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The Complete Guide To Shete Boka National Park, Curacao


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Binni Kish



Welcome to the stunning Shete Boka National Park, a natural wonderland located on the beautiful island of Curacao. Known for its rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and breathtaking sea caves, this park offers a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


Shete Boka National Park, which translates to “Seven Inlets” in the local language, is named after the seven different bays that dot its shoreline. Each bay has its own distinct features and offers a glimpse into the raw beauty of the island’s coastal landscape.


This comprehensive guide will take you on a virtual journey through the wonders of Shete Boka National Park. From its stunning geological formations to its diverse flora and fauna, we will explore everything this remarkable park has to offer. Whether you’re planning a visit or simply interested in learning more about this hidden gem, join us as we uncover the secrets of Shete Boka National Park.


About Shete Boka National Park

Shete Boka National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers in Curacao. Located on the northern coast of the island, the park spans an impressive 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) and offers a plethora of natural wonders to discover.


This protected area was established in 1994 with the aim of preserving the unique geological formations, diverse ecosystems, and endangered wildlife that call it home. It is managed by a dedicated team of park rangers who work tirelessly to ensure its conservation and provide visitors with a memorable experience.


The park is famous for its rugged cliffs and rocky coastline, which have been shaped by the relentless pounding of the Caribbean Sea over millions of years. The combination of powerful waves, wind, and volcanic activity has created a stunning landscape of caves, blowholes, and secluded bays.


Aside from its breathtaking natural beauty, Shete Boka National Park is also renowned for its role in the protection of several endangered species. The park’s beaches serve as nesting grounds for sea turtles, including the hawksbill, loggerhead, and green turtles. Visitors may have the unique opportunity to witness these incredible creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a photographer, or simply seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Shete Boka National Park offers something for everyone. From its mesmerizing geological formations to its abundant wildlife, this park truly exemplifies the natural wonders of Curacao.


Location and how to get there

Shete Boka National Park is strategically located on the northern coast of Curacao, making it easily accessible for visitors from all parts of the island. It is situated approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Willemstad, the capital city.


If you’re driving from Willemstad, take the Weg Naar Westpunt (road to Westpunt) and follow the signs directing you to the park. The journey takes around 45 minutes and offers picturesque views of the island’s countryside along the way.


For those without personal transportation, several tour operators offer guided trips to Shete Boka National Park. These tours typically include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and sometimes additional visits to nearby attractions. It’s a convenient option for those who prefer not to drive or want to make the most of their visit by learning about the park’s highlights from a knowledgeable local.


Once you arrive at the park, you’ll find a well-maintained parking area where you can safely leave your vehicle. From there, you can access the various hiking trails and attractions within the park.


It’s important to note that the park is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and the last entrance is allowed at 4:30 pm. So, plan your visit accordingly to make the most of your time exploring the wonders of Shete Boka National Park.


With its convenient location and various transportation options, getting to Shete Boka National Park is a breeze. So, gather your gear, pack your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey to this natural paradise on the northern coast of Curacao.


Entrance fees and visitor information

When visiting Shete Boka National Park, there is a small entrance fee that helps support the maintenance and conservation efforts of the park. The fee for adults is typically around $10 (USD), and for children (ages 5-12) it is usually around $5 (USD). Keep in mind that these fees are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the official park website or contact the park authorities for the most up-to-date information.


Upon entry, you’ll receive a map of the park, which will guide you through the various hiking trails and attractions. The park offers well-marked paths and informative signs along the way, ensuring that visitors can explore the wonders of Shete Boka National Park safely and at their own pace.


It’s worth noting that swimming is not permitted in most areas of the park due to safety concerns caused by the powerful sea currents and rough coastline. However, there are designated swimming spots that are considered safe, so be sure to inquire about these areas at the visitor center.


The park also has restroom facilities and picnic areas where you can take a break and enjoy a packed lunch amidst the natural beauty surrounding you. Remember to bring plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes, as the park can get hot and the trails can be uneven in places.


