Traveling Luck for Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles is located in Caribbean, two island groups in the Caribbean Sea - composed of five islands, Curacao and Bonaire located off the coast of Venezuela, and St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius lie east of the US Virgin Islands.

Netherlands Antilles has borders with Guadeloupe for 10.199999999999999km.

Land in Netherlands Antilles is generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Dutch Antillean land covers an area of 960 square kilometers which is more than five times the size of Washington, DC

As for the Dutch Antillean climate; tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.

Dutch Antillean(s) speak Papiamento 65.4% (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect), English 15.9% (widely spoken), Dutch 7.3% (official), Spanish 6.1%, Creole 1.6%, other 1.9%, unspecified 1.8% (2001 census).

Dutch Antillean National Map

Dutch Antillean Map

Regions of Netherlands Antilles

Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curacao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Saint Martin is shared with France; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles; its northern portion is called Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe (France).


Netherlands Antilles Country Profile

Tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance are the mainstays of this small economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Although GDP has declined or grown slightly in each of the past eight years, the islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, the US and Mexico being the major suppliers. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development of agriculture. Budgetary problems hamper reform of the health and pension systems of an aging population.

Dutch Antillean natural resources include phosphates (Curacao only), salt (Bonaire only)

the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles are divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao)

Dutch Antillean religion is Roman Catholic 72%, Pentecostal 4.9%, Protestant 3.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.1%, Methodist 2.9%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.7%, other Christian 4.2%, Jewish 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.2%, none 5.2% (2001 census).

Natural hazards in Netherlands Antilles include Curacao and Bonaire are south of Caribbean hurricane belt and are rarely threatened; Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are subject to hurricanes from July to October.

Travel Advice on Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

This advice has been reviewed and reissued.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • The nearest British Diplomatic Mission for the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) is the British Embassy in Caracas.  For St Maarten it is the British High Commission in Barbados.  There is an Honorary Consulate in Curacao where you can receive general assistance.  Please see the General section of this travel advice for more information.

  • You should be aware that the Islands are used as a drug passageway from South America to Europe and North America.  Never leave bags unattended nor agree to carry a package for anyone.

  • Officially, British tourists may enter for only 14 days but extensions are easily available.

  • The hurricane season in the Dutch Caribbean normally runs from June to November.  Please see the Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice and Hurricanes for more information.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Around 10,000 British tourists visit the Dutch Caribbean every year.  Most visits are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in the Dutch Caribbean is petty theft and street crime.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at www.dh.gov.uk
NATURAL DISASTERS
The hurricane season in the Dutch Caribbean normally runs from June to November.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation. You can also access the National Hurricane Centre for updates. Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a hurricane.
Most hurricanes pass well to the north of the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) islands, which have no record of a recent major hurricane; there are occasional tropical storms.  However, St. Maarten, Statia and Saba, and many other islands in the northern and eastern Caribbean have experienced some quite severe hurricanes in the last decade.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see: What We Can Do To Help
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are separate countries (within the Kingdom of the Netherlands), with separate governments, central banks etc.  The southern group (the "ABC" islands) lie within 50 miles of Venezuela while the northern group, consisting of St Maarten, St Eustatius (Statia) and Saba are some 600 miles to the north east, about 100 miles east of Puerto Rico.  St Maarten is the Dutch side of an island that is half French (St Martin).  
There is an Honorary Consulate in Curacao (details below) where passport, visa forms, emergency travel documents and general assistance can be obtained.  Passport and visa forms are also available at the Parliament Building in Back Street, St Maarten and from Bureau of Foreign Affairs in Aruba.
The nearest British Diplomatic Mission for the ABC islands is the British Embassy in Caracas.  For St Maarten it is the British High Commission in Barbados.
Money
The local currency is the Antillean guilder (NAf) for the Netherlands Antilles and the Aruban Guilder (Afl).  For both currencies 100 cents equals a guilder and both have been fixed to the US Dollar at approximately 1.80 NAf to 1USD for over 35 years.  Local currency and US Dollar ATM machines (Maestro/Cirrus) are situated all over the islands.  Major credit cards are accepted in practically all tourist establishments.