Welcome to the ultimate Bonaire packing list.
Whether you’re visiting the Dutch island for a long weekend or a two-week vacation, you’ll need to know what to pack and what to leave at home.
Our comprehensive, battle-tested Bonaire packing list will help you leave home for your holiday stress-free.
In the lines below, you’ll discover 21 things to bring to the small Caribbean island (1), so you can have the trip of your lifetime.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Before you hop on the plane to Bonaire, make sure you’re not leaving home without the following travel documents:
This should go without saying, but we all know people who have forgotten their passports at home. Before packing yours, check its expiration date to make sure it’s at least six months in the future.
2. Travel insurance
Now more than ever, you need to have a good travel insurance policy when leaving home on vacation. Make sure it covers quarantine as well.
3. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result
To enter Bonaire, you currently need a booster dose or a negative PCR-test result.
4. Cash and bank cards
Bonaire’s currency is USD, so you probably won’t need to go to an exchange office. Although credit cards are widely accepted on the island, bring some cash with you as well.
5. Driving license
Bonaire is not big, but renting a car could come in handy, especially if you’re staying for just a few days. So, don’t forget to take your international driving license with you.
You will also want to check out my Bonaire Travel Tips.
Diving, Snorkeling, or Surfing Gear
You can either bring your own diving, snorkeling, and/or surfing gear or rent the equipment on Bonaire. Most schools, tour providers, and resorts will have the required gear ready for you.
However, we still recommend that you bring the following items in your luggage:
6. Snorkel and mask
The island is a great offshore snorkeling destination. You can jump in the water and marvel at the surreal marine wildlife from most Bonaire beaches. That’s why we suggest you pack your own snorkel and mask to be as quick and flexible as possible.
7. Water shoes
For shore diving and snorkeling, as well as visiting the rocky beaches of Bonaire, it’s best to wear foot protection. This can be anything from hard-soiled diving booties through cheap water shoes to sandals or any lightweight shoes which you don’t mind getting wet.
Warning: Wearing reef gloves is prohibited in the Bonaire National Marine Park.
Beach and Swim Stuff
Staying out of the scorching Caribbean sun at least in the midday heat is a must. In this way, you’ll avoid dehydration and getting sunburned. Below are the items we recommend you pack in your beach bag:
8. Sun protection
The best protection for your skin is covering up. Bring a hat and a long-sleeved UV-filter shirt. Your skin remembers every sunburn. Apart from nasty wrinkles, your biggest organ has memory and might “pay you back”.
Hair Tools Travel Bag
9. Reef-safe sunscreen
For the unprotected parts of your body, use 50+ SPF biodegradable sun lotion. Remember to put it on in the morning and reapply it during the day.
10. Reusable water bottle
To avoid adding single-use plastic to the already polluted oceans, we recommend bringing or buying a reusable bottle. Pick an isolated water bottle to help keep your beverage cool at the beach.
Don’t forget to protect your eyes at the beach. The fine, white sand on some of the best Bonaire beaches can be blinding. We recommend picking a pair with Polaroid protection to avoid the reflections from the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea.
12. Beach towels
You don’t necessarily need to bring your own as resorts and hotels will provide them for you. However, if you plan to do day trips and tours on your own, you might want to pack your lightweight, quick-drying travel tower.
Related Story: My Favorite Places in the Caribbean.
Beware that nudity and topless sunbathing are forbidden in Bonaire. Bring your best swimwear or buy it on the island, although the second option will likely cost you more.
Toiletries and Meds
Apart from reef-safe sunscreen, you should also pack these toiletries for your Bonaire vacation.
14. Body lotion
The salty seawater and the inevitable exposure to the sun will cause your skin to dehydrate quicker than at home. To keep it nice and smooth, bring your favorite body milk or lotion. Choose one with Aloe Vera to help with possible sunburns. Apply it after showering.
15. Bug and mosquito repellent
Mosquitos in Bonaire are active during the day or at dusk and dawn. Use a biodegradable repellent when going for a morning walk, going out at night, or during a day trip through the mangroves and national parks. If you’re unsure which repellent to get, buy one when you arrive in Bonaire. Locals know what works best against the island’s mosquito population.
16. Body hygiene
Hotels and resorts in Bonaire provide shower gels and hair shampoos. That’s why we don’t recommend bringing your own. What you should pack is any additional hair products you might need in the tropical Caribbean weather, as well as your dental hygiene kit, hair removal kit, beauty kit, and fragrances. The last one is not necessary since perfumes might attract mosquitos.
17. Medications and supplements
Especially in case you take any prescription medications, you should bring those with you. Why? Because you might not be able to buy them on the small island. Bring your prescription with you as well. You’ll find pharmacies and drug stores in Kralendijk.
Hair Tools Travel Bag
Accessories and Electronics
Bonaire uses 110 V electricity with 60 Hz frequency (2). Sockets generally have built-in adaptors and work with Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type E plugs. In short, if you’re coming from North America or Europe, you won’t need to pack a travel adaptor.
Bring your best camera to capture your vacation memories. Action cameras are better as you’ll be able to take underwater photos as well. Note that flying drones over Bonaire is forbidden.
No matter what electronics you take with you to Bonaire, don’t forget to pack the appropriate chargers, too.
Clothes and Shoes
If you’ve been wondering what to pack for Bonaire when it comes to clothes and shoes, you’ll find the answer in the lines below:
Pack lightweight, quick-drying clothes for the beach and for day tours. Bring fancier clothes for going out. Don’t forget a hoodie or a sweater to wear during your flights.
Next to flip-flops and beach sandals, bring sturdy, comfy shoes to wear on tours, especially if you intend to hike in the Washington Slagbaai National Park. The one place you won’t need any shoes is when visiting the Barefoot Casino, which is one of the coolest things to do in Bonaire.
Made by travelers, for travelers, check out the Barefoot Caribou Products below!
The Ultimate Bonaire Packing List
Now that you know what your Bonaire packing list should look like, the only thing to do is book your flights.
If you want to explore some more of my Favorite Destinations, check out this article.
Our motto is “Travel light. Less is more.” We never bring things “just in case”. This means you can be 100% sure that this list consists only of things you must bring to have a fantastic holiday.
Before you go pack your suitcase, we’d like to know:
What’s one item you always bring with you when traveling?
Share it with us in the comments below.