Island name: Bonaire.
Country: Netherland Antilles (NT).
Nationality: Dutch Antillean.
Language: Papiamento is the native language. Almost everyone speaks English
and Dutch. Many of the locals also speak Spanish and resorts often have staff
that speaks French and German.
Island's Capital: Willemstad.
Population: 141,766 people (2009).
Climate: Curaçao has a semi-arid savanna-like climate with a dry season
from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures
are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year. The trade
winds bring cooling during the day and the same trade winds bring warming
during the night. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 26.5
°C (79.7 °F) and the warmest month is September with an average temperature
of 28.9 °C (84.0 °F).
Coastline: 127 km.
Geographic coordinates: 12° 12' N, 68° 15' W.
Highest point: Brandaris mountain, 240 m (787 feet), located in the Washington
Slagbaai National Park, at the north side of the island.
Location: in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast, outside of the
Caribbean hurricane belt.
Size: long by km wide, 444 square kilometers (171 square miles.
Terrain: At first glimpse Curaçao may seem a rather barren island. Due to the
scant rainfall, there is certainly a limit to the types of plants and animals that can
survive here. But on closer inspection, you'll be amazed at the variety nature has to
offer. What at first seems to be a monotonous desert landscape turns out to be terrain
teeming with life.
Accommodations: Bonaire has some mainly dive resorts and private apartments. Booking
in advance is necessary.
Activities: one of the finest scuba diving destinations in the world; snorkeling,
windsurfing, sailing, cycling, kiteboarding, horseback riding, bird watching.
Average tourist arrivals: 66,998 (2009).
Crime: Petty crime can occur. Ensure personal belongings, passports and travel
documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpopulated areas or unpatrolled beaches after
dark. Vehicle theft occurs frequently.
Electricity: Bonaire's electricity (127 volts/50 cycles) is slightly different from
North America's (110 volts/60 cycles). Most North American appliances function without a
transformer but older ones may run warm or burn out if left plugged in for a long time.
Warning: Electrical current used to feed or recharge finely calibrated diving equipment
should be stabilized with a specially engineered electrical stabilizer. Every diving
operation on the island has one of these as part of its standard equipment for visiting
Entry Requirements: Citizens of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, along with any
other countries with whom the Netherlands has reached an agreement on visa requirements,
are allowed to stay up to 90 days (3 months), without having to apply for a visit
extension. US and Canadian citizens must have a valid Passport and a return or ongoing
ticket. A Birth Certificate with a picture ID is also acceptable.
Extension of stay: you can ask for an additional 3-month extension.
Sleep: Generally very good.
Telephone: the international: country code is 1-599.
Cost of living: high.
Credit cards: Traveler's checks and credit cards are widely accepted, though
American Express and Diners Club are not as popular as Visa and MasterCard, while Discover
is gaining popularity.
Currency: Netherlands Antillean florin (NAf). The U.S. dollar is as widely accepted
as the local currency. The exchange rate is 1.78 florins to US$1 (NAf 1 = 56¢).
Tipping: Some restaurants add a 10% to 15% service charge automatically. Tip taxi
drivers and dive masters 10 %.
Airport: Flamingo International, BON.
Departure Tax: International departure tax is US$ 20.- per person, payable upon
departure. This is usually not included in your airline ticket but some tour companies may
include it. Domestic departure tax is Nafl 10,00.
Flight Times: Frankfurt - 14 hours, 10 hours, New York - 5 hours, Miami - 2 1/2
hours, Curacao - 15 minutes, Aruba - 30 minutes, Caracas - 30 minutes.
Ferry Service: none. There is no ferry service of any kind between Bonaire and
Aruba, Venezuela, or Curacao.
Ports and harbors: Kralendijk.
Ethnic groups: mixed black 85%, other 15% (includes Carib Amerindian, white, East
Government type: parliamentary. Bonaire is an autonomous country within the Kingdom
of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 1954; Dutch Government
responsible for defense and foreign affairs.
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law
Literacy: 96.7 %.
Religions: Roman Catholic 72 %, Pentecostal 4.9 %, Protestant 3.5 %, Seventh-Day
Adventist 3.1 %, Methodist 2.9 %, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7 %, other Christian 4.2 %, Jewish
1.3 %, other or unspecified 1.2 %, none 5.2 %.
Agriculture-products: Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the
development of agriculture.
GDP per capita: US$ 16,000.
Industries: tourism, salt extraction.
Natural resources: salt.
Unemployment rate: 17.0 %.