Getting Around Bonaire
The best way to get around Bonaire is by car. Because Bonaire is so small, it's easy to drive the island's entire coastline in just one day. Renting your own set of wheels is also the easiest way to reach most diving spots. If you'd rather leave the island navigation up to drivers who are more familiar with the roads, plan on using Bonaire's fixed-rate taxis. Taxis can easily take you from Bonaire International Airport (BON) – less than 2 miles from the heart of Kralendijk – to anywhere on the island. You can also rent a mountain bike if you're planning to spend most of your time within a few miles of your hotel.
There is no ferry service between Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba, so any island-hopping must be done by plane. However, in 2018 the government of Bonaire announced plans for a fast ferry service between the ABC islands. It's estimated that the project will take two to three years to complete. If you're stopping in Bonaire as part of a cruise, note that the island's port is located downtown; this means many shops and eateries will be within walking distance.
Bonaire measures 112 square miles and is most easily explored by car. The island's roads are paved and road signs are written in both English and Dutch, but there are no traffic lights anywhere on the island. You will also have to share the road with passing donkeys and goats, so be cautious of wandering animals. During the rainier months (November through January), muddy conditions can make driving difficult. If you are traveling during this time, consider renting a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Rental rates range from around $30 to $70, depending on the company and the size of the vehicle. You'll find the island's rental companies at the Bonaire International Airport. You can also let someone else do the driving and hire a tour company. Bonaire Tours & Vacations offers trips to Washington Slagbaai National Park in buses and customized trucks. The company also offers fishing charters, kayaking trips and more.
Bonaire lacks public transportation, Uber and Lyft, so taxis offer the quickest means of short-distance travel. Taxis have fixed rates, but be aware that fares can increase late at night and early in the morning. Taxis also offer 2- and 3 1/2-hour island tours, which cost $25 and $40 per person, respectively.
Though a car allows for more long-distance travel, renting a bike lets you experience Bonaire's coastal vistas in a more intimate way. You can rent a bike at one of several shops, or you can take a guided mountain bike tour and ride along the paths of Washington Slagbaai National Park. Bonaire Tours & Vacations offers bike excursions; prices vary depending on your chosen route.
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