Here’s the step-by-step procedure and requirements for flying from the U.S. to Bonaire via Curacao. Updated May 4, 2021.
Flight Options to Curacao and Bonaire
If flying directly to Bonaire from the USA is not an option for you (and as of this writing, the direct flights have been postponed), then the closest and easiest option is to fly into Curacao, a quick 20-minute flight from Bonaire.
Getting to Curacao is easy. There are daily flights from Miami and Saturday flights from Charlotte on American Airlines; Saturday flights from Newark on United; Saturday flights from JFK on Jet Blue.
To get to Bonaire from Curacao, you have two choices: Divi Divi Air or EZ Air. Currently, Divi has the most flights and their schedules work well with incoming flights.
Pass Your COVID Tests
Bonaire has required you to have both a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival on Bonaire and a negative antigen test (taken within 24 hours of your departure to the island).
NOTE – there is a new alternative to the two tests above for entry into Bonaire – a NAAT type test may be taken 24 hours or less prior to your departure from the USA for Bonaire. Most common is Abbott Labs ID NOW test — you can find these at Walgreen’s among other labs in your area. This is also allowed for entry through Curacao (connecting to Bonaire the same day). See details at www.bonairecrisis.com
If you do not do the 24 hour NAAT test, you still need a PCR and Antigen test combo for entry to Bonaire. It may be easier to do the Antigen test at the airport in Curacao. You can easily get the antigen test done at the ADC Lab in the Curacao airport for $20 per person. No appointment is necessary. Test results take 15 minutes and the whole process takes less than half an hour.
Do the Curacao Shuffle
Once you land in Curacao, get ready for the 12-step shuffle. The antigen testing service (if needed) at the Curacao airport is your first step before you go through Immigration. Proceed from your gate to Immigration and you will see the Medical Test Area downstairs near the escalators. They have also opened a test facility outside the airport convenient to the International and Domestic terminals. Don’t worry — it is a small airport!
Once you have arrived in Curacao and taken and received your antigen result (required for Bonaire only if you choose to do this with the 72 hour PCR test), continue to the agent checking your Curacao paperwork— you need hard copies of the (1) Digital Immigration form, the (2) Passenger Locater Card form and your (3) All test results. Be sure to have extra copies of your test results as they may ask to keep a copy.
Proceed to Passport Control/Immigration. Have your ticket confirmation for your flight from Curacao to Bonaire, as you will need to show you are in transit to Bonaire that day.
Proceed to baggage claim to pick up your luggage. There are free luggage carts to use for walking to the Domestic terminal and the Divi Divi and EZ Air check-in counters.
Pass through customs; inform them you are in transit to Bonaire.
Exit the arrival hall of the International terminal … you will now be outside … turn left and walk down the sidewalk to the domestic flight terminal (where you check in for inter-island flights).
Enter the domestic terminal departure hall and you will see the check-in counter for Divi Divi and EZ Air. You can check to see if there is an option for an earlier flight.
You will have to check your baggage (and pay any excess baggage fees if you are over your limit). Baggage limitations are listed on their websites. Cash, Curacao NAf, Visa or MasterCard are accepted.
Proceed through the automated Passport Control and to Immigration.
Inform Immigration you are in transit to Bonaire.
Proceed through security.
Go to your gate. The gate agent will escort you to the plane when boarding commences (you have to walk outside or take a short bus ride). You will have room for a very small bag at your feet; carry-on luggage and larger backpacks will be checked and stowed on the tarmac and collected when you land.
Once on Bonaire, (and before you pass through Immigration and Passport Control) there is an agent checking your COVID related paperwork: you need to show printed copies of your (1) health declaration form, your (2) PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival with a screenshot of your antigen test OR (3) your 24 hour NAAT test.
Proceed through Immigration; claim baggage; exit through customs and baggage X-ray.
Bon Bini – you made it!
Plan to Reduce Stress
You will want a couple of hours layover time in Curacao when traveling to Bonaire – particularly if you plan to take the antigen test in the airport before you fly to Bonaire. The longer the layover, the more stress-free connection and wiggle room.
If the process sounds daunting or you require help with a larger party or family traveling, you can arrange VIP assistance at the airport. Charles de Rooy has been operating the Customer Service Desk at the Curacao Airport for decades. He can assist with meet and greet and expediting your way through the process, assist with your antigen testing, luggage, check in for your Bonaire flights and more. Contact him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 599-9-839-1666
If you have an extended layover in the airport (or overnight in Curacao and find yourself back at the airport with time to kill), there is a newly expanded VIP lounge. For details to access the lounge, see https://www.curacao-airport.com/viplounge
Documentation Requirements for Curacao Entry
- For entry into Curacao all travelers will need to fill out and submit a Digital Immigration card (DI card) online (and carry a printed copy) as soon as you have all your travel information. Go to Curacao Entry Portal (dicardcuracao.com)
- All travelers need to complete the online Passenger Locater Card form (PLC) within 48 hours of your traveling to Curacao and carry a printed copy. You can access this from the same link at Curacao Entry Portal (dicardcuracao.com)
- Travelers are required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure to Curacao OR your 24 hour NAAT test. Be sure and print 2 or more hard copies of your COVID test (they may keep a copy on Curacao). For Curacao, children age 6 and under are not required to have the test if they show no symptoms of COVID-19.
UPDATE : We have received notice from the Curacao Tourism Board that passengers in transit (coming from the USA to Curacao and then continuing to Bonaire that day) do not need a COVID test. You will need to fill out the PLC but when you get to the travel information you can select the same date for arrival and departure as well as define ‘in transit’ as the reason for visit. The same rules apply on the way back from Bonaire to the USA.
Since you will have COVID tests for Bonaire coming down and for the USA on your return, it is best to have extra copy to present in Curacao if asked.
Documentation Requirements for Bonaire Entry
- For entry into Bonaire, all travelers are required to fill out and submit a health declaration form online, no earlier than 72 hours or later than 48 hours before departure. Go to the link Bonaire Public Health Department
- All travelers will need to print the form and have it with them for flight check in and upon arrival on Bonaire. You may also keep a copy of the declaration on your mobile phone, tablet or computer, but the Public Health Department prefers a printed version.
- All travelers 13 years and older must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival on Bonaire ALONG WITH proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken no more than 24 hours before departure to Bonaire. This can be done before your departure from the U.S. (if you arrive on Bonaire the same day) or in Curacao before your departure for Bonaire.
- INSTEAD of number 3 above, you may present a negative NAAT test taken 24 hours prior to your departure to the islands (assuming you are arriving Bonaire the same day).
For additional details, see https://www.bonairecrisis.com/en/qas/qas-travelers/#main
That’s It, You Can Do This.
Spending the time working out the flights and getting your paperwork and online ducks in a row before you travel is the work. Once you start your journey, our customers report uncrowded airports and short waits with no real hassles or hang ups. And you get Bonaire with very few visitors in a safe destination. That’s the payoff!
Let us know and we will help you make it happen.
Contact us at 800-748-8733 or Mytrip@bonairepros.com
Editors Note: Our staff has been making connections to Bonaire via Curacao since 1986. Our first “COVID Era” customers made the connection on Feb. 6 with antigen testing in the Curacao airport.