Bonbini to Bonaire

Bonaire continues to reign supreme as “the” dive destination in the Caribbean. Bonaire has been designated as the no. 1 in shore diving destination for the region for the past 20 years in Readers ‘Choice Awards in Scuba Diving Magazine and no. 1 for Marine and Macro Life, next to other activities as, kite surfing, windsurfing and snorkeling.

The island invites you to delve into the wonderful activities the island offers, both terrestrial and marine, which make Bonaire a unique destination. We encourage you to explore, to enjoy, becoming a part of Bonaire, absorbing our nature, our culture, and our cuisine. The warmth from the sunshine is here for all to enjoy while on Bonaire, but you will cherish the afterglow of the Bonairean people in your hearts forever. We assure you that “Once a Visitor Always a Friend”.



The first Europeans Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci came to Bonaire in 1499 and claimed it for Spain. In 1633, the Dutch took possession of Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba. Bonaire became a plantation island belonging to the Dutch West Indies Company. African slaves were forced to work, cutting dyewood and cultivating maize and harvesting solar salt. Grim reminders of those days still remain in the form of slave huts and salt pans which were laboriously constructed by hand. Until 1816, ownership of Bonaire changed hands a number of times, finally being returned that year to the Dutch as a result of the Treaty of Paris. A small fort, Fort Oranje, was built to protect the island's main resource, ”salt”. Salt was one commodity that Bonaire had in endless supply, although it took back breaking slave labor to produce it. The abolition of slavery in 1863 signaled an end to the era of exploitation of those first Bonaireans. Bonaire together with Sint Eustatius and Saba as of October 10, 2010 forming the BES islands have voted to have direct ties with the Netherlands and have become a Dutch municipality holding its own flag with adjustment for their small size, their distance from the Netherlands and their geographical situation in the Caribbean region, thus constituting “the Caribbean part of the Netherlands”.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Size: 114 sq mi (294 km²) 
Population: ±17,408
Languages: Dutch is the official languages of Bonaire, but local language Papiamento is the most widely spoken language. English and Spanish are also spoken on the Island. 
Currency: US Dollar (USD).

Need to know
Activities & Events

There are fun events and activities on Bonaire all throughout the year, starting with the famous Carnival and Rincon Festival at the start of the calendar year. Our island also hosts sporting events, like the annual Bonaire regatta and much more.

Click here for event calender.


Cruise Information

The port of Bonaire consists of a North and South Pier. Both are at walking distance to downtown Kralendijk, Bonaire. The growth of Bonaire as a Cruise Destination is in line with keeping the island’s commitment to a sustainable growth. Bonaire will continue their efforts to preserve Bonaire’s nature and marine environment.

Local Food

Tradition is an important part of people's culture and Bonaire is an island with many traditions! 
Today's world is becoming so modern that the old ways are difficult to maintain in many societies. 
The making and sharing of delicious kuminda krioyo (local food), consisting of different types of stews, fresh fish, funchi and rice, is one of the best ways to bring families together and to welcome others into friendships. Mothers pass down recipes from generation to generation. Friendships form bonds that last forever just like water and maize flour bond to make funchi, our most traditional staple. So let us bond together for a scrumptious meal together sampling some of our traditional recipes of our past!