Bonaire is located just 50 miles north of Venezuela and is an intimate destination of only 112 square miles. Although small, there are countless activities to keep visitors as busy as they wish!
In addition to the amazing natural habitats found on land or sea, the beauty of Bonaire can be seen in the faces of the 18,000 people that call the island home. Their different features and hues tell the story of dozens of ethnic and racial influences. Indian, African, Asian and European inhabitants have all contributed to the population of Bonaire today. Two of the most unmistakable features are the smiles that break out when greetings are made and the soft yet firm handshakes that pass between old and new friends.
Bonaire’s culture is rooted in religious and holiday celebrations. Many traditions take origin from African homelands and European harvest and feast days. The music is a blend of tribal beats using modern instruments and makeshift farming tools. One important aspect of modern Bonairean culture is the food. Local Krioyo, Dutch, Indonesian, and Indian…the list is endless with unmistakable tastes that visitors will be sure to recognize and enjoy.
Travel facts & tips for Bonaire
- Average air temperature 82’F/28’C
- Average rainfall 22″/56 cm per year
- Average water temperature 80’F/27’C
- Currency: United States Dollar (US$)
- Language: Dutch is the official language of Bonaire; Papiamentu is the local language, and English and Spanish are also widely spoken.
- Immigration: A visitor must have a valid passport and a valid or continuing ticket; some countries also require a visa.
- Electricity: 127 volts AC (50 cycles). 220V available in certain establishments.
- Water: The distilled and purified water is safe and excellent to drink. Buying bottled water is not necessary.
History of Bonaire
Look into the faces of Bonaire and see a kaleidoscope of history. Bonaire’s first inhabitants
were Caiquetios, a branch of Arawak Indians from Venezuela, believed to have arrived around 1300 BC. In 1499, (possibly September 6th) Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci arrived in Bonaire and claimed Bonaire for the Spaniards. By 1636, after having been to Bonaire before, the Dutch took possession of the Island. A plaque in Wilhelmina Park honors Mr. van Walbeeck the Island’s first Dutch Commander. In the late 1600’s, African slaves were brought to work on the Island.
During the period of 1799 -1816, sometimes referred to as the “time of confusion,” the Island was occupied off and on by various countries and individuals. This was due to changing European politics, which in turn affected the Caribbean Islands. In 1816, Bonaire returned to the Dutch.
Experience first-hand all the beauty, nature and history of Bonaire on your visit to our island. Book your stay today!!