For those interested in wildlife encounters, keep your eyes peeled for various bird species, lizards, and the occasional sea turtle during nesting season. It’s important to respect the animals and their habitats by observing from a safe distance and not disturbing them.


Lastly, remember to take your trash with you as there are no waste disposal facilities within the park. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories to ensure the preservation of this spectacular natural treasure.


By being prepared and respecting the rules and guidelines of Shete Boka National Park, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit where you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this remarkable natural reserve.


Geology and geography of the park

The geology and geography of Shete Boka National Park are truly remarkable and contribute to its unique beauty and ruggedness. The park is characterized by its dramatic cliffs, towering waves, and an array of coastal features that have been sculpted over thousands of years.


Shete Boka National Park is situated along Curacao’s northern coast, which is known for its limestone formations. These limestone cliffs have been eroded by the relentless power of the Caribbean Sea, resulting in breathtaking sea caves, blowholes, and natural bridges.


One of the most famous features of the park is Boka Tabla, an underground cave system. As you venture into the cave, you’ll be mesmerized by the sound and sight of crashing waves echoing through the chambers. The forces of nature created this awe-inspiring spectacle by eroding the soft limestone, gradually forming a network of interconnected caverns.


Another geological wonder within the park is Boka Pistol, where you can witness powerful blowholes in action. These blowholes are openings in the rocks that channel crashing waves into narrow passages, resulting in water jets shooting up into the sky. The force and sound are truly impressive, giving rise to the name “Pistol.”


The park’s geography is characterized by a series of bays or “bokas,” which give Shete Boka National Park its name. These bokas include Boka Wandomi, Boka Ketu, Boka Kalki, and more. Each bay offers a unique glimpse into the raw power of the sea and its continuous interaction with the island’s rocky coastline.


The waves crashing against the cliffs have formed tidal pools and natural swimming basins, creating a haven for marine life. The rocky shores provide shelter and breeding grounds for various species of fish and other marine organisms.


Overall, the geology and geography of Shete Boka National Park make it a truly captivating destination. The combination of pristine limestone cliffs, mesmerizing sea caves, and the power of the Caribbean Sea creates an extraordinary landscape that will leave visitors in awe of nature’s artistic prowess.


Flora and fauna of Shete Boka National Park

Shete Boka National Park is not only a haven of geological wonders but also a sanctuary for a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The park’s varied ecosystems provide a home for numerous plant species and support a wide range of animal life.


When exploring the park, you’ll encounter an array of fascinating plant life. The coastal areas are dominated by resilient salt-tolerant vegetation, such as seagrape trees, prickly shrubs, and mangrove forests. These plants have adapted to the harsh coastal conditions, with their roots anchoring against the relentless sea winds and their leaves adapting to conserve water.


As you venture further into the park, you’ll discover an enchanting mix of cacti, thorny shrubs, and intricate succulents. These desert-like plants have adapted to the arid conditions of Curacao, showcasing their ability to survive in this challenging environment.


Moreover, the park is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, as it supports various bird species. Look out for magnificent frigatebirds soaring through the sky, their long wingspan an impressive sight to behold. Additionally, you may spot Caribbean flamingos, brown pelicans, and a variety of herons and egrets that inhabit the coastal areas.


Shete Boka National Park is also home to several reptile species, including the Curacao whiptail lizard and the Curacao curlytail lizard. These fascinating creatures can often be spotted basking in the sun or scurrying across the rocky terrain.


One of the park’s significant attractions is its role as a nesting ground for sea turtles. Hawksbill, loggerhead, and green turtles all make their way to Shete Boka to lay their eggs. These turtles are protected species, and it’s a truly remarkable experience to witness their nesting process and the emergence of baby turtles making their way to the sea.


