Which way do they drive on Bonaire?

Which way do they drive on Bonaire?
Hayti Haakma
April 3, 2024

For travelers planning a trip to Bonaire, understanding the local driving customs is essential for a smooth and enjoyable visit. On Bonaire, as in many parts of the world, knowing which side of the road to drive on, what the driving conditions are like, and what rules to follow are key components of navigating the island safely and respectfully.

Driving on the right

In Bonaire, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. This convention follows the standard driving practice in most countries worldwide, including the United States and most European nations. This makes it familiar territory for many international visitors. For those coming from countries where driving on the left is the norm, like the United Kingdom or Australia, it might take a little adjustment to get comfortable with the switch.

Road conditions and signage

Bonaire’s road network connects all major areas of the island, from the bustling streets of Kralendijk to the more remote natural attractions. The roads are generally in good condition. However, drivers should be aware that some less-traveled paths can be unpaved and require careful navigation. Especially with those leading to more secluded spots. Road signs are in Dutch; however, many signs follow international symbols, making them understandable regardless of language differences.

What to expect when driving

Driving in Bonaire offers a relaxed experience, reflecting the island’s laid-back atmosphere. Traffic is usually light, allowing for an enjoyable drive with stunning views of the Caribbean landscape. However, it’s important to remain vigilant for cyclists, pedestrians, and the occasional wild donkey crossing the road. Speed limits are clearly marked and should be adhered to. Not only for safety but also to respect the tranquil environment.

Renting a vehicle

Renting a car or scooter is a popular option for visitors who want to explore Bonaire at their own pace. A valid driver’s license from your home country is all that’s required to rent a vehicle. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to check with the rental agency ahead of time for any additional requirements. Renters are encouraged to opt for eco-friendly vehicles when available. Thus, supporting Bonaire’s commitment to environmental preservation.

Tips for a safe driving experience

  • Always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers do the same.
  • Avoid driving after dark in less populated areas as street lighting can be minimal.
  • Stay hydrated and take breaks during longer drives to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.
  • Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and customs before hitting the road.


Driving in Bonaire offers a fantastic way to discover the island’s diverse landscapes, from its coral beaches to its salt pans and everything in between. Just follow local driving customs and stay mindful of the right-hand side rule. This way, visitors can ensure a safe and enjoyable exploration of all the beauty Bonaire has to offer. Whether you’re cruising along the coast or venturing into the island’s rugged interior, the freedom of driving in Bonaire unfolds a world of adventure and discovery.

Photo by Paul Arps from The Netherlands, via Wikimedia Commons

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