çao, Netherland Antilles, Natural Wonders


Fish circle
Fish circle

Around Curaçao - by car and by boat

Renting a car is essential to be mobile and to stay independent on the island. However, to explore the island fully, you will need a pretty powerful vehicle to overcome rugged patches and private knowledge of the entrance paths. Also, the boat is required to reach the Klein Curaçao. So, in many instances you will have to book your adventures in advance with local tourist companies.

Driving around the island is not very difficult. Once you master Salina circle and learn how to get on Juliana bridge from Otrobanda, you will become quite confident in choosing your directions around Willemstad. Far west of the island may present some challenges though and you can get a little bit lost.

Caracas bay Caracas bay. The Caracas bay is a beautiful, calm, deep water bay with rich history. It has its own fort, an abandoned ship, and one of most popular snorkeling and diving sites on the island.
Caracas bay Caracas bay. Caracas Baai was a former Shell oil terminal, which was dismantled in 1996. Is this abandoned ship a part of Shell's fleet? We do not know.
Shete Boka Fort Beekenburg is known to be one of the best preserved forts in the Caribbean. It is named after Heer van Beek who coordinated Willemstad's defense from 1701 to 1704.
Shete Boka Fort Beekenburg. As you can see, it has classic chess rook silhouette (tower, castle), which is endearing in a way and kind of corny.
Shete Boka Fort Beekenburg. It has a lot of nooks and crannies. Among them intricate passages and canals leading down to the reservoirs for rain water collection. This opening leads to the next level of the fort.
Shete Boka Fort Beekenburg. Climb up this hole and look at Caracas bay from height of the bird's flight.
Curacao road Weg Naar Westpunt highway views. In this building you can buy fireworks.
Curacao road Weg Naar Westpunt highway views.
Curacao road Weg Naar Westpunt highway views, westbound. This is a former slave house. It is best preserved slave house on the island. Currently, it serves as residence and as museum. Curaçao slave houses differ from slave houses on Barbados, which were build in way that they can be disassembled and moved to another place (chattel houses). On Curaçao slavery was abolished in 1863.
Curacao road Den Dunki. The plaque reads "Den Dunki. Place of memory. At this site, in the 17th century Dutch slave traders established a transit camp Den Dunki. It was part of the large plantation Zuurzak (known locally as Sorsaka). At this site people taken from Africa after a long journey, chained in sailing ships, could regain their health before being sold. The large well is the only structure left from those days. ..."
Curacao road The Den Dunki is situated near Lagoon Jan Thief and is somewhat isolated. During rainy season the place becomes only partially accessible because trails are literally buried under masses of plants.
Curacao road This rickety wooden bridge is dangerous to cross, be careful.
Curacao road The bridge and walls, built after abolition of slavery, are partly made with stones from the structures from that era.
Curacao road Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao) is a 1.7 km2 uninhabited island 11 km (7 mile) south-east of Curaçao. It can be only reached by boat and the trip is much worth it. Book your trip to Klein Curaçao in advance. The only human-made objects on the island are an old lighthouse, several huts, and a couple of ship wrecks. Klein Curaçao offers a beautiful beach, snorkeling sites, and surreal hiking experience.
Curacao road This is pretty much Klein Curaçao landscape: flat and strewn by rocks of various sizes, almost completely lack of plant life that is taller than a couple of inches.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg Even if you are looking from the height of the lighthouse's second story, the landscape stays the same - barren, wind-swept, lonely. The island was nesting place for a multitude of birds. It was well-vegetated before extensive mining of phosphate (contained in birds' guano) began the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Also, livestock kept on the island greatly contributed to eradication of plant life on the island. As a consequence, the island has been devoid of all trees and bushes for more than 100 years.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg The picturesque lighthouse is a main landmark of Klein Curaçao. It was build in 1850 and re-build in 1879 and again in 1913. It is approximately 22 m (72 ft) tall. The building consists of round masonry lighthouse tower and two connecting 2-story keepers houses. In 1853 the keepers' houses were used as a hospital and quarantine center.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg The old abandoned lighthouse is very charming and invokes the blues and reflectiveness. Today its lively ruins are inhabited by lizards and hermit crabs. The premises are strewn with beautiful clay shingles that were made in Holland. Many of them are almost intact displaying fine relief of miniature lighthouse.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg The building is substantially build and despite many years of neglect, is sturdy and in most parts is not dangerous.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg Very narrow winding stairwell is leading into the tower. The very top of it, however, is inaccessible.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg The final peek through the higher level window - the trail leads to southeast of the island where shipwrecks are located.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg A small tanker, the Maria Bianca Guidesman, is gradually being reduced to rust and dust as relentless waves are eating at its fragile and greatly damaged carcass.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg This boat wreck is most recent and well preserved. Abundance of ship wrecks on this side of the island shows that Caribbean waters here can be very dangerous.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg Curaçao's longest and whitest beach is here, on Klein Curaçao. The sand is soft and white and the water is crystal clear. In some places the beach is bordered with struggling shrubs that give very little shade.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg The beach (northeastern side of the island) waters are usually calm and very warm, with gentle waves. It is a great pleasure to take a carefree walk along the beach and then, immerse yourself in inviting crystal-clear water and see some fish, or even, a sea turtle, when snorkeling or diving. Klein Curaçao is the Curaçao most important sea turtle nesting beach. The species of sea turtles include endangered loggerhead Caretta caretta, green Chelonia mydas, and critically endangered hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata. The island was a home of now extinct Caribbean monk seal Monachus tropicalis.
klein-curacao-lighthouse-1.jpg Several dive operators and sailboat charters offer trips to Klein Curaçao. Delicious lunch and free drinks are usually offered on board. You'll be sun-baked, salty, tipsy, and merry when you return back to your hotel.




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