Health & Wellness

Q&A With Santa Barbara’s Newest Team Member: SUP Yoga Instructor Angela van Keulen

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Well, for many of us here at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, it’s been trying SUP yoga, or Stand Up Paddle yoga, with our newly hired instructor. Yoga in and of itself is a challenging, wonderful, and peaceful movement form. Attempting yoga atop a floating board in the Caribbean Sea is another experience altogether, and one we are excited to share with you!

Adventurist, Health & Wellness

Get Your Tennis Game Strong With These 5 Simple Tennis Tips

Swish, squeak, thwack…. Ahhh the sweet, sweet sounds of summer. Wait, no, the sweet sounds of tennis. Summertime = tennis time, so either word fits, right?

As the days get longer and the sunshine gets warmer, it’s the perfect time to start working on your game. Dust off your racket and take a moment to learn five, quick, and useful tips to improve your tennis game.

Health & Wellness

7 Undeniable Reasons Why SUP Yoga is an Incredible Mind, Body, and Spirit Experience

Within the past decade Stand Up Paddling, aka SUP, has exploded in popularity, and for a good reason. It’s awesome. A relatively peaceful activity that allows the paddler to be out on the water soaking up the sun and getting a nice strong core and arms. It’s an all around blissful way to spend a few hours.

Like any great activity, SUPing is evolving, and now not only can you take SUP classes or rent the boards anywhere with warm weather and some sort of body of water, you can also take a SUP yoga class.

That’s right; we’re talking downward facing dog on a floating board on the water. Sure, if balance isn’t exactly your strong suit this may sound like a recipe for disaster, but trust us, it’s crazy fun and surprisingly tranquil.

If you’ve yet to experience the joy that is SUP yoga, read on for our quick list on exactly why you should give it a try!

Adventurist, Health & Wellness

Explore Curaçao By Foot, Pedal and Hoof

Surfing, snorkeling, boating, swimming… the possibilities of water play in and around the Caribbean island of Curaçao are endless. Typically the initial draw of Curaçao is the glittering Caribbean Sea, yet it’s the expansive buffet of land activities also, that entices tourists to visit time after time.

Exploring Curaçao by water is spectacular, but there’s also Curaçao by foot, pedal, and hoof to entertain!

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, Health & Wellness

Top 3 Ocean Adventures at Curacao’s Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort

Sparkling shades of turquoise, balmy temperatures year-round and a laid-back attitude combine to create the ideal water-getaway environment in the Caribbean.

For the vacationers craving a water locked paradise, the Caribbean island of Curaçao is ready to meet your getaway needs. Curaçao flies under the typical Caribbean radar due to its southernly position in the region. A mere 40 miles north of South America, Curaçao is a unique blend of cultures and landscapes.

By far and large, though, the most breathtaking landscape the island offers is its coastlines.

Water adventures abound on Curaçao. In fact, you may just have to take more than one trip to experience them all. One crucial detail to consider when planning a water-activity-based getaway to Curaçao, is when and where you’d like to relax. With so much energy exerted in the water, you’ll need time to rest now and again.

It’s entirely possible to have epic water adventures and epic relaxation – at Santa Barbara beach & Golf Resort.

A luxurious beachfront resort boasting 2,000 acres, Santa Barbara has everything you need to have your adventures and relaxation, too.

Without further ado, here are our top 3 favorite water activities at Santa Barbara:

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortThe Adventure Unlike ANY Other – Klein Curacao

Seriously not an overstatement, a trip to Klein Curacao is totally unreal. Picture this – sailing out to sea headed towards a uninhabited island featuring pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Imagine yourself swimming with sea turtles, exploring a deserted lighthouse and discovering an old shipwreck. We’re not joking when we say it’s an adventure. Oh, and don’t be surprised if your ship encounters rough seas on the voyage over! The best bit – this excursions leaves right from the resort so you can adventure right from home.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortNighttime Swim in The Protected Lagoon

There’s plenty of swimming to be had at the resort. There are a variety of beautiful swimming pools with unique features. Yet the one swimming experience that is unlike anything else, and totally unique to the resort, is the lagoon. The resort borders a crystal-clear and serene swimming lagoon protected from the turbulence of the open sea. This is a beautiful place to enjoy views of passing sailboats and yachts, or to peacefully float in under the Caribbean sun. Without a doubt, the coolest experience is to swim the lagoon at night where, with a little luck, you may get to witness the water light up with its splendid phosphorescence. There’s no better way to describe the experience than magical, and we hope you get a chance to see it for yourselves!

