The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Bonaire

Welcome to the 7th Heaven Properties guide to buying property in Bonaire, your essential companion for navigating the enchanting appeal of this small, quiet, beautiful and friendly southern Caribbean island.

Famed for its quiet beaches and world-class diving, Bonaire is a wonderful place to own a second home.

Discover the charm of this wonderful Dutch Caribbean island, find out why property buyers are investing in real estate in Bonaire and delve into the real estate market with a showcase of property listings and blog posts highlighting the island’s unique draws and advantages.

From the ins and outs of buying property in Bonaire to an essential overview of relevant taxes, this is your ultimate go-to resource.

Diving in Bonaire Bonaire coastline

Overview - The Bonaire Real Estate Market

The small island of Bonaire is situated in the Southern Caribbean Sea just off the coast of South America. The warm waters surrounding the island are famed for their spectacular reefs which have been protected since the 1970’s and are designated a national marine park.

While the visual feast of the underwater world surrounding Bonaire is the main draw for many visitors, the allure of the unique flora and fauna on land is just as appealing. There are over 200 species of bird, including thousands of pink flamingos. With such diverse marine and bird life, the island is a unique eco-tourism destination and one of the world’s premier diving destinations.

Safe and secure, with friendly and welcoming people and an unhurried pace of life, Bonaire is a great investment location for property buyers looking to enjoy a tranquil island lifestyle surrounded by pristine natural beauty.

Furthermore, as Bonaire is a special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the same way as St Eustatius and Saba, the island offers advantages such as high quality, free healthcare for all residents.

With a high standard of living, world-class diving conditions and charming restaurants and shopping around the capital Kralendijk, Bonaire real estate is popular with American and Dutch buyers. Property for sale ranges from the affordable to luxury, with a wide selection of condos and villas available – perfect for vacations, full-time living or retiring in Bonaire.

“Safe and secure, with friendly and welcoming people and an unhurried pace of life, Bonaire is a great investment location for property buyers looking to enjoy a tranquil island lifestyle surrounded by pristine natural beauty”

Why Invest?

1 / 7

One of the world’s best diving destinations, with the reefs surrounding the island forming a protected national marine park.

2 / 7

The security that comes with being a special municipality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

3 / 7

Low key, quiet destination – ideal for relaxation.

4 / 7

High standard of living.

5 / 7

One of the safest destinations in the Caribbean.

6 / 7

One of the world’s best windsurfing destinations.

7 / 7

Easily accessible via direct flights from the USA and Europe.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

Can foreigners buy property in Bonaire?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Bonaire and the island welcomes investment from overseas buyers. There are no restrictions on foreign buyers acquiring real estate in Bonaire. Foreign buyers can purchase both freehold property land and lease land which is common in Bonaire. Lease land is owned by the government and offered on a long lease in return for an annual fee. Unlike other destinations in the Caribbean, foreign buyers do not require any kind of license or permit to purchase property on the island.

Buying process

Buying property in Bonaire is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. Find your perfect property and submit an offer. Offers can be made verbally or in writing and typically include the proposed price, proposed date of transfer and details of the proposed deposit/down payment.
  3. Once an offer has been accepted, the terms of the offer are considered binding on both the buyer and seller.
  4. A written agreement should then be drawn up.
  5. Once the agreement has been concluded, you will be required to pay a 10% deposit which will be held in escrow by a Notary.
  6. Ownership of the property is normally transferred within 6-8 weeks, at which point you will sign the deed and transfer payment of the balance.
  7. Pay all required taxes and fees.
Fees & taxes

Transfer Tax

Buyers are required to pay a 6% Transfer Tax and cover the Notary fees.

Property Tax

There is a 1% annual property tax in Bonaire.

Residency & Citizenship

How long can a foreign citizen stay in Bonaire?

Citizens of the EU, EEA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries may stay in Bonaire for up to 3 months (90 days) without a visa. Dutch and American citizens may stay in Bonaire for up to 6 months (180 days) without a visa.

How do you become a resident of Bonaire?

Temporary Residency

Non-citizens wishing to live in Bonaire are required to apply for a Residence Permit. Residence permits are issued for a period of 1 year and can be renewed thereafter.

Permanent Residency

Individuals who have legally resided in Bonaire with a temporary residence permit for at least 5 years may apply for a permanent residence permit which is valid for an indefinite period.

Find out more: Immigration Department at the RCN (Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland)

How do you become a citizen of Bonaire?

If you have lived continuously in Bonaire for 5 years with a valid residence permit and have a good understanding of Dutch you may apply for Dutch citizenship by naturalization.

Mortgages in Bonaire

Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in the Caribbean?

Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in Bonaire real estate to apply for a mortgage.

Our partner – a very well respected international financial organization – offers mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in Bonaire.

For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

To get to Bonaire fly to Flamingo Airport located just south of the capital Kralendijk.

There are regular flights to Bonaire from Amsterdam, the USA and from Dutch Caribbean sister island Curacao.

From North America, fly with Delta from Atlanta or with United from Houston or Newark.

From Europe, either fly with KLM from Amsterdam or fly to the USA and get a connecting flight.

Alternatively, fly to Aruba or Curacao and take a connecting flight to Bonaire.

  • Amsterdam to Bonaire 12h
  • New York to Bonaire 5h
  • Houston to Bonaire 4h 30m
  • Miami to Bonaire 3h
  • Aruba to Bonaire 35m
  • Curacao to Bonaire 25m

More from the Blog

Beautiful beach in the Caribbean

Invest in the Caribbean

Why invest in the Caribbean in 2020? Discover the advantages of investing in the Caribbean in our guide for investors.

Read Article

Klein Bonaire Beach

How to Retire in Bonaire

Thinking about retiring in Bonaire? Find out about how to retire on this southern Caribbean island in our guide.

Read Article

7 best places to retire in the Caribbean

Best Places to Retire in the Caribbean

Discover the best places to retire in the Caribbean in the ultimate guide from 7th Heaven Properties.

Read Article

Caribbean Bed and Breakfasts for Sale

Searching for bed and breakfasts for sale in the Caribbean? Here are 7 small hotels and B&Bs on the market.

Read Article

Cottages for sale in the Caribbean

Caribbean Cottages for Sale

Searching for cottages for sale in the Caribbean? Here are 7 of the best from $250,000 to $3.4 million.

Read Article

Local weather

26° Precipitacion0.02%
Sat 22° | 30°
Sun 22° | 30°
Mon 22° | 30°
Tue 23° | 30°
Wed 22° | 30°
Thu 22° | 30°
Fri 22° | 30°

Local time

7:57PM Sunday 23rd Jun 2024 (-04)
Sat 22° | 30°
Sun 22° | 30°
Mon 22° | 30°
Tue 23° | 30°
Wed 22° | 30°
Thu 22° | 30°
Fri 22° | 30°

Fast facts

  • Population 20104
  • Capital Kralendijk
  • Language Dutch
  • Currency US Dollar
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET