Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba International Travel Information
All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from the BES Islands. All sea travelers must have a passport or passport card. To enter the BES islands, you are required to have an onward or return ticket, proof of sufficient funds, and proof of lodging accommodations for your stay. For the most current visa information please visit the website of the Caribbean Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service.
For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Miami. For more information on visas or extending your visit, please call the Immigration Office of Bonaire at +599-715-8330.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the BES Islands.
Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.
Crime: Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are all assessed as low-crime areas as their small populations provide a high level of social control and their police forces are professional and responsive. Those crimes that do occur are generally non-violent, financially-motivated, and opportunistic in nature such as pickpocketing, thefts of unattended bags, and smash and grabs of empty vehicles. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas or in unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes. Keep a copy of your valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case it is stolen.
Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis. The legal drinking age of 18 is not always rigorously enforced on the BES islands, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Travel in pairs or groups and be responsible with alcohol consumption.
For information on scams, visit the Department of State and FBI pages on scams and safety.
Victims of Crime: Dial 911 for police assistance in the BES Islands. Contact the U.S. Consulate at (+599)(9)-461-3066 after you have contacted local police. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
Do not rely on hotels, restaurants, or tour companies to make the police report for you.
For more information, see our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/health/insurance-providers.html).
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Dutch law allows for suspects to be held by order of a judge without a hearing during an investigation.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in the BES Islands
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in the Dutch Caribbean prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access. However, accessibility may be limited in some lodgings and general infrastructure.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Access to quality medical care is limited on the BES Islands, and facilities do not offer the health and service standards typically expected in the United States.
For emergency services in the BES Islands, dial 911.
Ambulance services are widely available.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of the Netherlands to ensure the medication is legal in the BES islands. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Drug stores or “boticas” provide prescription and over-the-counter medicine. Visitors need a local prescription, and may not be able to find medications normally available in the U.S. Emergency services are usually quick to respond.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals [LINK]. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
General Health Language
The following diseases are prevalent:
Road Conditions and Safety: Nonexistent, hidden, and poorly maintained street signs are a major road hazard on the BES islands. Proceed through intersections with caution. Roads can be extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe if you are familiar with the route and road conditions. Many streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. In Bonaire and St. Eustatius, be vigilant for wild donkeys or other animals crossing the road. Use caution when driving in Saba as roads tend to be steep and have many sharp turns.
The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.
Traffic Laws: Driving on the BES islands is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age must be in child safety seats, and children under 12 must ride in the back seat.
Public Transportation: Taxis are an easy form of transportation on the islands. Verify the price before entering the taxi, as there are no meters. Fares are quoted in U.S. dollars. In Bonaire, public minibuses are inexpensive and run nonstop during the day with no fixed schedule. Each minibus has a specific route displayed on the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are good to fair. There is no public transportation in Saba or St. Eustatius.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the BES Islands’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of BES Islands’ air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to the BES Islands should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.