‘Divers Paradise’. But Bonaire is so much more than just a paradise for divers.

Bonaire is a relatively small island (approximately 24 miles in length and 3-7 miles in width) located in the Caribbean Sea, about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Together with Saba and St. Eustatius (the ‘BES’ islands), Bonaire received the status of special municipality of the Netherlands in October 2010.

The official language on Bonaire is Dutch and the second language is Papiamentu. Other recognized languages spoken on the island are English and Spanish, due to the large variety of nationalities on Bonaire.

The atmosphere on Bonaire is very relaxed, free from any hustle and bustle. Nobody on the island appears to be in a rush and this for example translates into the fact that there is not a single stoplight on Bonaire. The locals are known for being very friendly and hospitable.

The capital of Bonaire is Kralendijk, a cozy little town with colorful, mostly historic buildings. The town offers a nice selection of shops and has plenty of bars and excellent restaurants.

The official currency is the U.S. Dollar. Most banks offer money exchange and there are nearly a dozen ATM’s on the island for cash withdrawal. Credit cards are also widely accepted, with most stores accepting Mastercard, Maestro (debit card) and Visa.

Hardly any public transport can be found on Bonaire. Busses run between Kralendijk and Rincon, but there is no fixed schedule. Although the island is quite small, it is still recommended to rent a car, scooter or bike.

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