Pro Tips for Exploring Shete Boka National Park
Get the most out of your visit to Curacao's Shete Boka National Park with these tips and tricks
Shete Boka National Park—located on Curacao's rugged north coast—is home to the island's most dynamic landscape. It's also a haven for endangered green sea turtles and remarkably large iguanas (a popular ingredient in local stews).
Head to Shete Boka for its 10 impressive inlets called “bokas” and miles of hiking trails. Or just look at it as an opportunity to get away from it all. For someone like me, who lives in an over-crowed city, a walk around this park was one of few opportunities to be alone with nature. Many times, there was not a soul in sight—just me and the crashing waves.
My visit to Shete Boka was a last-minute, spur-of-the-moment opportunity, and I had little or no knowledge of what I was about to see. Knowing what I know now, I would have done a few things differently.
For one thing, beach attire (though welcome everywhere throughout Curacao) isn't a wise choice for a day at the park. Be sure to wear athletic or hiking shoes if you plan to do any real exploring. You'll likely be walking on tiny rocks all day, which can make you lose your footing rather easily. I also recommend covering up your shoulders, wearing a hat and slathering on the sunblock.
Try to arrive early to avoid the hottest part of the day and bring more water than you think you need. Keeping yourself hydrated can be a challenge with the humidity factor. I was sweating like crazy.
Some hotels offer tours to the park, but I often find that it's more fun to explore it at your own pace. So rent a car (be sure to opt for the rental insurance) and drive yourself to the park. Once you're there, you can get a map and drive to the points of interest that strike your fancy.
For me, Boka Pistol was the most impressive site, with it's dramatic blowhole shooting water high into the sky. Boka Tabla was dark, a bit dangerous, and didn't photograph well. I really didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Skip this boka if you're short on time.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you choose to explore Shete Boka National Park. Just go. For an admission fee of $5.50, it’s probably the best deal on the entire island.
Shete Boka is the jagged, untouched beauty of Curacao … in its rawest and purest form.
If you're looking for other things to do in Curacao, be sure to check out my write up about Flyboarding at Jan Thiel Beach.
My trip to Curacao was made possible by the Curacao Tourist Board. Views expressed are my own.