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Bonaire: Useful Information for Cruisers Visiting this Island

By SV Sugar Shack — last modified Nov 15, 2017 07:54 PM
Another very useful report from SV Sugar Shack which includes much of interest to cruisers visiting Bonaire.

Published: 2017-10-15 00:00:00
Countries: Bonaire

This information is current as of 1 October 2017.

Cruisers use VHF Channel 77 and then switch to VHF channel 72.

MOORINGS

There are NO anchorages in, or around, Bonaire as it is a Marine Park.

The Harbor Village Marina administers the moorings for STINAPA. You can pay by cash or credit card $10.00 (+6% tax) per night/mooring ball.
Marina office hours: Monday-Friday 0800 –1200 and 1330 to 1700, Saturday 0900-1400. Check for availability before arrival.
There are 42 moorings (white with a red stripe), with two lines for each mooring.
Boats over 55’ cannot use the mooring and must proceed to the marina. They are very specific about how you tie up to their moorings. You must use one of your lines to loop through the starboard mooring and a different line to loop through the port mooring. Most mooring lines are attached to large cement blocks, but a few are attached to sand screws, so be aware which mooring you are selecting.
Moorings are first come first served.

Photo: Mooring area at sunset

 

MARINAS

Bonaire Nautico Marina:Has pontoons or buoys with 10 berths, but usually full.
Contact: 599.796.7254 or bonairewatertaxi@gmail.com
Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1700
Services: Water, electricity and walking distance to chandlery, supermarkets, bars, restaurants.

The Harbor Village Marina Has 60 slips for yachts up to 150ft, 1 mega-yacht dock up to 240ft.
Contact: Channel 17 or Tel: 599.717.7500 or email dockmaster@harborvillage.com
Hours: Monday- Friday 0800 –1200 and 1330 to 1700, Saturday, 0900-1400
Services: Fuel, water, laundry, bar, restaurant, restrooms, security, parking, ice, and laundry pickup and drop off (for a fee).

Plaza Beach Resort Has an attached marina, but it is often full of local Bonaire boats. Slip and boat rentals offered.
Contact: Mr. Gerard van Erp at +599.777.0777 or marinabonaire@yaoo.com

CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION & PORT AUTHORITY

Hours of operation: Stated is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
However, they have closed early Saturday/Sunday afternoons & take lunch breaks between 1200-1400.
Sometimes, the one immigration officer is at the airport and you will have to wait for him/her to return.
Bonaire likes to see everyone in person to compare faces to passport photos.
Park your dinghy either at Karel’s Beach Bar or the north pier lower dock.
Cruise ships park at both the North and South piers, based on the Port Authority’s discretion.
When a cruise ship is in port, no docking of dinghies is allowed on either pier.
Customs and Immigration are in the same historic yellow building which is located to the right of Karel’s Beach Bar, just down the wharf about a 5-minute walk.
Kralendijk Harbour Master can be reached on VHF Channel 16 or Tel: 599.717.8151

DINGHY DOCKS

Karel’s Beach Bar Allows boaters to tie up to their dock, but they are not happy about the disruption to business. So be mindful of their guests and facilities.
Do not put your painter or lock around one of their planters, or through the wood, use the poles.
Do not climb over the fence as this is a restaurant. Be respectful of the business.

The north cruise ship dock: Lower level can be used to clear in and out of Customs and Immigration, but only when there is not a cruise ship on the island.

Budget Marine: Has a floating dock, but it is not operational 100% of the time. This floating dock is sometimes REMOVED. 

Dive Friends: Yellow Submarine has a large dock for their boats, but dinghies can use the left side (between dock and swim area) to refill tanks or visit their business.

Harbour Village Marina: The fuel dock has a convenient ladder you can use, but do not block the fuel pumps, and use only to pay for your moorings. The ladder and dock cleats at the far end are useful for the large trash bin.

Bistro de Paris: (opposite side of the fuel dock) has a small dock area that you can use when no vessel has reserved or paid for this spot.

Fisherman’s dock: This is a public dock, but fishermen lease the spaces they use there. Be respectful.

Many dive shops have docks that they will allow you to use if you are visiting their business.

BOAT YARD

Jon Blonk Boat Yard Tel:+599.717.3477

FUEL & PROPANE

Harbour Village Marina Tel:+599.717.7419 or VHF channel 17.  Hours:Mon-Fri: 0800-1700, Sat: 0900-1400
Offers gasoline, diesel, propane, water and ice at the dock.

