The Dutch Caribbean is a former colony of the Netherlands and is located in the Caribbean. The area includes the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. These exotic islands attract tourists from all over the world.

A brief history of the Dutch Carribean 

Until 2010, these islands were part of the Netherlands, known as the Netherlands Antilles, established in the 1950s. each island has its own well-defined history, but the first human settlements were created by indigenous tribes from Venezuela. During the mid and late 1400s, the islands were discovered by Spanish explorers. Then in 1600, the Dutch occupied the islands, to obtain the salt supplies and importantly to create a naval base in the Caribbean during the long war against Spain. Even today the impact of colonialism can be felt, especially in the language, as the people on the islands speak Dutch, but they also use Creole languages, English and Spanish.

What to see 

Aruba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, there are simply miles and miles of soft, white sand beaches and crystal clear sea. Aruba is also a lot of fun and it's easy to find places on the beach with bars and music.

Also, be sure to go on some excursions to explore nature, for example, why not go to the top of Mount Hooiberg in the middle of the island. You climb up along a staircase, whilst climbing you can enjoy the views of the beautiful landscape. In Oranjestad, the island's capital, there is an ancient windmill from 1815 to visit along with many interesting museums.

Another island, Bonaire faces the coast of Venezuela and is an ideal destination for those who love diving and snorkelling. There are some rare, multicoloured species in the water there.  Flamingos also nest on the islands, which is a real spectacle! There is a national park on Bonaire which is home to 100 species of birds, including colourful parrots and pelicans. The capital is called Kralendijk and has beautiful yellow houses with red roofs.

The island of Curaçao, in addition to having beautiful sea, has a very beautiful natural harbour in Willemstad, the capital, there is also an old city known as Punda. The island is suitable for all types of traveller; nature lovers can take an excursion to Christoffelberg mountain to admire the expanses of cactus.  You can also enjoy the wonderful beaches and admire the Dutch style houses, each home is painted in a different colour. Liquor is also produced in Curaçao and a visit to the distillery is a must!

Sint Martin is a very small island and is shared with France. It has a very beautiful bay where sailing regattas are often held. The island is known for its excellent tourist infastrcuture and it has become a popular luxury tourist destination. 

Legend has it that Christopher Columbus came to Sint Eustatius and it is known as Golden rock, famous for its thriving economy. There are breathtaking beaches on Sint Eustatius, crystal clear sea and a rich seabed to explore. The island is also known as Statia and in the past, it was an important location for the slave trade, as many African slaves were brought here to work the plantations. The island therefore has many beautiful historic buildings.

Travel guides and tips: DUTCH CARIBBEAN

Discover how to reach and what to do in Dutch Caribbean: tips, events, local festivals, culture, food and all the other details to explore Dutch Caribbean can be found on our blog!

The Dutch Caribbean – also known as the Dutch West Indies – are colonial islands belonging to the Dutch Empire and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They are located i...