Life and the holidays have two things in common: they can leave us feeling worn-out, overwhelmed, and unwell. Yes, the holidays can be magical and exciting, and yes life can be full of wonder and joy. As with anything, though, there are ups and downs, good years and bad years.
Some folks travel to explore new landscapes, others to lay out on a tropical beach, and for a great many of us – the cuisine! For all the foodie travelers out there, let us recommend a destination that is a hidden foodie gem. A destination that features a treasure trove of cuisine flavors and influences. Any guesses?
The Caribbean island of Curacao.
Do you fancy yourself as a chocoholic? Do you live, breathe and dream chocolate? Even if we don’t all think about chocolate all the time, it’s safe to say that the sweet treat holds a special place in our hearts and bellies.
Chocolate transcends mere sugar, for many, it’s an experience, a way to celebrate, show affection, continue traditions, bond with our children, and much more. At its core, chocolate is love.
And having a little more love sprinkled in here and there can only be a good thing, right? It is the month of love (and chocolate) after all. In honor of the iconic brown sugary goodness, here are 5 unique and exciting ways to cook with chocolate. Oh yes, chocolate need not be reserved only as a dessert or treat, there are ample ways to include it in your cooking! Check it out.
New year, new you. The beginning of each new year is ripe with opportunities to evolve into the finest version of ourselves. There’s something about a fresh 365 days ahead that often times leaves us feeling invigorated and ready to tackle new goals.
One widely popular new year’s resolution is to become fitter, stay fit, or take previous fitness abilities to a new level. The challenge of reaching a goal is overcoming any obstacles that arise. Going on vacation could be one such obstacle.
A break in normal routine often times results in a break in one’s fitness routine, but we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. We can’t vouch for every vacation destination, but here on Curacao, there are plenty of ways to stay fit this new year. Whether you prefer to be indoors, outdoors, on land, or in the water, Curacao boasts quite an array of fitness activities across the board. To ensure your fitness goals are reached, even on vacation, here are many of the ways you can stay fit on Curacao.
Picture yourself on a white sandy beach, light breeze blowing through your hair as you sip on a tropical cocktail.
Welcome to the Caribbean, where relaxation and picturesque scenery dominates the everyday itinerary for visitors.
Yet, many visitors crave a little more balance in their Caribbean getaways. Of course relaxing and enjoying the warm sea are top items on the vacation agenda, but how about mixing in some sports, or more adrenaline-pumping land activities?
Yes, that can be accomplished without a doubt. Not every Caribbean island is big enough to offer multiple landscapes but the southernly island of Curaçao is.
In fact, Curaçao is almost as well-known for it’s culture, multi-layered history and land adventures as it is for its coastal beauty.
Secluded on its own private section of the island lies Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, the ideal spot for land adventures on Curaçao.
Why would a resort be such an ideal spot for land exploration? Because Santa Barbara sits within a 2,000 acre plantation. A lot can be done with 2,000 acres and we’ve prepared a list of our top 3 favorite land activities for you:
When picturing the Caribbean, mountain biking certainly doesn’t come to mind first, but at Santa Barbara, anything is possible. Tear up the miles of trails conveniently located at the resort. What’s even better is that these trails aren’t exclusively for experienced mountain bikers. There are trails for every level and skill set, especially beginners. If you’ve never tried mountain biking then this could be an exciting time to try it out! You can’t beat those beautiful island views.
Tie Those Laces Tight – Hiking Adventures Await
Did we mention there are 2,000 acres to explore? For those craving a little foot action, Santa Barbara features an abundance of trails for you to enjoy. Take a leisurely pace or set a goal to see it all, either way you’ll be treated to jaw-droppingly beautiful coastal views. Definitely don’t forget your camera or selfie stick.
Sporting Island Style
There’s golfing, and then there’s golfing with views of the magnificent Caribbean sea. Designed by Pete Dye, the Old Quarry Golf Course at the resort has been voted one of the best in the Caribbean on multiple occasions. The course takes on the shape of the naturally contoured site and overlooks the Caribbean Sea and the sheltered bay known as Spanish Water. Additionally, Santa Barbara boasts the only Hydro-Grid clay tennis court in the Caribbean. Polish your A-game, play for the first time or take lessons. However you want to enjoy it, the Tafelberg Tennis Center is an awesome part of the overall vacation experience.
The water activities will always be there for your enjoyment, but we thought it might be nice to know that there’s plenty to entertain on the dry-side as well. Who knows – perhaps your favorite memories of your Curaçao getaway will be trying mountain biking for the first time, or learning a winning golf stroke which will make heads roll back home on the course. Whatever it is you desire to do, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort will see to your every want and need!
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.
Curaçao 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:
- 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?
These 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!
Imagine, sinking into the depths of sparkling turquoise water to enter into an entire new world – one filled with colorful fish, alien looking sea life, and a magnificent sense of tranquility.
Definingly known for it’s year-round brilliant weather and marvelous beaches, the Caribbean isn’t often touted as a region rich in history and culture. Just like every region on Earth that’s played host to one or more cultures over the course of time, the Caribbean islands have their fair share of history too. True, many islands in the region are petite and have little to offer other than picturesque beaches, but many of the larger islands have a healthy supply of cultural activities and history to take in.
Forty four miles north of the Venezuelan coast lies the idyllic island of Curaçao. Well-known for its blue liqueur, pristine beaches, and generally breathtaking landscape, Curaçao also has one of the largest selection of museums and cultural institutions in the entire Caribbean. Roughly 171 square miles in total, Curaçao is so much more than a simple island paradise.
Whether you’re researching for your next Caribbean vacation, looking for the perfect destination wedding location or simply interested in luxury travel, we’ve got you covered. Here we’ll feature news about Curacao and the island’s quintessential luxury resort, Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort. Get the scoop on special offers, learn about the destination’s seemingly endless variety of activities and adventures, and get a taste of Curacao’s diverse culture and rich history.
Stay tuned, we’ll be posting each week and invite you to follow along.
Warm wishes from Curacao…