No doubt that sunshine and year-round warm winds combined with sprawling beaches, crystal clear water and beautiful coral reefs are the main attractions for the Netherland Antilles (Dutch Antilles).
All accompanied by Caribbean rhythms, the Netherlands Antilles is an ideal destination for a stress-free sun and beach holiday.
ABC Islands and SSS Islands
The Netherlands Antilles consists of several islands, divided into 2 groups: The "ABC Islands", Aruba, Bonaire Island and Curacao are located close to the Venezuelan coastline while the "SSS Islands", Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius are located east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The two groups of Islands are not connected as more than 800 kilometers separate them.
Aruba, Bonaire Island and Curacao offers almost eternal sunshine with an average annual temperature of 27 degrees, both in the air and at sea. Best time for backpackers to visit the islands is during the dry season from December to April. In June-November the humidity increases, and the air feels a lot warmer.
Things you should not miss in Aruba and Curacao
Eagle Beach in Aruba is the most popular of the many fine beaches of the Netherlands Antilles. It's often part of the popular top 10 lists with best beaches of the world. Diving and surfing also draws visitors to the Netherlands Antilles. Another place well worth visiting is Willem City on the island of Curacao with its colorful colonial houses.
There are some great shopping opportunities in Netherlands Antilles. Visit the Punda district in Curacao and the floating market, where boats from Venezuela and other neighboring islands docks to sell crafts, tropical fruit and much more.
Not the average backpacker hang-out
If you are going to the Netherlands Antilles, do not expect to find huge backpacker communities and plenty of budget hostels spread out over the Islands. Big family resorts and well-known hotel chains dominate the accommodation market - but still it's a nice stop-over option for backpackers with a desperate need for sun-bathing and relaxation needs.