The Dutch Caribbean are six islands in the Caribbean that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The three ABC Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao sit just north of Venezuela, while the Leeward Islands Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustacius are located a whopping 900 km more to the northeast.
The only common denominator for the islands is their centuries long history under Dutch sovereignty.
People in the Leeward islands speak English, while in the ABC Islands Papiamento is spoken. Dutch is the official and legal language for all the islands.
Dutch colonial rule formally ended in 1954 when Queen Juliana signed the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Caribbean islands became a constituent country in the Kingdom under the name Netherlands Antilles.
Another constituent country was Suriname, which gained independence in 1975.
Aruba split from  the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and went on as an autonomous country within the Kingdom.
Finally, after years of tenuous discussions and several referenda, on October 2010, Aruba, St Maarten and Curacao became constituent countries while Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius went on as special Dutch municipalities. All citizens have the Dutch nationality.
When we  lived in Curacao we took the opportunity to explore the Dutch Caribbean and found each island to be unique in terms of geology, landscape and local culture. 
website196002.gif website196001.gif
ABC Isles
Leeward Isles