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Bonaire - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Bonaire.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Bonaire. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime occurs in Bonaire.
Residential break-ins and theft from vehicles, hotel rooms and rental units occur. To minimize the risk of theft:
- never leave your personal belongings unattended on the beach, in parked cars or in unsecured hotel rooms or rental apartments
- stay in accommodation with good security
- sleep with your doors and windows locked
- use your hotel safe to store your valuables and passport and other travel documents, but be sure it is bolted to the wall or the floor
Car rentals left by divers at shore sites may be targets for smash and grab robbery. Do not leave belongings in plain sight in parked cars. Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, occurs. Always get insurance.
Avoid unpopulated areas or isolated beaches after dark. Check with local authorities to find out which beaches are patrolled.
Incidents of sexual assault occur.
Recreational activities and excursions
Ensure that the recreational activities you undertake are covered by your travel insurance and that sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition, especially for scuba diving and jet skiing.
Ensure helmets and life jackets are available, if applicable.
Avoid excursions that are not recommended by tour operators.
Exercise caution when swimming. Seek information about water conditions such as strong currents, riptides and undertow.
Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly when done on foot or at close range. Always stay on marked paths and closely follow park or reserve regulations and the instructions of local authorities.
Major roads are in good condition, but road signs are rare. The lighting on most roads is generally poor. Animals wandering on the road are a hazard.
Be careful when driving in rainy weather as roads can become extremely slippery.
Public transportation is reliable.
Take registered taxis only. Taxis do not have meters, so you should agree on a fare prior to departure.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Netherlands. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in Bonaire.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period)
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Required
Other entry requirements
Customs officials will ask you to show them a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay. They may also ask you to show proof of a valid reservation for accommodations.
More about entry requirements - Embassy of the Netherlands to Canada
Customs officials will ask you for proof of valid travel or medical insurance. The insurance must provide coverage for at least US$15,000 in medical expenses and include hospital care, emergency treatment and repatriation.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
Medical care is generally good but may be limited in availability. San Francisco Hospital in Kralendijk, the capital city, is equipped to handle general surgery and emergency operations. There are a few medical clinics and one hyperbaric recompression chamber on the island. An air ambulance service is available.
Medical facilities may require immediate cash payment for medical treatment.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
You must always carry your ID. You should have a copy of your passport with you at all times.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs (including marijuana) are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail time. Never carry parcels, gifts or luggage for other people when entering or leaving through customs.
Gun control is enforced and penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal guns are severe.
It is strictly prohibited to remove and attempt to leave the island with pieces of coral or seashells.
You should carry an International Driving Permit, but you can also use a Canadian driver’s licence.
Turning right on red lights is prohibited.
Driving while intoxicated is prohibited by law.
If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in Bonaire before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Netherlands, but only in certain cases.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the Netherlands, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
- More about dual nationality - Government of the Netherlands
- General information for travellers with dual citizenship
The currency of Bonaire is the U.S. dollar (USD).
ATMs are found throughout the island. Credit cards and U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are widely accepted.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Bonaire. You can obtain consular assistance from the Embassy of Canada to Venezuela in Caracas.
Caracas - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Caracas, Venezuela and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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