Malpais/Sint Michiel

Aerial view of the lagoon of St. Michiel. The lagoon is connected to the open ocean on its
south side by a small man-made channel.

Malpais/Sint Michiel

  • Country: 
    Netherlands (Kingdom of the) (Curaçao)
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    1,100 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    12°10'N 68°59'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Malpais/Sint Michiel. 05/02/2013; Curaçao; 1,100 ha; 12°10'N 069°00'W. Important Bird Area. Malpais is a former plantation just to the north of Sint Michiel. There are two freshwater lakes and the hyper-saline St. Michiel lagoon connected to a bay in which coral reefs are found, surrounded by dry deciduous vegetation and a well-developed woodland habitat. The area provides refugee for many birds, such as the IUCN Red Listed Caribbean coot (Fulica caribaea). The lagoon also supports a significant fraction of the global population of the Common tern (Sterna hirundo) and is part of a regional network of foraging sites for the Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), protected under the Convention of Migratory Species. Freshwater is scarce in Curaçao and therefore of great ecological, social and economic value. The dam of Malpais is located downstream. Freshwater infiltrates into the soil, recharging groundwater reservoirs which allow woodlands to grow in the area. Some of the current threats which may affect the ecological character of the site are the landfill and runoff from a pig farm situated only 1km away. Ramsar Site no. 2117. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • Conservation Area - Malpais/Sint Michiel
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents