Bonaire, st. Eustatius, and saba, also called the “Netherlands antilles,” incorporate the trio of dutch territories referred to as the caribbean netherlands. Luring many nature lovers and eco-tourists, all three islands offer superb possibilities for diving, swimming, snorkeling, and trekking.
Bonaire, just off the north coast of venezuela, close to curaçao and aruba, is famous for its pioneering conservation efforts. Much of the island is protected, and its marine park offers a number of the pleasant diving within the caribbean. Windsurfing and kayaking are different top things to do in bonaire, and the island’s diverse ecosystems encompass cactus-cloaked hills, salt pans, mangroves, coral reefs, and sunbaked beaches.
St. Eustatius, also referred to as “statia,” lies east of puerto rico and is home to a dormant volcano, the quill. This tiny island’s various terrain includes rainforest, rocky beaches, and colourful coral reefs with notable possibilities for diving. St. Eustatius became as soon as a thriving port throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, the island is making efforts to hold its herbal property and heritage homes.
Northwest of st. Eustatius, saba can be tiny at handiest thirteen square kilometers, but the 887-meter height of its volcano is the best factor within the netherlands. Trekking is extremely good at the slopes of the aptly named mount surroundings, and the marine park gives a few honestly pristine dive sites.
Find out the quality locations to go to within the caribbean netherlands with our list of the top tourist attractions in bonaire, st. Eustatius, and saba.
Mangrove Kayak Tours, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
The mangrove records middle offers guided kayaking and snorkeling tours thru the pristine mangrove forests of lac bay. The seagrass beds here are a fertile environment for marine species such as conch, lobsters, stingrays, juvenile reef fish, and inexperienced turtles, and the clear, shallow waters are best for snorkeling.
Paddling through this fragile surroundings, you will learn all approximately how the flowers and animals are uniquely tailored to continue to exist here. Tours also are presented in solar boats for those who decide on now not to kayak.
Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
Kralendijk, which means that “coral reef,” is the capital of bonaire and its foremost port. Dutch colonial homes painted in brilliant pastel colours line the streets, and cruise ships dock right here from november via april.
Feel like a shopping restoration? On breedestraat, the primary shopping street, you should purchase shell artwork, neighborhood carvings, fabric, and clothes. Duty-loose stores also are alongside this stretch, and fishermen promote their capture every morning at the harbor. Whilst the cruise ships visit, market stalls promoting island-made merchandise pop up round wilhelmina rectangular.
To find out about the records of bonaire and the caribbean, prevent via the tremendous terramar museum. Occupying a restored historical constructing within the center of metropolis, the museum traces extra than 7,000 years of the island’s history. It’s a splendid region to visit while you first arrive at the island.
After exploring the metropolis, if you just want to loosen up via the ocean, head to ocean oasis seashore membership. Right here, you can recline on solar loungers along the seashore with snacks and refreshments. Palapas offer plenty of color.
From kralendijk, water taxis whisk divers and snorkelers across the bay to the uninhabited islet of klein bonaire.
The Quill Hiking Trails, St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
You can’t pass over the quill on st, eustatius. Rising 600 meters above sea stage in quill/countrywide park, this volcanic cone is the island’s dominant topographic characteristic. And hiking up it’s miles one of the pinnacle activities in st. Eustatius.
8 unique trails thread their manner thru this rugged landscape. The most popular is the quill trail, which takes you up via lush forest to the crater rim. From here, you may take the mazinga path to the island’s highest point. Forestall to rest right here and soak up the fantastic perspectives.
For a extraordinary angle, you can project thru lush forest deep into the crater itself at the aptly named crater trail. Shorter trails lead via a spread of tropical plants, together with wild orchids, ferns, and fruit timber. A limestone formation referred to as white wall lies on the south facet of the volcano.
Begin early in the day to overcome the warmth, and in case you want to keep your energy for hiking the paths, it’s high-quality to take a taxi to the trailhead. Make certain to deliver lots of water, too.
Simplest miles from the quill, boven country wide park covers the island’s northern hills and is a whole lot drier. Cactus, acacia, and rock outcrops pepper the grasslands, and you may explore the arid landscape on trekking trails as well. Searching out the proper picnic spot? Venus bay here is a picturesque spot to relaxation your weary legs after tackling the thigh-burning trails.
Statia National Marine Park, St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Diving inside the marine park is one of the most famous things to do in st. Eustatius. Comprised of the northern and southern reserves, the statia country wide marine park earrings the island and is only open to site visitors followed by means of local operators.
The dive websites are diverse, with everything from volcanic fissures and mini-walls to drop-offs, pinnacles, and wrecks. The marine existence on the fairly wholesome herbal and artificial reefs is simply as varied. You could see plenty of tropical fish, as well as sharks, lobsters, turtles, seahorses, and octopus. Dive moorings make it smooth to get right of entry to the sites with out destructive the reef.
In case you choose to snorkel, you could discover three web sites inside the reserve, however both divers and snorkelers ought to purchase a dive allow, which is going in the direction of mooring upkeep.
Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
Even in case you’re not a donkey lover, a visit to the donkey sanctuary in bonaire will heat your coronary heart. Donkeys had been first delivered to bonaire by using the spaniards in the seventeenth century, however were left to fend for themselves in this dry, barren island once they had been now not wished. The sanctuary rescues injured and sick donkeys, nursing them again to health and hand-raising orphaned animals.
Loads of those charismatic creatures swarm your vehicle as you arrive, poking their heads thru the home windows and gently accepting carrots, which might be available for buy. Your entrance charge and donations go in the direction of the fees of caring for all the donkeys.
Oranjestad, St.Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Oranjestad, the most effective metropolis on st. Eustatius, sits excessive on a cliff overlooking the caribbean on the island’s west coast. This former merchant hub is split into higher and decrease towns.
You can discover a number of 18th-century ruins inside the decrease area across the bay, with agencies and greater latest improvement within the top city. Overlooking lower oranjestad, the preserved 17th-century fortress oranje retains its cannons and bastions.
The st. Eustatius historic foundation museum in oranjestad presentations household and nautical articles and antiques, and the dutch reform church has been in ruins for the reason that roof became destroyed in the 18th century, however you can nevertheless climb its tower for a clean view of the island.
Close to oranjestad, on a hilltop, are the remains of 18th-century citadel de windt, with lovely perspectives over the ocean to neighboring st. Kitts.