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 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.
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.
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.