Every bite of ceviche is an explosion of flavor upon the palate. That is, every bite of Chef Victor Cleonares’ ceviche is! To summarize If you’re less familiar with the dish, ceviche is a recipe originating in Latin America and the Caribbean. It combines raw fish and seafood marinated in some form of citrus juice and garnished with ingredients such as onions, cilantro, avocado, and more.
When it comes to the island of Curacao and cocktails, the story begins with a certain blue liqueur. A blue liqueur that isn’t originally blue in color, but we’ll get to that later.
There’s just something about Caribbean islands and cocktails, right? It must have to do with the vacation vibes in such destinations, and the delightfully warm and sunny weather year-round.
Yes, that’s exactly it. The natural climate of Curacao, and the Caribbean in general is conducive to growing the produce needed for the iconic cocktail alcohols many of us have come to know and love.
The most exciting time of the year in the Caribbean has arrived! Carnival! Though it may take place across the Caribbean, Carnival celebrations greatly differ from island to island. Curacao has a very unique twist on it’s Carnival celebrations, and to understand just how Carnival goes down on Curacao, we’ve interviewed none other than Curacao native Ezzie Cijntje.
Boats. Floats. Beats. Internationally famous DJs. Lots of bikinis.
There are parties, and then there is Fuikdag.
Hailed as one of the biggest and wildest parties you’ve never heard of, Fuikdag is Curaçao‘s annual boat and dance party to ring in the New Year.
There are no tickets, dress code or limitations of any kind… for the most part. What began as a three boat gathering has since transformed into a massive float party extending the length of just one day, once a year.
Combine a Caribbean island, some of the best modern rap and R&B music artists in the world, and thousands of people. What do you get? One epic event known as SummerFall Concert.
The best way to describe Curaçao’s annual SummerFall Concert is… mind-blowing. If you’re a fan of rap, R&B and hip-hop, then this is an event you won’t want to miss. The event group, Color Events Curaçao, does a spectacular job and never fails to exceed everyone’s expectations.
There are nearly endless reasons visiting the Caribbean is a magnificent experience. Pristine beaches, sparkling blue waters and rum punch for days are a few that stand out.
Often overlooked, but equally spectacular, is the cuisine. Nothing beats ending a snorkeling adventure with a bliss inducing lunch. Or, treating your taste buds to their own indulgence after a relaxing spa treatment.
Few islands in the Caribbean are as diverse and rich in culture as Curaçao, one of the ABC islands in the Southern Caribbean, a mere 40 miles north of Venezuela.
Here at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, we are grateful to have Curacao born, European trained and immensely talented, Chef Heinrich Hortencia, as our Chef de Cuisine at Shore, our oceanfront fine-dining restaurant.
Chances are when you visit Curaçao, you’ll want to explore the culinary scene as thoroughly as possible, so we’ve asked Heinrich to let us in on some of his favorite dining establishments.
So, aside Santa Barbara’s wide variety of dining options, here are Chef Hortencia’s recommendations for delectable cuisine to enjoy throughout your trip. Enjoy!
1) Restaurant & Cafe Gouverneur de Rouville: Beautiful historic building, with awesome scenery of St. Anna Bay harbor and the Unesco World Heritage site – Capital Willemstad. They feature a diverse menu and offer excellent service. Heinrich’s wife suggests trying the Cuban style banana soup.
2) Zest Mediterranean at Jan Thiel: An incredible beach lounge vibe will really put you in the Caribbean mood. The chef has a very unique style and they have fantastic food.
3) Restaurant Komedor Krioyo at Landhuis Dokterstuin: Great, authentic local food. Very basic, but also very delicious!
4) Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant: This is an excellent luxury restaurant. Heinrich says this is, “his style of food.” Features very well thought-out food. Expensive, but well worth it.
5) Restaurant Kome: Just great food, and will make a great night out.
6) Landhouse Klein St. Martha: Absolutely enchanting view. Fantastic service. Uncomplicated and delicious food. All around excellent experience.
Hopefully you enjoy your experience at these restaurants just as much as Heinrich and his wife do!
For further suggestions and insight for your Curaçao trip don’t hesitate to reach out to the Santa Barbara team! We are more than happy to guide you through the ins and outs of our beautiful island!
Pull out the suitcase, pack your favorite island inspired wear, and book your ticket to the small slice of island paradise, known as Curaçao.
Why the rush?
Because the biggest island event of the year is going down in less than one month!
The Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, happening September 1st – 3rd, is one of the most incredible Caribbean musical festivals around.
Three music filled days in a row, on the island, will leave you inspired and thoroughly satisfied.
Before we get into more details, we highly recommend marking the date on your calendar and planning your trip ASAP as the entire island starts getting booked up!
Alright, now for the details:
Who: This is the biggest question everyone has – who will be playing?! There is a killer lineup this year, somehow the festival seems to keep getting bigger and better each year.
