Your guide to being an expatriate in Caribbean Netherlands

Caffeinate Your Caribbean Netherlands Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Located in the Caribbean Sea and consisting of three special municipalities (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba), Caribbean Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It covers a total area of approximately 321 km² and has a population of around 23,000 as of 2021. The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento, while English is also spoken. Caribbean Netherlands enjoys a tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from 23°C to 29°C year-round.

Caribbean Netherlands

Expat destinations in Caribbean Netherlands

Demographics of Caribbean Netherlands:

Ethnic groups

Afro-Caribbean (87%), European (7%), and Amerindian (6%)


Dutch: Official language.

English: Spoken by the majority of the population in tourist areas and used in the educational system.

Papiamento: Creole language spoken primarily in Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire.

Religion Overview

Caribbean Netherlands is generally a predominantly Christian country.

Major Religions


Caribbean Netherlands enjoys a tropical savanna climate (Aw) characterized by hot, dry winters and warm, rainy summers. The annual average temperature is approximately 26°C, while the average annual rainfall is around 688 mm.

Economy Overview

Caribbean Netherlands has a diversified economy, relying mainly on tourism, financial services, subsidies granted from the Dutch Government, and public investments in infrastructure.

Key Industries

  • Tourism
  • Finance and Banking
  • Real Estate
  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Fishing and Aquaculture
  • Fisheries

Major Companies

  • Insurans Caribbean
  • Edstone Company N.V.
  • Logi Sweden AB
  • Bonaire Tourism Corporation,
  • World wide web inc.
  • Construction Company van den Berg,
  • Volkspers created in 2019

Culture and Language Overview

Caribbean Netherlands celebrates its culture through traditional festivals such as Carnival, Liberation Day, and Christmas. Some of the most popular cultural highlights include:

Cultural Highlights

  • The Antillean Cultural Centre (ACC) hosts workshops and cultural activities for children and adults.
  • The Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is a three-day music festival attracting local and international musicians.
  • Master Chavez Edna () is a writer of colored poems dealing with various topics like Creole culture, love life, society, human rights, and religion.
  • The Plasa Brábo is a yearly street festival where Bonaireans dance, sing, and eat traditional Creole food.
  • The Kadushi: A Fiction Inspired by Caribbean, Latin American, and African Folklore is a novel by BethAnn Merkle.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

The landscape of Caribbean Netherlands includes a mix of deserts, hills, and sandy coastlines. The country's main attractions include:

Notable Landmarks

  • Washington Slagbaai National Park (Bonaire) named the oldest National Park in the Caribbean
  • Cruz Bay (Sint Eustatius) with its numerous beaches and historic architecture
  • Silver Slide (Saba) which provides an impressive diving experience for visitors looking into sea life
  • The Salt Flats (Bonaire and Sint Eustatius) – leading in geothermal activities and famous for its salt mining operations.
  • The Bonaire International Windsurfing & Kitesurfing Championship attracts international athletes yearly
  • The 360 view topographic point at Saba's topmost hill ,
  • Bushiri Road, a single digit highway connecting Bonaire’s eastern and western regions.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st)
  • Assumption Day (August 15th)
  • Great Carnival (October)
  • National Holiday (October 27th)- Commemorating the Dutch landing day
  • Christmas (December 25th)
  • Day of Remembrance (December 2nd)- National monument Day to remember the death of Slavery in 1863
  • Boxing Day (December 26th)

Political Stability

Caribbean Netherlands enjoys a stable political structure, with its government consisting of island councils and executives appointed by the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands. The country is a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

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