Saturday, November 13, 2010

Curacao – Natural Photo Wonders

The North and Northeast shores of Curacao are spectacular and a fabulous place to explore and shoot amazing natural wonders.  The long north coast of Curacao is constantly hit by the northeast trade winds, which have created a rough coastline of weather-beaten terrain, limestone cliff formations of old volcanic rock and crushed coral. 

It is possible to drive along dirt rugged roads and to hike around trails that will take you closer to seaside views and photo opportunities.  The trails also provide an opportunity for a glimpse at sea turtles hidden breeding grounds.  Seabirds and iguanas are active in the park, especially during the early morning and late afternoon.

Shete Boca National Park is a series of caves, coves and bays carved into the coastline, with waterfront cliffs and platforms.  Waves can reach high enough to wash you from the edge of the cliffs.  Amazing images can be taken, just make sure you take proper care of your equipment.  Lots of wind and ocean water drops are suspended in the air, so your lenses will end up with a layer of salt, be sure to have protective filters not to damage your glass.  You can also take a dip on one of the friendly ciffs in the island.

The park begins at Boka Tabla, where huge waves thunder into an underground cave.  Steps that have been cut into the rocks will lead you directly into the mouth of the cave, if conditions allow, you can sit on the very edge and watch the surf roll in.  With the proper exposure settings or the use of fill in flash you will be able to take great shoots.

Boka Pistol is a must, huge waves burst into the sky with gunfire like explosions.  Hike for a while and find amazing panoramic overviews from the flat limestone hills and end up in Boka Wandomia and its natural bridge.

Another impressive natural attraction is Watamula in the extreme north of the Caribbean island of Curacao.   Watamula is a large hole, formed in the middle of volcanic rock formations, connected to the sea at its bottom.  Due to the force of the waves, air is pressed in and out of the rugged terrain and tunnels that interconnect, producing a breathing sound.  Watamula is also known as ‘The Breath of Curacao’.  In the same area you will find a spouter hole where the waves cause water to be expelled up into the air in the shape of a fountain.  Prepare your camera and be sure to carry enough memory cards, you might spend all day shooting different shapes and forms.

Christoffel Park, last but not least is a the largest National Park in Curacao with hiking trails flanked by up to ten feet cactuses, weaving through bromeliads, orchids and surrounded by goats, iguanas, dear and numerous birds, as well as caves and beaches that end up at the peak of Christoffel Mountain, the highest elevation in Curacao.

If you ever have a chance to visit Curacao, do not think twice about it and do not forget your camera, the diversity and photo options are everywhere you go.

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