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Flamingos, Curacao's Exotic Bright Pink Birds

Updated: Apr 14, 2019

I have a thing with flamingos. They are very elegant and I love the bright pink color. Like most tourists I also like to photograph these exotic pink birds.

Fortunately, there is plenty of opportunity in Curacao for that. Whenever we pass a flock of flamingos, I bring the car to a screeching halt. We don't get close to them because the birds tend to get nervous when approached too closely. When keeping a minimum of 100 yards, you are still close enough to hear them gossip and to make a few nice pictures.

I have been told that younger birds escape to Curacao to avoid the large groups of breeding birds in Bonaire and Venezuela.

Flamingos don’t breed in Curacao but use the structures of the former salt ponds, called Salinas, as a welcome fast food restaurant. Brine shrimp is their favorite food, and the carotene in these shrimps gives the feathers the famous pink color.

Where to find Flamingos in Curacao

There are three main areas where flamingos can be found. The Salinas near Landhuis Jan Kok and Landhuis Hermanus is one of the best known places for finding large groups of flamingos. These salt ponds have received protection since 1999 due to their importance for the population.

You pass Jan Kok when you drive to St. Willibrordus in the direction of Playa Porto Mari.

Another area is the Salina of St. Michiel, along the road to Vaarsenbaai or Kokomo beach.

The third area is east of Willemstad at the salinas of Jan Thiel. The best entrance to this beautiful area is via the Caracasbaaiweg.

If you are living on the coast or are on vacation in an oceanfront accommodation, you may get lucky and see flocks of flamingos flying over from or to Venezuela. They are a little more difficult to recognize being in the air, as their wings have black flight feathers, which are only visible in flight.

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