Klein Curacao is an uninhabited island off the coast of Curacao. They are known for their sea turtle sightings off shore. An added bonus is an abandoned lighthouse and the wrecks on the windward side.
We booked our catamaran day trip with Bounty Adventures. I was kind of freaked out because I’m afraid of water. I enjoy the sea life and I need to see a lot of coral and fish to distract me from the fact that I’m in water. I took a swim class earlier that year and my goal wasn’t to swim but to feel okay in a life jacket. The class helped a lot, years ago I would have never gotten in the water.
While we waited on the dock to board the boat, a really big (maybe four feet) sea turtle swam by. We were excited. It was really close to us but we didn’t get a pic of the turtle. On our boat ride to Klein Curacao we saw lots of flying fish. We were hanging on the side of the boat so we didn’t get to take pics of them, it was bumpy enough that you had to hang on.
Klein Curacao is known for their coral and underwater caves. The water clarity was very good too.
Curacao is lower on the hurricane belt so it doesn’t get hit as frequently like the other Caribbean islands. The hurricane of 1877 destroyed the lighthouse and it was rebuilt farther inland. One local told us if we wanted to be adventurous, we should climb to the top. We wouldn’t do that, the building is really in ruins and didn’t look safe to us. In 2008, they reactivated the beacon as part of Curacao’s navigation, the beacon is now a solar powered LED light. It was needed and the shipwrecks off shore are evidence to that.
It was once a fertile island. Mainland farmers used it for goat grazing and it became barren. In 1871, John Godden, an Englishman, mined phosphate for use in Europe. Between goats, bird guano (fecal matter) and phosphate mining, the island became desert like.
The island was also used in the slave trade. Sick slaves were quarantined on Klein Curacao before they could go to the main island, Curacao. Wish I knew this before we visited. I’m learning now while researching for this post that the quarantined building remains can be found on the northwest side of the island. There are several graves on the south side. Slaves and people that didn’t survive the ocean journey were buried there.
Present day, Klein Curacao is used by day trippers to enjoy it’s rich underwater world.
I saw my first sea turtle while in the water! The swim classes paid off, I was okay enough in a life vest. Plus, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sea turtles.
This guy was smaller than the one by the docks.
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