WATER

Harbour Village Marina (contact as above).

LAUNDRY

Magero & Caribbean Laundry: Offers drop off, dry cleaning, and self-serve in air conditioning with WiFi.
Caribbean Laundry: Also offers screen printing, embroidery and uniform services as well as laundry.
Alfa & Omega Uniforms and Laundry: Offers drop off, self-service, and dry cleaning.
Harbour Village Marina: Offers laundry pick up/drop off for a fee at the marina office.

TRASH

Dispose of trash in large trash receptacles, not in smaller cans used for small items.
Large trash receptacles can be found at:

 

  • Harbour Village Marina fuel dock (far end away from office)
  • Alley just past Diver’s Diner, but this is primarily for local businesses.
  •  

    CRUISERS should use ONLY the large bins at Harbour Village Marina. ALL other bins on the island are privately owned/contracted. Your mooring fee includes trash disposal. Properly labelled oil in good containers can be set beside the bins at the marina for proper disposal.

    WIFI

    Digicel: Sim cards work in Bonaire, Aruba, and Curacao. The office is small and often very crowded. Weekly and monthly specials can be acquired on their app, rather than in person.
    Chippie / UTS: Tel: +599.717.0117
    Telbo (formerly known as Kla): Tel: +599.715.7070

    Most restaurants and bars offer free WiFi.

    GROCERY STORES

    There is a free Grocery Bus to Van den Tweel on Tuesday and Friday at 1700. The van will pick up at Harbour Village Marina and Karel’s Beach Bar and take you to Van Den Tweel, returning about 1 hour later. Must make reservation with Therese Rosier at +599.785.9900 or theresebonaire@gmail.com

    Bonaire Warehouse: Offers large bulk items, frozen foods, office supplies and more.
    Bondigrow: This is a warehouse, big box market where you can buy items individually or in bulk.
    Famoso Market: Sells a variety of Chinese and Hispanic foods.
    Lucky Supermarket: Offers a variety of foods, not focused on “fresh” items.
    Sunshine Market: Has discounted food and beverages.
    Top Supermarket: Offers a variety of foods and beverages.
    Van Den Tweel: Chain type market with great variety, clean, friendly staff.

    MARINE STORES, AUTO PARTS, ENGINES

    Bonaire Marine: Offers marine supplies and outboards. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1200 & 1300-1700. Saturday 0800-1200. Tel: +599.701.3200.

    Budget Marine: Offers a floating dock by the moorings, which is just down the road from their shop, which is well stocked. Hours: Monday-Saturday 0900-2000. Tel: +599.717.3710

    Napa Auto Parts: Auto parts and miscellaneous accessories. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1200 & 1330-1730, Saturday 0800-1600. Tel: +599.717.8737

    M Tech Electronic: Good source for electrical supplies, inverters, led’s 220, 110, and 12v, as well as home goods and some plumbing parts. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1230 & 1400-1800. Saturday, 0900-1700. Tel: +599.770.1278

    Boto Blanku Marine Services: (Yamaha dealer) Tel. 599.717.5050. Manager John E. Merrick operates the only authorized Yamaha distributor on Bonaire.

    HOME AND HARDWARE STORES

    Antilles Wine Company: Sells home goods (like IKEA in the U.S.), kitchenware, and liquor.

    Boomerang Hardware: Offers home, garden, music, pet, and hardware. Small, but very helpful staff. Hours: Mon-Fri. 0800-1200 & 1400-1800, Sat. 0800-1300 & 1500-1800. Tel: +599.717.3506.

    Bonaire Super Store: Has a variety of home goods, housewares, electronics, shoes, and more. Hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1300 & 1500-1900, Saturday 0930-1900, Sunday 0930-1330.

    City Shop: Sells computers, electronics, printers, appliances, gaming. Hours: Monday-Friday 0815-1230 & 1400-1815. Sat. 0900-1730. Tel: +599.717.3666

    Kooyman: Sells hardware, home, garden supplies. Great inventory, helpful people. Hours: Daily 0800-1800. Tel: +599.717.8777

    Lucky Mega Store: Hardware and home store. Hours: Monday-Saturday 0800-1800, Sunday 0800-1400. Tel: 999.782.0976

    Martis High Tech Tools (and auto parts): Hours: Monday-Saturday 0700-1800. Tel: +599.868.6839

    Wema Home and Hardware Center: Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1800, Sat. 0900-1600. Tel:+599.717.3106