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortExplore The Underwater Kingdom

One activity Curacao is famous for worldwide is scuba diving. With an entire underwater world at your disposal, this is an epic opportunity experience not to be missed. Santa Barbara has its very own PADI certified dive center for your convenience. Schedule an intro to diving course or simply hire a guide and take a quick underwater tour. However you like to explore, the center will make it happen for you.

Sailing, diving and swimming – it’s safe to say you’ll sincerely appreciate that rum and coke as you watch the sunset and rest your happily worn-out body. Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is a top notch retreat for the water-junkie and an incredible place to relax your mind, body and soul!

Adventurist, Health & Wellness

Get a Taste of the World’s Fastest Growing Water Sport on the Idyllic Island of Curacao

Wind, sea, and surfboards… a combination that has resulted in one of the fastest growing watersports in the world.

If you haven’t already guessed, we’re talking Kitesurfing.

What exactly is kitesurfing anyway?

Essentially, it’s an extreme water sport combining aspects of paragliding, surfing, and wakeboarding,

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortThe kite-boarders (or surfers, the terms are used interchangeably) propel themselves across, and through, water on a surface resembling a wakeboard, using the power of large kites, similar to a paraglide, which are attached to the boards by a few lines.

It’s truly an extraordinarily thrilling sport, and offers the chance to feel connected to the elements in a way few other activities allow.

Initially new kitesurfers are learning how to balance and skim the top of the water, but as practitioners progress there are many spectacular movements that can be learned.

Even if you have no intentions of trying the sport yourselves, it’s mesmerizing to watch.

Kitesurfers will jump, fly and flip through the air looking as light as a feather as the wind supports their activities.

Unlike surfing, kitesurfing requires no waves, only wind, making it greatly accessible in many parts of the world.

One of the absolute best destinations for kitesurfing is none other that the idyllic Caribbean island of Curacao.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortCuracao, 40 miles north of Venezuela and conveniently situated beneath the hurricane belt, is the “C” is the ABC islands and is part of the Netherland Antilles.

Due to Curacao’s steady 16-20 knot trade winds, relatively flat shallow open waters, and warm balmy temperatures year round, it’s an ideal destination for the sport.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or have been kitesurfing for a while, Curacao has the perfect spot to get a healthy dose of kitesurfing in.

Beginners Venture to…

St. Joris Bay. Calm waters and steady breeze define St. Joris Bay as an excellent spot to practice kitesurfing. It’s easy to spot the bay, especially on the weekends, since the telltale kites can be seen in the sky before the water even comes into view. The bay is pretty big, and is protected from the waves of the East side of the island, keep the water calm but the wind fierce. You can visit this site to check out the details on kitesurfing lessons.

Beginners and Intermediate Practitioners Venture to…

St. Willibrordus. Located on the West coast of the island, St. Willibrordus is another by protected from the waves. The water is flat, and has plenty of wind chop for good kitesurfing. Located behind the flamingo sanctuary.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortAdvanced Practitioners Venture to…

Klein Curacao. A small island 15 miles off the coast of Curacao, Klein Curacao (meaning little Curacao) is an incredible kitesurfing spot, but should be reserved for advanced surfers. Because the island is further out to sea, it has off shore winds which are fiercer than the trade winds that blow through the bays. There will also be other swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers, and boats roaming about. If you’re an advanced surfer, this will be a non-issue, but beginners are advised to avoid this spot.

