Take a walk, drive or a guided tour on the island’s wildest side to witness nature at its finest far from the crowds.
Did you know that Christoffel National Park and its sister Shete Boka National Park comprise of over 6,200 acres of protected nature reserves on Curaçao? The island’s national parks host the highest peaks for hiking with all kinds of fascinating flora and fauna secreted within and the wildest, most picturesque windswept coasts are also within protected park confines. Christoffel park is the largest national park of Curaçao and a must see for everyone.
There are eight hiking trails in the Christoffel Park, allowing the visitor the choice between an easy stroll or for instance, a challenging hike to the top of the Christoffel mountain (recommended for early morning). Scenic car routes take you through underbrush, around hills and across sea swept bluffs. The park also organizes special tours including park safaris, deer watching tours, bird watching tours and guided hikes.
CHRISTOFFEL NATIONAL PARK
Hike to mountain top
A strenuous hike and climb; up and down the Christoffel Mountain, starting from the visitor’s center it will take approximately three hours. From the foot of the mountain it will take two hours. Look for interesting geological formations, Roi Berú (a dry riverbed), lichens, beard moss, bromeliads and orchids along the way. Spectacular views of the island reward you at the top. The Christoffel Mountain is open for climbing between 6 AM – 10 AM.
Of course, you’re free to explore the parks on your own- on foot or by car- however, first-time visitors will really benefit from a guide tour through the park. All tours need to be reserved. Guided hikes can be reserved for small groups and customized to suit your comfort level.
Guided safaris in an open-air land cruiser are a great way to explore the wilds with informed park rangers who will introduce you the wonders of the park. There must be a minimum of four people and reservations are required.
There are also sunset tours to help you get incredible photographs in the wild. Enjoy the mystic of the Christoffel park at sundown. This special tour takes you to secluded parts of the park. This includes Seru Bientu and Seru Grasia, where you can enjoy the Sabal palms which only grow in this part of the park. You will experience a spectacular panoramic view of the east side along with the sunset.
Let us give you the comfort of a guided hike. We offer guided hikes on several hiking trails in the park such as the Mountain trail and the Boka Grandi trail. We also offer a special guided hike; the Orchid trail hike from June to September.
Deer Spotting Tours
The sweet and shy white-tailed deer is a surprise native to Curaçao, and though they like to hide, park rangers know where to find them!
Did you know that there are beautiful white-tailed deer hiding in the park regions? They can be very exclusive but taking a guided tour on foot or by land cruiser is your best chance of seeing them. Curaçao white tailed deer is local sub-species that has adapted its behavior to the island’s harsh climate in several interesting ways. Experienced guides will take you to the best locations for deer spotting. Along the way you will enjoy beautiful sceneries and experience the varied flora and fauna of the island.
Bird Watching Tours
One would be surprisedat how many species of birds you will find in the national parks if you know where to look.
Serious birders will enjoy adding many new species to their “life lists” like the rare native barn owl and amateur ornithologists will also enjoy the large variety of local and migratory birds that frequent the park. You’ll also see other wildlife when you take a guided birdwatching tour.
SHETE BOKA NATIONAL PARK
Adjacent to Christoffel Park on the rocky north coast is Shete Boka National Park where you can witness primal forces of nature at work. Boka stands for inlet and the translation of Shete Boka National Park is actually “seven inlets”. In the national park you will find 4 bokas provided with specially built wooden viewing platforms, from where you can see what the power of the water does to the coastline: See the natural bridge of Boka Wandomi, follow the hiking trail to the beautiful beach of Boka Kalki, experience the shooting sound of Boka Pistol and enter the famous Boka Tabla cave.
Parking places are available at all viewpoints and you can walk to the boka in a few minutes. Especially with the hot and burning Caribbean sun, it can be more comfortable to grab the car between the bokas but this is not necessary. You can also choose to walk from boka to boka, along the marked trails.
Besides natural riches the park also offer much in the way of culture and history. Plantation Savonet, located in the Christoffel National Park, is one of the earliest plantations to be set up on the island and is one of the most complete plantation complexes with structures including the plantation house, store houses, dams, wells and much more.
The former plantation house now locates Savonet Museum. This is one of the cultural highlights of Curaçao and definitely worth a visit. There is a separate entrance fee to the museum, but if you want to visit the museum as well as the park special prices apply. The original home (landhuis) was built in 1662 and restored to its former glory in 2009. Learn all about the interesting history and you’ll also discover fascinating facts about the island’s development.
Savonet History Tour
Go back in time with our guides and discover the rich history of the Savonet Plantation. As one of the oldest preserved plantation houses on the Island, it offers a unique insight on the daily life on the plantation in the 17th century.
If You Go
To book a tour call: +5999 864-0363 or e-mail at email@example.com. Both national parks have an entrance fee and proceeds go to the park conservation. Savonet Museum has a stand-alone entrance fee but is also included in the Christoffel Park price.
For information visit: www.christoffelpark.org
CARMABI (Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity) is responsible for the ongoing preservation and protection of both parks.
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