The Hato Caves is a limestone cave system. It is located a few minutes from Curaço’s International Airport and a popular tourist attraction.
When we pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted by a cute dog. We aren’t sure who’s dog it is though! The gate attendants directed us to the bar area, where we could purchase our tickets and wait for the next tour to start (on the hour).
The guided tour takes approximately 45 minutes and no photography or video is allowed inside except for two chamber rooms. You start by walking up a set of steep stairs due to the caves being located over the cliffs. That would be the ‘hard’ part of the tour. Inside the caves have been illuminated and paved, making it easy to navigate.
The Amerindian Arawaks and Caiquetio Indians used the caves as shelter about 1,500 years ago. Later, during the early days of the slave trade in Curaçao, escaped slaves used the caves as a hiding place. Nowadays, it is home to long-nose fruit bats. Our guide pointed out some using his flashlight but warned us to “keep our mouths closed” for obvious reasons.
The caves consist of cave paintings, stalactites and stalagmites. In one cave system, the guide pointed out that some of these stalagmite formations, if you used some imagination, looked like; a pirate’s head, a mushroom and one that looked like Virgin Mary.
Outside of the caves, you can take a stroll on the “Indian Trail”. There is a poster of the different types of wildlife and flora you may encounter on the trail at the bar. You can take a photo of the poster and use it during your walk if you wish. There wasn’t really anything interesting to see except for the petroglyphs that were done by the Caiquetio Indians more than 1500 years ago.
We enjoyed our visit to Hato Caves. You can pair this with the Curaçao Ostrich farm to fill up your day a bit. Unfortunately, the caves aren’t wheelchair accessible, but we recommend this to anyone looking for an easy nature tour.