Last but not least, the park’s coastal waters are teeming with marine life, including vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and crustaceans. Snorkeling or diving within the park offers opportunities to explore an underwater world filled with colorful coral formations, schools of fish, and the occasional sighting of a sea turtle or a stingray.


Exploring the diverse flora and fauna of Shete Boka National Park is a truly immersive experience. Whether you’re admiring the unique plant life or spotting the various bird and reptile species, each encounter adds to the park’s natural charm and showcases the importance of its conservation efforts.


Hiking trails and attractions

Shete Boka National Park offers a range of scenic hiking trails and captivating attractions, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and wonder of this natural gem. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging trek, there’s a trail for everyone to enjoy.


One of the most popular trails is the Boka Wandomi Trail, which takes you to a picturesque turtle nesting beach. This easy, well-marked trail provides an opportunity to witness the nesting process of various sea turtle species, as well as the chance to spot tracks left by these magnificent creatures. Keep in mind that during nesting season, there may be restrictions in place to ensure the safety of the turtles and their eggs.


For those seeking breathtaking views and a chance to explore the park’s caves, the Boka Tabla Trail is a must. This trail takes you to the famous underground cave, where you’ll marvel at the power of the sea as waves crash against the rocky walls. Be prepared to get wet as you navigate the slippery terrain, but the experience is well worth it for the unique perspective it offers.


Another popular attraction within the park is the Boka Pistol Trail, leading to the impressive blowholes. As you hike along the trail, you’ll witness the awe-inspiring sight of water jets shooting high into the air as waves crash against the rocky coastline. The sheer force and sound of these blowholes earned them the name “Pistol.”


If you’re up for a longer and more challenging hike, the Boka Santu Pretu Trail is a great choice. This trail takes you along the rugged northern coast, offering panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the opportunity to explore hidden coves and tidal pools. The trail is rough and uneven, so proper hiking shoes and caution are necessary.


In addition to the hiking trails, the park boasts several other attractions that are worth exploring. Boka Kalki is a popular spot for cliff jumping, where adrenaline junkies can take the plunge into the crystal-clear waters below. The park also offers guided boat tours that provide a unique perspective of the park’s coastal features and allow visitors to discover the hidden treasures of Shete Boka from the sea.


With its diverse hiking trails and captivating attractions, Shete Boka National Park offers endless opportunities for adventure and discovery. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey through this natural wonderland on the northern coast of Curacao.


Boka Tabla: Exploring the underground cave

One of the most fascinating attractions within Shete Boka National Park is Boka Tabla, an underground cave that offers a unique and mesmerizing experience for visitors. The name “Boka Tabla” translates to “Table Bay,” and stepping into this cavernous wonder feels like entering a hidden world.


To reach Boka Tabla, you’ll follow a designated trail that winds its way through the park’s rugged terrain. As you approach the cave, you’ll hear the sounds of crashing waves echoing through the chamber, building anticipation for what lies ahead.


Descending into the cave, you’ll be greeted by the sight of massive rock formations, carved out by the ceaseless force of the sea over countless years. Light filters through crevices, casting an ethereal glow on the water below and illuminating the natural beauty of the cave.


As waves crash into the cave entrance, the sound reverberates through the chamber, creating a symphony of crashing surf. The experience is both awe-inspiring and humbling, as you witness the sheer power of nature at work.


Visitors are invited to explore Boka Tabla from a designated walkway that allows for safe and up-close encounters with the cave’s magnificent formations. The walkway provides a unique perspective, offering different angles and viewpoints to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the cave.


It’s important to note that the walkway can become wet and slippery due to the mist created by the crashing waves. Therefore, it’s advisable to exercise caution and wear appropriate footwear to ensure a safe and enjoyable exploration of Boka Tabla.


The experience of Boka Tabla is further enhanced during periods of rough seas, where the crashing waves create a dramatic display. The water surges into the cave, filling the chamber with an energizing spray and amplifying the already impressive soundscape.


