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Banks and Exchange Services
In January 2011 the U.S. dollar became the official currency, replacing the NAf guilder. You can find ATMs at the airport, in Kralendijk, and at Hato branches of MCB, as well as at the Sand Dollar Condominium Resort and the Plaza Resort; at the Tourism Corporation Bonaire; and at Banco di Caribe on Kaya Grandi.
120 AC/50 cycles. A transformer and occasionally a two-prong adapter are required. Some appliances may work slowly; hair dryers may overheat, and sensitive equipment may be damaged.
Police emergencies (599/717-8000.)
Scuba-diving emergencies (599/717-8187.)
St. Franciscus Hospital (Kaya Soeur Bartola 2, Kralendijk. 599/717-8900.)
Bonaire Access (Harbourside Mall, Kralendijk. 599/717-6040 or.)
The official language is Dutch, but the everyday language is Papiamento, a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French, as well as African tongues. You can light up your waiter's eyes if you can say masha danki (thank you very much) and pasa un bon dia (have a nice day). English is spoken by almost everyone on the island.
U.S. citizens must carry valid passports. In addition, everyone must have a return or ongoing ticket, and you are advised to confirm reservations 48 hours before departure. The maximum stay is 90 days.
The country code for Bonaire is 599; 717 is the exchange for every four-digit number on the island. Phone cards from home rarely work on Bonaire. You can try AT&T by dialing 001-800/872-2881 from public phones. To call Bonaire from the United States, dial 011-599/717 plus the local four-digit number.
The departure tax when going to Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba, or Aruba is $9. For all other destinations it's $35. This tax is supposed to be included in the ticket price. Hotels charge a room tax of $6.50 per person, per night in addition to the V.A.T. (value-added tax). Many hotels add a 10% to 15% service charge to your bill. A V.A.T. of 6% is tacked on to dining and lodging costs. The V.A.T. may or may not be included in your quoted room rates, so be sure to ask. It's almost always included in restaurant prices.
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