Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao: ABC’s of the Caribbean
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao or collectively called the “ABC” islands, is also known as the “Dutch Leewards”. If you will look at a map of the Caribbean, you will notice that there are three dots just off the coast of Venezuela. The three islands, namely Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, share the same culture and influence from Spain, Portugal and West Indies. The official language of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao is Dutch while Papiamento is their local language.
The three islands are famous for their beach, diving spots and of course… lots and lots of sunshine. Like most of the islands in the Caribbean, the ABC islands have a hot and dry climate. Yet unlike their neighbors, the landscape is arid and flat. Their coastline boasts with white sands, crystal clear waters, and they have an offshore coral reef that is teeming with marine life; making the three islands a haven for divers, water sports enthusiast and tourist who would just love to lay back on the beach. Each island has its own well-funded national park.
The best time of the year to go to the Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao is within mid-December to mid-April where the weather is at its finest. That’s also the peak of its tourist season. Though the three islands seldom experiences rain and have very little rainfall, mild showers usually occur between October and March. Steady trade winds help keep the temperature at the average of 28ºC or 82ºF.
Curacao is the largest of the three, both in terms of population and size. The capital of Curacao is Willemstad. Aruba has a population of 80,000 and a land mass of 20 miles long, 6 miles across. It comes in second in terms of population. The capital is Oranjestad. Bonaire is somewhat larger than Aruba, with a width of 4-7 miles and 24 miles long. Its population is only about 15,000 people. Kralendijk is its capital.
Tourism is the main industry of the three islands. Aruba and Curacao have oil refineries while Bonaire has a storage facility and produces rice. The busiest economy of the three islands is Curacao, which has one of the largest dry docks in the world.
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao have good watersports opportunities. If you want to go diving, Bonaire has the best diving spots because of its immaculate coral reefs around the island. Aruba is more known for its beaches than diving, though it has some good diving spots. While Curacao has lots and lots of watersports opportunities, its diving spots are spread across the southern coast.
The next time you want to go on a vacation, just think of the first three letters in the alphabet, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a great time.
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