It wasn’t even morning yet -even before sunrise – that, yawning and still half asleep, we waited for our transport to the harbor. Having to get up so early was easily forgiven, though, because we were headed to a deserted island for the day. If that doesn’t warrant getting up early, I really don’t know what does! It was a short ride from our hotel, the Acoya, to the Spanish Water harbor, where we met the crew from Miss Ann Boat Trips who welcomed us on the ship, friendly and all smiles. We hopped aboard and found our way on the top deck to see the sun rise slowly above the horizon. It was going to be an extraordinary day: it’s in my nature to want to explore off the beaten path places, the more exotic the better. Even before starting my vacation on the Caribbean island of Curaçao I knew I’d have to find a way to head to the deserted islet of Klein Curaçao (Dutch for little Curaçao), once a quarantine island for the slave trade located about 15 miles off Curaçao. Very few companies offer a daytrip to Klein Curaçao and Miss Ann seemed to be the most fun and flexible option. Here’s a recap of this magnificent day spent on the uninhabited island.
The engine revved; leaving Spanish Water’s tranquil harbor behind, we quickly hit the open sea. The breeze was strong and the sea was fairly choppy; the crew made sure everyone was doing alright. We were going on an adventure and I couldn’t have been more thrilled! After a good hour and a half, an island appeared seemingly out of nowhere, standing barely a meter above sea level. The only man-made structure visible from a distance was an abandoned lighthouse; which I was dying to photograph. We had reached Klein Curaçao! The weather was perfect, with glorious sunshine and not a cloud in sight. It was still early, but already scorchingly hot as disembarkation started: by zodiac or, for those of us braver, by swimming to shore. Once we set foot on the beach, we were introduced to Miss Ann’s dedicated area on the island, with a hut which would offer a nice respite from the blazing midday sun as well as complete facilities: just enough comfort but not spoiling our Robinson Crusoé-inspired day-long desert island adventure. The crew served a hearty breakfast, and we were left to do whatever we pleased.
The sun was already burning hot as we headed off to the abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the island. Being less than 2 kilometers wide (about a mile), it’s easy to hike from one end to the other, but the most impressive is how flat it is: standing in the middle of the land, you can see the tips of the islands on all sides. The lighthouse is quite eerie in its abandoned state and, with the island being so flat, you get a very surreal feeling during the walk over. From afar, you’d think this lighthouse was actually coming out of the ocean. It must have been quite a feeling staying the night there, surrounded by the sea, being the only living soul for hundreds of miles around. Chills aside, the lighthouse makes for gorgeous photo opps, the very reason I had wanted to come to Klein Curaçao in the first place. I wasn’t disappointed!
We then ventured on towards the opposite shore of the island, where lies an 80-year old shipwreck of a tanker vessel cut in two and rusted through by the waves pounding it incessantly. It’s a sight to behold and a testimony of the unforgiving nature of the sea. We stared in awe for a long while, trying to photograph the shipwreck under all angles and just being fascinated by the waves rolling inside and below it. Currents on the island’s windward side are terribly strong and waves came crashing loudly on the sharp rocks around us. Nearby there is also a marooned small sailboat of a French tourist that came too close to the island and was pulled in by the currents.
After having walked the island almost in its entirety, we were exhausted and covered in salt so we came back to the South shore’s powdery white sands and plunged into the ocean for a glorious swim. Famished, we headed back to camp where our crew was setting up a huge BBQ lunch served under the gazebo, where we were joined by dozens of hermit crabs, lizards and huge iguanas, the sole inhabitants of Klein Curaçao. When the crew started feeding the creatures, it was fascinating to see them crawl by the hundreds to get to our food scraps, leaving absolutely no trash behind. Very cool, but not for the faint of heart!
We grabbed snorkeling gear and headed off to the pier overlooking the crystal-clear waters. Below us, hundreds of colorful fish were swimming gracefully, undisturbed by our excited cries. The variety of sea life around Klein Curacao is mesmerizing and the snorkeling was ideal, right off the beach, in some of the clearest waters I have ever seen.
After an extraordinary day discovering this tiny, untamed gem, it was time to get back to Curaçao. The return cruise was far less choppy; everyone was feeling calm and content, though we were all exhausted by all the sun and exploration. As we sipped on rum punches listening to reggae anthems, the sun started to set, the sky painted with glorious Caribbean light and colors. Being stranded on a deserted island is exhausting, but also absolutely magical.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off can be arranged by Miss Ann Boat Trips for a small fee.
A daytrip to Klein Curaçao runs for US$105 which is a bit steep but totally worth it for a whole day of exploration, which includes the use of snorkeling equipment and a sea-turtles snorkel safari, beach chairs and umbrellas, a buffet-style meal and a gigantic BBQ, plus unlimited non-alcoholic refreshments. Two other companies offer daytrips to the island for the exact same price, but we found Miss Ann’s offer to be more fun and flexible and the crew was wonderful, though please note that most interactions are in Dutch, Curaçao’s tourism coming mostly from The Netherlands! We had no problem with this whatsoever, as the crew always made sure we received their instructions in English.
A daytrip to Klein Curaçao with Miss Ann Boat Trips is definitely a must-do when visiting Curaçao!
For more information and to book your trip, consult their website.
Stay tuned for a photo post from our day on the island, coming soon! In the meantime, you can follow us on Instagram for a gazillion photos from our trip.
Disclaimer: we were guests of Miss Ann Boat Trips’ amazing crew. Thank you so very much for this incredible day spent exploring the little gem that is Klein Curaçao! All opinions are our own.