The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Bonaire

Small, quiet, beautiful and friendly, Bonaire is a wonderful place to own a second home.

If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Bonaire but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Bonaire?” or “how do I go about owning property in Bonaire as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.

Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Bonaire from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process and the taxes you will need to be aware of.

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

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Local weather

28° Precipitacion0.01%
Mon 26° | 33°
Tue 26° | 33°
Wed 25° | 33°
Thu 25° | 33°
Fri 25° | 33°
Sat 25° | 33°
Sun 25° | 33°

Local time

8:45AM Monday 27th Sep 2021 (-04)
Mon 26° | 33°
Tue 26° | 33°
Wed 25° | 33°
Thu 25° | 33°
Fri 25° | 33°
Sat 25° | 33°
Sun 25° | 33°

Fast facts

  • Population 20,104
  • Capital Kralendijk
  • Language Dutch
  • Currency US Dollar
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET