Three weeks ago, I had never heard of a place called Bonaire. But then, one day, I decided to Google "world's best shore diving," and Bonaire kept showing up -- usually in the number one spot -- on every list.
So I did an image search for Bonaire, fell in love, and booked a flight.
As my departure rapidly approached, I checked the CDC website to read their recommendations for water and food safety in Bonaire.
Like many things, the government got it all wrong.
As per the CDC recommendations:
Okay, I thought. I'll bring mymost favorite piece of travel gear ever -- my Oko Advanced Filtration Water Bottle, which allows you to drink river, tap, or even mud puddle water from almost anywhere in the world safely -- without creating tons of plastic waste like bottled water would.
(I also bought a new Lifestraw GO Water Bottle, which I actually liked a little better -- the flow rate was faster.)
But very soon after I arrived in Bonaire, I realized something:
The person who made the bottled water recommendation has clearly never been to (or even Googled) Bonaire.
The drinking water here is perfectly safe. It comes from a desalination plant right here on the island. I have been drinking it this entire trip without any problems whatsoever.
How disappointing, then, that the US is making careless, clueless recommendations that cost travelers money while harming the environment.
I was at the grocery store the other day, and was sad to see so many travelers walking out of the store with tons of plastic. We all know exactly where that plastic is going to end up:
Note: this is NOT a picture from Bonaire. But it's not like they and their neighbors have such great waste management systems that I haven't seen any plastic washed up on the beaches here.
In short, buying bottled water in Bonaire is not only completely unnecessary -- it's also really horrible for the environment. So please don't. If you're super worried about the (completely safe) tap water here, invest in an Oko or a Lifestraw water bottle. That way, you can still minimize your plastic footprint and keep Bonaire beautiful.
12/1/2016 03:27:02 am
"Like many things, the government got it all wrong. "
3/13/2017 10:49:42 pm
I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me.
6/10/2018 11:14:55 pm
Thanks for sharing your experience. I also loves to travel. What I love about travelling is when I got to a place that have a good and clean water supply. I want to travel to Bonaire. I will include it to my bucketlist.
4/17/2020 09:25:12 am
It is true about Bonaire tap water - very safe to drink and tastes awesome. We went to Bonaire and brought a bottle of sea water back with us ( in our checked baggage - of course) and tested a few times to see how clean it is. To our surprise, the sea water’s pH level was perfect. We have 4 reef tanks at home to which we use filtered osmosis water to do water change. If we live in Bonaire, I think we will use the sea water for our aquariums instead. Quick and easy. My point is Bonaire is one of the best place to visit. Coral reefs are phenomenal. We’ll definitely be back soon.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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