- Thursday September 1st Headliners – Juan Luis Guerra
- Friday September 2nd Headliner – Chris Brown
- Saturday September 3rd Headliners – Lenny Kravitz
- Other artists include: Michael Bolton, Tom Jones, Charlie Wilson, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Anthony Hamilton, Melody Gardot, Jamie Cullum, Level 42, The Cuban Affair, Snarky Puppy, J Balvin, Burt Bacharach, and many more!
Where: The entire festival will be held at the World Trade Center at Piscadera Bay
When: As mentioned before, the dates this year are Thursday, September 1st, Friday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 3rd.
Why: For those who don’t know, Curaçao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Each summer in the Netherlands there is the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. In 2010 island folks decided it was time they had the same festival, but with a tropical twist!
How: As for how, let’s talk about how you can make this trip happen!
- Step One – Purchase a Ticket – about $195. To purchase visit here.
- Step Two – Book Flight. For information on airlines that fly to Curacao, visit here.
- Step Three – Secure your room reservations at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.
- Step Four – Pack, prep, and make sure you don’t miss your flight!
In all seriousness, this is the biggest international festival of the year on Curaçao, and it’s an experience you will never forget! Each year there is an impressive array of jazz artists, and a heavy emphasis on featuring different jazz genres. Truly there performances for all tastes and preferences. A little insider tip – plan to arrive a few days before the festival, and stay a few days after.
The days before will help you get acquainted with the island which will make the festival even more enjoyable. After partying, dancing and celebrating for three days, you’ll crave some calm, relaxing, island time. Few places on the island are quite as relaxing as our expansive resort, but no matter where you are, you can find relaxation because hey – you’re in the Caribbean!
What comes to mind when you think of the full moon?
Yoga, late night adventures, eclipses, Thailand… perhaps it’s different for everyone.
On the Caribbean island of Curaçao though, the full moon means something very important to most everyone.
Full moon’s on Curaçao are cause for the most epic monthly parties in the Caribbean.
Curaçao may not be the only place on the globe that offers full moon parties, we’re looking at you Thailand, but without a doubt Curaçao’s are completely unforgettable.
You may be wondering what a full moon party is, and we’re about to give you all the deets:
An enormous, epic, and exciting party on the beach under the full moon. Literally more than 3,000 people gather each month to welcome the full moon, celebrate life, and have an incredible night (that you may or may not remember, depending on your personal choices).
Starting around 10 PM party-goers begin to arrive, and from that point forward – partake in dancing, laughing and drinking. Fireworks, special acts and international DJ’s can all be expected at the Full Moon Party, but don’t expect anything specific because the party is always changing and always full of surprises.
The one and only Kokomo Beach is located at Vaersenbaai on Curaçao. It’s a lovely natural bay on the road towards Bullenbaai. Featuring a surfers look with a classy touch, Kokomo opened in 2011 and shortly thereafter became famous for its incredible beach parties. Not only fun in the evenings, Kokomo beach is also an excellent place to relax during the day. Delicious food, yummy cocktails and crystal clear water make it a top choice for a lazy beach day. For the adventure seekers, Kokomo also features a professional dive center.
Typically speaking there is a full moon party every single month! So plenty of opportunities to partake, just make sure you plan to be in Curaçao during a full moon and you won’t have to miss out. For more details regarding the specific dates and times, visit here.
Tickets don’t need to be purchased in advance. In fact, tickets can only be purchased at the entrance the night of.
The party goes from 10 PM until 5 AM.
The parties are always for ages 18 and up.
Full Moon Parties are definitely an island tradition, and if you enjoy partying all night, then it’s an event you won’t want to miss.
For your accommodation needs before and after the epic party we recommend Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. Trust us, when you’re done partying you will want the most luxurious and comfortable place possible to recover, and Santa Barbara is a little slice of Curaçao paradise.
If you’ve grown up in a the U.S. or a country like it, you’ll be more or less accustomed to needing to know only one language in your day to day life.
Whether you’re at work, the DMV, the grocery store, shopping mall, in a taxi, etc. etc. you can be confident that your English language will enable you to execute your transactions and any communication with relative success.
Yet, knowing just one language isn’t the order of the day in many other countries. It’s common in many places to know the official language of the country, as well as other commonly used languages.
The idyllic Caribbean island of Curacao is one such place.
The official language is Dutch, the most commonly used language is Papiamentu, and most locals also speak English and Spanish.
Woah that’s a lot of languages to know! And it’s all because Curacao has such a colorful and multi-cultural history and heritage.
Papiamentu is a multifaceted Creole language which is based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and a few African dialects. It’s been spoken for over 300 years and is widely considered the original language of Curacao. Because it was originally meant to be a spoken communication and not a written one you’ll frequently see different spellings for the exact same words.
So where exactly does that leave the average Curacao visitor? What language should you start practicing in anticipation of your trip?
Not that it’s necessary to learn an entire language for the purpose of a single vacation, but if you wanted to brush up on some of the most commonly used phrases and words in Curacao, we are here to help!
