Having a hard time deciding whether to visit Bonaire or Curacao for your upcoming holidays? Well, you are at the right place! In the following guide, we did in-depth research about both countries, and hopefully, this article will help you in picking the most suitable destination.
When it comes to the best holiday destinations, one of the best places many people visit is the Caribbean islands. The Caribbean has some of the exceptional gems that you can visit on your next vacation. Bonaire and curacao are some of the hidden gems in the Caribbean. Bonaire Island is on the northern coast of Venezuela and is considered to be on the south Caribbean Sea. The reef lining this coast is usually protected by the Bonaire marine national park, rich in birds, lizards, marine life, among other unique features that make it outstanding.
Curacao is a Dutch island that is located in the coves and corals in the Caribbean. It is an island with rich history and diversity that you should explore on your next trip. This island was first explored in the 17th century, which led to the development of structures and the inhabiting of curacao. If you are looking for a tourist destination, you should try to explore the gems in the Caribbean. Bonaire has a population of about twenty thousand people while curacao has a hundred and sixty thousand people. Curacao is well inhabited, and this means that you can get food and accommodation in this region. However, this does not exclude the fact that both islands have some exceptional attractive features.
Before continuing, be sure to keep our other comparison guides in another tab:
If you are visiting Bonaire, then the first stop will be the Bonaire international airport, and from here, you can schedule your trip to move from one point to another.
Bonaire is 113 square miles, and you can easily explore the island by car. The roads are paved well, and you will find that the road signs are written in Dutch and English. You should ensure that you share the road with animals passing by. The cost of renting a car ranges from $30 to $70.
There is no Uber, Lyft, or public transportation in Bonaire; the most common method of transportation is via taxis. The taxis in the country are metered. They offer services at a fixed rate, which can increase depending on the time of the day. The cost is usually from $25 to $40.
You can rent bicycles to help you move from one point to another on the island. Several shops offer this service, and you should be sure about the price before you can pick the bicycle.
Curacao is a bigger island when compared to Bonaire, and it is for this reason that it has a bus network. Although the bus network is not extensive, it still serves to shuttle people from one location to another. The cost of a bus ticket from the east end to the west end is around $1.
This is the most efficient and economical way that you can move around the island. There are many rental chains, and you can choose one that suits your needs. The cost of renting a car per day is usually from $40 to $70.
There is no uber or Lyft in Curacao. However, the present taxi companies are reliable, efficient and safe. Not all the taxis on the island are metered; hence should negotiate your price with your driver before you begin your journey. However, the most common journey from Mambo beach to Willemstad is about $30.
Bicycles are pretty standard in Curacao, and you should not be left behind in exploring the natural environment using environmentally friendly means.
Accommodation in Bonaire
There are multiple Airbnb in Bonaire, and you can choose to reduce the travel costs by embracing them. These Airbnb will cost you anything from $30 going up per night.
Bonaire offers a wide array of guesthouses, and you can choose one that suits your need at the moment. The cost of these guesthouses is from $30 per night hence a competitive price that you can get for a room.
These apartments feature an ocean view, and they usually cost around $90 per night. There is a dining area and barbecue spot on the terrace. The rooms are spacious, and you are sure that you will enjoy your stay in these apartments.
Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments
As the name suggests, the oceanfront apartments are some of the most exquisite midrange apartments that you can find on the island. There is free Wi-Fi and ample parking space. You will part with $75 per night.
Hotel Islander Bonaire
This is a four-star hotel located in the capital, and you can explore the natural environment as you have a central location where you can base your travel. The hotel features huge windows that allow you to see the outside environment, such as sunrise or sunset. It is two hundred meters from the central business district. You will pay $100 per night for a room in the hotel.
Delfins Beach Resort
This is a tropical beach hotel that features some of the most exceptional modern facilities. It is a place that you can relax and unwind. The hospitality in this hotel is top-notch, and there is a bar where you can enjoy a drink as you unwind. This is a five-star hotel, and it has stylish kitchens, a stunning outdoor environment, and eateries that feature seafood. You will pay anything from $400 going up for a room in this hotel.