Photography enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to capture striking images within Boka Tabla. The interplay of light and shadow, combined with the unique rock formations and the raw power of the sea, offers endless creative possibilities.


Exploring Boka Tabla is an unforgettable adventure that highlights the incredible forces of nature at Shete Boka National Park. Whether you’re drawn to its impressive geological features, the captivating soundscape, or the opportunity for stunning photography, Boka Tabla is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Boka Pistol: Spectacular blowholes

Located within the enchanting Shete Boka National Park, Boka Pistol is a captivating attraction that showcases the raw power and beauty of nature. The name “Boka Pistol” refers to the pistol-like sound made by the water as it shoots out of the blowholes, creating a truly spectacular sight.


As you follow the trail leading to Boka Pistol, the anticipation builds. The crashing of waves against the rocky coastline grows louder, hinting at the incredible display of nature’s forces that awaits you.


Upon reaching Boka Pistol, you’ll be greeted by a series of narrow openings in the rocks, known as blowholes. These blowholes are formed when powerful waves find their way into narrow channels and forcefully shoot water high into the air.


As the waves surge and crash against the cliffs, the water within the blowholes is propelled upwards in a mesmerizing display of nature’s strength. The result is a breathtaking water jet that shoots high into the sky, resembling the barrel of a pistol being fired.


The sight of the water shooting out of the blowholes is truly awe-inspiring. The force behind the jets is so powerful that it can reach impressive heights and create a dramatic mist that adds to the enchanting atmosphere.


To fully appreciate the spectacle, it’s recommended to visit Boka Pistol during high tide or when the sea is particularly rough. These conditions maximize the force of the waves, resulting in even more impressive water jets.


As you stand near the blowholes and witness the power of the sea firsthand, you’ll be captivated by the sheer energy and natural beauty of this phenomenon. The crashing waves, the hiss of the water shooting into the air, and the mist that surrounds you create an immersive sensory experience.


Photographers will find endless opportunities to capture stunning shots of the dramatic water jets and the dramatic coastal scenery that surrounds Boka Pistol. The interplay of light, water, and rock formations creates a visually captivating landscape.


While at Boka Pistol, take a moment to soak in the surroundings and appreciate the harmony of nature on display. The combination of the powerful sea, the majestic cliffs, and the dynamic blowholes all contribute to an unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience.


Visiting Boka Pistol within Shete Boka National Park is an opportunity to witness one of nature’s remarkable displays. It’s a reminder of the immense power and beauty of our planet, leaving visitors with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.


Boka Wandomi: Turtle nesting beach

Within the stunning Shete Boka National Park lies Boka Wandomi, a captivating beach that serves as a nesting ground for various sea turtle species. The name “Boka Wandomi” pays homage to the turtles that choose this stretch of coastline to lay their eggs, providing a unique opportunity to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.


As you make your way along the designated trail towards Boka Wandomi, the anticipation builds. The beach is a sanctuary for hawksbill, loggerhead, and green turtles during their nesting season, which typically occurs from May to October.


Upon reaching Boka Wandomi, you’ll notice the pristine sandy shores, gently lapped by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The beach is carefully protected to provide a safe and undisturbed environment for nesting turtles.


To witness the nesting process, visitors are required to adhere to strict guidelines to ensure the safety and protection of the turtles and their eggs. It’s important to remain quiet, avoid flash photography, and maintain a respectful distance from the nesting turtles.


Observing a sea turtle as it emerges from the sea and slowly makes its way up the beach is a truly awe-inspiring experience. The mother turtle meticulously selects a suitable spot and begins the laborious process of digging a nest with her flippers.


Once the nest is prepared, the turtle lays her eggs one by one before carefully covering them with sand. It’s a delicate and precise process that highlights the dedication and instinctual behavior of these remarkable creatures.


After laying her eggs, the mother turtle carefully returns to the sea, leaving the eggs to incubate beneath the warm sand. The incubation period typically lasts for around two months, after which the baby turtles will hatch and embark on their perilous journey to the sea.


