Aruba's landscape is one of contrasting terrain, from its white-sand southern shoreline to its rugged north coast. Buffeted by breezes and surrounded by turquoise waters, this port is a hot spot for aquatic activities like sailing, deep sea fishing, kayaking and kitesurfing. Snorkelers can discover sea creatures at various coral reefs and at the shipwreck of the SS Antilla, a German vessel from World War II. Visit the Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba's first church, and the aloe vera factory and museum, where you can learn about the plant's healing powers, or navigate your own Jeep to the ruins of a gold mill and the remains of the Natural Bridge, which was carved out of limestone cliffs by wind and waves. Hikes, trail rides and off-roading adventures in Airikok National Park promise interesting wildlife sightings, while stops at the California Lighthouse afford some of the best views on the island.
Sitting atop a coral reef, Bonaire is a prime location for snorkelers and divers. The adventurous traveler will be in paradise. In addition to the underwater experiences, the island is ideal for hiking and birdwatching, with its bright pink flamingos, Amazon parrots and native parakeets.
One of the Caribbean's most delightful ports, colorful Curacao is famed for its blue-tinted liqueur, partially made from the island's oranges. Distillery tours sample the spirit, and other outings explore capital Willemstad, the salt flat's wild flamingos or the 300,000-year-old Hato Caves. Curaçao has the Western Hemisphere's oldest continuously inhabited Jewish community, and some shore excursions visit the historic Jewish neighborhood and a cemetery consecrated in 1659. White-sand beaches and swimmable bays abound on the island's less developed western side. For water activities, choose between renting a Jet Ski or kayak or booking a private yacht or fishing trip. The crystalline waters are home to an expansive underwater park, with miles-long reefs hosting barracudas, sea turtles and manta rays. Inspect the pirate-deterring Fort Beekenburg or Queen Emma Bridge, a floating pontoon bridge. One must-see is Boca Tabla, a coastal cave created from the sea and wind.
The Greater Miami area is home to a diverse array of cultures, cuisines, and activities. Cruises along Biscayne Bay drink in the skyscraper-studded coastline, and in glitzy Miami Beach, beachgoers frolic against the backdrop of vibrant art deco buildings. Nightlife hot spot South Beach buzzes with activity into the early morning hours. Coral Gables' tree-lined avenues house notable landmarks like the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Venetian Pool, a historic 1923 swimming hole fed by spring water. The city offers plenty to do, with numerous museums and professional sports teams, marinas and yacht clubs, golf courses and more, but some visitors head southwest to Everglades National Park. The 1.5 million-acre preserve hosts boating and canoeing excursions as well as wildlife-spotting treks to see alligators and manatees.
Currency: US dollar (US$)
Language: Dutch (Official)
Currency: Florin (AFL),
US dollar (US$)
Bonaire, Netherlands Special Municipality
Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG), US dollar (US$)
Currency: Netherlands Antilles
US dollar (US$)