Curaçao is geographically divided into two parts: ‘Banda Abou and Banda Ariba’ or, as tourist referred them to, West and East. Banda Abou is known for its pristine beaches, rugged landscape, and impressive underwater world. Banda Ariba, on the other hand, is known for its “city-vibe”, colorful façade, and bustling streets. When looking for hiking spots Banda Abou is the first-place locals would recommend because of its untouched beauty. A trip to Banda Abou for a hike is completely worth it, but since most visitors stay on the east side of the island, I gathered the 5 best hiking spots on the East of Curaçao. No need to travel far to appreciate the nature Curaçao offers.
1. Jan Thiel Salt Pan
A popular place for a hike is the Jan Thiel Salt Pan. The area is easily accessible, and the trail is easy to hike. This trail connects the area Jan Thiel to Mambo Beach Boulevard and walking this trail means walking along the beautiful shoreline of the Southern coast. Halfway on the trail, you’ll encounter the Jan Thiel Salt Pan. On a lucky day, you’ll even find a group of flamingoes wandering through the salt pans. The Jan Thiel Salt Pan is for many visitors and locals one of their favorite hiking spots on the East of Curaçao.
2. Caracas Bay Peninsula
Perhaps one of the most surprising hiking trails on the East of Curaçao is the Caracas Bay Peninsula. Hidden all the way back on the South-Eastern part of the island, this trail opens new historical and cultural facts of Curaçao. The Caracas Bay Peninsula used to be a private land of the Director of Shell Refinery. The Director had a private beach (Director’s Bay) with a whole paved private road that led to the beach.
The area is not private anymore, but because it was in the past it has never been heavily developed and nature is still untouched. Start your journey at Fort Beekenburg or Caracas Bay and follow the signs to walk the whole area. Start marveling the view from Fort Beekenburg and then get thrilled by walking through the abandon Quarantine building. This trail is full of surprises and on the East-side of the trail, you even have a view of the Spanish Water and Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curaçao. A trail worth hiking!
3. Roi Rincon Park
Roi Rincon is a quite underrated hiking spot on the East of Curaçao. The nature of this place is beautifully diverse, it has traces of the past, and signs of the culture of Curaçao. Halfway on the trail, you can catch your breath by sitting on one of the benches that overlook the island’s airport. Watch as the planes come and go and feel the wind touch your skin. Continue your journey through the Roi Rincon Park and walk through the Slave Wall, a rocky trail where slaves had to walk barefooted. Take the time to look left and right as you will see carvings on the rocks and some “surprising items” that shows the cultural diversity of the island.