The Caribbean Netherlands consists of the three islands: Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. Together, they constitute some sort of "exotic Holland." With shining beaches, turquoise waters, and a lot of sunshine the year-round, the Caribbean Netherlands are a speck of tropical paradise in the sea.
The islands attract eco-tourists and nature lovers with its array of water sports and hiking facilities. You would experience a diverse ecosystem in the islands. The local administration has ensured proper conservation efforts to preserve the fragile ecosystem while also making efforts to attract more tourists to the islands. But before you leave, make sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to protect yourself against any unexpected illnesses or accidents while traveling to the Caribbean Netherlands.
Things to Do for Travelers in Caribbean Netherlands
There's much to see and explore in the Caribbean Netherlands. Besides water sports, you can also indulge in some culinary adventure and sample a range of exotic local cuisine. The ambiance is relaxed and leisurely. It would be a welcome break from the frenetic city life for you.
Bonaire National Marine Park, Bonaire: This is among the premier diving destinations in the Caribbean Netherlands. The waters are calm and crystal clear here, offering awesome views of the varied marine ecosystem here. Enjoy snorkeling and diving here and check out a range of coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, and lagoons.
Mount Scenery, Saba: At 887 meters (321 feet), this dormant volcano on Saba is the highest point in all the Caribbean Netherlands. Start your hike to the top from Saba's second-largest town Windwardside. The hike is mildly challenging – parts of it are muddy and slippery – but the view from the top would be more than worth it. Enjoy the panoramic view of the islands and the wide-open sea. There is a forest near the summit where you can see some avian life.
Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Saba: Sand dunes and cactus-covered hills dot this national park. You can find mangroves and beaches here as well. Traverse the rugged roads of the park in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The park is home to various birds like flamingos, parakeets, etc. and animals like iguanas, sea turtles, goats, and more. Walk up to Subi Brandaris, the island's highest point for some excellent views of the surroundings, including the coast of Venezuela.
Klein Bonaire, Bonaire: This is an uninhabited island around 800 meters (2,625 feet) off the coast of Bonaire. Laze around on the pristine white beaches or have a relaxing swim in the azure waters. This island scores high with divers and snorkelers. Many varieties of fish, coral reefs, turtles, seahorses, etc. abound in these waters.
The Quill, St. Eustatius: The Quill is a dormant volcano on the island of St. Eustatius. It rises up 600 meters (1,968 feet) above sea level and is a popular hiking destination for tourists. Reach up to the summit to see the semi-evergreen seasonal forest within the crater of the volcano. You will also get to see limestone walls and a range of tropical flora like orchids and ferns, among others.
Statia National Marine Park, St. Eustatius: Accompanied by local operators, tourists can go for a dive in this marine park that forms a ring around the island. There are various dive sites here from volcanic fissures to drop-offs and wrecks. This park is home to a large number of tropical fish, along with turtles, lobsters, seahorses, and octopus. You might also make snorkeling trips in these waters. This diverse marine ecosystem is a must-visit in the Caribbean Netherlands.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Caribbean Netherlands
The beautiful Caribbean Netherlands ensures an unforgettable travel experience for tourists. But amidst the array of beautiful sceneries, there are risk factors as well. Hence, you would need to be wary during your travel here.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuables when you go sightseeing. Avoid the desolate locations of the city after sunset. Also, be cautious when you travel to secluded beaches – more so if you are traveling alone.
June to November is the hurricane season in this location. Your travel might face severe disruptions as a result. Keep yourself updated on the weather conditions and follow the instructions of the authorities in the event of a disaster.
Mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya and dengue are prevalent in the islands. Zika outbreaks are also known to occur. Take adequate prevention against these diseases. Always carry mosquito repellents with you.
Drink only bottled and mineral water. You would get to savor a large variety of seafood here. Some might not suit your constitution, so take it easy while indulging yourself in gastronomic delights.
Go swimming in the sea only under supervision. Pay heed to any warnings related to shark attacks, rip tides, currents, etc.
Caribbean Netherlands Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
You can't predict whether or not an illness or any other mishap will strike you while you are vacationing in the Caribbean Netherlands. But if they do strike you, then treatment there or a medical evacuation would cost you a small fortune. To avoid such financial pressure, opt for travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Caribbean Netherlands?
It is not mandatory for international travelers to have travel medical insurance before they can visit the Caribbean Netherlands. But it's definitely worthwhile to have it. The insurance can save you from the financial burden of getting treated there if you need it.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Caribbean Netherlands?
Medical treatment facilities in the Caribbean Netherlands are not among the best in the world. You might need evacuation via air ambulance if the situation so warrants, in the event of a mishap. But that is going to cost you some serious money. A much better option would be to buy travel medical insurance prior to making the journey to the Caribbean Netherlands.
Caribbean Netherlands Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
A host of reasons might force you to cancel your upcoming trip to the Caribbean Netherlands. Some of them could be the passing away of someone close to you, a last-minute development at the workplace that needs you to stay back, a hazardous event at the destination, etc. You can't do much about any of these. But you can protect yourself from the resultant financial loss. Trip cancellation insurance is the way to do it.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Caribbean Netherlands?
Most of the payments that you have made for the trip in advance – airfare, hotel booking, etc. – are non-refundable. You stand to lose all this money in the event of a cancellation. But trip cancellation insurance can guard you against such a loss if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason as listed in your policy's certificate wording.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Caribbean Netherlands?
Trip cancellation insurance usually covers the most common reasons for cancellation. So, go ahead and buy travel insurance once you are clear about the terms and conditions.
Before You Travel to Caribbean Netherlands - Do This
Stay updated about the weather conditions and travel advisories for the Caribbean Netherlands.
Maintain multiple copies of your important travel documents.
Buy sufficient insurance before you land in the country.