Bonaire is one of the so-called ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) and belongs to the Netherlands Antilles, which are a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Compared to the other two islands, Bonaire is very quiet. It is a paradise for scuba divers, wind surfers and people who enjoy nature. Annually the island receives around 70,000 visitors, most of them Americans, followed by the Dutch.
Bonaire has only 15,000 inhabitants, most of whom live in the capital Kralendijk, which is not the oldest settlement on the island; that is Rincon. The language spoken on Bonaire is Papiamento, a mixture of Dutch, English, Spanish and Portuguese. Virtually everyone also speaks English.
Bonaire is located about 75 kilometers to the north of the Venezuelan coast. The island is about 38 kilometers long and at its widest point it is 11 kilometers wide. Off the coast at Kralendijk lies the island Klein Bonaire (Small Bonaire), which is covered with small bushes and cacti. The island has at least 76 species of plants and some 55 species of animals, and it's surrounded by a beautiful coral reef. Since 2001, Klein Bonaire is a protected wildlife reserve.
Tourism is the most important source of income for Bonaire. This also affects the construction sector, which in recent years has experienced tremendous growth, stimulated by the construction of new hotels and the improvement of the infrastructure. In addition, there is a salt industry, in which the port plays an important role. The salt is exported via the port, and every year dozens of cruise ships pay a visit to Bonaire.
Flamingo International Airport is located four kilometers to the south of the capital Kralendijk. There are direct connections to Aruba and Curaçao, and with the United States (Houston), Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.
Taxis are the only form of public transport on Bonaire. In the capital Kralendijk you will have no trouble catching a cab, elsewhere it may be trickier.
There are no ferry connections to the other islands of the Netherlands Antilles or Venezuela.
Bonaire is a small island, but it is too large to explore on foot. A rental car is an excellent way to explore the interior. The roads are in good condition. If you intend to visit the Washington Slagbaai National Park, make sure you rent a 4-wheel drive.
There is a wide range of accommodations available on Bonaire. There are no really big hotels on the island, the biggest one has 93 rooms. In addition to hotels and resorts, there are many possibilities to rent a villa or apartment. The island is a very popular holiday destination. To be sure you have a room at the accommodation of your choice, we recommend booking in advance.
For more information about Bonaire, we recommend Google, and the following sources: