Climate of Bonaire
The island of Bonaire belongs to the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and has been officially a Dutch municipality since Sunday October 10, 2010. This gives Bonaire the honor of having the warmest climate in the Netherlands.
Bonaire has a tropical savanna climate (type Aw according to the Köppen-Geiger classification). Temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year, with maximum temperatures around 30-32 degrees Celsius being reached fairly quickly during the day. Once the evening has fallen, the thermometers slowly lower until a lower limit of 23 to 25 degrees is reached. Under the influence of the Caribbean Sea and the east trade, there is only little variation in temperatures. In the winter months, these two elements ensure that the land is warmed up somewhat, in the summer the wind over the at that time relatively slightly cooler sea has a cooling effect. Don’t take that last word too literally, because it never gets really cool on Bonaire.
Climate statistics for Bonaire
We can summarize the long-term climate averages for Bonaire as follows:
- The average maximum temperature is between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius.
- The average minimum temperature is between 24 and 27 degrees Celsius.
- On an annual basis there is about 350 to 450 millimeters of precipitation (always in the form of rain).
- The annual number of hours of sunshine is about 2800 to 3000 hours.
- The seawater temperature is between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.
- The average relative humidity is 75.9%.
- On an annual basis there are about 65 days in which there is at least 0.1 mm of precipitation.
Corona measures for Bonaire
What about the corona measures for Bonaire? Before the trip to Bonaire, you may have to deal with entry requirements (for example, vaccination, negative corona test and possibly booster shots). You may have to deal with corona rules during your holiday on site. Fortunately, tour operator TUI has listed the current corona rules for Bonaire:
View all corona measures for Bonaire
Ideal holiday destination
If we choose to measure ourselves, Bonaire is climatically one of the very best holiday destinations in the world. It is always warm, without getting too hot. The predictable and almost always present easterly wind ensures that it is also bearable on Bonaire during the hottest days. The sun shows itself a lot and rain occurs, but not in too large quantities. You can hardly have better beach weather.
It is not for nothing that Dutch travel organizations such as TUI are successful in offering Bonaire holidays. They have been offering a very varied range of accommodations with flight and transfer for many years.
Many sites describe Bonaire’s climate as tropical-arid, meaning that it is a dry climate with tropical temperatures. We will not dispute that the temperatures are continuously at tropical values. To call the climate dry is something that is debatable, because on average there is almost five hundred millimeters per year at the Flamingo Airport weather station. This is really an average with quite a few drier years in between, with about three hundred to four hundred millimeters. However, it is also very possible that as much as a thousand millimeters of rain will fall within one year. Especially in a year in which a hurricane comes eerily close and/or one or more severe tropical depressions pass over, the total amount of rain can increase considerably.
Most rain falls in the last quarter of the year. The months of October, November and December account for about half of the total amount of precipitation per year. The months of February, March, April, May and June are the driest. On average, there is less than 20 mm of rain per month during that period. However, there are also months in which no precipitation is observed at all and nature craves some rainwater.
Bonaire is a sunny island, with an average number of hours of sunshine per day from eight to nine hours. On an annual basis, the total number of hours of sunshine averages around three thousand, which can be regarded as extremely sunny. The blue sky above Bonaire is often mixed with beautiful cloudy skies, which can stand out sharply above the azure coast and the deep blue sky above. About a third of the time, the sky is mostly or completely covered by clouds. The chance of this is about the same throughout the year. The chance of a whole day of cloudy weather or even longer is especially present in the period from September to December.
Around Bonaire you will find a beautiful underwater world, which attracts many divers and snorkelers to Bonaire every year. Seawater with an average annual temperature of 26.8 degrees Celsius and almost never cooler than about 25 degrees Celsius provides ideal living conditions for tropical fish in this part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. If you want to go diving in the autumn, you should take into account that the sea can be rougher than usual due to tropical depressions.
As far as rain is concerned, it is not that bad on Bonaire, but there is a fairly high relative humidity on the island. The annual average humidity is 76 percent. Distributed over the year there is relatively little variation in this, the difference between the driest months and the most clammy months is only a few percent humidity. The fact that all that moisture in the air does not often grow into showers is mainly due to the limited surface area of the island and above all the almost lack of height differences. Zones with clouds that mainly consist of rain clouds will therefore pass Bonaire fairly easily and only provide rain on the mainland. Venezuela is especially the victim of this.
In the Caribbean, there is a risk of hurricanes and tropical storms from early June to early December. Bonaire is located in a place within the Caribbean where the chance of a real hurricane is much smaller than elsewhere. Some sites report that tropical storms and hurricanes do not occur on Bonaire. That this is not based on truths is shown by tropical storm Omar, which in October 2008 caused a lot of misery on Bonaire and yet also caused the necessary damage. Fortunately, these kinds of circumstances on Bonaire are an exception. Most of the nuisance from hurricanes and tropical storms consists of rainfall and rougher seas as a result of depressions to the north of Bonaire.
The pleasant temperatures in winter in combination with a lot of sun make Bonaire a very popular winter sun destination. Especially the months of February to April are great to go diving, snorkeling or swimming on this beautiful island. People with skin that is not yet used to the sun must be extra careful during these months with regard to limiting the risk of sunburn and all the associated consequences. The sun power is also at a very high level in winter on Bonaire.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Bonaire
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Bonaire? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Anyone who wants to book a holiday to Bonaire can do so all year round with peace of mind. The tropical savanna climate of Bonaire guarantees warm weather with a fair amount of sun, relatively little precipitation and also regularly some clouds. The almost always present northeast trade provides some cooling. You notice how important that wind is for enduring the heat during the warmer periods when the wind stops or that you are in a sheltered place.
Due to slight fluctuations in temperatures, a period can be designated as the best travel time for Bonaire. That is from February to June. In these months it is driest on Bonaire, the sun is most visible and it is not as sultry as the period that follows.
The second half of the year
From May you will see that the clouds are more visible, that the temperatures are slightly higher (usually just above thirty degrees Celsius) and that the relative humidity is rising. As a result, it is sultry and less sunny than in the first half of the calendar year. From September/October you will see that it rains more often on Bonaire. This is the slightly wetter season, which normally lasts into December.
Bonaire during the school holidays
You may be stuck with the school holidays because of your work or school-age children or you choose to fly to Bonaire during those periods. What is good to know is that the school holidays are the more expensive travel periods for Bonaire. This is mainly due to the pricing policy of airlines such as KLM, which make airline tickets considerably more expensive during the school holidays than during other travel periods. Especially if you want to travel on weekends to get the most return from your airline tickets, you see that prices of airline tickets can be uncomfortably expensive.
Looking at the weather, the spring break (carnival holidays) and the May holidays are the best travel periods for Bonaire. The summer holidays are popular for a holiday on Bonaire, but according to the climate statistics the weather is less pleasant than during the spring or May holidays. If you go to Bonaire during the autumn holidays, you should take into account that on average it can rain for about forty percent of the days. Those who go snorkelling or diving will have the warmest possible seawater around Bonaire in October: 28 to 29 degrees Celsius.
The Christmas holidays are the most expensive travel period to celebrate a holiday on Bonaire. The demand for airline tickets is then high and the accommodations often charge higher prices for overnight stays during that period. Bonaire is fine as a winter sun destination, so that you can escape the gloomy cool days in the Netherlands.