There is more to Curaçao than sun, sand, and scuba-diving. Take the trouble to find out, and you will find wonderful hikes tracks and trails in the island’s country parks where an outdoor adventure waits for everyone.
There is no doubting the Dutch island’s popularity when it comes to snorkelling and scuba diving. The azure seas that surround the island are teeming with life below the surface and tourists flock to the island to enjoy being underwater.
The island of Curaçao even boasts its own submarine station, where visitors can dive to even greater depths to view, wrecks, coral, and fascinating fish.
Many of the islands top dive sites are located in the northwest facing sheltered Caribbean waters. Move across to the Atlantic side and the island, offers visitors an alternative, rougher and more rugged life landscape with shores smashed by the relentless Atlantic Ocean.
Located in the northwest of the island, two national parks, each offer the visitor, fun filled land-based adventure. But to fully appreciate and enjoy the offering at its finest, it is best to do some planning.
The Christoffel National Park is an outdoor adventure for everyone harbouring a rich variety of local flora and fauna.
It is the perfect place to hike, go birdwatching or climb a mountain, but it is best to do so very early in the morning. Start just as the sun comes up and hike up the 372 metre high Christoffel Mountain for an adventurous climb to the top of Curaçao that lets you experience the awakening of nature in the early morning. At the top, you are rewarded with spectacular views right across the island. Venezuela 40 miles away and Bonaire can be seen clearly when the weather is good.
Other hiking trails include the Boka Grandi Trail. This guided walk, takes you to one of the most peaceful bays on the island. Along the way you will spot an array of local trees, birds, and other species, but don’t bother taking your swimming costumes because the water is rather rough, and swimming is not possible.
This is a park that can also be enjoyed by car allowing you to witness the beauty of the park in the comfort of your own vehicle. Drive the northern coastal (Blue) route for 9 km or the mountain (Green) route for 12 km. Take time to visit the Savonet Museum that gives visitors inside information on, and a peek into the lives of the former inhabitants of Curaçao, starting with the first Arawak Indians, who came to the island more than 4000 years ago and continuing into modern history. The Savonet Museum also provides an insight into local plants and animals that could be found in the Christoffel park and surrounding areas.
Book five days ahead and you can take part in a Safari tour, one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the park during a fun filled tour with an experienced guide. What about the sunset safari, enjoying the mystic of the Christoffel Park at sundown? Or maybe, after park closing hours, go deer spotting with experienced trekkers and Park Rangers. They know the best location for deer spotting. Birdwatchers can use experienced guides to take them to the best spots to watch birds, and if you fancy stargazing on a beach what could be more exciting than to sleep in tent on the beach of a tropical island under the stars. Anything is possible!
The Shete Boka Park, National Park lies close by but separately from the Christoffel Park. Wide open and mostly barren this sea fronting park is both a national treasure and a sea turtle sanctuary. Visit here to experience tropical ecology and nature, conservation energy, interactive and fun fashion. Join one of the guided tours or excursions or make your own either, by foot go by car, – there is a lot to see!
At Boka Pistol, the Atlantic swell, batters the coral cliffs and explodes in a spectacular blue hole. At Boka Kalki, the beach is alive with creatures which, if you are lucky, will include sea turtles. Further west, Boka Tabla has caves naturally created by the never ceasing Atlantic swells. At the western most edge of the park, the mighty seas have punched a hole through the rocks at Boka Wandomi. The result is a natural arch or bridge through which the Atlantic Ocean flows. Swim through the arch, if you dare and continue in a north easterly direction for a tad over 4000 miles, and you should reach the southern shores of England.