Arikok National Park, Aruba
Arikok National Park, Aruba’s peerless ecological preserve, protects approximately 18% of the island—unique rock outcrops, caves, and bays create microclimates that support wildlife found only in Aruba. Within the park’s boundaries you will find the Aruban parakeet, Aruban whiptail lizard or Kododo blauw, Aruban rattlesnake or Cascabel, Aruban cat-eyed snake, and the Aruban burrowing owl—along with these endemic species you might also see donkeys, iguana, and goats grazing the hillsides.
Adventurous travelers who make their way to Arikok will most likely be drawn to the limestone cliffs and sand dunes that beautify the coast—Boca Prins is one such example and it is easily explored on foot.
The trailhead, located just off the main park road, has ample parking with the dunes and coast immediately visible—follow the marked path towards the pounding waves. A sandy path bordered by rocks soon leads to a wooden staircase that allows access to a bay, or boca, descend the steps to the sandy inlet. A sign warns of the dangers ahead—turbulent crashing waves within the bay make swimming or getting near the water hazardous.
Make your way across the inlet to a sandy slope that you must climb—once at the top of the small dune, watch for markers in the sand that lead you in the direction of the Dragon’s Mouth. Once again, upon reaching the natural bridge known as Dragon Mouth, you will encounter signs warning you of danger—this time the concern is collapse of the shoreline.
The Dragon Mouth and spectacular views of the limestone coast and crashing waves from this point make a perfect turnaround spot—simply return the way you came for a 0.6-mile roundtrip hike. You might also choose to explore the adjacent Boca Prins Sand Dunes—mileage varies if you opt for this excursion.