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Best and Worst Times to Visit Bonaire

Bonaire parakeet. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Bonaire parakeet. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The best times to visit Bonaire are nine months of the year from January to September. The worst times are October to December.

The best times to visit are easy to choose because there are so many months that all have the same dry and warm weather. Bonaire is usually one of the most arid islands in the Caribbean.

The worst times to visit are rainier than usual but not as rainy as most of the Caribbean during the final three months of the year.

Bonaire is one of the smallest, least-populated and least-visited islands in the Caribbean. It is part of the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao that lie in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela.

Its small size doesn’t mean it isn’t worth visiting. This Dutch island has some of the same European flavors without the commercialism of the much more popular Aruba and Curacao.

It is an occasional stop on southern Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. It is popular for hotel vacations by people who like to scuba dive. It has a reputation for good diving and snorkeling spots along its reef-lined coast.

Bonaire Hurricane Season

Bonaire Climate Chart
Avg. Air Temp80808182838383848484838182
Avg. Maximum Temp85858687888888898989888687
Avg. Minimum Temp76767778798079808079787778
Avg. Seawater Temp78787880808080828382828080
Avg. Monthly Rainfall21111111134318

The ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao have some of the lowest rainfall of all Caribbean destinations. They lie at the edge of the region’s hurricane zone. The Caribbean hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

The Bonaire hurricane season is most active during October. Hurricanes are highly unlikely to hit Bonaire or come even close to it. Instead, hurricanes that pass through the southern Caribbean will bring more rain to the island.

For the rest of the year, Bonaire is nearly bone dry. These months are the best times to visit Bonaire.

The island averages about one inch of rain per month from February through September, according to Meteo Bonaire, the island’s weather service.

Bonaire’s rainy season runs from October through December. The total rainfall of three to four inches a month is modest compared to other Caribbean islands, but anyone planning to visit Bonaire should consider going in other months. These months are the worst times to go.

Total rainfall climbs to three inches in October, four in November and back down to three in December, according to Meteo Bonaire. January is a transition month with a mere two inches. The rainfall patterns are similar to the nearby Aruba and Curaçao.

The higher risk of rain from October through December doesn’t stop some people from vacationing on Bonaire during those months. They are willing to take a chance that they can avoid any storms.

Average Monthly Temperatures

Winter temperatures have little impact on the best time to visit. Bonaire temperatures stay within a warm, narrow range all year.

The average high temperature ranges from 85 degrees Fahrenheit or about 29 Celsius in January and February to 89 Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius from August through October.

The average seawater temperatures remain warm as well. They range from 78 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 83 in September, according to Meteo Bonaire. But these are just historical averages. During cooler days, a combination of nighttime temperatures and wind chills from trade winds may make seawater in the morning feel chilly at times. That was our experience during a trip to the area in one February.

Bonaire and its companion islands of Aruba and Curacao are among the warmest islands in the Caribbean because they lie closer to the equator than most other destinations.

That means the best months to go to Bonaire are any months from January through September. Late fall to early summer are ideal. Otherwise, avoid October through December because of the risk of higher rainfall.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
May 13, 2024

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