Boca Tabla

Boca Tabla Cave


Useful Information

Location: In Shete Boka National Park. Close to Westpoint on the north-western end of the island.
(12.368504, -69.115791)
Open: All year daily 9-16:30, last entry 16.
[2021]
Fee: Adults ANG 17.50, Children (6-12) ANG 2, Children (0-5) free, Locals ANG 2.
[2005]
Classification: Speleologysea cave
Light: none
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided. V=100,000/a [2019]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Shete Boka National Park, Weg naar Westpunt z/n, Willemstad, Curaçao, Tel: +5999-864-0444 E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1994 Shete Boka National Park created.

Description

Boca Tabla is a cave passage, one end opens out on land, the other end opens out into the sea. In Curaçao "Boca" means cove or pocket bay and not cave, so this is actually the name of the cove and not the cave. The high waves enter the cave, which is a very impressive sight. Steps cut into the rocks lead visitors into the land side mouth of the cavern. There is a climb down into the cave which requires a little fitness and appropriate clothes. The cave has a very low ceiling and is slippery. A wooden trail with railings leads to a wooden observation platform where you can see the sea side opening from the other side of the cove. There is a trail on top of the cliff all along the coast.

The coast here is composed of limestone, which was formed as a coral reef when this area was underwater. Such a limestone does not have bedding or cracks so water cannot enter and form karst caves. So rain water from the hills is often drained on the surface, the rivers cut valleys into the limestone. The coast is sculpted into a steep cliff by the endless waves, but the valleys are deepened and widened and become bokas. However, if there are cracks, caves are formed. They are also widened by the waves from the seaside.

The base of the limestones is the Curacao Lava Formation, a basalt base layer on which the limestone formation has developed. From the hills, where the basalt is not covered by limestone, alluvial soils of this formation are deposited at the bottom of the valleys. They are providing nutrients for the evergreen vegetation in the lowest parts of the boka's. Towards the sea the basalt was formed by lava underwater, which results in typical pillow shaped structures, also known as pillow-lava or pillow-basalts. The waves creat sea caves all along the cost, the biggest in the openings of the boka's to the sea. There are even some natural bridges, for example at Boka Wandoni. But the cave at Boca Tabla is the most spectacular and best accessible.

The Shete Boka National Park extends 10 km along the rocky wave-exposed north coast of the island. There are ten pocket bays where three species of sea turtles are known to lay eggs. The park begins at Boka Tabla, where huge waves thunder into an underground cavern. This spot is very popular, on weekends local food is offered and people can sit in the cool shade of Divi-Divi trees and eat. Bring enough water, sunscreen and make sure to wear suitable clothes and shoes.