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Seru Mateo Trail

Playa Porto Mari,Curaçao, Netherland Antilles

     The Seru Mateo Trail, located on the north end of Playa Porto Mari’s parking area, is an adventurous nature trail that takes hikers to the top of 57m (187ft) Matthew’s Hill (Seru Mateo). From the top of the hill, the hiker is rewarded with incredible views of Playa Porto Mari—a stunning vista of white sand and aquamarine waters—as well as views of the surrounding landscape.

     Initially, the 1.9-mile (3km) long lollipop loop trail is relatively flat, but it soon begins to gain some elevation as you climb the hill—a wooden staircase is in place to help climb a particularly steep section.

     Once at the top of the staircase, you reach an open area with incredible views of Porto Mari Beach—take a camera to capture the bird’s eye perspective. The view from this point is the best that we encountered along the length of the trail, so if you only hiked to this point, you wouldn’t miss much—especially if you are in it only for the views.

     Farther along the route, the trail becomes sketchy and overgrown—particularly, if you choose the “wrong” direction. The trail, which starts out on a well-maintained path, eventually leads to a number of unsigned forks—leaving the hiker confused as to which fork to take. Most likely, each route either leads to a viewpoint and/or loops back to the main trail, but without signs you begin to wonder if you are aimlessly following a goat path rather than the actual trail—and who knows where you could end up if that were the case. It wasn’t until after we left the area that we found out you can pick up a detailed trail brochure at the Porto Mari bar—perhaps the pamphlet gives directions as to which way to turn at the trail junctions.

     We did wander about the area for several minutes, eventually looping back to the main trail and the staircase after finding a few picnic tables, a blank trail marker, and a pretty descent view inland of the rolling scrubland. In addition to the views, the trail is lined with interesting flora and fauna—you are likely to encounter lizards, iguanas, birds, and many interesting plants. Among the most interesting plants, are the bird nest shaped epiphytes or air plants, bromeliads, milon di seru cacti, and the curiously grooved trunk of the dyewood or Brazil Wood tree.

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