    MARINE SERVICES

    Boat Work:
    ABC Marine Bonaire assists with routine maintenance, repair, engine servicing, parts and equipment. Tel: +599.795.9450 or +599.780.6919, or Email: abcmarinebonaire@aol.com Ask for Luti.
    Lennart Davidson (Lelle). Mechanic & rigging. Also sells good quality cordage and rebuilds engines. Contact info: Tel:+599.786.2093 or Email: lelledavidsson@icloud.com.
    Island Boating Services B.V. Can work on mechanics, electronics, electrical, and repair. Raymarine authorized technicians.
    Boto Blanku Marine Services. Offers boat service and parts. Tel: +599.717.5050 or Email: bbms@bonairelive.com

    Canvas & Sails:
    Bonaire Phish Phaktory. Tel: +599.780.9124 or Email: phishphaktory@gmail.com
    Doyle and Quantum sails. Tel: +599.701.2504 or Email: info@ibsbonaire.com

    Welding and Fabrication
    Bottercop Construction Bonaire. Tel: +599.717.7100 or Email: bcbinfo@bonairelive.com
    Max de Grijze. Tel: +599.785.0787 or Email: jdegrize@telbonet.av

    Refrigeration
    Air Cooling Services. Tel: +599.717.5266 or  Email: office@aircoolingservices.com
    Tavares Refr-Parts. Tel: +599.786.3801 or +599.701.3801

    MEDICAL – HEALTH SERVICES

    Curacare: Sells non-prescription based medicine, vitamins, health and beauty products. Tel: +599.717.0148
    Dive Medical Bonaire: Provides expert dive medicine. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1700. Tel: +599.717.3100
    Hospital: San Francisco Fundashon Mariadal. Tel: +599.717.8900
    Great for small, minor issues: infections, stomach/colon issues, eye care, gynecologist, etc. Location of the Hyperbaric Chamber and Decompression Chambers. Offers good, friendly care and usually can take walk-ins.
    Nature’s Discount health food store: Vitamins, natural health products & food. Hours: Monday-Saturday 0830-1800. Tel: +599.717.8859
    Prescriptions: Hospital Botica: Very friendly staff, refills prescriptions. Tel: +599.717.8905

    RENTAL CARS(Insurance can be added at extra cost)
    AB Car Rental offers nice trucks for park trips. Tel: +599.717.8980. Hours: Open daily 0700-1900.
    Avis Bonaire Tel: +599.717.1111. Hours: Open daily 0700-2100.
    Bonaire Rent a Car Tel: +599.786.6090. Hours: Open daily 0800-2000.
    Budget Rent a Car Tel: +599.717.4700. Hours: Open Mon-Fri 0800-12, 1300-1700.
    Fox Bonaire Car Rental Tel: +599.717.7440. Hours: open daily 0700-1900.
    Voyage Bonaire Island Tours (and car rental) provides nice trucks for the park.

    OTHER SERVICES

    Photography – Fish Eye Photo Hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730, Saturday 0900-1230. Tel: +599.717.4571

    HAPPY HOURS & BOATER'S DINNERS

    See also 'RESTAURANTS' which may have additional happy hours.

    Buddy Dive has a daily happy hour, and on Tuesday’s, a Creature’s of the Sea presentation.
    Zazu Bar at Bistro de Paris. Offers daily happy hour from 1700-1900, wine is 2 for 1, beer specials, and buy a coke and get the rum for free ($2.50). Wednesday night is DiveMaster night with 1/2 price burgers.
    Captain Don’s Habitat Deco Stop: Happy Hour 1730-1830 and on Monday nights, all you can eat BBQ.
    Cuba Compagnie is a great place to dine and dance offering a Latin dance night and a Buena Vista Social Night.
    Diver’s Diner offers daily happy hour from 1730-1830 with good WiFi and lunch specials.
    Karel’s Beach Bar offers daily happy hour from 1700-1900 with good WiFi.
    Little Havana is a hip and fun bar with a DJ and live music on some nights.

    ATTRACTIONS

    Photo: Flamingos at Salt Flats

    • Bon-Sea Glass bottom boat offers 30-minute tour around the harbour. Tel: +599.770.4216 or Email: tickets@bon-sea.com.

    • Cave exploring with Flow. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1200, 1300-1700

    • Distillery – Cadushi Rum Factory. Learn how local rum is made, taste samples and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1000-1700. Tel: +599.786.8759

    • Donkey Sanctuary, open daily 1000-1700.

