Caves of Hato on Curacao
Are you going on vacation to Curacao and are you looking for something fun to do? Then visit the caves of Hato! These caves are one of the nicest sights of Curacao. In these grounds you can see not only stalagmites and stalactites, but even petroglyphs, subterranean lakes and bats. You can see all this in the caves of Hato during a tour of one of the experienced guides. They can also tell you more about how the caves developed and will tell you more about the history and myths of the caves. In any case, the Hato Caves have everything you need for a fun day out!
When you go to the Hato Caves, you will not only be able to visit the caves. You can also better look at the structure of Curacao, as it were. The north of the island consists of layers of limestone. These layers are also called the limestone terraces. These terraces used to be below sea level and were then still coral reefs. If you visit the caves of Hato you can see this structure well. The caves are about 60 meters above sea level, so you have a view of all the layers of limestone that lie below.
The History of Hato . Caves
The Hato caves are very old. Cave drawings and peroglyphs, drawings in the rocks, have been found dating back 1,500 years. This shows us that the Ararwak Indians used to live here before the Europeans came here. However, these Indians are not the only ones who have inhabited the Hato caves, because even in the time of the slave trade these caves came in handy. Slaves who had fled from their owners could come here for shelter. Sometimes they even hid here for months until it was safe to move on.
If you visit these caves with a guide, they will tell you a lot more about the history of the caves. A guide can tell you a lot about the Indians who lived there or the slaves and what they did in the caves. Although the Indians have inhabited the caves for a long time, they have not penetrated very deeply into these caves. However, they have left more than enough traces so that we were able to discover that they lived there.
The slaves, on the other hand, did go deeper into the cave system. Researchers have been able to see this, for example, in the black spots that you can see in the ceiling in the caves. These are soot remnants from the torches that the slaves used when they went into the caves for shelter. The importance of these torches the guide will also show you during an excursion in the caves of Hato. If it turns off the light for a while, you won’t see anything at all. The torches of the slaves were therefore certainly not an unnecessary luxury.
Warm Caves of Hato
Usually when you visit caves you are quite cold when you enter. This is because most caves are below sea level, which makes it so fresh. However, the Hato caves are about 60 meters above sea level, so it’s almost as warm inside as outside! In fact, there are fans in these caves so that visitors can cool off a bit during the tour!
If you want to visit the cave system of Hato, this is not possible without guidance and you will therefore always have a guide with you. Fortunately, a new guided tour departs once an hour, so you can almost always visit the caves. The great thing about the Hato caves is that you don’t have to wear big hiking boots. A system of paths has been built in these caves, so you could even walk this excursion in your flip-flops.
During the tour with your guide you will only visit a small part of the huge cave system, because more is not open to the public. This doesn’t matter much though, because the rooms you will visit will be special enough already! First, the guides always take visitors to the Kamber die Awa (the water chamber). In this room is a small subterranean lake and when you walk in here, you will immediately feel a very special atmosphere. It’s like being in a fairytale here!
The Hato Caves: a special excursion
Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures in the caves themselves. This is due to the damaging effect of the flashes of light. This can also be seen in the caves themselves. Here are several places overgrown with algae. Only when these algae grow near an artificial light are they green, thanks to photosynthesis. This is one of the many things that makes Hato Caves so special.
However, there is a place in the cave system where you are allowed to take photos and videos. There is a hole in the roof in the Kamber di Bentana (the window room). Here the sunlight shines through beautifully and it produces very beautiful photos! This hole in the cave is also used by bats to fly in and out at night.
During the excursion you can not only enjoy the details inside the caves, but also outside, because there is also more than enough to see here! For example, you can enjoy nature not only at the Christoffel Park on Curacao , but also at the Hato Caves with a cactus garden where all kinds of cactus grow that you can find on Curacao. The petroglyphs can also be found here, which are in a rock close to the cactus garden. It may take a while to see the drawings because they are actually made in the rock, but they look beautiful when you see them!
At the end of your excursion to the caves of Hato you can even have a drink on the cozy terrace! You can visit the Hato Caves every day between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The last tour of the day always leaves at 4:00 PM, so make sure you’re on time.
Do you want to discover another special world? Then join Curacao Trips to the beautiful uninhabited island of Klein Curacao and go on an adventure on this beautiful island full of special sights.