Location: Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of Venezuela. The island, one of the lesser Antilles islands, is about 24 miles (39 km) long and about 3-7 miles (5-11 km) wide with an area of 112 square miles (290 km2) and a population of some 18.500
Time: Atlantic Standard Time. Same time as the United States East Coast during Daylight Savings Time (mid-Spring to mid-Fall). Language: Papiamentu (local language), Dutch, English and Spanish is widely spoken. Temperature: Average year round air temp. is 81.5 degrees Fahrenheit, with a +/- 2.5 degree seasonal variation, and an average daily variation of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature recorded since 1948 has been 96.4 degrees, and the lowest 67.6 degrees. The surrounding ocean's temperature fluctuates from a chilly 78 degrees in February to a balmy 86 degrees in October, for a year round average of 80 degrees F. Rainfall: Bonaire's average rainfall is 20.5 inches, with 65% occurring October through January. This is 11% less than Curacao, but 13% more than Aruba. The frequency of thunder is low, averaging 18 days per year. Humidity: Remains fairly constant through the year, averaging 76%. It varies from a maximum of 85% at daybreak to a minimum of 66% in the afternoon. Winds: The wind direction is easterly more than 95% of the time, averaging 12 knots. This is 15% lower than on Curacao, and 40% lower than on Aruba. The winds blow strongest in February, March, and June. Lightest winds are in November. The wind rarely exceeds 39 knots. Drinking Water: Bonaire's sea water is distilled and purified to become one of the purest drinking waters in the world. Imported bottled water is also available. Electricity: 127 volt, 50 cycle. 220 volt is also available at some resorts. Dive shops and resorts have stations for guest use for charging camera batteries, etc. It is recommended that you use them to avoid damage to delicate equipment. Telephone: If you're calling Bonaire from the U.S. or Canada, you would dial 011-599-7XX-XXXX, where 011 is the International access code, 599 is the country code for the Netherlands Antilles, 7 is the city code for Bonaire, and XX-XXXX is the local Bonairean number. If you are calling Bonaire from Europe or most of the rest of the world, you would dial 00-599-7XX-XXXX using 00 for the international access code. Bonaire International Airport (BIA): Flamingo Airport has a runway of almost 1.8 miles (2.6 km), enough to accommodate the 747 Jumbo. The airport's designation is BON. Approximate flight times: New York - 5 hours, Atlanta - 3 1/2 hours, Miami - 2 1/2 hours, Curacao - 15 minutes, Aruba - 30 minutes, Caracas - 30 minutes, Amsterdam - 9 hours. At the airport you need to pay a departure tax of US 32 for International flights. Passport: U.S. and Canadian citizens need proof of citizenship, a passport, birth certificate or voters registration card. U.S. residents need their green card. All other require a valid passport. A return or continuing ticket is also required along with sufficient means to support yourself during your stay. Maximum stay: 14 days with the possibility of extending the visit to 90 days. Documents: Citizens of most countries in the world do not need a visa for their entry to our island. Island Hopping: Insel Air, 5 times a day between Curacao and Bonaire and 5 times a day between Aruba and Bonaire. Divi Air, 8 times between Bonaire and Curacao. Visit; www.flyinselair.com for more information. Medical Facilities: San Francisco Hospital is fully equipped to respond to any emergency. Bonaire has its own recompression chamber, with trained medical personnel, on call 24 hours a day. There are 7 medical doctors on the island. Banking and Money: ATM machines are common on Bonaire and all offer you the ability to withdraw money off your ATM account in either dollars or Euro's. Bonaire has a number of International Banks. Banking hours are Monday through Friday 08.00 AM till 15:30 PM. The local currency US$. Traffic: On Bonaire it is easy to drive on the right side! Most signs are Dutch or International symbols. Even for a small island like Bonaire there is plenty to see. However it does require some form of motorized (car/scooter) transportation. License requirements: International drivers license or any valid license held for at least two full years. Minimum age 21-26 (varies from companies and depends on type of car) The deposit can be anywhere from $280/Naf 500 to $572/Naf 1000. No cash deposit is needed when paying an accepted major credit card. Like anywhere, always lock up your vehicle and take care with your valuables. However at dive sties, we recommend you leave your windows rolled down and the vehicle unlocked using the security device provided by the rental agency. Dive conditions: Bonaire's pristine reefs and diverse marine life are unique to the Caribbean. The waters are exceptionally clear of silt, calm, and diveable year round. Water temperatures average a warm 78-84°F (25.6-28.9°C), with visibility averaging over 100 feet (30m), and frequently reaching up to 150 feet (50m).