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A Hike Around Patrick

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Between the town of Barber and the eastern coast of Curaçao lies a swath of land known as Patrick, named after a plantation house which used to sit roughly in its center. Rugged, isolated and mostly flat, this is a popular area for ATV tours, but you can also hike and easily reach the coast where there are a couple of impressive inlets.

The hike begins on a path through the woods. Two minutes in, we encountered a young guy with a machete, walking swiftly towards us. “Keep cool,” I told myself. “There’s got to be a rational explanation that doesn’t involve bloodshed.” And sure enough, after a cheerful “bon dia,” he took a side path leading to a field of palm trees. A coconut collector, not a murderer. And a reminder that Curaçao is a country where people might have legitimate reasons for walking around with machetes.

Patrick Hike Curaco

The path was easy enough to follow and led us directly to the coast, where we found a strange geological formation called the Suplado. Like a younger sibling to the larger “Eye of Curaçao” at Watamula, this is a round hole not far from the coast, through which the churning ocean is visible. We’ve heard this spot referred to as a “natural jacuzzi,” since you can apparently bathe in the shallow pools which surround it. But this looked as though it would have been dangerous, and we were content to stay dry.

On either side of the Suplado are a pair of interesting bokas, or inlets. To the north is Boka Santu Pretu, most remarkable for its darkened sand and rough waves. We paused here for a packed lunch, and then continued south to Boka Patrick.

Patrick Hike Curaco

Boka Patrick is a large inlet with a wide, sandy beach strewn with petrified wood and plastic. It’s a shame how much of Curaçao’s eastern coastline is inundated with trash. I don’t know if these are places too infrequently visited to bother with clean-up crews, or if there’s simply too much trash to keep up with, but the heaping mounds of old shoes and tires are a real turn-off. Still, we liked Boka Patrick for its extreme natural beauty and solitude; it’s amazing that such a place could be completely off-the-radar for both tourists and locals.

The path back to our car led us around a hill called the Seru Kosta, and toward heavier vegetation. The final quarter of the hike was the most difficult, as we entered the woods and lost the trail a couple times. But it became interesting when we passed the ruins of the old Patrick plantation house, spotting a well and what looked to be the walls of an old reservoir.

We’d miss the beaches, for sure, but we also enjoyed these peeks into Curaçao’s less-heralded side. This is an island of striking contrasts, which you won’t see unless you embark on hikes like the one we experienced at Patrick.

Locations on our Map: Suplado | Boka Santu Pretu | Boka Patrick
Our Route on Wikiloc

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February 24, 2016 at 10:55 pm Comments (0)

Shete Boka National Park

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The eastern coast of Curaçao is completely different from the tranquil west. Here, the Caribbean Sea greets the shore with power and violence. You won’t want to swim, but it’s fun to watch massive waves smash against the rocks. And nowhere is the view more impressive than the Shete Boka National Park.

Shete Boka Curacao

Shete Boka is Papiamento for “Seven Mouths,” referring to the number of rocky inlets which have been carved into the coast. The ocean crashes into each of these “mouths” with fury, sending sprays of water high into the air. From the park’s entrance, it’s easy to reach four of the best inlets; you can drive to them in your car, or better yet: embark on a dramatic hike along a set of coastal trails.

The closest inlet to the parking lot is Boka Tabla, where the crashing water has hollowed out a slippery cave. Visitors are allowed to enter at their own risk, but I ventured down just a few steps, afraid that a sudden wave might take me off guard. I felt safer up above, stationed on the viewing platform; each of the bokas in the park has a place from which to take pictures.

Shete Boka Curacao

From here, we walked north along the coast to Boka Wandomi, where we were able to see a natural bridge that has formed in the rock. Returning to the south, we headed toward Boka Kalki. It was slow-going; the ground here is comprised of jagged, volcanic rock, and it’s difficult to walk on. But once we got closer, the vegetation changed, and soon we were on a path that led through a forest of twisted trees, until reaching the sand of Boka Kalki.

Shete Boka Curacao

Boka Pistol was the final mouth of the day, and perhaps the most spectacular of them all. Its name is no exaggeration; a circular hole has been worn into the rock, and when the waves hit it, the water swirls around briefly before shooting high into the air, as though from a pistol.

We could have returned along the coast, but decided to take the long way back to the parking lot. A walking path leads into the interior, up two hills (Seru Braun and Seru Chai), providing views of the rocky, savage coastline. It was a great way to end our trip to Shete Boka. We appreciate calm, idyllic beaches as much as the next guys, but it’s nice to see that Curaçao’s nature also has a wild side.

Location on our Map

We found the cheapest car rental rates for Curacao here

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December 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm Comments (0)
A Hike Around Patrick Between the town of Barber and the eastern coast of Curaçao lies a swath of land known as Patrick, named after a plantation house which used to sit roughly in its center. Rugged, isolated and mostly flat, this is a popular area for ATV tours, but you can also hike and easily reach the coast where there are a couple of impressive inlets.
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