View of Willemstad Curacao

Traveling To The Dutch And French Caribbean Islands

August 3rd, 2017, Posted by travelwith2ofus

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The Caribbean islands have a lot of hidden treasures for the typical holiday maker. However, their small size and remoteness may cause them to be overlooked at times. Each of the Dutch and French Caribbean islands in particular have their own unique allure with plenty of majestic natural sights, adventures and most of all, clear waters that offer all sorts of sporting opportunities.

Though each island has its own appeal, some are more exciting to visit than others. Here is a look at the Dutch and French Caribbean islands and why you should try vacationing at these amazing places.

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The French Caribbean islands
What are the names of the French Caribbean islands? The French Antilles have a reputation of being luxurious. Everything about these Caribbean islands is posh. From the atmosphere to the lush green and the scenery in general, everything mirrors the modernity and savviness that only big money can afford.

Saint Barthelemy A.K.A. St. Barts/St. Barths

It's also known as St. Barts or St. Barths. The island is a glamorous destination with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and the good thing is that they are never crowded.

The turquoise waters are the second thing that you will want to enjoy while you visit. It's an excellent opportunity to snorkel and dive. The marine life here also has a lot to offer. There are 183 species of fish, 60 kinds of sponges and 54 types of coral.

Shopping and fine dining are the other reasons you will enjoy your stay in St Barts. There are Michelin-starred chefs and top-notch hotels plus all the high end luxury brand stores to shop in.

One of the amazing views you get on the French Caribbean island of St Barts.
Saint Barthlemy also know as St Barts and St Barths


As soon as you get to Guadeloupe, you notice very quickly that you could enjoy a modest holiday here and enjoy the scenery, cuisine and the people.

The hotels in Guadeloupe are first class so you don't have to worry about that. You can spend your holiday cruising in the sunset, exploring the lush vegetation and seeing the hot springs on a hike. Visit the La Grande Soufrière, which happens to be the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, and see landmarks like Fort Delgres and Notre Dame des Larmes.

The bird watching opportunities are also worth the trouble; there are a lot of colorful exotic species to be seen.

The city of Pointe a Pitre, one of the views we enjoyed while in Guadeloupe.
Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe



The island is home to some striking landscapes. In the capital, Fort-de-France, you experience the urban side of things. Now go to the northern regions and get astounded by the vegetation you will find. There are rainforests and large stretches of beaches and mountains; it's a paradise for those who love the great outdoors.

There are plenty of landmarks to see, which includes the place where Napoleon's empress, Josephine, was born. You will also want to see the Diamond Rock, Le Memorial de l'Anse Caffard- a historical site highlighting the history of slavery, and go for a Creole cooking class.

You can take a ferry in Fort-de-France and visit the beaches of Pointe du Bout, Anse à l'Ane and Anse Mitan. Martinique hotels are quite adequate as well and you can get a moderate to an extravagant room.

Our view of Fort-de-France, Martinique from the ferry heading to Pointe du Bout.

Fort-de-France, Martinique

Saint Martin

The island is part of both Dutch and French Caribbean islands. It is divided into two sides. The Dutch side of it is bustling with shopping centers and a thriving nightlife, while the French side is more reserved with a calmer ambience completed with the splendid mountain scenery.

Some of the top unique features about the island aside from its landscape are the delicious local preparations, landmarks like, the Butterfly Farm and the Loterie Farm as well as miles of white sandy beaches. With over 37 beaches you will definitely find one that you like.

Saint Martin is filled with lots of facilities that accommodate almost all water sports including wakeboarding, diving, windsurfing, surfing and kitesurfing. The official currency is the Euro, but US currency and major credit cards are accepted throughout the island. There's a variety of hotels in St Martin and if you look carefully you can find some fairly reasonable rates.

Breathtaking view of Marigot, St Martin.
Marigot, St Martin

The Dutch Caribbean islands

What are the names of the Dutch Caribbean islands? The Dutch side of the Caribbean is filled with amazing wonders and is a touristy place to go. It is loved mostly for the water sports, history, culture, the beach, escapism and pampering; all the right ingredients for a perfect family vacation.

The ABC islands of the Dutch Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are the most sought-after destinations because of their glorious climate. Aruba has a lot of luxury hotels lining the white-sand beaches and is arguably the most preferred tourist destination among the three, with lots of casinos as well.

Bonaire is known for its water sport opportunities with a marine park where you could enjoy diving and snorkeling.

Curacao is the most sophisticated of the bunch. Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, is among the most eye-catching cities in all of the Caribbean; it is choke-full of colonial buildings from the Dutch. As for the other parts of the Dutch Antilles, they lie far away in the north-east.


With beautiful hidden beaches, landmarks and breathtaking facades, you have an endless to-do list once you get to Aruba. Go to the Butterfly Farm, or sink your toes in the powdery white-sand of Eagle, Arashi or Palm beaches.