    • Echo Parrot and People (Parrot Sanctuary). Parrot tours are every Wednesday afternoon at 1630 for a donation and last 1-1.5 hours depending on number of questions.

    • Goat Farm: Aletta’s Goat Farm tours on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 0900. Tel: +599.786.6950

    • Horseback riding with Rancho Washikemba: Tel: +599.788.8668 or Email:  info@ranchowashikemba.com

    • Island Tours - Therese Rosier. Tel: +599.785.9900 or Email: theresebonaire@gmail.com.

    • Jibe City - Windsurfing at Jibe City: Fun place to hang out all day with an eatery, bar, lounge area, lessons, and equipment. Tel: +599.717.5233

    • Kite Boarding, school/lessons: Hours: Mon-Sun. 0930-1730 Tel: +599.701.5483

    • Kite City: Kitesurfing food and beverages +599.782.5100

    • Voyage Bonaire Island Tours: (and car rental) Provides great island tours (ask for Eddy) inside the National Park or just on the North and South side of the island.

    MOVIE THEATRES

    • Empire Bonaire is an open air cinema with showings daily at 730pm and 1030pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

    MUSEUMS & FORTS

    • Historical Monuments all around Bonaire.

    • Terramar Museum: Is an historical & archaeological museum displaying 7000 years of Caribbean history.

    RESTAURANTS

    At Sea Bonaire, good tenderloin and seafood. Tel: +599.701.0134

    Between 2 Buns is a tasty breakfast and lunch stop. Hours: Mon-Fri 0700-1700, Sat. 0800-1600.

    Bistro de Paris & Zazu Bar is a fine dining restaurant with a wonderful French chef, scrumptious food. They have an outdoor patio and an air conditioned room. They also offer jazz night on Tuesday’s and ½ price burgers on Wednesday’s. Hours: Mon-Sat. 1100-2000. Tel: +599.717.7070.

    Blue Garden Brazilian Grill & Pizza Gourmet, provides a delightful menu, tasty drinks, friendly staff and breezy atmosphere.  Hours:Tues.-Sat. 1700-2000. Tel: +599.717.2600

    BobbyJean BBQ is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 1800-2000 and you will save about $5 per plate if you take it to go. Tel: +599.717.4786

    Burgers and Beer, has a fun atmosphere and good burgers. Hours: Open daily 1600-2000. Tel: +599.786.6480.

    Cuba Compagnie, has a large outdoor seating area, great appetizers and dinner menu, salsa dancing, music and more. Open daily 1700-1200. Tel: +599.717.1822

    It Rains Fishes Amazingly tasty food served with a smile. Located on the wharf. Hours: Mon-Sat 1200-2000. Tel: +599.717.8780.

    Karel’s Beach Bar Located on the wharf. Hours: open daily at 0900.

    La Creperie has a very friendly staff, amazing crepes. Good WiFi, AC, and nice atmosphere. Offers delicious crepes and sandwiches. A must place to stop. Hours: Tues.-Fri 0730-1700, Sat-Sun 0900-1500. Tel: +599.717.1118

    La Cantina has IPA beer, great food, and a beautiful atmosphere. Tel: +599.717.3595. Hours: Open Wed-Sun 1800-2000.

    La Terrazza offers amazingly delicious food on a beautiful terrace, with great service. Lunch menu changes daily. Evenings are tapas and wine. Tel: +599.701.3795.

    Pasa Bon Pizza, short walk from marina or fisherman’s dock. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 1700-2200. Tel: +599.780.1111

    Pategonia Argentinian Steakhouse, expensive, but good. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 1800-2230. Tel: +599.717.7725

    Sebastian Restaurant Bar and Lounge, fine dining, great view. Hours: Monday-Saturday 1730-2300 Tel: +599.717.1697

    SHIPPING

    DHL services. Hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1730. Tel: +599.737.0122

    eZone Reliable, reasonably priced, and efficient. Office located inside DHL as they are partners.

    Mymalls, fast, but expensive (delivers 2-4 days).

    FedEX - is located at Rocargo Services. Hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1700. Tel:+599.717.8889

    SHOPPING

    Harborside Mall: Tel:+599.717.5162.

    Addo’s Books, Toys, Office Supplies. Hours: Mon-Sat. 0900-1800.

    For links for Bonaire, go to www.Noonsite.com/Countries/Bonaire/Links

    Our thanks to Christine Mitchell of SV Sugar Shack for this comprehensive report.

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