OverviewChristoffelberg is the highest peak of the lower Netherlands Antilles, often known as the Dutch ABCs. The peak is located on the north end of the island of Curacao, the largest of the Dutch ABCs.
The peak is an interesting one and more impressive than the elevation indicates. The peak is rather rugged and there is an interesting scramble required to reach the rugged summit.
Most of Curacao is made of limestone, but Christoffelberg is made of metamorphic rock, mostly a hard quartzite. There are caves on the lower slopes of the mountain.
The vegetation on the mountain is very interesting and is composed of various cactus, some of them forming a forest, and other trees as well. Many iguanas, lizards, birds, including parrots, and parakeets, live on the slopes of the mountain. There are also the Curacao White Tailed Deer, but these are seldom seen.
Climbing the peak is a good way to exercise after laying around on the beach. It is one of the better hikes in the Caribbean.
Getting ThereYou can go to the Christoffel Park with public transport but this is not convenient unless you are staying on the north side of the island. Renting a car for one day is recommended.
If driving, getting out of or through Willemstad can be confusing (a phone app works fine), but once you are on the main road, navigation is easy.
Take the main southeast to northwest road on the island (Weg Naar Westpunt) to "Band'Abou" (follow signs for Westpunt). At the village Barber you follow the directions to the park. It's a very nice trip as this part of the island is not very populated.
Stop at "Landhuis Savonet" (former plantation house) this is the visitor center for the park where you pay your entrance fee (there is a gate blocking access to the park where you must show your entrance permit.
There are two starting points for climbing Christoffel. If you don't have a car, you can follow the mountain trail to the trailhead closer to the mountain.
If you have a car, you can follow the one way loop road (now paved) to the trailhead closer to the mountain.
Routes OverviewThere is really only one practical route up the mountain and that is the mountain trail. The climb usually takes half a day from the visitor center or about three hours from the closer trailhead.
There is some scrambling on the route and minor exposure. The only real difficulty is slippery rocks after rains.
Other routes don't seem practical because of all the cacti and sharp vegetation.
Red TapeThere is a small entrance fee required to visit the park and mountain.
See the below website for information:
When To ClimbCuracao is a dry island, especially for the Caribbean. The driest months are February through June and the wettest months are October through December.
The time of year doesn't matter too much though and a little rain can be refreshing, though it does make the rocks slippery near the summit. The wetter months are still a good time to climb the mountain and the wettest months on these islands are drier than some of the drier months in much of the other areas of the Caribbean.
The time of day however, does matter. Climbing in the morning hours is always best.
Hours for the park are as follows:
Mondays to Saturdays: 07.30 AM – 16.00 PM (No admittance after 14.30 PM).
Sundays: 06.00 AM – 15.00 PM (No admittance after 13.30 PM).
You cannot enter the park outside of these hours.
CampingCamping is not allowed on the island. There are a lot of hotels, resorts, and guesthouses all over the island.
Mountain ConditionsWeather averages for Oranjestad, Aruba are below, but the highest area around the summit will be a little wetter and a bit cooler.
CLICK FOR ORANGESTAD WEATHER FORECAST
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