The Hato Caves, Curacao

The Hato Caves were formed below the sea level millions of years ago.  With the Ice Ages the water dropped down and Curacao was born.  The caves consist of coral and limestone and were carved out below the sea. There are beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as water pools and a waterfall. The cave is also home to a colony long nose fruit bats; make sure to explore quietly and leave your camera behind so you do not disturb them.

The caves had a utilitarian purpose during the early days of the slave trade in Curacao, escaped slaves used them as hiding places, and lived in them for months at a time. Even before the arrival of Europeans and slaves, the Amerindian Arawaks used them for shelter, and left behind cave drawings, or petroglyphs, estimated at 1,500 years old.

During your tour a guide will take you through the caves. They will point out the apocryphal and fanciful stories behind some of the stalactites and stalagmites; in the eerie lighting, some take on shapes and are called the Pirate’s Head, the Sea Tortoise, and the Giant of Jack and the Beanstalk fame.