Hato Caves in Curacao

November 11, 2011 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions

Find the Hato Caves just outside of Willemstad on Curacao
- photo courtesy of Steve Conger via Flickr

Just north of Willemstad on Curacao, you’ll find a cave system with 1500-year-old Arawak petroglyphs that was also used as a hiding place for runaway slaves.

For the record, stalactites form on cave ceilings and hang down, and stalagmites rise from the floor; the limestone Hato Caves (Grotten van Hato) are filled with plenty of both. There is also a large colony of rare long-nose fruit bats inside and prehistoric iguanas in the surrounding park outside.

Although the premiere cave attraction is the Madonna, keep an eye out for others such as the Jack and the Beanstalk Giant, the Pirate’s Head, and the Sea Tortoise.

The caves are lit and often booked for functions like yoga workshops and banquets. You can enjoy a cool beverage in the patio bar and try some pastechi (authentic Curacao pastry filled with cheese and/or meat).

Tours are multilingual and run every hour from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children (4-11). Be prepared to be a bit hot and stuffy at times! It’s probably best to visit the caves as part of a package in combination with other nearby attractions, like the distillery or city tours.

- Natalie Grant

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Curacao tours and things to do, Curacao attractions, and Curacao travel recommendations.

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