Daily life on the Island

Daily Life In The Netherlands Antilles

When you think of the Caribbean, images of white sandy beaches, coral reefs, palm trees and tropical drinks come to mind. Well, at the top of my list of places to visit in the Caribbean, the Netherlands Antilles came first. Also known as the Dutch Antilles, this is a part of Holland and is famous for its casinos and nightlife. The Netherlands Antilles is made of up of three major islands, Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba. As I landed in Curacao which is the largest islands, I immediately noticed the fascinating blend of Afro-Spanish-Dutch culture. The common language spoken is Papiamentu but English is also commonly used. There are five star resorts and hotels in Curacao, but, if you prefer a day out in a calm and serene environment, head to Saba or Sint Eustatius. If you are vacationing in the Netherlands Antilles for the first time, you’ll find many tourists in areas around Willemstad, on Curacao, and Sint Maarten. In these areas, you’ll find picture perfect beaches, and also experience fine dining and a festive nightlife. If you’d like to head out from the crowd, head to Bonaire where you’ll find some of the best diving spots in the world.

What’s Netherlands Antilles Daily Life Like?

As I flew into Curacao, I only imagined myself relaxing on long, white-sand beaches with a tropical drink in hand. Apart from walking along the multicolored and picturesque waterfront houses for which Curacao is famous for, I found plenty of non-beach activities in the Dutch Antilles. The beaches are nice but if you think you are in Hawaii, you’ll be disappointed. Those near the main town are all resort beaches. This means that you’ll pay to enjoy them if you aren’t staying in one of the resorts. The beach area is usually cluttered with people, lounge chairs and artificial breakers to protect the beach against the waves. Public beaches are located up north. Unlike the resorts, these beaches are wider and more natural. The shoreline is filled with dead coral and rocks.

Public transportation in the Dutch Antilles is something that you can hardly describe as affordable and accessible. Buses only run every two hours and taxis are very expensive. If you want to explore the islands properly, you’ll have to rent a car during your stay because not having one will really limit what you can see. But, one thing I loved about the Netherlands Antilles was the locals. They are not only friendly but are also helpful and great at conversations. Some even volunteered to guide me around town or drive me to some places without having to pay for a taxi. If you are looking for place to eat, you can dine in the top class hotels in Curacao or you can sample the local dishes at some of the local, family-run restaurants.


Touring and Outdoor Activities in the Netherlands Antilles

The oldest continuously operating synagogue in the Western Hemisphere is located in Curacao. Water sports of all kinds are also popular. Scuba diving, swimming, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling and wind-surfing are possible year round. If you are a skilled diver, practice your sport at the underwater park. If you lack the necessary equipment, several Dive Shops offer rental services. Outdoor sports such as playing tennis, golf, soccer, ping pong and horseback riding are provided to members registered in the local clubs. If you are interested in flying, a small flying club offers small plane rentals and flight instruction. The rates are however high.

For those that want to learn the history of the Dutch Antilles, Curacao Museum has a permanent exhibition of antiques, paintings and artifacts. Tour the museum of Jewish history which is associated with the synagogue. A commercial Seaquarium displays local marine life and in the suburbs of Willemstad, you’ll find a small botanical garden and zoo. For a panoramic view of the west end of the Curacao Island, climb Mt. Christoffel which is surrounded by a national park. Near the airport are the grottos of Curacao while to the west end of the island you’ll find an unusual sea cave. Local cinemas show current movies. Several video rental stores also offer recent video releases. Facilities for ballet, symphony orchestras, operas and plays are available but are limited and infrequent. Most of the theatrical events are in Dutch or Papiamentu. Some tourist hotels in Curacao offer entertainment with floor shows, orchestras and dancing. Many have casinos and one has a discotheque. Several private discotheques are open as well.

Blog post courtesy of construction equipment rental company RDM Rents.


Netherlands Antilles history


Netherlands Antilles, a Dutch colonial ownership for vast majority of three hundreds of years, as soon as middle for slave trade in the Caribbean, has been an autonomous place of the Kingdom of Netherlands since 1954.