Those are the three best spots for kitesurfing on Curacao island. Each spot is breathtakingly beautiful, and offers a unique experience. Curacao as a whole has a limitless supply of adventure, entertainment and relaxation, adding value to any kitesurfing trip. Whether you intend to stay for a few days or a few weeks, you’ll surely fall in love with the welcoming island.

When planning your getaway, be sure to book your stay at the luxurious Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. More than just a resort, Santa Barbara is an island sanctuary, a haven you can return to between the excitement and adventure of kitesurfing.

We hope you have smooth planning and happy travels!

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Travel

Exploring Curaçao Up Close and Personal – Kayak Adventures Abound

What’s the best way to explore a destination?

On foot, by car, on a horse, from a helicopter, or on the water?

The question, by default, is somewhat subjective, but it’s safe to say that it all depends on the location.

When it comes to an island, especially an island with unique and interesting coasts, then perhaps on/in the water is one of the best ways.

Way down South in the Caribbean, just North of Venezuela, lies a laid-back, colorful, and exciting little island called Curaçao.

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortCuraçao is nicely settled beneath the hurricane belt, and as such, offers beautifully in tact coral reefs, tepid waters, and calm weather patterns, typically. The ideal conditions for a little fun in the sea.

Granted, there are a variety of watersports and activities that enable visitors to explore the coastline, but today we will be focusing on exploring Curaçao via kayaks.

Seriously, you can see so many fascinating and magnificent parts of Curaçao’s coast from a kayak! Because we want you to fall in love with Curaçao just as much as we have, here are a few of our favorite kayak experiences on Curaçao:

Caracas Bay

  • This beautiful bay is a spectacular kayaking spot, mostly because you can also snorkel here! This spot used to be an anchorage for ships, which means it provides just enough shelter for a variety of fish and marine life. This is a popular snorkel spot because there’s a sunken tugboat underwater. It’s easy enough to bring snorkel gear – just pack it with you in the kayak! You can also enjoy a picturesque view of an old manorial estate and Fort Beekenburg, a nicely preserved fort, originally built in 1703.

Spanish Water Lagoon

  • The largest lagoon in Curaçao, Spanish Water Lagoon is perfect for kayaking. As you make your way around the lagoon, you’ll see beautiful mangrove forests, some of which are home to birds such as “Bubi tres Kolo” and “Garza Blanku.” You’ll also pass by some of the villas of the Spanish Waters, anchored sailboats, and other water sport go-ers.

Kayak Through the Mangroves

  • Mangroves, which are a critical part of the coastal saltwater ecosystem, serve as a buffer between the sea and the land. They offer protection against erosion, manage the damage of hurricanes and tropical storms, and are home to many creatures – especially birds and fish. So, it’s truly incredible to get to see them up close, to catch glimpses of the mini-world inside the trees. There are many kayak operators that will expertly take you around the mangroves.

Kayak AND Power Snorkel

  • If you’ve never tried power snorkeling, you’re in for a real treat. The tranquil, crystal clear waters of the South Coast of the island is where many of these tours are held. You’ll be outfitted with your own “state of the art” power scooter and snorkel equipment from your instructor. Once you’re set, your guide will take you the incredible views lying just below the water’s surface. The scooter enables you to glide along as you see sea fans, coral, and a plethora of marine life.

Kayak Fishing Adventure

  • This adventure departs directly from the luxurious and tranquil Santa Barbara Resort. The guides will pack and provide all supplies – including lunch! You’ll be paddling away the day in the Spanish Waters, trying your hand at fishing. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a big barracuda, or even a tarpon. Kayaking and fishing, what more could a person want?

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf ResortThese are just a few of our favorite excursions, but there are plenty more to be had! Each piece of Curaçao’s coast is slightly different, and kayaking is an excellent way to explore them in-depth.

For the most luxurious home base during your stay, seek out Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. Experts in all things Curaçao, the friendly team at Santa Barbara will guide you to the best tour operators and experiences possible! Feel free to contact the team with any questions about your vacation! Happy planning!