Natural geologic formations like the Natural Bridge, the Natural Pool or Hooiberg will also provide some eye-catching viewing. What's more, you have a variety of casinos to enjoy yourself with some wagering games such as the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino, the Ritz-Carlton or the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

Aerial view of Oranjestad, Aruba.
Oranjestad, Aruba


It has made a name for itself as the best snorkeling and Scuba Diving Island in the Caribbean, which is not an easy feat. However, that's not all; there is plenty more. You can enjoy the best windsurfing and kiteboarding here thanks to the consistent trade winds that blow over the island. The landscape also makes the place ideal for all kinds of wildlife. Bonaire is the perfect place to view the diverse ecology of the Caribbean.

If you are looking for some peace and quiet and some good water sports, including diving, then Bonaire is the place for you. Besides its tranquil shores, Bonaire is also recognized for its sustainable tourism as well as its many amazing diving locations, which is showcased by the many consecutive awards it has received.

Bonaire has a nice mix of hotels, guesthouses and apartments. Getting a room will cost you a couple bucks though.

Aerial view of Kralendijk the capital of Bonaire. Photo credit: Tourism Corporation Bonaire.
Kralendijk, Bonaire


The island has calm waters that are a favorite for divers. You can also find a variety of water sports among the many things that you can do in Curacao including boating, sailing and kayaking.

For those who don't like staying in the water for so long, the Hato caves provide an excellent opportunity to see stalagmites and stalactites that look like the teeth of a hungry shark ready to gulp you alive; it's quite a sight.

Go for some adventure with the Christoffelpark hiking trails and enjoy the scenery. You could also go to the Dolphin Academy of Curacao and watch the adorable fellows perform some tricks.

Accomadation on the island includes resorts, hotels, luxury resorts, villas and apartments. You can also get a bungalows or get a room at a guest house. Make sure and get some local cuisine and walk with an electric plug adapter as well.

Cruise ship docked with the beautiful capital Willemstad, in the background.


Saba is part of the BES Dutch Caribbean and has a lot to offer. The mountain landscape is one of the most amazing things that you will have the pleasure of seeing here. The Saba Marine Park also provides for a fine afternoon observing the different marine species of the island.

Scuba diving and snorkeling are also great ways to enjoy the marine life. In the waters of the Marine Park you will come across lava tunnels and hot springs, but not to worry; you will have a professional guiding you so you can maximize you fun.

To get to Saba by air you will need to take a flight from St Maarten. It takes about 12 minutes. You can take a ferry in St Maarten as well. It takes about an hour and a half. Saba has one of the most breathtaking airport runways in the Caribbean. Trust me it will take your breath away. Hope you have the stomach for it.

Hotels in Saba range from luxurious to basic. They cater for all budgets.

A view of Windwardside, the second biggest town in Saba. Photo credit: Saba Tourist Bureau.
Windwardside, Saba

Sint Eustatius

The island lies east of Puerto Rico. This tiny island has a number of terrains including beaches, rainforest, and coral reefs with captivating marine life. It also has a dormant volcano known as the Quill.

Visit the St Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum in Oranjestad and see relics from the island's history. You can also go to the Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden and see all the vegetation and animal life that thrives on the island. The botanical garden intends to reintroduce species that lived here in the past to preserve the culture as well as enrich it.

Your stay in St Eustatius is not complete until you get to visit the Quill volcanic cone that rises 600m above sea level. It is the dominant feature of the island.

St Eustatius is a small island where you won't find mass tourism, but you can find a good hotel in this very quiet Durch Caribbean island.

View of Oranjestad, the capital of Sint Eustatius. It is often referred to as the "Smallest capital in the world". Photo credit: St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation.
Oranjestad, Sint Eustatius

Sint Maarten

The Dutch side of the island is lined with luxury brands and American style hotels. It is an ideal place to enjoy your Caribbean vacation. From speed boat tours, scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing and plenty other sports, there is never a dull moment in St Maarten. The weather is just perfect for the beach and the white sands and gleaming turquoise waters invite you to bathe in the glorious sun.

The Dutch and French Caribbean islands have a lot of great places and sights that will complete your honeymoon or vacation in the best way possible. There is a rich culture and history to learn from and the harmonious mixture of locals from different nations complete the ambience.

There is a very vibrant nightlife at many of the islands casinos, nightclubs and beach bars. St Maarten has a large selection of hotels, resorts and guesthouses as well. You can go for the luxurious to the basic depending on your budget.

Looking at Simpson Bay St Maarten from Cay Hill..
St Maarten

Traveling to the French or Dutch Caribbean Islands? These items may make your trip more comfortable:

Have you visited any of the Dutch or French Caribbean Islands? Which one is your favourite?


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