Christoffel National Park



Christoffel National Park, Curacao, is centered on Mount Christoffel, the island's highest point at 1,239 ft/377 m. It affords a panoramic view of all of Curacao, as well as nearby Bonaire and Venezuela.

Hikers can take one of eight different nature trails and see caves with ancient Caiquetio drawings. It's a lovely area, with 10-ft-/3-m-tall cacti, palm trees, flowers, whitetail deer and birds (orioles, troupials, yellow-breasted sugar birds and some parrots that a hurricane blew in from Bonaire). Roads in the park have recently been improved, allowing guided drive-through tours on three routes of varying lengths. Deer-watching is the most popular attraction, done in scheduled groups.

The park is open Monday-Saturday 7:30 am-4 pm; Sunday 6 am-3 pm. No camping is allowed. Admission is about US$12; guided walking tours US$20-$42; guided mountain climb US$30; horseback-riding tours US$40; Jeep tours US$20-$30. Advance reservations are required. Phone 864-0363 or 540-3604 for details on these and other excursions.

The 4,500-acre/1,800-hectare park also includes Landhuis Savonet, one of the oldest plantation houses on the island. It hosts nature-related exhibits and forms part of the park's visitors center.

We consider the day we spent exploring the park the highlight of our Curacao stay. Excursion Guide to Christoffel Park, sold at the park and front desks of some hotels, is a worthwhile purchase if you plan to visit the park.

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