10 Feb Hiking Mount Christoffel in Curacao
We were setting off to hike to the highest point on the island, but we weren’t sure if we were going to make it in time. Christoffel National Park states that if you are going to hike Mount Christoffel, you can’t start later than 11 a.m. because of the afternoon heat and closing hours of the park.
Our car rental wasn’t going to arrive at our hotel until 9 in the morning, so we had to sign all the paperwork and get on our way as soon as possible. It takes around an hour to get to the park from Willemstad, plus we had to make a stop at the grocery store so we could buy some water and food. Water is a necessity, and we knew we would be starving by the time we were done with the hike.
Thankfully, we made it to the park with around 15 minutes to spare, so we paid our admission fee, received our coin to enter the gate, and drove to the base of the mountain.
By the time we parked our car, it was around 11:00, so we grabbed our things and set out right away. We did this hike on our last trip to Curacao, and we were excited to set out on one of our favorite trails once again.
The trails started out just as we remembered–nice and easy with sporadic rocks here and there.
But that didn’t last long–soon enough we were huffing and puffing our way along as the trail started to incline more and more. As we climbed, we wondered if we were this out of breath last time, and then we remembered that yes, in fact we were.
The hike has an elevation gain of 1,227 feet, which isn’t too extreme, but the hard part is that the higher you hike the steeper the trail gets. Eventually, you are pretty much climbing up and over boulders until you reach the top.
We decided not to rush it and took numerous stops and photo breaks along the way. Last time we did the hike we didn’t take many photos, so we had to rectify that situation this time around.
People were starting to come down the trail in what seemed like floods–we were the only ones that made our way higher as everyone else made their way back down. Multiple times throughout the hike we were told to stick to the left when you get close to the top. We heard that the path had changed and the terrifying route that we had taken last time was now an easier path. This definitely made us happy, as we didn’t have to face the sheer drop off that we knew was ahead. Even though the route changed a bit, we still had to climb rocks a good portion of the way. As much as I cursed it at the time, I really do love the Mount Christoffel trail–the fact that you have to scale large rocks with plenty of drop offs around every corner makes it an exciting hike and one of my favorites to date.
When we finally made it to the top, we found we were the only ones there. We loved having the summit to ourselves–it was so peaceful and the views spanning in every direction were gorgeous.
Supposedly, on clear days, you can see as far as Venezuela, which is only around 30 miles away. But, once again, we had a cloudy day and weren’t able to spot South America. It was just as windy as we remembered from the time before; however, that didn’t stop us from going crazy with the cameras.
After soaking up every minute possible, we decided it was time to make our way back down. On rocky paths like this, it’s almost just as hard to go down as it is to climb up! It’s definitely less strenuous, but you have to be much more strategic and careful with your footing. Thankfully, we both made it down without a scratch, and after catching our breath, it was time to head out to our next exciting adventure for the day: cliff jumping!
What are some of your favorite hikes to do when you travel?