The island of Bonaire is today a special municipality in the Dutch Caribbean (Caribisch Nederland) and is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Until 2010, the island was part of the Netherlands Antilles (Nederlandse Antillen).
Bonaire is located north of the coast of Venezuela, east of the island of Curaçao. The 288 km² island is populated by about 15,000 inhabitants and is served by an international airport, Flamingo International Airport. Tourism is the most important sector of Bonaire’s economy.
A VERY VARIED POPULATION
The island is inhabited by just over 15,000 inhabitants, mostly mulattos. There are also Europeans, mostly Dutch, Latin American and black. The inhabitants of Bonaire mostly speak Papiamento (75% of the population speaks it as their first language), a Creole language made up of a mixture of languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and English as well as
African languages. About 12% of the island’s inhabitants speak Spanish as their first language, while 9% speak Dutch as their mother tongue.
The main inhabited center of the island of Bonaire is the town of Kralendijk. Along the coast of Bonaire there are some beaches and a beautiful coral reef. The entire coast of the island has been declared a marine sanctuary. The interior of the island is arid, there are also some salt water lakes. The highest point on the island is Mount Brandaris (240 meters). At the center of the south-west coast is the small uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire (6 km²).
The climate of Bonaire.
- Surface: 294 sq km.
- Population: 20,000 (update 2019)
- Capital: Kralendijk
- Languages: Official languages are Dutch and Papiamento (a Creole language formed by the fusion of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and African elements). English and Spanish are widely used.
- Religion: Christian 87% (Catholic 77%, Protestant 10%)
- Currency: US Dollar (USD)
- Time zone: -5 hours compared to Europe (-6 hours when daylight saving time applies in Europe). UTC -4 hours.