Antilles Travel Tips
ANTILLES TRAVEL TIPS
collection of important information that can make your trip more enjoyable.
the Leeward (Alonso de Ojeda, 1499) and Windward (Christopher Columbus,
1493) island groups were discovered and initially settled by the Spanish.
In the 17th century, the islands were conquered by the Dutch West India
Company and were used as bases for slave trade. Only in 1863 was slavery
1954, the islands were promoted from colony to a part of the Kingdom of
the Netherlands. The island of Aruba was part of the Netherlands Antilles
until 1986, when it was granted a "status aparte", and became a separate
part of the kingdom. Some of the other islands have indicated that they
wish to obtain the same status, but no agreements on this have yet been
reached. Other options sometimes considered are independence or together
becoming a province of the Netherlands.
ANTILLES GENERAL IFORMATION
Antilles have no major administrative divisions, although each island
has its own local government.
The two island
groups of which the Netherlands Antilles consists are:
- the "Leeward
Islands" (Benedenwindse Eilanden) off the Venezuelan coast (with
also Aruba nearby):
including an islet called Klein Bonaire ("Little Bonaire")
including an islet called Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao")
- the "Windward
Islands" (Bovenwindse Eilanden) east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands; geographically however, these are part of what are internationally
called the Leeward Islands
Maarten, the southern half of the island Saint Martin (the northern
half, Saint-Martin, is French and part of the overseas department
total: 960 sq km note: includes Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Saint
Eustatius, and Saint Maarten (Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin)
water: 0 sq km
land: 960 sq km
Capital City: Willemstad
Language: Although the official language is Dutch, Papiamento
is predominant on Curaçao and Bonaire (as well as the neighboring
Dutch island of Aruba). This creole language is formed from elements of
Dutch, English, Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish and English are also spoken.
The latter has become the chief language of Saint Maarten, Saba and Saint
Religion: The majority of the population are followers of the
Christian belief, mostly Roman Catholic. Curaçao also hosts a sizeable
group of Jews, descendants of a Portuguese group of Sephardic Jews that
arrived from Brazil in 1654.
GEOGRAPHY: The islands are all of volcanic origin and hilly,
leaving little ground suitable for agriculture. The highest point is Mount
Scenery, 862 m, on Saba (also the highest point in all the Netherlands).
The Netherlands Antilles have a tropical climate, with warm weather all
year round. The Leeward Islands are subject to hurricanes in the summer
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES CULTURE
The origins of the population and location of the islands give the Netherlands
Antilles a mixed culture. Dutch influence can still be seen, even though
not much of the population is of Dutch origin. Tourism from the United
States has recently also increased the importance of American culture.
of Carnival is, like in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, an
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES COMMUNICATIONS
- main lines in use: 75,000 (1995)
- mobile cellular: 11,727 (1995)
system: generally adequate facilities
domestic: extensive interisland microwave radio relay links
international: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
stations: AM 9, FM 4 (1998), shortwave 1 (Radio Netherlands transmits
programs to North and South America from there)
broadcast stations: 3 (there is also a cable service which supplies programs
received from various US satellite networks and two Venezuelan channels)
Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (1999)
Country code: AN
The International Dialling Code for Netherlands Antilles is +599. Note
there are no codes for individual towns and cities in Netherlands Antilles.
NETHERLANDS BUSINESS PROFILE
Tourism, petroleum transshipment and oil refinement (on Curaçao), as well
as offshore finance are the mainstays of this small economy, which is
closely tied to the outside world. The islands enjoy a high per capita
income and a well-developed infrastructure as compared with other countries
in the region. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with
Venezuela, the United States, and Mexico being the major suppliers, as
well as the Dutch government which supports the islands with substantial
development aid. Poor soils and inadequate water supplies hamper the development
of agriculture. The Antillean guilder has a fixed exchange rate with the
United States dollar of 1.79:1.
NL Antillian Guilder
Local Currency / USD: ANG1.78 / USD 1
Import restrictions: No restrictions, however Dutch and Surinam Silver
Money Exchange: Currency may be exchanged at State banks (Banco Reservas)
and airport change offices.
cards: Visa. Master Card, American Express and Diners Club.
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES SHOPPING
Stores are open from 8:30 am to noon and from 2:30 to 6 pm. Amber Curacao,
a national gem, is one of the big items to but because of the low price.
Paintings, straw items, macramé and mahogany products are also
good buys. Santo Domingo is a duty free zone.
A 10% service charge is usually included in the bill in both hotels and
restaurants. Taxi drivers should get loose change, porters 50 cents per
bag and all others small change as well
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES PEOPLE
The largest part of the Netherlands Antilleans - about 85% - descends
from the African slaves that were brought and traded here from the 17th
to 19th century. The rest of the population consists of Caribbean Indians,
Europeans and Asians.
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES TIME ZONE
Netherlands Antilles Time Standard Time is GMT-4 Netherlands Antilles
Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time
© Southtravels.com. All Rights Reserved.