Visiting Boka Wandomi during nesting season provides a unique opportunity to witness the circle of life and the incredible strength and determination of these endangered species. It’s a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect these majestic creatures and their fragile ecosystems.


When visiting Boka Wandomi, it’s crucial to support the conservation initiatives in place. Respecting the guidelines and educational programs offered at the park ensures the preservation of the nesting grounds and the long-term survival of the sea turtles.


Boka Wandomi within Shete Boka National Park is a sanctuary where the wonders of nature are on full display. Witnessing the nesting process of sea turtles is a privilege and a humbling experience that fosters a deeper connection to the delicate balance of life in our natural world.


Boka Ketu: Rocky coastline and tidal pools

Located within the breathtaking Shete Boka National Park, Boka Ketu is a hidden gem along the Curacao coastline. This secluded bay boasts a rugged and picturesque rocky coastline, which is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape.


As you approach Boka Ketu, you’ll be greeted by the sight of towering cliffs and mesmerizing rock formations, shaped by the relentless power of the sea. The dramatic landscape showcases the raw beauty and dynamic forces of nature.


One of the highlights of Boka Ketu is the presence of tidal pools, which are pockets of water that form within the crevices and rocky outcrops along the coast. These pools, fed by the crashing waves, create small, serene habitats that support a diverse range of marine life.


Exploring the tidal pools of Boka Ketu is like discovering miniature underwater ecosystems. Within these captivating pools, you may encounter colorful fish, delicate sea anemones, and fascinating crustaceans going about their daily lives.


These tidal pools offer a unique opportunity for both seasoned snorkelers and curious beginners alike to get up close and personal with the marine life that thrives in this protected habitat. Remember to bring your snorkeling gear to fully immerse yourself in this hidden underwater world.


The rocky coastline of Boka Ketu also provides plenty of opportunities for exploration. You can meander along the shoreline, carefully navigating the rugged terrain to discover secluded coves, hidden caves, and stunning viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.


Be sure to also keep an eye out for the various bird species that call Boka Ketu home. From soaring frigatebirds to agile terns, the cliffs and rocky outcrops provide excellent vantage points for birdwatching enthusiasts.


Visiting Boka Ketu is a serene and peaceful experience, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take your time to soak in the natural beauty, listen to the waves crashing against the rocks, and feel the gentle sea breeze on your skin.


Remember to tread lightly and respect the fragile ecosystems within Boka Ketu. Keep the area clean and be mindful of any marine life you may encounter. Let this enchanting corner of Shete Boka National Park leave a lasting impression in your heart as a testament to the unspoiled beauty of Curacao.


Other attractions in the park

Shete Boka National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and in addition to Boka Tabla, Boka Pistol, Boka Wandomi, and Boka Ketu, there are several other attractions within the park that are worth exploring. These attractions offer unique experiences and further showcase the diversity and beauty of this stunning natural reserve.


Boka Kalki is a popular spot for thrill-seekers and cliff jumpers. The towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal location for adrenaline junkies to take a leap into the deep, refreshing sea below. Safety precautions should always be taken, and it’s recommended to jump under the guidance of an experienced local.


Boka Kalki is not the only place within the park where you can enjoy a refreshing dip. Boka Tabla itself offers a small beach area where visitors can swim and relax, taking in the views of the impressive cave formations and the crashing waves beyond.


For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, the park offers tranquil picnic areas where you can enjoy a packed lunch amidst the natural beauty surrounding you. As you dine, listen to the sounds of nature and take in the breathtaking coastal views.


The park also features guided boat tours that allow you to explore beyond the shorelines, providing a different perspective of the park’s magnificent coastal features. From the boat, you can witness the grandeur of the cliffs, the sea caves, and the blowholes, immersing yourself in the splendor of Shete Boka National Park from a unique vantage point.


