The Netherlands Antilles are a nation composed of several islands in the Caribbean, split into two geographically distant groups: the Leeward Islands east of the Virgin Islands (Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands north of Venezuela (Bonaire, Curaçao). (The Windward island of Aruba was once part of the Netherlands Antilles - the group is sometimes called the "ABC"s - but is now independent.)
Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curaçao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of oil refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. The island of Sint Maarten is shared with France; its northern portion is named "Saint-Martin" and is part of Guadeloupe.
The Antilles are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but with full internal autonomy.
Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.
Five islands in two groups. Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.
There is an airport on each island.
The different islands of the Netherlands Antilles vary enormously and so do the accommodations. On Bonaire it is forbidden to build higher than three floors up, resulting in many smaller accommodations scattered along the islands coast. On the largest island Curaçao, you will find basically any kind of accommodation, from large hotel chains to small privately owned properties that you can rent per week or even per day. Some good places to stay include:
- Plaza Resort Hotel Bonaire 
- Harbour Village Beach Club Hotel Bonaire 
- Habitat dive resorts 
- Villas Bonaire 
- Coral Paradise Bonaire Resort 
This page was last edited at 18:12, on 12 March 2009 by Wikitravel user Ypsilon. Based on work by Todd VerBeek, Stephen Atkins and Yann Forget, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme, Pashley, InterLangBot, Bijee, Engelshai and CIAWorldFactbook2002 and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.