Adventurist, Health & Wellness

Immerse Yourself in Healthy Living on The Island of Curacao

From world famous marathons to high-profile yoga festivals there’s a never ending supply of physical and mental wellness events and practices to engage with in the U.S.

But, this healthy living movement isn’t just happening in the U.S., it’s all over the world! Having been a coveted place to retreat to for a bit of mind, body and spirit rejuvenation, it’s no surprise that the Caribbean is following (or shall we say, leading) in the health and wellness trends of society.

Adventurist

Destination or Resort? 9 Reasons Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is a Destination of its Own

Destination. One word that can mean so many different things.

What do you think of when you think the word destination?

A tropical island somewhere exotic? Yeah, us too.

Actually, when we think of a destination we think of our very own Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.

And how is it that a resort can be a destination of its own?

Of course, Curacao is a destination in and of itself, but Santa Barbara is its very own destination and here are 9 Reasons why:

 

  1. You never need to leave – This is may be the top reason. For those who retreat to the Caribbean to get away from it all and truly relax, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort literally has all of the necessary ingredients for that – luxury accommodations, private beach, fine dining, serene spa, dive shop, water sports, miles of trails and more!
  2. Authentic cuisine from a Local Chef – Incredibly talented Chef de Cuisine, Heinrich Hortencia, was born and raised locally on Curacao, and brings the destination’s inspiration to the cuisine at the resort’s fine dining restaurant, SHORE. Heinrich loves to experiment and blend classic international cuisine with local flavors and ingredients.
  3. Explore More than 2,000 Acres – You never have to leave the resort to have an adventure or go on an exploration. The resort sits within a 2,000 acre plantation with miles of trails to hike and bike. The expansive plantation features breathtaking rock formations, beautiful caves and caverns, historic sites, stunning views and a diverse variety of flora and fauna.
  4. Spa Treatments Based On Ancient Island Rituals – A visit to the Atabei Spa is not only relaxing, it’s a cultural activity as well, since many of the treatments and spa philosophies are based on the Arawak people, the original inhabitants of the island.  Best part, Atabei is an organic spa, using primarily locally sourced ingredients in its treatments and therapies.
  5. We Have Plenty of Iguanas – Undoubtedly, the Iguana, or Yuana, is the reigning king of Curacao’s reptiles. Quite famous for once being a common culinary treat on the island, Iguanas are an island institution, and can be found all over the resort.
  6. Watersports, Diving  and more – No need to leave the resort to get out on the water! We have our very own watersports and dive facility offering a wide variety of Curacao watersports including both kayak and stand-up paddleboarding rentals and tours. Snorkel equipment is also available for rent to explore Santa Barbara’s crystal-clear swimming lagoon.  Want to dive, take an Explore Diving Course and explore Curacao’s world-renowned dive sites with our PADI Certifed dive operator.
  7. Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortSanta Barbara Beach & Golf ResortRelax On Our Private Beach – Enjoy the natural beauty of Curacao as you unwind in the shining warmth and glow of the Caribbean sun. Our pristine white-sand beach stretches 1,500 ft. Swim in the warm, glassy blue protected swimming lagoon, enjoy a refreshing cocktail or delicious lunch with beachside service from our restaurant, Splash.
  8. Stay Fit Easily, and With Options – Plenty of vacationers do not wish to take a vacation from physical exercise, which is why we offer plenty of options. The Tafelberg Tennis Center at the resort is one of the best facilities in the region and features the only Hydrogrid clay courts in the Caribbean. Additionally, the resort offers yoga, pilates and aqua aerobics classes each week!  And, of course the resort features a state-of-the-art fitness center, open to guests 24-hours a day.
  9. One of the best golf courses in the Caribbean – It’s a game that never ceases to provide a challenge, and at Santa Barbara, it never ceases to provide breathtaking views.  A very challenging course, Pete Dye’s, Old Quarry is rated one among the Best Courses in the Caribbean & Mexico. Whether you golf or just ride along in the cart, you’ll be amazed at every turn as the course meanders between the Caribbean Sea, Tafelberg Mountain and Spanish Water Bay.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortTo be honest, we could continue listing reasons why Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is a destination of its own, but we’ll stop there… for now. 

Of course, we understand that you’ll most likely want to leave the resort from time to time to check out the attractions and culture of Curacao, which we highly encourage!

But, just know that we can and will meet all of your needs right here on our 2,000 acres of Caribbean paradise.

We’ve always got an exceptional package or two ready for you, you can view them all right here. We hope to see you soon!

Adventurist, Like A Local

Looking For an Epic Beach Party? Head to the Caribbean Island of Curaçao For an Unforgettable Full Moon Party

What comes to mind when you think of the full moon?

