St. Marteen, Simpson Bay
photo by vlasta2


Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curaçao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Sint Maarten is shared with France; its northern portion is named "Saint-Martin" and is part of Guadeloupe.

The Antilles are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but with full internal autonomy.


Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.


Five islands in two groups. Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.


Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.


Leeward Islands

  • Saba

  • Sint Eustatius

  • Sint Maarten

Windward Islands


Getting there

By plane

There is an airport on each island.

By boat

Ports and harbors at Kralendijk, Philipsburg, Willemstad.


The different islands of the Netherlands Antilles vary enormously and so do the accommodations. On Bonaire it is forbidden to build higher than three floors up, resulting in many smaller accommodations scattered along the islands coast. On the largest island Curaçao, you will find basically any kind of accommodation, from large hotel chains to small privately owned properties that you can rent per week or even per day. Some good places to stay include:


  • Plaza Resort Bonaire , 781-821-1012, 781-821-1012, J.A. Abraham Boulevard 80, Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, Enjoy the best of Bonaire scuba diving at Plaza Resort Bonaire, a dive resort that offers spacious accommodations in a magnificent sun-drenched setting. Less than five minutes' drive from the airport, our air-conditioned Bonaire villas and suites feature beautiful views of the lagoon, marina, or ocean. With an on-site PADI dive center and invigorating activity options like snorkeling and windsurfing, you'll soon discover why we are the perfect destination for a sunny vacation in Bonaire.

  • Harbour Village Beach Club Hotel Bonaire

  • Habitat dive resorts

  • Villas Bonaire

  • Coral Paradise Bonaire Resort


  • Flamingo Villa

  • Floris Suite

  • Kura Holanda

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

vlasta2, Cristina, Phil Comeau, gailf548

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Globe-trotterTodd VerBeek, Stephen Atkins and Yann Forget, Tatatabot, ChubbyWimbus, Ypsilon, Episteme, Pashley, InterLangBot, Bijee, Engelshai and CIAWorldFactbook2002

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish - Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)
Area960 sq km
Population219,958 (July 2006 est.)
ReligionRoman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist
TimezoneUTC -4