These three sister islands have built up quite a reputation that seems to keep luring tourists in. Aruba, the famous one, usually overshadowing its siblings when it comes to tourism, Curacao, the hidden gem, criminally underrated, and Bonaire, the laid-back sister. All of these islands have something about them that makes you wonder “which is the best”.
Which Is Better – Aruba or Curacao?
It depends on what experience you want to have in the Dutch Caribbean. All of the ABC Islands are tropical paradises that have a European touch on them thanks to their long history with the former colonial powers, however, little quirks set them apart.
For one, Aruba has a shorter coastline compared to Curacao, which means, lesser beaches. Even though Curacao has a seemingly countless number of beaches, Aruba’s beaches are more picturesque and arguably some of the most beautiful in the region. Curacao is more of a hidden gem; it usually gets overshadowed by Aruba’s big charms.
Both islands have good snorkeling and diving scenes, however, Curacao has much better snorkeling and diving opportunities because of its over 60 dive sites that are ideal for swimmers and divers of any level. The weather on both islands is great for a vacation any time of the year, because of their location outside the hurricane belt that tends to ravage across the Caribbean.
But, if budget is a huge determining factor for you. Aruba might have to sit this one out, as it is famously more expensive. However, that doesn’t mean that Curacao isn’t expensive as well, the entire Dutch Caribbean is known to be a bit on the pricey side.
So, what ultimately decides “which is which” for you is what you want to experience, or your own criteria for a perfect sunny getaway. A word to the wise, all the ABC Islands have everything that could lure you in and make you stay.
Is Bonaire Better Than Aruba?
Again, the very definition of “best” or “which is better” remains subjective for the most part. There are many factors that you can consider for a place to be the better option or whether or not it’s worth the visit in the first place. For one, Bonaire and Aruba both have something special and different to offer to everyone.
Aruba is still the most visited and the most famous ABC Island. This small island has a consistent staggering tourist count in the past years that overshadows both Curacao and Bonaire. Bonaire, on the other hand, is underrated as it is laid-back – arguably, this little island just east of Aruba is the most relaxed.
Bonaire boasts its numerous snorkel and dives sites that outnumber Aruba and Curacao. The island is known for its diving scene and is considered a “diver’s haven” in the Caribbean. Its beaches are also beautiful, complete with the famous Caribbean blue waters, and lovely white sands all over its coasts.
Aruba is considered to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, if not the entire world. The island’s natural features are a thing of curiosity – the island is basically a desert filled with cacti forests and few greenery. However, the island’s metropolitan scene is one of its main points of interest. The nightlife, shopping, and transportation are something different.
Aruba is more expensive than Bonaire, in fact, Aruba is the most expensive island on this side of the Caribbean. Bonaire is perfect for friend groups because of its laid-back, and more youth-driven tourism, while Aruba is perfect for families because of its many resorts and safe cities.
Which Is Better – Curacao or Bonaire?
To decide which is better among these islands can be difficult as both islands have their draws and disadvantages. However, the ultimate deciding factor will always be the kind of experience you want to have in the Dutch Caribbean. Each island has its differences and unique flavors.
Curacao, being the biggest island among the ABCs has more beaches and is easily accessible than Bonaire. Both islands boast awe-inspiring beaches with fine white sands with the sweeping backdrop of the beautiful Caribbean.
Bonaire is best suited for backpackers, as it is cheaper and it doesn’t have as much city life as Curacao has, and the capital of Willemstad is packing. Bonaire also has tons of hidden gems that are best reserved for the adventurous.
Curacao is more expensive than Bonaire and it offers more things to do, and places to see, being the bigger island. However, the main draws of the two are the hurricane-free climate all year round. Expect that you’ll enjoy warm sunny days most of the time and none of the freak weather.
Which Island Is Better – Aruba, Bonaire, or Curacao?
Ultimately, what decides which is better are your desires. What do you want to see? What do you want to do? What vibe are you going for? What are your expectations? To be able to decide on what kind of experience you want to have in the Dutch Caribbean will ultimately set the tone for your adventure, and most importantly, by knowing what it is that you want, it would be easy to choose.
The ABC Islands are some of the most interesting islands in the Caribbean, traveling one of them, or even all of them is worth it. All of these small islands will always have something for everyone apart from the famous obvious draws, just make sure you have enough cash with you.