Yoga, late night adventures, eclipses, Thailand… perhaps it’s different for everyone.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortOn 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:

What:

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.

Where:

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.

When:

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.

Other Details:

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortTickets 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.

Adventurist, Family Travel

You Want to Get to Curaçao. Here’s How.

Curaçao.

A familiar word to many, images of delicious tropical tasting cocktails may come to mind. Some are familiar with the geography of the Caribbean and recognize the word as the name of an island.

Still, it’s safe to say that in many circles Curaçao flies under the radar

As far as Caribbean getaways go, you’ll really be getting far away by visiting Curaçao, depending on where you live.

Adventurist, Like A Local

How to Say “Hello” and Other Important Phrases to Use While Visiting the Island of Curacao

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.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortYet, 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!

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortBon 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

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortNope, 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

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!

Adventurist, Family Travel

Get a Look at the Adventurous Side of Curaçao

When we think of “Curaçao” likely two images come to mind: a delicious blue liqueur and/or a slice of Caribbean paradise.

Curacao is the namesake of the blue liqueur and the original birthplace of it. Curaçao is also an idyllic Caribbean island surrounded by sparkling turquoise water.

Yet, unlike many other Caribbean islands, Curaçao has much to be discovered on land. That’s right, not just a pretty plot of land famous for its beaches, rather Curaçao is a pretty plot of land with incredible beaches, culture, landscape, history, and adventure.  

In fact, Curaçao doesn’t just have a few land adventures, it has tons of them.


Tour the Island
a la ATV

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortNothing beats getting down and dirty on an ATV or buggy ride. You can ride alone or with a pal. Your guide will be sure to give you the basics of ATV driving if you’ve never tried it before. Typically there will be an array of tour options, ranging from half day to full day. Also the tours are usually split up into “East” and “West” allowing you to choose which parts of the island you want to see most. Depending on which tour you choose you’ll have different stops along the way to places such as the Aloe Vera plantation, caves, incredible views, etc. This is definitely an epic way to experience the island!

Two Incredible National Parks

Every destination should have at least one national park, and for an island as small as Curaçao, it’s amazing that it has two!

  • Christoffel Park – The island’s largest national park, Christoffel features Mt. Christoffel which is the island’s tallest peak. There are a plethora of hiking trails, plants, and animals to enjoy. This is also a favorite place for bird watching,
  • Shete Boka Park – This is for explorers who prefer to be off the beaten track, so to speak. You can explore the rocky wave-exposed north coast of the island, also where three species of turtles lay their eggs. The beginning of the park is at the breathtaking Boka Tabla, a place where enormous waves crash into an underground cavern. A favorite hike here is along the limestone bluffs above the cavern, which offers excellent views of the coastline.

Amazonia – The Lost Cultures

One of the newer attractions on the island, The Amazonia Tour is quite the experience. At this attraction you will see dozens of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan sculptures, carvings, and murals. You’ll be guided on a tour that will take you across 45,000 square feet of rainforest, temple ruins, ponds and pyramids. Basically you can feel like Indiana Jones as you get a glimpse at what the cultures of South and Central America and the Caribbean might have felt like, way back when. This is certainly not your typical Caribbean island experience, which makes it that much more fascinating and fun.

Visit an Actual Ostrich Farm

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortThis is a real thing. Basically you go to the farm and get to play with Ostriches all day long. You can take a safari tour, a quad tour, and feel like you’re in a South African Caribbean dreamland.

 

Biking Adventure on Santa Barbara Plantation

As soon as you arrive at Santa Barbara Plantation, you’ll immediately understand why there is so much to explore.  The expansive 2,000 acre plantation features breathtaking rock formations, beautiful caves and caverns, stunning views, and a diverse variety of flora and fauna. Rent a bike and explore the property on your own. Or, go for our morning jog using our miles of trails. Take a guided morning hike to learn about the plantation, Curaçao, and the island’s unique eco-system.

Explore the Hato Caves

What were once used as hiding places, shelter, and art galleries, are now part of Curaçao’s right history. The Hato Caves are north of the capital – Willemstad – and are open to the public to take tours through. A really neat experience!  

Experience Curacao’s Colorful History

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortCuraçao has had quite the eventful history, and a great many cultural influences over the past few centuries. Because of that, there are ample museums to enjoy, and really neat walking tours. You can take a self-guided tour through Willemstad, Otrabanda, and Punda to get a taste of urban life and history on the island. For details on the museums and architecture of the island, visit here.

Next time you’re in Curaçao, whether it’s the first time or not, we hope you take a bit of time to explore some of these land activities!

