Banda Abou, the west side of the island, is where you can experience the countryside of Curaçao in all its beauty. It’s one of the must-visit areas in Curaçao and aside from many cultural sightseeing places in Banda Abou, there are also many great activities for nature lovers. Take a day and explore the rugged side by doing a nature day trip to Banda Abou and be amazed at the flora and fauna that lives on the island.
Flamingos at Jan Kok
Start your tour in the early morning by visiting the flamingos at Jan Kok. Take the road that leads to Sint Willibrordus and stop at the sign that says Flamingo Sanctuary. This is not the only place to see flamingos, but it’s an easy stop since it’s just on the side of the road. There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to see flamingos or how far they’ll be, but we still have to experience a day where we didn’t spot any flamingos. Plus, if you are lucky the area will be filled with flamingoes and they’ll be (almost) right in front of your nose. Afterwards, drive towards Soto and turn left to Landhuis Groot Santa Martha.
Panorama View at Santa Martha Bay
This place is our little local secret to you because not many tourists find this place and, to be honest, even locals are sometimes unfamiliar with this gem. Just passing Landhuis Groot Santa Martha and going uphill there is a little spot on your right where you can get a panorama view of the Santa Martha Bay. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the place all to yourself. Take the time to soak in the beauty of your surroundings. You can admire the hills that form Banda Abou and see the ‘landhuizen’ laying on the peak in a row. Landhuizen were built on top of the hills so the masters could overlook the plantation. They say that they are all in a row because this way the plantation owners were able to communicate more easily. They used a special tool to make a particular sound to get their message across the houses.
To reach Watamula, drive west and pass Westpunt. At your left, you’ll see a sign that says Playa Kalki/Hotel Kura Hulanda. Follow this sign and drive past Kura Hulanda till you reach Watamula. Watamula is where locals say the island breathe. You will see the waves pounding onto the rock and, all the way to your right, you’ll also hear the melody of little bubbles when waves push air under the rocks. This is a really unique phenomenon and totally worth experiencing. This area is very secluded area though so be careful when parking your car here as there are often car thefts. Drive further east and take a left at the sign that says Shete Boka National Park.
Shete Boka National Park
At Shete Boka National Park you will see the rugged countryside of Curaçao at its best. This park covers around 10 km of the ferocious north coast. This rocky side of the island experiences a wave spectacle thanks to the different inlets. Make sure you do not miss Boka Pistol as this is one of the most impressive ones, our favorite. The inlets can be accessed through a hiking trail or either by car. Do note that this area is rugged and not kind to small and frail cars. Afterwards, keep driving east towards Barber and you’ll see Hofi Pastor on your left.
On Curaçao, we have some peculiar plants and animals that form our flora and fauna. A visit to Hofi Pastor allows you to experience the flora and fauna of Curacao in all its greatness. Hofi Pastor is a quaint garden and one of the few hofi’s still left on the island. What makes Hofi Pastor so special is the fact that it houses the oldest Kapok tree on the island and has developed a very distinctive form through the years.