Bonaire and Curacao

Curacao and Bonaire are two Caribbean islands located in the southern Caribbean, in the Lesser Antilles near the north eastern coast of Venezuela.  They are sometimes categorized as part of the “ABC Islands,” which includes Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

All three islands were part of the autonomous country called Dutch Antilles (or Netherlands Antilles), until the official dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010. The three islands maintain ties to the Netherlands; Aruba and Curacao are autonomous and self-governed, while Bonaire is a municipality of the Netherlands.

Bonaire and Curacao are famous for their incredible reefs and thriving marine life, offering some of the best underwater exploring in the Caribbean. Bonaire is just 24 miles long and 5 miles wide, yet it encompasses two important nature reserves – the Bonaire Marine Park, and the Washington-Slagbaai National Park in the north west of the island. The Washington-Slagbaai Park is home to coral colored flamingos, brightly hued parakeets, iguanas, and many more species. It is also an important site for the nesting of Caribbean sea turtles.

Curacao, known as Kursow in the local Papiamento language, is just 30 miles west of Bonaire, nearer to the Venezuelan coast, and is considerably larger than Bonaire. It is more frequently visited by tourists, and has an international airport. Curacao is also home to a great deal of wildlife and cultural diversity.

Its beautiful reefs and clear waters make for excellent diving and snorkeling. Christoffel National Park in northern Curacao allows travelers to get lost in the unspoiled nature of the island, and for those adventurous enough to climb the island’s tallest mountain, Mt. Christoffel offers a possible glance at Venezuela’s mountains in the distance.


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