Netherlands Antilles: what are, what to see in the Caribbean islands

Holidays in the Netherlands Antilles, where they are, what are the islands, tips for travel, health precautions, the best times to go, what to see.

Guide Netherlands Antilles

The Netherlands Antilles, geographically part of North America, have for capital Willemstad and are an overseas territory of the Netherlands. Located in the Caribbean, part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. These islands are a federal state that can independently take decisions on domestic issues, while for the foreign policy of the Netherlands is the COMPETENCE.

The main islands of the archipelago are five, namely, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius and St. Maarten, divided into the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands, the latter characterized by a climate with a moisture content in the air and more much more windy than the first, to the point that each year are affected by violent hurricanes.

The climate of the two groups of islands is tropical, with temperatures between 23 ° and 30 ° C. Although the official language of the Dutch islands is normally spoken Papiamento, which is a local dialect that combines languages different words that include Portuguese, African, Spanish, English and Dutch.

Before starting it is advisable to get immunized, by vaccine against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and diphtheria, and counsel with your family doctor for a possible malaria prophylaxis in case you have plans to visit the island of Saba, where it may be possible contract, in fact, malaria.

In baggage understand a stock of essential medicines and take out a health insurance including assistance on site and any return air according to the needs that arise.

For entry you must be in possession of a valid passport and air ticket to return, you should not stay for longer than two weeks, otherwise you need to ask the immigration office an extension of the residence permit.

About the best times to go, is raccomandado visit the archipelago in the dry season, which runs from December to April, to avoid the risk of hurricanes that may occur at other times of the year.
As for the religious aspect, almost all of the population are Christian, Protestant and Catholic, with minorities of Muslim, Jewish and Hindu.

Deciding to spend a vacation to the Netherlands Antilles, no one should expect an island few tourists, as are many tourists throughout the year, confirming the special beauty of these islands.

What to see Netherlands Antilles

Willenstad is the capital recognized by UNESCO. Located on the island of Curacao, is a city with Dutch-style houses from the various colors and very sloped roofs. The attractions to visit in the city within the museum Curacao, where there is a collection of art objects produced by past generations of inhabitants, the two bridges Ponton, places to well 490 meters high on the natural harbor of the city, and the museum Maritime, which collects documents narrating the primary importance of navigation over time.

Curacao, the Leeward Islands, is the largest island, located a few tens of kilometers from the coast of Venezuela, has a territory rocky with little vegetation due to drought. They are to visit, in addition to the capital, the caves of stalactites found in Hato, near the airport, also including streams, waterfalls and paintings on the rock. Also interesting is the aquarium, which reproduces the marine environment of the Caribbean, with hundreds of species of fish, also for fans of outdoor walks, in the green, it is recommended to visit the natural park of St. Christoffel, where There are over 400 plants and numerous species of birds. Do not miss the frequent rock paintings that can be seen wandering around the island, the result of artistic wisdom of Arawak Indians.

Bonaire, Leeward Islands, can be divided into two distinct areas territorially. To the north green hills, while to the south arid and flat with saltwater lakes. Kralendijks is a city that is distinguished by its colonial-style houses by the bright colors and the promenade dotted with places to eat. Washington Slagbaai National Park, occupies the north-west of the island and is well worth a visit. The island is also renowned for the beauty of the underwater world with its coral reefs, that annually attracts tens of thousands of tourists including many fans of diving. With a comfortable daily boat service, can be reached the Little Bonaire, an island with idyllic beaches with white beach of fine sand.

Saba, Leeward Islands, is the smallest of the islands in the Netherlands Antilles. Around the perimeter of the island is characterized by a rugged coast composed of volcanic rock, absent natural bays with sandy beaches. To visit the city The Bottom and the remains of the first settlement, dating back to 1640.

Saint Eustatius, Leeward Islands, is distinguished by the magnificent rain forest along the slopes of the extinct volcano Mount Quill and the hills of Boven Mountain. In Oranjestad, the only town divided into two districts, interesting places are the remnants of the colonial period and the Fort Oranje, defensive position on the sea still intact with cannons. The beaches are sandy, some black because of volcanic origin, and surrounded by coral reefs, the northeastern coast has characteristics ideal for lovers of surfing.

Saint Maarten, Leeward Islands, is of volcanic origin with a landscape consists largely of mountains and rolling hills covered with woods that rise behind the white sandy beaches along the coast. Philippsburg, the island’s capital, includes a number of buildings colonial period and churches. To see the monument in honor of Queen Wilhelmina and Fort Amsterdam, dating back to the earliest human settlements in the island. Maho Bay, is a perfect location for swimming and diving, thanks to some magnificent beaches.