What Kind of Currency is Used in Bonaire?

By Sophy Owuor on January 19 2020 in Economics

The US dollar.
The US dollar.

Bonaire is an island in the Caribbean Sea’s the Leeward Antilles. The island covers an area of approximately 111 square miles and has a population of about 20,000 permanent residents. Bonaire, together with Aruba and Curacao form the ABC Islands situated off the coast of Venezuela. Up to 2010, Bonaire Island formed part of the Netherlands Antilles. However, it is now a special municipality within the Netherlands, with the majority of the population (80%) being Dutch. It forms part of the BES Islands in the Caribbean along with Saba and Sint Eustatius.

Currency of Bonaire

Since Bonaire is a special municipality of the Netherlands, many would expect Euro to be the currency used on the island, however, the United States dollar is the currency used in Bonaire. The US dollar was introduced by the BES Islands in 2011 to replace the Netherlands Antillean guider in 2011. The decision to replace the old currency with the US dollar and not the Euro was based on the needs for tourism and trade. Like Bonaire, most Caribbean territories either use the dollar as their official currency or have their currencies linked to the dollar. Even before adopting the dollar, Bonaire linked the guilder to the US dollar at a rate of 1.79 guilders for one dollar. Although Bonaire adopted the dollar, the guilder remained in use in Aruba and Curacao.

About the US Dollar

The dollar is the official currency of the US and its territories. It is the most widely used currency in the world and the primary reserve currency. Besides being the official currency of the United States, it is also used by several other countries and territories as their official currency as well as a de facto currency for many other countries. The US dollar is issued both in coin and banknote form. The coin denominations range from one cent to one-dollar coins. The Federal Reserve Notes are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

While the dollar is centuries old, it was adopted by Bonaire on the New Year’s Day 2011 as its proper currency. However, even before the adoption of the currency, people were quite happy to use the dollar as well. The dollar currency in Bonaire is minted in both coins and banknote denominations the same as in the US. However, while other denominations are readily available, the $2 banknote is very rare on the island.

How to Get the US Dollar in Bonaire

One can easily get the US dollar before traveling to Bonaire since it is one of the most popular currencies in the world. The dollar can be ordered online or from the bureau de change. The island of Bonaire also has plenty of dollars. There are many cash machines or ATMs around the islands that allow one to withdraw money off their accounts in US dollars as long as the bank card is accepted by the machine. All the currency converters in Bonaire have included the US dollar on them so that foreigners who travel to the island can easily convert their currencies to the dollar. Credit cards are also accepted in Bonaire.

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