Aruba, one of the three major islands (others are Curaçao and Bonaire) withdrew from the federation in January 1986 to create its own local federal. In 1990, however, Aruba wanted and received from Netherlands a cancellation of the arrangement that could have granted freedom in 1996. It remains under Dutch safeguard and, at least unofficially, is still known as a fundamental element of the Antilles group.


Through the colonial period Curaçao was a middle of slave trade in the Caribbean. After emancipation of the slaves in 1863, Curaçao lost a lot of its monetary importance until 1916 when Royal Dutch Shell built a petrol refinery on the shores of Schottegat Harbor. Shell drawn away in 1985, and the Venezuelan petroleum company required over procedure of the refinery. Curaçao has the major repair dry-dock in the Caribbean also, a container interface, an important just offshore financial sector and many resort hotels.

The total variety of Americans residing on the island fluctuates but is the neighborhood of just one 1,000. The entire “foreign colony”, including Dutch nationals, is the reason 10% of the full total people. Curaçao has as much as 40 nationalities displayed, including a huge ratio of Indians, China and Indonesians.

Although Curaçao has been from the Netherlands for approximately 300 years, people to Curaçao find a understanding of Spanish is really as helpful as Dutch. English is understood and spoken to one degree or another by a huge percentage of the local population; Papiamentu is the language of lifestyle.

The city of Willemstad has almost all of Curaçao’s 150,000 people. Dutch structures predominate in the elderly parts of the populous city. Homes in the suburbs tend to be spacious and modern


Lying 20 miles east of Curacao, Bonaire has been under Dutch control since it was seized from Spanish settlers in 1634. For greater than a hundred years, it functioned as a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company, but came up under federal control in 1791. It really is split into two distinct physical areas: a hilly north area, increasing to 787 legs, and a flatter southern section where in fact the capital Kralendijk is situated.

Sint Eustatius

Sint Eustatius, known as Statis also, has been implemented by the Dutch since 1636 and became a middle of the slave trade. Its importance is uncovered by its possession having transformed hands 22 times between your Dutch, Spanish and French. At only six miles long and no more than three miles wide, the island is one of the tiniest in Netherlands Antilles chain.


Saba is the least-populated of the previous Netherlands Antilles because of its difficult surfaces. The island is in fact composed of the top of a historical volcano growing above sea level. Saba was initially sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493, but it continued to be uninhabited until 1640 when it was colonized by the Dutch.


With origins much like Curaçao, the Dutch captured Bonaire in 1663, and it became a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791 when the countrywide authorities reclaimed control.

Sint Eustatius

The first pay out in Sint Eustatius was founded in 1636 and modified hands between your Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in its record. Inside the 18th hundred years the island became a responsibility free dock for overburdened colonizers shipping and delivery back again to the homeland, which propelled it into a significant port with fast population expansion that lost momentum following the American-British tranquility treaty in 1783.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first ever to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 24 months the Spanish evacuated and invaded the settlers. A failing was created by the Dutch try to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island independently accord. In 1648 the island was divided between your Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in some conflicts. The UK became engaged as well, taking electricity for a 6- and 10-yr stint. Finally, in 1817, the existing partition series was set up. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation overall economy and the exportation of sodium until abolition of slavery in 1863.


In 1845 the Dutch Leeward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a politics device. The abolition of slavery injure the island’s market before 20th hundred years when olive oil was uncovered from the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was set up on Curaçao. Also throughout that period a just offshore financial sector was made to provide Dutch businesses.

Since 1945 the federation of Netherlands Antilles–Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten have been autonomous in inner affairs. Aruba also was an integral part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained position apart within the Kingdom of Netherlands .

About 85% of Curacao’s society is of African derivation. The rest of the 15% comprises of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, AMERICANS, and natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin People in the USA, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but other churches are displayed, such as Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, and Baptist. The Jewish community is the oldest in the American Hemisphere, dating back again to 1634. The recent faltering throughout the market has increased migration to Netherlands , young adults especially. Since 1998 about 5% of the populace has left the Hawaiian Islands every year for Netherlands .

The Hawaiian Islands are a remarkable mixture of Afro-Spanish-Dutch culture–a tapestry of sites, individuals, and dialects. The countryside is abundant with history, and in natural marvels which pull more and more holidaymakers every year to these jewels in sunlight.

Article sponsored by excellent Burnaby moving company, Pro Movers Burnaby.