As you traverse Shete Boka National Park, keep an eye out for the intriguing and diverse plant life that dots the landscape. From resilient salt-tolerant vegetation along the coast to desert-like cacti and succulents further inland, the park is a haven for botany enthusiasts seeking to admire and learn about the island’s flora.


Lastly, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the stunning sunsets that paint the sky in an array of vibrant colors. The park’s coastal location and unobstructed views provide the perfect setting to witness a breathtaking sunset, creating a serene and magical experience.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or encounters with unique flora and fauna, Shete Boka National Park has something to offer. With its diverse range of attractions, this natural reserve invites you to embark on a memorable journey and discover the countless wonders that await within its borders.


Tips and recommendations for visiting

When planning your visit to Shete Boka National Park, it’s helpful to keep a few tips and recommendations in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some suggestions to consider:

  • Plan your visit during the right season: The best time to visit Shete Boka National Park is during the dry season, which runs from January to September. This ensures better weather conditions and increased chances of observing wildlife and exploring the park’s attractions.
  • Come prepared: Be sure to bring essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Additionally, wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear for walking on the uneven terrain.
  • Stay hydrated: The park can get hot, so it’s essential to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your visit. There are no water stations within the park, so it’s best to come prepared with enough water for the duration of your visit.
  • Follow park rules and guidelines: Shete Boka National Park has strict rules and regulations in place to protect the fragile ecosystems and wildlife within. It’s vital to adhere to these guidelines, such as staying on designated trails, keeping a safe distance from wildlife, and properly disposing of your trash.
  • Respect nature and wildlife: While exploring the park, be mindful of your impact on the environment. Avoid touching or disturbing any plants or animals you encounter, and remember that the park is home to several vulnerable and protected species, including nesting sea turtles.
  • Bring a camera or binoculars: Shete Boka National Park offers breathtaking views and unique wildlife encounters. Having a camera or binoculars handy allows you to capture these moments and enhance your overall experience.
  • Check the weather and tides: Before visiting, check the weather forecast and tide charts. Some attractions, such as Boka Tabla and Boka Pistol, offer different experiences depending on the sea conditions, so planning your visit accordingly can enhance your experience.
  • Visit early or late in the day: To avoid crowds and make the most of your visit, consider arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon. This can provide a more serene and peaceful experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty.
  • Support conservation efforts: Shete Boka National Park is committed to the conservation and preservation of its natural resources. Consider making a donation or supporting the park’s initiatives to ensure the protection and sustainability of this remarkable reserve for future generations to enjoy.

By following these tips and recommendations, you will have a memorable and responsible visit to Shete Boka National Park. Remember to take your time, soak in the scenery, and appreciate the wonders of nature that await you in this stunning natural reserve.



Shete Boka National Park is a true gem on the island of Curacao, offering a mesmerizing blend of geology, wildlife, and natural beauty. From the impressive sea caves of Boka Tabla to the powerful blowholes of Boka Pistol, each attraction within the park reveals the relentless strength and artistry of the Caribbean Sea as it interacts with the rocky coastline.


The park is not only a haven for geological wonders, but it also provides a sanctuary for a diverse range of flora and fauna. From the resilient salt-tolerant vegetation along the coast to the nesting sea turtles at Boka Wandomi, the park is a testament to the irreplaceable value of conservation efforts and the delicate balance of nature.


As you explore the hiking trails, immerse yourself in the captivating sights and sounds that accompany each step. Listen to the waves crashing against the cliffs, feel the mist of the blowholes on your skin, and marvel at the intricate ecosystems that thrive within the tidal pools.


Visiting Shete Boka National Park is an opportunity to connect with the raw power and sublime beauty of the natural world. It’s a reminder of the vastness and magnificence of our planet, and a call to protect and cherish these precious natural spaces for future generations to cherish.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply seeking a serene escape, Shete Boka National Park offers an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, prepare your camera, and embark on a journey to this remarkable park that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.