Netherlands Antilles have been inhabited since the 10th century by the kaketios Indians. After the discovery of the islands by Europeans, most Indians died of starvation or disease, and some fell into slavery. Until the middle of the 18th century, the islands had been under the control of Spain, France and the Netherlands. After the abolition of slavery and the decline in demand for traditional products of the region (tobacco, sugar and grains) in international markets, the island used to be a transshipment base for the traffic from the New World to Europe.

Nowadays, the most important sector of the local economy is tourism, and the islands are turned into one of the most popular resort areas of the Caribbean, which has a developed infrastructure and the beautiful natural environment.
Curacao is located in the Leeward Islands, being the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles. A flat, rocky and fairly barren island looks rather dull at first sight. Its monotonous desert landscape is interrupted only by occasional groves and coastal dry forests. But in fact, Curacao is teeming with life and has many interesting natural objects, as well as beautiful beaches and extensive coral reefs.

Willemstad was founded in 1634 as one of Dutch naval bases in the region. Thus a fortress was built to protect the natural deep-water channel and the harbor. As the economy of the island prospered, it attracted a lot of Dutch and Jewish merchants. The town developed rapidly and a number of business areas appeared. The island's capital has a population of only 125 thousand people, but it remains a center of commercial and social activities in Curacao. The city was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered one of the best shopping centers in the Caribbean.
Fort Amsterdam, with which the development of the city began, still guards the entrance to the harbor today and is also the seat of the Government of the Netherlands Antilles, rising in the heart of the historic quarters of Willemstad. South-east of the capital, one will notice a vast range of Aquarium Curacao, perhaps the most popular attraction of the island. Here the tourists will see a picturesque marina, great beaches, the hotel complex, and the Aquarium itself, with 46 pools with sea creatures of different shapes and sizes and about 400 representatives of the marine flora and fauna of the Caribbean region.

The beaches are the main attraction in Curacao. It is a paradise for fans of small isolated beaches in secluded bays. A lot of beautiful places for scuba diving and snorkeling, coral reefs with lots of interesting places to dive will make one’s recreation meaningful and unforgettable.
Oranjestad is the capital and the only city in St. Eustatius, a pleasant settlement with a charming historic flavor. Located on the waterfront, its Lower Town is the place where European settlers first settled, so this area still contains a few dozens of old buildings left over from the colonial era. Here you can see the ruins of old walls, warehouses and shops, which are slowly sinking into the sea.

Right in the heart of the city, there is a well-preserved fort of Oran, which belongs to the first fortifications in the island. The fortress is surrounded by a triple ring of defensive walls. The Upper Town is the main commercial and residential area of ​​the capital, where most bank offices, commercial buildings and modern residential areas are located. The island’s Botanical Garden has an extensive collection of samples of flora from around the region. South of the city, one can see the towering white cliffs and De Windt fort, with its battlements and a dozen of old guns.
Located on the southwest coast of the island Maho Bay is the main resort area of ​​Sint Maarten. Densely furnished high-rise buildings, jewelry stores, art galleries, restaurants and casinos, a white strip of beach make this area widely known among tourists.

Prepare a great trip to the Antilles using the best travel agents for Netherland's Antilles. Contact Antilles tour operators if you need something special, or individual components of a trip, such as hotels or flights.

Curazao Island