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, nestled beachfront within 2,000 acre plantation, is the ideal destination for adventure seekers.  The resort offers guided hiking and mountain biking tours, and miles of mountain trails for guests to explore on their own.  For those who want to venture out to sea, the resort offers an on-site dive and watersports center, offering Discover SCUBA courses, boat and shore diving, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and more. Our friendly team will be happy to help answer any questions, book any tours, and make your planning process smooth sailing!  

Flavor Of, Like A Local

An Island, a Liqueur, and a Whole Lotta Questions

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.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortFact – 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.”

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortSo, 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!

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

 

Adventurist, Like A Local

Sing the Blues in Caribbean Paradise at BlueSeas Festival 2016

Tumba, Reggae, Calypso, Compás, Salsa, Bachata, Punta, Zouk, and too many more to name, are all incredible Caribbean music genres.

Blues though? Would anyone guess that Blues is becoming one of the most popular genres in and around the Caribbean?!

It’s true, and one island in particular is celebrating the genre BIG TIME in a few weeks, for the 2nd year in a row, and trust us, this is not an event to miss.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortCuraçao, the “C” of the ABC islands in the southwest Caribbean, is hosting a two-day, completely free, blues music festival.

The 2nd Annual Curacao International BlueSeas Festival is going to be bigger and better than last year, if that’s even possible, and yes, is seriously free.

Imagine a vacation on a Caribbean island – white sandy beaches, tepid warm ocean water, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking to panoramic views, eating, drinking and general merryness. Sounds like a dream right?

It is. Add listening to world-famous blues artists, for free, to the mix and now you’ve got an unparalleled experience waiting for you.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortFrom Friday May 6 through Saturday May 7, six stages will be built in the historical area of Pietermaai where the musicians will be performing. The genres we can expect to hear are blues, blues-rock, bluegrass, soul, and even gospel.  

Talent includes emerging artists such as the British Laurence Jones and American Samantha Fish, to well-known established artists such as Robert Randolph and The Family band and Royal Southern Brotherhood.

Headlining is none other than American music legend, singer/pianist Leon Russell, one of the most accomplished and versatile musicians to date. Russell has been in the industry for 50 years, and has worked with the likes of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John.

So what can you expect to be doing, eating, and experiencing over the course of this two-day festival you might ask?

Well, let us illuminate the answers for you!

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortDoing:

Naturally if you venture to Curaçao for this incredible festival, you’ll be listening to some stellar blues.

  • You may also be lounging on one or more of these beaches (for a little R&R in between sets).
  • Or checking out the beautiful buildings and unique architecture in and around the festival in the historic neighborhood of Pietermaai, which is known for being a cultural, raw, edgy, but also in parts luxurious neighborhood. A bit of historical Curaçao meets modern hip Curaçao.

Eating:

One of the most delicious and exciting ways to experience a new culture is through its food! Because Curaçao is a serious melting pot of cultures – think Spanish, French, British, Dutch, African, and more, the local food has influences from across the globe.

  • Keshi Yena, a local dish of cheese stuffed with meat. Often times the cheese is gouda, and is commonly stuffed with spiced chicken, onion, olives, capers, and tomatoes.
  • Okra Soup, this yummy soup is made with the green okra vegetable, which is boiled and then mixed with fish and salted meat. Similar to American gumbo.
  • Pastechi, a delicious pastry stuffed with chicken, cheese, tuna, or minced meat, and typically eaten for breakfast.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortExperiencing:

Well that’s simple – the sights, sounds, and activities of everyday life in Curaçao! Plus a plethora of Blues artists! For your time before and/or after the festival, here are a few fan-favorite Curaçao activities:

  • Scuba Diving, whether you’re a seasoned diver, or a beginner, Curaçao boats some of the most spectacular diving spots in the Caribbean.
  • Ostrich Farm, this is a real thing. Not sure how this ended up on the island, but regardless everyone is guaranteed a good, and hilarious, time.
  • Hiking, one of the best ways to get a solid feel for the island, not to mention ahh-mazing views, there’s a variety of hikes in size and scope you can try out, visit here for more information.

Do your inner blues afficionado a favor and find your way by plane, boat, private jet, yacht, or any other way you can discover, to Curaçao for the epic 2nd Annual Curacao International BlueSeas Festival. Two days might not seem long enough for some fun in the sun, which is why we always recommend arriving before, or staying after, to continue enjoying the delights our beautiful island has to offer.

For your accommodation needs, book your stay at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort – a perfect blend of luxury and culture, while being secluded yet centrally located to all the islands attractions. Happy festing!