View of Divi Flamingo Beach resort
The beach resort combines modern and ancient accommodation features, and since it was the first hotel to be established on the island, it serves as the pioneer of tourist hotels. It features 129 rooms, and it is perfect for families and friends as well. You will pay $350 per night for a room in this hotel.
Harbor Village Beach Club
This is one of the best luxurious resorts in Bonaire, and it features a private white sandy beach with a place for parking your yacht. It is perfect for owners of yachts to dock their yacht at the marina. This hotel has gained a huge reputation for its outstanding features that differentiates it from the rest of the hotels in the country. You will pay anything from $500 for a room in this location.
Accommodation in Curacao
You will find budget-friendly hostels in curacao. These hostels are usually made in a dorm-like design to allow visitors to sleep in and prepare meals. The hostels feature a shared kitchen and a restaurant, and the rooms are airy, clean, and modern.
When visiting Curacao, you are sure that you will find some budget accommodation because guesthouses offer rooms at affordable prices. In addition, these guesthouses have an ocean view, and you can explore the environment as you relax and unwind.
Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino
This is a perfect location where you can relax and unwind at modern facilities. The resort covers modern features such as large aerated rooms, and you will have an ocean view. In addition, there is an infinity pool, and you can enjoy your stay while swimming or relaxing at the hotel. The price for a room in this hotel is $150.
Chic Boutique Hotel
This hotel features modern amenities that will confuse you whether you are dealing with a spa or a hotel. The tiny nature coupled with a chic and friendly feel from the staff makes it a perfect location for your stay. There is a restaurant within the suburbs, and you are sure that your visit will be fabulous. The price for a room in this restaurant is anything from $200.
Avilla Beach hotel
If you are exploring staying in one of those all-inclusive resorts, then this is the perfect hotel for you. The hotel features all the amenities that you are looking for. You can relax on the beachfront or enjoy a breeze in one of their elevated terraces. Whichever option you choose, you are sure that you will have the time of your life when you visit Curacao. The price for a room per night is $250.
Baoase Luxury Resort
This hotel features the modern amenities that you have been looking for in a hotel room. This is the most luxurious hotel in curacao, and it is situated on a gorgeous beach with the largest and warmest lounges around. You will part with $400 per night for a room in the hotel.
Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites
This hotel is situated in the city of Willemstad in Curacao, and it features 21 rooms with a laidback atmosphere. Since it was set in the 19th century, there are so many things that you should check out in this hotel. The colorful property has two swimming pools, and since it is located in a town famous for art and culture, the rooms inside the hotel are well equipped with modern art and craft. You will pay anything from $500 per night for a room in this hotel.
When it comes to the Caribbean islands, you must do proper research before you begin your journey. Then, when you have all the information at hand, you can make informed choices. The average cost or budget for a day for a traveler on a tight budget is around $150. On the other hand, midrange travelers will pay anything from $400 per day to travel in Bonaire. Finally, luxurious travel seekers will part with anything from $600 going up depending on the items selected and meals consumed.
The average travel cost for curacao will depend on the amount you will spend while on the island. A person on a tight budget will pay $200 per day in Curacao. The cost of food ranges from $10 to $50, depending on the type of meal you want to consume. The total cost for such a traveler from food, travel, and other expenses will reach $200. On the other hand, a person on a midrange budget will spend about $300 while a luxurious thrill-seeker will pay anything from $600 to going up.
One of the most fun activities that you can enjoy doing on the islands is diving. Bonaire has the most turquoise water, and you can explore these areas with utmost precision. The divers’ paradise boasts of one of the best places that you indulge in deep-sea diving. Some people prefer to dive at night, and you can join them and see what nature has to offer.
