Frequently Asked Questions
What Is There To Know About My Arrival and Check-In?
Please inform us about your flight details, the estimated time of arrival and whether you rented a car or not.
Sunwise Bonaire is the property and rental manager of your accommodation. The hostesses and hosts of Sunwise take care of the check-ins personally and they can easily be reached via WhatsApp, telephone or e-mail, always with very short response times. They also provide an emergency telephone number to their guests for emergencies during the night.
What Are The Check-In And Check-Out Times?
The standard check-in time for all our accommodations is from 3pm on (until late). The standard check-out time is 10 o’clock in the morning, but if we don’t have immediately following guests, we are of course very flexible and in that case our guests can stay until they have to go to the airport.
However, if we expect guests right after their stay, we will have to ask our guests to actually check out the accommodation at 10am.
If they don’t want to take the risk, our guests can of course book an extra night (upon availability).
And if they unexpectedly have to get out the apartment early, then they could also consider buying a day pass at one of the ‘beach resorts’ on Bonaire, where they can spend the entire day, usually for around $ 15-20 per person, swimming, take a shower, change clothes, and they can also store their luggage there.
Will There Be Housekeeping In My Accommodation?
Bonaire’s delicate environment benefits greatly when linens and towels aren’t cleaned every day. As such, Sunwise Bonaire takes care of the beginning and end cleaning and if our guests desire more (service) cleaning, we will be happy to ask for quotes for that with the cleaning companies we work with. Of course, more than enough towels and bed linen will be provided for the entire stay.
What Are The Amenities In My Accommodation?
Because almost every apartment or villa in our portfolio has a different owner, amenities may vary per accommodation. Most of the vacation rentals have a safety deposit box, a TV (with network channels, streaming apps or a HDMI connection for your own devices) and free wireless internet connections.
The kitchens are fully equipped with appliances, complete cooking supplies and utensils. All villas and apartments are self-catering, but the hostesses and hosts of Sunwise Bonaire can get you a quote for a private chef or give our guests directions to the nearest and best grocery stores or restaurants.
What About Electricity And My Devices?
The electric voltage in most of the accommodations we manage, is both 220 volts with European round plugs and 127 volts 50 cycles with US Standard square plugs, slightly different from the US, though most appliances and battery chargers will operate fine. We do advise our guests to bring their own transformers or adapters to make sure they can use their favorite appliances though. Please check with us about the outlets in your accommodation and – if needed – please check your appliance manufacturer’s recommendations if in doubt.
What Are The Payment And Cancellations Policies?
At the time of the reservation we ask for a 25% down payment to confirm the booking. The rest is due 6 weeks prior to your arrival. Cancellation before that last 42 days will cost that 25%. Within the 6 weeks prior to your arrival, cancellation will cost 100%.
Most travel insurances cover these costs in case of force majeure, health issues or family matters. Therefore, our advice is to always get a good travel insurance!
Do All Tourists Have To Pay A Nature Fee?
Yes, all guests of Bonaire who will go into the sea, are required to purchase a Bonaire Marine Park Tag.
Scuba divers pay a little bit more and the Bonaire Marine Park requires all visiting divers to participate in a short orientation session on their first morning of diving. At our scuba dive partners, this orientation is held at any time during their opening hours. After the orientation, divers must do a self-guided familiarization dive on the house reef before leaving for off property shore diving or boat diving. The purpose of the dive is to recheck buoyancy and to check your dive equipment while still within safe distance of the dive staff and facilities.
All non-divers who use the waters of the Bonaire Marine Park including snorkelers, wind surfers, kayakers, sport fishermen, kite boarders, et cetera are required to buy a cheaper version of the tag.
All persons who pay the Nature Fee (both divers and other users) and show their tag along with their printed receipt will receive complimentary admission to Washington-Slagbaai National Park throughout the year their tag is valid.
Our guests can buy their tag online at https://stinapa.bonairenaturefee.org/purchase.
Where Can I Find Bonaire On The Map?
Bonaire is located just off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean, part of the Dutch Antilles island chain that includes the more developed Aruba and Curacao. We are please to be well outside the hurricane belt. Latitude/longitude (GPS): 12°10′ N 68°17′ W.
What Is There To Know About The Island’s Environment?
