Exploring Christoffel National Park in Curacao

When thinking about vacationing in the tropical paradise that is Curacao, the first thing that comes to mind is not likely to be rock hiking. However, the island is so full of beautiful landscapes, it would be a shame not to experience at least some of it on foot.

One of the most popular places to explore is in Christoffel National Park, likely to be easily accessible from your Curacao holiday rental. The west side of the island is where the most rain falls throughout the year, creating a truly lush landscape. There are a number of things to do in the park, some of which can’t be missed.

Hike to the highest point

Seasoned hikers can take the two hour climb to the top of the highest point of the island, Mt. Christoffel, reaching 1,227 feet. The views from the summit are simply stunning, and you may even be able to spot your Curacao accommodation.

Find hidden beaches

When headed for the beach, most people will head to those that are found in the resort towns. Two of the island’s best beaches however are found just outside of the park, and truly are a hidden gem. Knip and Klein Knip, both pristine coves with fine white sands and lush blue waters.

Take a scenic drive

The Mountain Route is one of the most scenic drives on Curacao, as it winds through the green hills and provides you with stunning views of the former plantation estates below. The route is 7.5 miles long, so you could easily bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it from your villa in Curacao.

Learn about the history of the island

A lot of the island’s history can be found within the park in the form of the plantations that still lie within its grounds. By visiting Savonet, Zorgvliet and Zevenbergen you can learn more about the Atlantic slave trade.


Brewing Beer in Aruba

There are many thongs to love about the island of Aruba, but one thing that is particularly loved by tourists and locals alike its only home grown beer, Balashi. There is no better way to relax in an Aruba vacation rental than sipping on an ice cold beer around the pool, or with stunning views of the ocean. The beer is brewed from imported Scottish malt and hops, and tastes and looks like your typical Caribbean beer, but there is certainly something special about knowing it was brewed on the island.

Its name was derived from ‘Bala Bala’ and ‘Balana’, which are words from the language of the original inhabitants of the island. Both of these terms mean ‘near the sea’, and is a name that was voted for by the people of Aruba.

If you have accommodation in Aruba, a trip to the Balashi Brewery is a great day out. The ‘Brouwerij Nacional Balashi’, was only built in 1998, and is a state of the art lab that utilises the power of computer software to make sure that the brewing process is of the highest quality. This high tech lab lies in stark contrast to many of the other factories on the island, making it a popular tourist attraction.

On your visit you will be able to see the entire bottling operation, and from a walk way you can see down into various areas such as labelling and packing. The factory also bottles a range of well known soft drinks, and can bottle up to 15,000 an hour!

In order to brew its famous beer, the company uses desalinated and treated ocean water, as well as a range of other imported ingredients. They strive to be eco-friendly by using less plastic in their packaging and sending the old grain to farmers to feed their pigs.

After the tour, you can head out into the picturesque garden for a well-earned and complimentary brew.

No matter where you are on the island, you will be able to pick up a can or a bottle of this light and refreshing beer which can be enjoyed at a pub or around the pool side of one of the many luxury villa rentals.

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