Welcome to the Dutch Caribbean, a six island paradise in an emerald green sea.   Whether you like diving, surfing, sailing, hiking or simply soaking up the sun on endless snow white beaches, each of the six islands promises you a unique and wonderful vacation.

The islands are divided into two geographic groups:- the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) which lie near the Venezuelan coast and known as the "Leeward" islands The SSS islands, or the Triple- S islands, are in the Atlantic, and known as the "Windward" islands.

The bright sun that shines year round, and the islanders' warm friendly hospitality unite otherwise very different islands.

A little bit European, very Caribbean...

Entry to the Dutch Caribbean
Citizens of the E.U. do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days. Only a valid passport and an ongoing ticket are required. Entry forms will mostly be distributed on board the plane. Children travelling with their parents must be registered in the passport of one of their parents or have their own passport with photograph. Children not accompanied by their parents need a separate passport with photograph. Citizens of other countries must check the entry regulations with the Dutch consulate or embassy.

Time
Central European Time minus 6 hours in summer; 5 hours in winter, respectively.

Vaccination regulations
No vaccinations are currently required for a trip to the Dutch Caribbean. This could change. Please contact your doctor before travelling.

Climate
ABC Islands: dry and hot all year long. The average annual temperature is 28°C, water temperature 25°C. There are pleasant trade winds all year and almost no rain. The ABC Islands are located outside the hurricane belt.

SSS Islands: tropical climate with trade winds the year round and an average temperature of 27°C. Some rainfall in August and September.

Language
The offical language on all six islands is Dutch. On the ABC Islands English and Spanish are also widely spoken. The colloquial language is Papiamento a creole mixture of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and native Indian and African. The local language on the SSS Islands is English.

Electricity/Energy
110 to 130 V. Some hotels have 220 V. It would be advisable to bring switchable electrical appliances. American plug.

Currency/Means of payment The official currency is the Netherlands Antilles Florin (NAF) and on Aruba the Aruban Florin. US-Dollars as well as credit cards and traveller cheques are accepted everywhere. Eurocheques can only be used in some banks (partly with high transaction fees).

Transportation
Most of the taxis are not metered. There are fixed rates for certain routes, which can be found out at the airport or hotel. On Saba most taxi drivers are also guides. There is bus transportation on Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. Rental cars can be hired on every island. Find approximate rates in the accompanying folder of this catalogue.

Tipping
In restaurants and bars a service charge of 10 to 15 % is usually included in the bill. If not then a tip of 10 to 15 % should be given. If you are more than satisfied with the service you received you are very welcome to give an additional tip. At hotels: chamber maid: USD 1 per day. Bell boy: USD 1 per piece of luggage.

Photography
Please do not forget to bring sufficient film as well as batteries. If you purchase film on the islands check the expiration date.

Valuables
Jewelry and other valuables should be kept in the hotel safe.

Clothing
Light summer clothing advisable year round. Linen or cotton are most comfortable. For hiking tours and excursions especially on Saba and Statia it is advisable to bring comfortable and sturdy shoes. Topless or nude bathing is not allowed except on the French side of St. Maarten. However, Bonaire has one nudist hotel.

Drivers Licence
Drivers Licences from the European Community as well as from countries associated to the International Drivers Licence Agreement are accepted.

Car Rental
Minimum age is 21, but this varies with the car rental company.

Hours of business
Bank: Monday - Friday 08.00 a.m. - 3.30 p.m.
Shops: Monday - Saturday 08.00 a.m. - 12.00 a.m. and 2.00 - 6.00 p.m.

National holidays
All six islands have the following public holidays: New Year's Day (January 1), Carnival Monday (Monday before Ash Wednesday), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queens Day (April 30), Labour Day (May 1), Ascension Day (May), Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 25 and 26).

Telephone
You can dial directly to Europe from all six islands. Area codes to Germany 0049, Austria 0043, Switzerland 0041, United Kingdom 0044. Between the islands: Aruba 08, Bonaire 07, Curaçao 09, Saba 04, St. Eustatius 03 and St. Maarten 05 (only the Dutch part).

ABC Islands Aruba Bonaire Curacao
SSS Islands St. Maarten St. Eustatius Saba
Dutch Caribbean Islands - Trips, Tours and Lodgings

Dutch Islands in the Caribbean

Dutch Caribben Islands, general info Contact us by E-mail Dutch Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Statia, St. M aarten  Fax Number: 01268 541363
Dutch Antilles Islands in the Caribbean  Telephone from the United Kingdom: 01268 541732.
Dutch Caribbean Islands  Telephone from the United States or Canada: 011 44 1268 541732
Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Statia, St. Maarten, Saba, the Dutch Antilles  Telephone from the Europe, Central or South America: 00 44 1268 541732

hotels in the Dutch Caribbean Islands


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