Bonaire is a small (111 square mile, 288 km2) island, only 3 to 7 miles (5 – 11 kilometer) wide and approximately 24 miles (39 kilometer) long. With the exception of Mount Branderis and the north western areas near Washington Slagbaai National Park, the island is primarily flat. It is also quite arid, averaging only slightly more than 20 inches (510 mm) of rainfall annually, most of which falls autumn through January. Easterly trade winds wash over the island year round, helping to dissipate the heat, with average land/air temperatures ranging in the low 80’s Fahrenheit (around 27C).
How Do I Get To Bonaire?
There are several options for getting to Bonaire on international carriers from North and South America as well as Europe, however flights change regularly. For the most up-to-date information please visit http://www.tourismbonaire.com. Ferry service is not available between Bonaire and Aruba, Curacao or Venezuela.
What Are The Entry And Exit Requirements For Bonaire?
All visitors to Bonaire are required to have a valid passport. No visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens. It’s the guest’s responsibility to ensure his or her own visa requirements, and no refunds will be awarded for customers denied access for lack of a proper visa. Airline tickets generally include the airport departure tax of $ 35. If not, the departure fee will be payable in cash or debit/credit card at the airport prior to check-in. Children under 2 are exempt from the tax. MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Maestro, are all accepted, but American Express is not. The departure tax to Curacao and Aruba is lower.
What About Transportation And Transfers?
Bonaire has no public transportation and only a few taxis that are often occupied during the cruise season. If our guests have reserved a rental vehicle, the majority of the rental agencies on Bonaire will pick them up at Flamingo Airport. Sunwise Bonaire asks her guests to first come to the accommodation for the check-in, before going to dive shops or grocery stores. If our guests are having trouble finding the way to their holiday home, the Sunwise hosts will be happy to meet their guests somewhere else, for instance at the airport.
Is Driving On Bonaire The Same As Back Home?
We encourage all visitors to Bonaire to rent a truck to explore the island, and for that reason we will instantly ask one of our car rental partners to send our guests a non-committal quote. Cars are great for touring, getting you to your shore dive sites and taking you around town to sample the local cuisine. You do not need to obtain a local drivers license or permit to be able to drive on Bonaire, though you do need to be at least 23 years of age to rent a vehicle. Driving on Bonaire is most likely not the same as back home. We don’t have traffic lights, hardly any traffic jams and probably different rules about right of way. Please read our blog post ( linkje) about the rules and laws in traffic on Bonaire.
In What Time Zone Is Bonaire?
Bonaire operates on Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4), but without daylight savings (no summer time change).
What Currency Can I Use When On Bonaire?
Bonaire’s official currency is the US dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted but be sure to have your passport or photo ID available. There are several banks with a 24-hour ATM available.
Where Can I Get My Groceries?
There is a convenience store that is open until late (for our late arriving guests). You can find it here: https://goo.gl/maps/a58jHVp6DdsDny927
Furthermore there are excellent wine and liquor stores and larger grocery stores within a 5-minute drive. The Sunwise Bonaire hosts and hostesses can give you directions to the nearest and best stores, or you could just check the grocery store section on our check-in page at https://sunwisebonaire.com/checkin/!
Are There Many Beaches With Sun Beds, Service And Catering?
Bonaire has a fringing reef and iron shore, leaving few areas for natural beaches. You can enter the water for swimming or snorkeling via the ladders on the dive docks along the boulevard or at the dive centers (please ask the dive center personnel first, if you’re allowed to use them), where you enter into no more than 3 feet of water. There are also man made beaches near town, and two lovely combination coral/sand beaches (Ti Amo and Windsock Beach) heading south, as well as a smooth sand area great for small children out at the protected lagoon of Lac Bay.
What measures are taken with regard to COVID-19?
Sunwise has drawn up a proactive plan to reduce the risk of contamination as much as possible.
Protocols have been written with regard to ‘social distancing’, hygiene and contact moments.
Agreements have been made with the partners about the method of cleaning, disinfection and washing, and the maintenance services in particular ensure a minimum of contact moments with the guests and hostesses and hosts of Sunwise.
What are the cancellation policies with regard to COVID-19?
Every guest that books with Sunwise, should they not be able to travel due to ‘corona perils’, can either cancel for free, or reschedule their reservation, depending on the situation and time of booking. Please check the updated terms here.