Transport on Bonaire, a guide for tourists
Explore Bonaire’s transport options, including cabs, tour buses, rental cars, motorcycles, scooters, golf carts, bicycles and water cabs to Klein Bonaire. Choose the means of transportation that best suits your vacation plans and enjoy your stay on our beautiful island.
Overview of forms of transport available on Bonaire
When we first traveled to Bonaire, we had no idea what mode of transportation to choose. We had already heard that there is little or no public transport on the island, but that there are alternatives. We now take our experiences from back then into this article to guide you through the issue of transport on Bonaire! Below you will find the available means of transportation so you can make the best choice for your vacation on Bonaire.
On Bonaire, cabs are popular among tourists, especially for transportation from the airport to their accommodations. Taxis can be found at the airport, or to be called by phone. Rates vary, but are reasonable and it is wise to agree on a price in advance. A cab is less suitable for island tours because of the cost. Tour operators often offer island tours in refrigerated buses with English-speaking guides. A rental car offers more flexibility, but without a guide. When cruise ships are docked, cabs are busy with cruise tourists, making them scarce. My first cab ride on Bonaire, from Flamingo Airport to our remote accommodation, featured a helpful driver who gave us tips on sightseeing, shopping on Bonaire and local eateries.
Tour buses for a scenic tour
Surely the most ideal means of transportation for an island tour is the tour bus. There are several tour operators that offer tours. They drive along different routes and almost always with a guide. Ideal for guests who want to learn more about the history and culture of the island. Of course, you can also take an island tour with your rental car, but first of all, renting a car is not always the most efficient way to explore the island, especially if you are not familiar with the roads and sights. With a tour bus, you can relax and enjoy the views while being led by the driver and guide to the best places and sights on the island. Finally, a tour bus can be a great way to meet new people. It is a social experience where you can chat with other travelers and share your experiences.
Renting a car
In our opinion, renting a car on Bonaire is the best way to get around on the island. Right from our first visit to the island, we discovered the various advantages:
- Freedom and flexibility: By renting a car, you have the freedom and flexibility to explore the island at your own pace. You can stop at the many beautiful and often deserted beaches, sights and restaurants without having to worry about finding a cab.
- Limited public transportation: Bonaire does not actually have a public transportation system. Although there are some minibuses that serve as public transport, they are often irregular and do not always run to all the attractions. With a rental car, you are not dependent on public transportation and can more easily explore.
- Comfort: A rental car offers comfort and convenience while traveling on the island. You can enjoy air conditioning that keeps the Bonairean heat out and you’re sheltered from the rare, but often heavy rain. Plus, you won’t have to worry about lugging around your beach gear or scuba gear.
- Time saving: With a rental car, you save time that you would otherwise spend waiting or arranging a cab. So you have more time to enjoy all that Bonaire has to offer.
- Accessibility to remote areas: Bonaire has a lot of beautiful nature and many remote spots worth visiting. With a rental car you can easily reach these remote areas, such as the Washington Slagbaai National Park and the many pristine beaches and dive sites.
- Variety of cars: Car rental companies on Bonaire sometimes offer a wide range of vehicles, from small, fuel-efficient cars to spacious SUVs and dive pickups. You can choose the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget.
- Driving on Bonaire is fairly easy: Driving on Bonaire is generally easy, as far as traffic rules are concerned. However, there is increasing traffic on the island and the roads are poorly maintained and poorly lit. This does make it important to stick to the speed limits of 40 or 60 kilometers per hour. On Bonaire people drive on the right, which is familiar to many tourists.
In short, renting a car on Bonaire is the best way to get yourself around the island. It offers you flexibility and comfort and allows you to explore the island at your own pace.
Motorcycles and scooters
A motorcycle or scooter can also be a great means of transport on Bonaire. They both give you the freedom to ride at your own pace and explore the sights. Plus, it is often cheaper than renting a car and you can easily park in crowded places, such as downtown Kralendijk, Playa. However, there are also challenges to riding a motorcycle or moped on Bonaire. One of the biggest challenges is the poor condition of the roads. Many roads are unpaved or poorly paved and also have many holes potholes and loose stones. In addition, street lighting on most roads is poor, if not completely absent. Moreover, this makes it easy to overlook crossing goats or donkeys.
Another challenge is Bonaire’s motorists, who do not always drive safely. It is therefore important to drive defensively and always be alert to other road users.
Golf carts and bicycles
Electric golf carts and bicycles can be great modes of transport on Bonaire. Because of the small distances and the fact that the island, especially in the south, is quite flat. In addition, these means of transportation are environmentally friendly and inexpensive to use. However, there are also disadvantages to this type of transportation on Bonaire. It can be very hot on the island, which makes cycling or riding a golf cart less comfortable. In addition, during the rainy season, there can be occasional heavy downpours. This also makes riding these modes of transportation less safe.
In addition, as with scooters and motorcycles, Bonaire’s poor roads present an additional challenge for golf cart and bicycle transportation. Finally, we ourselves often note that the slow golf carts are an eyesore for many fellow road users. This sometimes results in dangerous overtaking maneuvers.
Water taxi (to Klein Bonaire)
Obviously you can’t take the boat to Bonaire’s interior, but we want to mention this means of transportation here anyway! In fact, a popular way to travel from Bonaire to the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire is by water taxi. This quick and easy transportation option offers stunning views of the clear turquoise waters along the way. With any luck, you’ll even encounter a school of dolphins. Water cabs depart several times a day from the boulevard in Kralendijk. They take visitors to No Name Beach on Klein Bonaire, one of Bonaire’s most popular snorkeling spots. In addition to the water cabs, there are also some companies that offer boat tours that call at Klein Bonaire. Spend a relaxing day on this small island with these providers as well.
In short, there are several ways to get around Bonaire, depending on your needs and preferences. Take the time to weigh the various options. Then choose the means of transportation that best suits your vacation plans.
For example, during our first visit to the island, we opted for a mix of different means of transportation. At the time, we took a cab from the airport to our rented apartment, then rented a car to explore the island, used the water cab to Klein Bonaire for a day of snorkeling, and rented a scooter to get from our accommodation to local restaurants. This combination made our vacation on Bonaire comfortable and adventurous!
Remember that it is important to stay flexible and open to new experiences during your trip. Perhaps, like us at the time, you will discover a hidden gem on the island thanks to a friendly cab driver or a helpful local.
Have fun on Bonaire and enjoy your vacation on this beautiful island! Don’t forget to explore the breathtaking little beaches, the colorful underwater world and the delicious local cuisine. And of course, don’t forget to leave a message in the comments below. Let us know which means of transportation you liked best during your stay on Bonaire.