Snorkeling is a fun activity that you should try to involve yourself in when in Bonaire. There are a baby octopus, rays, and sea turtles that you can only see when you go snorkeling. There are so many unique features down there that you should explore.
Explore the capital
The capital Kralendijk is one of the best places that you can explore on your trip to Bonaire. There are ancient buildings that depict the history and diversity of this location. One of the major fun activities that you can do includes checking out the coral reefs in the area and seeing the art, galleries, public squares, and arcades that don the streets.
Visit the uninhabited island
You can move from the major island to the island of Klein, which is uninhabited. There are so many things that you can learn while on your trip to this awesome destination. Klein is a pristine environment because there is no human interruption, and the spectacular marine life caps it all.
Hangout in the blue bay
This is the busiest and most picturesque beach in curacao, and it features white sandy beaches and blue water. In addition, there are restaurants and entertainment spots that you can enjoy your vacation on this incredible island.
Join revelers at Mambo Beach
One of the fun activities that you can do is to join partygoers at mambo beach. This is where the party never stops and when visiting this destination you can explore the nightlife of people in the area. The open-air nightclubs allow you to mingle with the locals as you enjoy some drinks.
Kayaking is one of the fun activities that you should do while in curacao. You can paddle through the bay and enjoy some snorkeling as well. Soak up in the sun as you enjoy a drink in the islands.
Join the carnival
One of the most popular activities on the island is carnival. The carnival in curacao turns everything into a colorful and vibrant scene with friendly competitions, parties, and parades. In addition, it is a perfect time to explore the natural environment and the local cuisine, art, and culture.
These are usually flaky pastries, and they can be stuffed with anything that you like, from poultry, shrimp, meat, and any kind of stuffing you want. These are then deep-fried until they turn golden brown. The pastiches are usually available in most parts of the island.
This is a signature dish in Bonaire, and it features a soup made from local seafood and okra. You can accompany it with anything you like.
The Caribbean island method of cooking fish is out of this world. This is a local fish rich in flavor and taste, and it is served in a white bowl.
This dish is usually prepared using the ancient creole techniques, as it is pan-seared or grilled before serving with spicy sauce and rich. The common fish is the lionfish.
This is of the best meals and a signature dish in curacao. The meal usually features a huge cheese ball stuffed with anything from pork chicken, tomatoes, onions, olives, and it is then baked to the right level of crispiness.
This is more or less a snack, and it is made up of amazing meatballs stuffed with anything that you like, from cheese, meat, veal, or any vegetarian stuffing. It is perfect when served with mustard or consumed with beer.
These are essentially doughnuts that are usually deep-fried before covering with powdered sugar. If you like hot, fresh doughnuts, then this is your delicacy.
Tutu or funchi
These are usually meals that are made from cornmeal, and the origin can be traced to Africa. They are similar to polenta in some cases, and you can serve them as a side dish.
Culture & People
The culture of Bonaire is deeply rooted in the European, Asian, African, and Indian influences that the locals have experienced over time. They are warm and friendly people, and you can learn a thing or two from their style of talking and presentation. Bonaire people are religious, and they take their traditions seriously.
The culture of the people of Curacao comes from different backgrounds, with many of the people having a significant influence from India, Latin America, France, Netherlands, and Africa. Although you will find that English is widely spoken in the country, many people have their ancestral roots somewhere on the globe.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the island is from May through October. This is because the weather is friendly and you can tolerate it more, unlike other months that there are hurricanes and typhoons. Besides, tourists are few; therefore, you get enough time and space to explore the environment.
The best time to visit Curacao is from May through November, this is the off-peak season, and the temperatures range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. This is pleasant, and you can rock your summertime clothes and explore the island.
Tourists visiting Bonaire rarely experience any sort of crime. However, always take care of your stuff and do not flash expensive jewelry.
Visits to Curacao are trouble-free except for those little petty crimes that you should be aware of during your stay. Therefore, always keep your items in a safe place and take precautions.