© Powered by SiteSpirit
The Antilles (Dutch Caribbean) are two groups of Caribbean islands, the Leeward and Windward Islands. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao (ABC islands) are the Leeward Islands. St. Martin, Saba and Statia are the Windward Islands (the SSS islands).
Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, are in the southern Caribbean, outside the Hurricane Belt, 50 miles north of Venezuela.
They are tropical islands and the climate does not vary - perfect all the time! Almost always 29 degrees (84ºF) sunny, with a constant, cooling breeze keeping you fresh and comfortable.
Rainy season is end of October to the beginning of January, 56cm (22 inches) of rain annually, short, heavy showers, then the sun is out again. Warm and sunny in January or July!
Good time to go?
The islands were settled by Caiquetios Indians from Venezuela. The Spanish came to Bonaire in 1499 and the islands, like other Caribbean islands, were part of the battle for colonies by European countries. The Dutch took control in 1815, made Curaçao the centre of Government, until 1954 when colonial government ended. The islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but largely self-governing.
This varied history has given each island a fascinating cosmopolitan heritageof Spanish, Dutch and West African influence.The official language is Dutch, islanders speak Papiamento, a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Dutch and African languages - but everyone speaks English.
Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire have the same rich heritage, but have developed in different ways, and have distinct characters.
Aruba has more hotels, casinos, night clubs etc. It has large, white sandy beaches, and lots of amenities.
Curaçao, the largest island, has a mixture of excellent diving and sight seeing, with a vibrant night life in it's capital Willemstad, a UNESCO word heritage site, with over 700 protected historical buildings.
Bonaire, is a small island committed to resist commercial development, and has a relaxed, unique atmosphere, world class diving sites and many outdoor activities.
The islands are rated, by European dive magazines, as being in the top four scuba diving sites in the world. Naturally there is a big emphasis on diving, we are also a diving holiday specialist. But diving is not compulsory! There is lots to see and do.
"Activities" are organised in a low-key way. No queues, no large groups "taking part". Activities are individual, or small groups, and organised for people to have fun. Without an audience, you may be encouraged to try new adventures. There is no mass tourism as Europeans know it. There are no crowds on these islands, in or out of the water. The local people are friendly and helpful, and never push themselves forward. There is a total lack rush and fuss. If you want to relax, and enjoy yourself, there is no place like these islands!
The Ocean around the islands is a constant, warm, wonderful 28C (82F). Water visibility is around 40 metres. There is little tidal change, so the ocean on west coasts is warm and calm. If you are not a diver, we urge you to try snorkeling. The east coasts, "open ocean" coasts, have heavier seas with strong currents and larger fish. Experienced divers will enjoy the challenge. The islands are known for the huge diversity and quantity of fish. Diving around the islands is as easy or as challenging as you want to make it. The islands are good for divers with families. Dive sites are close to shore, so you are not away for long. Several resorts have children's clubs and babysitters.
Each island has a large number of restaurants. The islands' cosmopolitan cultures are evident in the very wide variety of cuisine on offer. The quality of the food is excellent. There is also a wide range of restaurants, to suit all budgets.
Eating out is not expensive. If you self-cater, food from the supermarket is reasonably priced. You can buy the usual provisions, and some items you have never seen before. You won't know until you try it!
We inspect each resort and hotel regularly, and can confirm the quality of accommodation is excellent. You will be pleasantly surprised at the spacious rooms, large beds, modern kitchen facilities etc. Double beds are "queen size" which is a King Size bed in English money, so they are a good size. Some rooms have king size beds, which are huge. There is accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, hotel rooms to luxurious suites, studios to three bedroom apartments, private houses and villas to penthouse apartments. All bedrooms have air conditioning. Much of the accommodation is on small resorts in apartments or bungalows, and you can self-cater some meals if you want. These are always very small scale resorts, nothing higher than the second floor, so no high-rise, with pools, restaurants and a lot of extra facilities and activities. Many have a dive shop on site, with
facilities for divers, lockers, rinse tanks, refill stations, etc. Accommodation is not expensive on these islands, and we can be flexible regarding the number of days you want to spend in the Caribbean.
There are no special vaccinations required for the Antilles. We know of no major health issues associated with the islands. Each island has excellent medical facilities, Aruba and Curaçao being busier islands, have larger facilities. Bonaire has a hospital with 60 beds, and a decompression chamber. There is an air-ambulance service in case of major emergencies, 20 minutes to Curaçao.
Flights to the Dutch Caribbean are via Amsterdam (Schiphol), with KLM, Martinair or ArkeFly. UK connections to link with these flights are made to suit you. Exact times are shown on any holiday proposal. Inter island flights are arranged as part of your schedule, We can request extra luggage allowance for sports and diving equipment, a charge is made for the extra luggage. Please advise of any special dietary needs, or children's requirements.
Whatever your preference, relaxing and enjoying the fantastic weather in peace and quiet on the superb beaches, or enjoying outdoor sports, we are experienced in organising holidays in this special part of the world. We have working partnerships with the hotels and resorts on the islands, car hire companies, excursion organisers and all the main dive schools. For people from the UK and Ireland these islands are a new, "undiscovered" destination.
The lack of commercial development allows you to enjoy these islands, without feeling like a tourist, looking in from the outside. You can enjoy the atmosphere, the warmth and friendliness, and enjoy your holiday to the full.
Bonaire Fun Travel
15 Grass Slade
Brixworth, NN6 9HZ UK