The Netherlands Antilles was a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country consisted of several island territories located in the Caribbean Sea. The islands were also informally known as the Dutch Antilles. The country came into being in 1954 as the autonomous successor of the Dutch colony of Curaçao and Dependencies, and was dissolved in 2010. The former Dutch colony of Surinam, although it was relatively close by on the continent of South America, did not become part of Netherlands Antilles but became a separate autonomous country at the same time.
All the island territories that belonged to the Netherlands Antilles remain part of the kingdom today, although the legal status of each differs. As a group they are still commonly called the Dutch Caribbean, regardless of their legal status.
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Kralendijk (located 7,770 kilometers from Amsterdam, according to a wooden sign) is a bit like a cozy provincial town with Fort Oranje, the governor's house, the old church and the market that is only organized on days when there's a cruise ship. The boulevard is a nice walk because of the shops, bars, restaurants and colonial houses. On the north side of the boulevard you find a tree with slippers hanging in it. The story goes that people who hang their slippers in the tree, will return to Bonaire some day. Don't miss a homemade ice cream at Gio's in a side street. The 45-minute boat trip with the semi-submarine of Bon-Sea.com is fun. This ship sails along the coast of Klein Bonaire. Through windows underneath the boat you have a good view on the underwater life.View destination
Using a jeep safari we explored the Washington Slagbaai National Park. This park, located on the north side of the island, consists of an inhospitable, hilly landscape with exclusively unpaved roads. In the middle is the terraced landscape and in the south it's desert-like. Via the road to Rincon, the oldest village of Bonaire, we arrived at the western entrance: the former home of the plantation owner, where now a small museum is housed. Then we went to Playa Chíkitu, some kind of geyser (blowhole). We also visited the Malmok lighthouse at the Noordpunt. Then we passed the Brandaris (not a lighthouse but the highest mountain of Bonaire). Although only 241 meters high, it offers a nice view to Salida Wayaka. Washington Slagbaai National Park also functions as a kind of youth hostel. Via the Gotomeer, were we saw a lot of flamingos, we drove back to the park entrance.View destination
Salt pans with slave houses White Pan and Oranje Pan from around 1850. Note: 'works of art' from waste wood on the way there. Lots of high waves and multiple 'artworks' of found wreckage. The many plastic items that wash up are cleaned up by volunteers every 3 weeks. At the Pekelmeer we encountered 2 interesting things: the Willem tower and salt pans with windmills. Stop at Sarabon Beach to see the performance of the surfers. Windsurfing resort Jibe City next door is famous for its kebab sandwich.View destination