The Dutch Caribbean refers to the island territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which is comprised of six islands divided by two geographic groups. Lying near the Venezuelan coast are the "Leeward" islands commonly known as the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. In the Atlantic are the "Windward" islands also known as SSS islands or simply Triple-S islands – Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. All islands sport amazing diving destinations filled with abundant marine life.
Bonaire, the largest of the ABC islands, holds an international reputation as one of the best scuba diving and snorkelling resorts in the world. The underwater paradise of the Bonaire National Marine Park protects 2600 hectares of 57 species of soft and stony coral reefs, sea grass, mangroves and more than 350 recorded species of fishes such as colourful Parrot Fish of all varieties, Friendly Angel Fish, feisty Sergeant Majors, and Butterfly Fish, File Fish sporting electric blue stripes, Grunts, Gobies and Groupers. There are also schools of Blue Tangs and Jacks and the Camouflaging Frog Fish. Bonaire offers a total of 86 breathtaking dive sites that can be easily accessed by a boat or simply by the shore. Because of its year-round perfect climate sporting crystal clear waters, Bonaire is simply the shore-diving capital of the world. It is indeed a diver's paradise from beginner to advanced divers who want a more laid back and pleasurable diving. For advanced divers looking to experience marine wildlife in action, there is the Red Slave dive site with depths of 6-25 metres/20-80 feet. Horse-eye jacks and turtles are seen here and the exciting experience is when the larger predatory fishes are in hot pursuit of off-shore schools of baitfish and bigeye scad.
Recent and historical shipwrecks can also be explored in the island of Statia which also sports beautiful coral reefs, drop-offs, and canyons.
Bonaire is one of the pioneers in marine conservation since 1979. Bonaire National Marine Park truly displays the island's diligent stewardship of its marine resources as it's filled with an exuberant marine life. Humpback Whales are being tagged in St. Maarten waters to further improve their conservation strategies.
The ABC islands have dry and hot climate all year long. Average annual temperature is 82F/28°C and the water temperature is 77F/25°C. Pleasant trade winds are present year-round and there's almost no rain. Being outside the hurricane belt, the ABC islands sport the best dive sites for divers of all levels.
The Triple-S islands have a tropical climate with trade winds year-round. The average temperature s 80F/27°C with some rainfall during August through September.
Traveling to Dutch Caribbean is made possible by Flamingo International Airport located in Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands. The airport caters to local flights as well as international flights.
Air travel is the recommended transportation in the islands. There are taxis available whose drivers also double as island tour guides.
Bus transportation system is available in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
On every island, car rentals are available.
The general transportation system in the Dutch Caribbean is deemed safe and highly efficient with overwhelmingly friendly locals.
Use the following links for more information about;
- Decompression Chambers in Dutch Caribbean
- More about Dutch Caribbean (Wikipedia)
Saba is a tiny volcanic island in the Caribbean that offers unspoilt diving opportunities with virtually no crowds. This 13 square kilometer island is officially part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – though English is the primary language – and has...Go>
Small friendly island with no mass tourism less than 100 hotel rooms and only 3000 inhabitants. Sint Eustatius (“Statia”) is a tiny haven in the Caribbean for divers. Immediately off the dock of the island are 7 distinct eco systems, with walls,...Go>