Getting there: There's no quick route to Bonaire, which means it takes much of the day to get there and return home. Most visitors from North America fly to San Juan, P.R., on any major carrier and then connect to a two-hour American Eagle flight to Bonaire. There is also service through Jamaica to Bonaire on Air Jamaica.
Getting around: There are taxis at the airport, but most visitors rent cars or scooters so that they can drive around the island to different scuba-diving sites. You will need a valid driver's license from home to rent any vehicle.
If you decide to go into the Washington Slagbaai National Park, make sure you ask the rental company if your car is capable of diving along the unpaved roads.
When to go: In this tropical climate, the average temperature is about 80 degrees. It rarely falls below 70 or climbs above 90. The best time to go is considered from the late winter through early spring. Bonaire's average rainfall is 20.5 inches a year, with 65 percent occurring October through January. Storms usually don't last long, with rain coming down for a few minutes and sunshine quickly reappearing after that.
Lodging: There are many different lodging options in Bonaire. You can stay in a full-service hotel or rent an apartment for a week. Since Bonaire is known for its scuba diving, most places have room-diving packages.
If you are looking for a large hotel with all the amenities, there is the Plaza Resort. Rates for a double range from about $200-$370 a night in the high season that runs mid-December through mid-April. Rates drop to about $155-$310 from mid-April through mid-December.
In the mid-price range, there is the Buddy Dive Resort offers nightly winter-spring rates of $180 for a one-bedroom apartment to $330 for a three bedroom apartment. For the summer and fall months, the prices drop to $165 for the one bedroom and $300 for the three bedroom. Web site: www.buddydive.com
Hamlet Oasis, a villa complex, offers both nightly and weekly rentals for its studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom accommodations. Rates range from $118-$237 a night during the high season and $80-$175 during the low season. Web site: www.hamletoasis.com.
Activities: The main attraction on Bonaire is scuba diving, and what divers love about it is the ability to dive right off the island's shore. Its waters are designated an official marine park, so just about anywhere you go you will find unspoiled and untouched underwater life. There are markers along the roads that indicate prime diving spots.
If you are coming to Bonaire to learn how to dive, there are many dive shops around the island that provide courses. Some popular dive shops include Bon Bini Divers. Web site: www.bonbinidivers.com and Wanna Dive Web site: www.wannadivebonaire.com
Windsurfing is also very popular on Bonaire, which hosted the World Championship Freestyle Finals last year. Among the favorite spots for windsurfing is Lac Bay, a shallow inlet with crystal-clear blue waters on the eastern coast of the island. For lessons or to rent equipment, contact Jibe City. Web site: www.jibecity.com
If you are interested in visiting Washington Slagbaai National Park, it is open between 8 a.m and 5 p.m., but no entry is permitted after 2:45 p.m. The cost is $10 per adult and $2 per child, cash only. The park suggests that you make sure you have a spare tire in good condition before entering.
Those interesting in seeing the flamingos can pick up a map at the front gate, which specifies the best areas to see the birds.
Information: The Bonaire tourism office can be reached the Web site, www.infobonaire.com