Curacaoans are extremely friendly and polite, and will be thrilled to hear you attempting to communicate, even if with just a word, in their language(s). Many of the following terms and words are very colloquial and fun – so no stress here just have fun with it!
Bon Bini – Welcome
Bon Dia – Goodmorning
Bon Tardi – Good Afternoon
Bon Nochi – Good Evening/Good Night
Kon ta bai?/Kombai? – How is it? How are things going with you? What’s up basically…
Mi ta bon, danki – I am fine, thank you
Kon bo yama? – What’s your name?
Mi yama… – My name is…
Mi ta bini di – I am from…
Masha Bon – Very Good
Bon – Good
Mi ta buskando un bano – I’m looking for a bathroom
Mener/ Senor – Mister/Sir
Jufrouw / Senora – Miss/Madam
Te otro biaha – See you later
Ajo (ah-yo) – Goodbye
Danki – Thank You
Muchanan – Children
Masha Danki – Thank you very much
Di Nada – You’re Welcome
Diskulpami/Sori – Excuse me/Sorry
Nope, you don’t have to know every language spoken on the island, but the above list will definitely be helpful while you visit! Don’t sweat it if you forget a few, you can always ask the friendly hotel team members, tour guides or even random locals you pass by. Everyone is friendly and willing to help on Curacao.
Now this brings us to the last word you’ll want to know. A word that has many meanings and is used, and seen, often…
Dushi is an expression that essentially means sweet, nice or good when describing items. When using it towards a person it’s basically like calling someone sweetheart, babe or even “sexy.” So it’s essential you understand the meaning, because you might just find yourself being called “Dushi” or even calling someone else “Dushi!” YOu just never know, anything is possible on Curacao.
Any trip to Curacao is destined to be incredible, and knowing a few common words and phrases will only enhance the trip even more.
For your luxury accommodation needs (and terminology advisors) seek out Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. Curacao’s premier resort, Santa Barbara offers an array of resort activities as well as opportunities to see the island through various tours and experiences.
Book your stay today! We hope you have a lovely trip!
Which came first – Curaçao island or Curaçao liqueur? Trick question of course, but then again, Curaçao is a mysterious liqueur.
When it comes down to it the real deal is to be able to drink a Curaçao cocktail while relaxing on the magnificent Caribbean island of Curaçao.
Yes, that is the life.
Ok, back to business, let’s clear up some of the general confusion surrounding the enigmatic liqueur.
Fact – Curaçao came from a failed attempt of the Spanish to cultivate Valencia oranges on the island.
Fact – Curaçao is naturally colorless.
Fact – Most people associate Curaçao with the color blue.
Fact – Curaçao is made from the oil of dried orange peels, and is then mixed with secret ingredients such as certain local herbs. The oranges are peeled with wooden knives, and then the peels are left to dry.
It all started in the beginning of the 16th century, shortly after the Spanish discovered a little slice of paradise just 40 miles north of the Venezuelan coast.
Eventually those industrious Spaniards decided to develop Curaçao agriculturally, and being from Spain, they began to plant Valencia oranges.
Valencia’s may grow abundantly in Spain, but they sure didn’t thrive under the sizzling sun and arid climate of Curaçao.
After no success was found, the Spanish abandoned the project, and the Valencias were left alone to grow wild and free. Apparently not even the infamous Curaçaoan goats would touch the things.
Quite some time later, it was discovered that the peels of the orange, once dried by the sun, contain etheric oils that make them fragrant.
No longer the Valencia Orange, as it had a bit of time to evolve and transform, this new orange was dubbed the “Citrus Aurantium Currassuviensis.”
Since that’s a mouth full, the locals named it “Laraha.”
So, Why is it Blue?
Great question. Humans love to make things colorful, and once dye was invented, Curaçao got dyed blue somewhere down the line, and it just stuck!
In fact, Curaçao sans coloring doesn’t have too much color to it, but the coloring doesn’t affect the taste, so typically distillers give it a little color!
Blue, green, red, orange, and clear are the typical colors Curaçao is found to have. The sweet taste and pretty colors are usually why the liqueur is used in fruity tropical cocktails.
Where to Try
Of course, Curaçao can be purchased at grocery stores, or you can taste it in cocktails at any given bar or restaurant (usually), but the best place of all to taste is, of course, Curaçao island!
We recommend heading to Curacao Liqueur Factory, which is run by the family Senior & Co., and produces the ancient liqueur in the famous Landhuis Chobolobo – essentially an old plantation surrounded by the natural beauty of the island. The factory offers free tours at Landhuis which includes a complimentary tasting of the fine liqueur!
Naturally you don’t have to travel all the way to Curaçao to taste Curaçao liqueur, but we highly recommend doing so as a gift to yourself! For the utmost in luxury and convenience, book your stay at the beautiful Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. The friendly team at Santa Barbara can help you arrange your tour at the Factory, along with provide recommendations for anything and everything else you desire to see or do throughout your stay!
Bon Voyage and Cheers!