Not far from the Lodges, in approx. 20 minutes, you will be in Barber, a sleeply little town with a beautiful church and a lovely place to enjoy nature: National Park Hòfi Pastor.
Driving from direction Willemstad, Hòfi Pastor is just right after the yellow church. There is a small parking area and when you enter the park you are being greeted by a sweet lady who asks you to pay a small entry fee. She will explain about the two trails you can follow, both approx. 2 km.
So off you go, first you will see the beautiful mango trees and when you walk a little further the oldest tree of Curacao, a giant Kapok tree, for sure will impress you! The Kapok tree was brought to Curacao over 400 years ago, by the first inhabitants of the island, the Caiquetios, a tribe of peaceful Arawak Indians who fled a fiercer tribe in Venezuela. The tree, in these hundreds of years, now has grown to be a national monument. Some say it has a ‘sensual’ form, although our kids just call it a tree for a little wizard ?, with it’s freeky shapes.
It is so nice to walk in this beautiful park and experience the feeling of being in the woods. It’s shady with many, many small and larger trees (you have to bend over quite some times not to hit the trees) and the smell of nature and green does so good. There are hawks and a few donkeys, butterflies and iguanas and you will see Kenepas and other tropical fruit trees.
At the end of the trail, which brings you back to the entrance of the park, there are picknick tables and here you can get a cool soda or fruit drink, while you are being chased by the chicken (and the kids play on the swings).
The park is being guarded by Amigu Di Tera, Friends of the Earth of Curacao, and they are working hard to keep it being a protected area where the trees will always bear fruit… so that everyone, especially children, have the opportunity of experiencing the wonders of nature.
When walking made you hungry, make sure to visit the snèk just outside the park, across the street. The lady there will make some good toast!
The park is open each day except on Friday. Opening hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM. The entrance fee is Nafl. 5 per person. Make sure to wear good shoes (no flipflops).
During your vacation on Curacao, a trip to the Christoffel Park is definately something to add to your to-do-list. The park is the largest national park on the island and mountain Christoffel is 378 m high.
The park has beautiful flora and founa (check for the wild orchids!) and during your visit you will see many local birds, iguana’s and maybe even barn owls or a white tailed deer.
The park offers 8 hiking trails, which run from easy to challenging. Challenging for sure is climbing the mountain. Preferably start the climb in the early morning (around 7 or 7.30 am is advisable), and if you take it slow it takes approx 1,5 hour to reach the top. Especially the last part might be a bit difficult but the reward is a breathtaking view and a never-forget experience.
In addition, the park offers several activities for you to join, like safari’s, deer watching, cave excurisons, full moon walks and sunrise safari’s.
At the entrance of the park is a just-opened lunch cafe Cactus. They serve huge sandwiches, good salads and coffee.
The Christoffel Park is also the home of the Plantation Savonet, which is one of the oldest plantation houses of Curacao. Nowadays it is a museum and one of the cultural highlights of Curacao.
The park is open each day and from Jan Kok Lodges it is approx 20 minutes drive. Make sure to visit the office at the entrance for info about tours, excursions and a map. www.christoffelpark.org