With three islands to choose from, there is something for everyone in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. See colonial architecture while wandering around charming towns, learn about marine conservation from a local dive operator or spend the day hiking around the varied island landscapes. No matter where you are on the islands, stunning views await.
Collectively known as the BES Islands, these three islands are special municipalities of the Netherlands. The islands are not connected geographically Bonaire is off the coast of Venezuela, while Sint Eustatius and Saba are south of Sint Maarten. However, they do share Dutch as a common language.
For an enchanting marine park and diverse ecosystems, visit Bonaire in the eastern Caribbean. Snorkelers can reach some of the reefs of the Bonaire National Marine Park from shore, while scuba divers can get up close to the colorful marine life that skirts around the seagrass beds. Stop by the capital, Kralendijk, for tax-free shopping among historic Dutch colonial houses.
Head for Sint Eustatius, known locally as Statia, to see the ruins of Fort Oranje, a 17th-century fortress that overlooks the town of Oranjestad. The Sint Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum has exhibits on antique household items. For outdoorsy fun, hike up to the Quill, a volcanic cone upon which a variety of tropical plants, including wild orchids and fruit trees, grow.
North of Sint Eustatius, find Saba, a small island with scenic views. The best lookout is from the summit of the aptly named Mount Scenery the trail begins in the town of Windwardside. If you want to get out on the water, go boating or diving in Saba National Marine Park with a local dive operator.
Cruise ships tend to visit Bonaire from October to April. Plan a trip in December or January for warm weather conditions and a low chance of rain. To reach Sint Eustatius, fly in to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport from Sint Maarten, another island country that’s part of the Netherlands.
Journey to Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba to see a range of beautiful landscapes and historic colonial architecture on these Dutch Caribbean islands.