Little Curacao, a Caribbean pearl
Looking for a place where you don’t have to share the beach with countless tourists and where your view is not obstructed by hotels or beach chairs? Klein Curacao is an uninhabited paradise where you will experience the ultimate Robinson feeling! Except for a few beach huts and a lighthouse, the island is completely unspoiled. Exactly what you imagine a tropical, Caribbean island to be. The place was named the most beautiful beach in Curacao by Lonely Planet. So a day trip to this lovely island is a great idea during your stay in Curacao. Enjoy the tranquility here, the pearly white beach and the immeasurable, turquoise sea that surrounds this beautiful island. The magnificent views seem plucked right out of a travel magazine.
Klein Curacao is about 13 kilometers from Curacao and, if possible, is even more beautiful than its big brother. Crystal clear waters, magnificent reefs and corals, endless beaches and priceless views. Those who have had just about enough of the hustle and bustle in and around Willemstad, Punda, Otrobanda, Sharloo and Pietermaai can book a trip to this little paradise. The mystical beauty and rich history of Klein Curacao has been renowned among locals for centuries. The Caribbean pearl is a real dream destination for those who love nature, tranquility and adventure. Snorkelers, divers and sunbathers will find perfect conditions here. If you look closely at the flag of Curacao, you will see a large and small star. The latter stands for Klein Curacao. The total area of the island is a mere two square kilometers. So Little Curacao is literally very small, but very nice. In about two hours you can walk around the entire island. Of course, you can also laze on the beach, enjoy a delicious barbecue, spot crabs and other animals and swim in the azure sea. But there is much more to do.
Spotting turtles while snorkeling
Klein Curacao is the ideal place for snorkeling. The water there is wonderfully comfortably warm and clear. Those who plunge into the water with a snorkel are guaranteed to encounter numerous colorful fish as well as turtles while swimming. A magical experience! Some turtles are up to sixty years old. So keep your eyes peeled while snorkeling. Important advice: do not chase or touch the animals. Human bacteria can make the animals very sick. So treat nature and animals in a respectful manner. Klein Curacao is a popular nesting site for these turtles. Every year, hundreds of sea turtles born on the island return to their roots to lay eggs to reproduce. The island also further serves as breeding grounds for the American tern (bird species), hawksbill and green turtle. While on the island, try to be sure to spot the striped anolis, an introduced tree lizard. By the way, the water around Klein Curacao is so clean and pure that you can also admire the corals and other marine life crystal clear. Underwater, you have visibility up to 30 meters far. Also note the many pelicans living on and around Klein Curacao. You will often find them cozily bobbing on pieces of wood lying in the sea. Occasionally they dive into the water to catch a fish. So keep a close eye on them, because watching a pelican dive into the water after prey is a wondrous sight.
Visiting the iconic lighthouse
The eye-catcher on Klein Curacao is undoubtedly the 22-meter high lighthouse located right in the middle of the island. The lighthouse and the two accompanying pink mansions have since fallen into disrepair, but give a nice idea of what it used to look like. The Prince Hendrick Tower, as the lighthouse is officially called, has stood here since 1849. At the time, the monumental structure was painted bright red to contrast well with the blue sky. That way, ships could clearly see that there was an island here and did not get shipwrecked. Meanwhile, the red color has clearly faded. If you decide to hike toward the lighthouse, do so as early in the day as possible, when it is still relatively cool. Also, be sure to carry closed shoes. In fact, various spiny plants grow around the tower. You can enter the lighthouse, but caution is advised. The government has been busy renovating the structure. Thus, the staircase, roof and second floor were already partially restored. But so for now the building is still very dilapidated, which of course somewhere adds to its charm. It is and remains an absolute must-see on Klein Curacao.
Taking a photo at the impressive shipwreck of an oil tanker
To complete the “uninhabited island” feeling, you can take a fun photo with a giant, rusted shipwreck located on the northern side of Klein Curacao. You can see it from afar, a fabulous and remarkable sight. As you will notice, Klein Curacao is a relatively “flat” island, which makes it often difficult to see from the bridge of a ship. A strong northeast wind also often blows, which sometimes makes it difficult for skippers to sail past the island. For that reason, things occasionally went wrong in the past. The wreck of the oil tanker Maria Bianca Guidesman has been here since the 1980s. You can clearly see the damage done by the sea, as large parts of the ship are already completely decayed. Several pieces were swept away by raging storms and the remains of the boat were rusted into a reddish-brown color. From all over the island, you can easily walk here. Along the way, you will additionally encounter the old lighthouse. Along the shipwreck you will see coral and washed-up shells. A little further away, there is a smaller wreck of a French sailing yacht that was shipwrecked in 2007.
A piece of history
Klein Curacao was used by the West India Company in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It served as a quarantine site for sick slaves. Those who did not survive their isolation were buried on the island. So a sad and turbulent history. Klein Curacao only grew to its present grandeur from 1871, when mining engineer Joh Godden began mining phosphate there. Those phosphate minerals were left behind by birds that used the island for nesting. At the time, phosphate was in high demand as a component of animal feed and fertilizer, among other things. It was not until around 1970 that the first boats with tourists headed for this wonderful bounty island and a visit to Klein Curacao has become the most popular activity during a vacation on Curacao.
By boat to Klein Curacao
Basically, you can only take the boat to Klein Curacao. You can choose between several boat tour options. Thus, you can take a luxury yacht or a catamaran to the island. Depart from Jan Thiel, Santa Barbara or Caracas Bay, depending on which trip you choose. The crossing to Klein Curacao by luxury yacht takes about an hour. Those traveling by catamaran toward Klein Curacao will take a little longer. Still, count on an hour and a half. Keep in mind that the boats often sail against the waves on the way out. This can cause you to get seasick on some days especially on the catamarans. On the hunt, you will have little to no trouble with this. On the way back, you always sail with the current which makes for a wonderfully peaceful ride.
Once the boat has docked off Klein Curacao, you will transfer to a small motorboat that will take you to the island. Those who want to can also just swim to the island. Then the crew will take your belongings to the beach. The trips usually leave early in the morning. This gives you a full day to fully experience Klein Curacao. Each trip includes at least a full BBQ lunch, an open bar and the use of goggles and snorkel.
A full day of carefree enjoyment guaranteed!!!