Originally found by runaway slaves seeking a safe place to hide, today the Hato Caves draw tourists looking to learn more about the island’s natural history. Slaves weren’t really the first to find these mysterious tunnels though, petroglyphs found inside date back more than 1,500 years and were drawn by the native Amerindian Arawaks. The caves are found north of Willemstad near the airport and a tour through them shows the beautiful caverns made from coral limestone, fossils still embedded in the chambers.
Just north of Willemstad, this 4,900-square-meter (52,700-square-foot) underground grotto was formed during the Ice Age and once sheltered indigenous islanders who created the petroglyph drawings on its walls. The various chambers of the caves contain spectacular limestone formations (stalactites and stalagmites), waterfalls and crystal-clear pools. They’re also home to a colony of the elusive long-nosed fruit bat and a former hiding spot for runaway slaves from nearby plantations.