Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, commonly known as the BES islands, are three special municipalities of the Netherlands located in the Caribbean Sea. The islands are part of the Lesser Antilles and are situated close to Venezuela. The main languages spoken on the islands are Dutch, English, and Papiamento, a creole language derived from Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and African languages.
The official currency used in the BES islands is the US Dollar, which is widely accepted throughout the islands. The islands operate on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-4).
The flight time from the UK to the BES islands can vary depending on the island and airline. A flight from London to Bonaire typically takes around 10-12 hours, including a layover. The main airport serving the BES islands is Flamingo International Airport, located on Bonaire.
Bonaire is the largest of the three islands and is known for its beautiful beaches and world-class scuba diving. The island is home to several marine reserves and is considered one of the best places in the world for diving. The capital of Bonaire is Kralendijk, which is a charming town with brightly colored buildings and a lively waterfront area.
Sint Eustatius, also known as Statia, is a small island with a rich history. The island was once an important trading center in the Caribbean and was the first foreign territory to officially recognize the United States as an independent nation. The island has several historic sites, including the ruins of Fort Oranje and the Honen Dalim Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere.
Saba is the smallest of the BES islands and is known for its rugged terrain and stunning natural beauty. The island is home to Mount Scenery, the highest point in the Netherlands, and is surrounded by coral reefs, making it a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. The capital of Saba is The Bottom, a quaint village with a picturesque harbor and a few small shops and restaurants.