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Curacao Archives - Air Canada Vacations

28 Mar

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Charming Curaçao

March 28, 2018 | By |

Explore the beauty of Curaçao, a blend of Dutch charm, Caribbean flair and Spanish heritage. Indulge in a culture, cuisine and lifestyle like no other. Home to golden beaches and crystal blue seas, it captivates visitors with hidden coves and intriguing underwater sites. Beautiful year-round weather and a sunny climate make for a perfect escape any time of year!

Our pick

Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino
This upscale resort has everything you need for family entertainment. It offers one of the largest and most visited casinos on the island, an in-house Dive Center, the Explorer’s Club for Kids and the Core Zone Teens Club. You can enhance your fun with a day trip to the National Underwater Park facing the resort or a trip to Willemstad, thanks to the resort’s complimentary shuttle service for guests.

28 May

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10 Reasons You Need to Visit the Lesser Antilles

May 28, 2015 | By |

If you find Venezuela on a map, you’ll also find a string of tiny islands going north. These are the Lesser Antilles and they ring the outer edge of the Caribbean Sea. They are small and unique, and places most people have never visited. Here are 10 reasons you should go.

1) English Harbour in Antigua

English Harbour Antigua

Antigua was an important part of the British presence in the Caribbean. The old fortifications make for a change of pace from the beach (if you need one). Nelson’s Dockyard has been nicely restored and Shirley Heights is a good walk with a rewarding view over the bay.

2) Rendezvous Bay in Antigua

Rendezvous Bay is the definition of idyllic. It’s the kind of beautiful that should only exist in art or the imagination. It’s long and soft and virtually empty. You can only get there by boat or a 90-minute walk through the rainforest. But it is more than worth it.

3) Arikok National Wildlife Park in Aruba

Arikok National Wildlife Park

20% of Aruba is dedicated to this protected area. You can rent a car and drive its 11 km of roads, but the best way to experience it is on a guided tour with a park ranger. You’ll see divi-divi trees, cacti, aloe and any number of birds and reptiles. The Arikok National Park conservation fee is $11 per adult (children under 17 are free of charge). The tours are free; they only need to be booked at least one day in advance.

4) Screaming Eagle Restaurant in Aruba

Food is huge in Aruba, and, as you might expect, seafood is top of the menu. The Screaming Eagle near Eagle Beach has a French fusion vibe and serves creations like tuna tartar with fried soft shell crab, and wakame salad with spicy papaya mayonnaise. They also have a nicely stocked wine cellar and a bartender who knows what he’s doing. Check out their menu and make a reservation in advance.

5) Seafood Friday in Saint Lucia

For most of the week Sant Lucia’s Anse La Raye is a tiny and endearing fishing village that makes for a relaxing afternoon of browsing the few stores and chatting over cool drinks. But come Friday night, locals from all over the island follow the coast road to the weekly fish fry. Street vendors roll out and the music gets loud. It’s a lot of fun but a bit wild later in the night.

6) Hot Springs in Saint Lucia

Hot Springs in Saint Lucia

Around Soufriere [su • frer], there are two popular places for a hot dip. The Sulphur Springs are known as the world’s only drive-in volcano and for their naturally hot swimming pool. The other place is the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths. It’s a Napoleon-era estate, and the European-style baths and gardens are very tranquil and open to the public.

7) Bean to Bar in Grenada

One of the hottest trends in Grenada is chocolate. The rich volcanic soil produces a unique bean. The current food trend of organic, ethical and authentic has also touched the island, giving rise to Grenada Chocolate Co. and the bean to bar philosophy. You can tour their farm and check out their blog.

8) Diving in Grenada

Diving Grenada

All of the islands of the Lesser Antilles have great beaches, clear water and spectacular scuba diving. Grenada has more than 50 dive sites, with something for all levels of experience. They also have a number of shipwrecks and a unique underwater sculpture park, which make for great photos.

9) Willemstad in Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaçao

The primary European influence in Curaçao is not English or Spanish, it’s Dutch, and you’ll find this distinction everywhere you look. Willemstad, the capital, is a lively port and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s full of colourful European architecture, an intriguing patois, and Dutch/Caribbean food creations you’ve never seen before, like keshi yená (stuffed Gouda cheese), and funchi (delicious fried corn bread), all available at Marshe Bieuw, the old market downtown.

10) Klein Curaçao

Klein, Curaçao

Curaçao has some great beaches, like Boka St. Michiel in a small fishing village, or Blue Bay not far from Willemstad. But by far the best is Klein Curaçao. It’s a tiny island two hours by boat from Curaçao. A day trip here is all about soft sand, snorkelling, scuba diving and beach barbecues.

 

23 Apr

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Why Curaçao?

April 23, 2015 | By |

This island’s rugged volcanic surface, lush green-scenery and colourful Dutch-inspired architecture speak to the curious explorer in all of us – the adventure seeker, the beach lover, diving enthusiast, history buff and modern city traveller.

Willemstad

This lively port – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the most fascinating city in the Caribbean. Lined with brightly painted 18th-century buildings, you’ll find cafés, island boutiques and other local stores; it's a little haven of European architecture. Cross the unique, floating Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge to Otrobanda (the other side) or watch as ships sail through the harbour.

Cultures

Curaçao is a global melting pot of cultures, with over 50 different nationalities, all colourfully expressed through the people, museums, forts, galleries and historical sites. Although Dutch is the official language, English and Spanish are widely spoken. Many residents speak Papiamentu – a curious creole of African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and Arawak Indian.

Flavours

Like its culture, the flavours of Curaçao are an international fusion. Sample authentic, local food at Curaçao’s famous old market, Marshe Bieuw, in downtown Willemstad. Staples of the local menu include Kabritu (stewed goat), Keshi yená (stuffed Gouda cheese), Dradu (mahi-mahi), and Funchi (just think – delicious fried corn bread). Enjoy!

Beaches

With more than 35 named beaches, Curaçao offers a great choice for sun, sand and surf. Some are intimate pocket beaches in finger coves surrounded by massive cliffs. Others are expansive stretches of secluded sand while others bustle with activities. You can swim, snorkel and dive, plunge off sea cliffs, build sand castles, and enjoy a fresh-catch lunch or romantic sunset dinner.

Ostriches

The Curaçao Ostrich Farm is not only one of the biggest farms in the Caribbean, it’s one of the biggest outside of Africa. Tour the farm and meet some of the 600 birds. Hold an ostrich egg, stroke a little baby chick and much more. In the farm’s Zambezi restaurant, enjoy African style food, including ostrich meat, and South African wines and liqueurs.

Diving

The island offers over 65 dive sites and was chosen as one of the top three locations for “Best Snorkelling”, “Best Shore Diving” and “Best Macro Marine Life” by the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine. Visibility is amazing and the diversity of marine life is staggering. The Mushroom Forest made the Top 100 list as one of the best dive sites in the world!

 

23 Apr

By

Miss Universe Curaçao

April 23, 2015 | By |

June 7th, 2014 was Laurien Angelista’s 27th birthday and on this day one of her biggest dreams came true: she was crowned Miss Universe Curaçao 2014. This bright island star takes us to her private Curaçao, that special place she calls home.

What’s one of your fondest childhood memories of life on the island?

One of my fondest childhood memories is the sea. We used to live so close to a beach that I would wake up and hear the peaceful sound of the waves.

If I asked you to take a guest out for the evening, where would you go?

I would definitely go to the Rif Fort, a 19th-century landmark. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a cozy meeting point in the centre of Willemstad, great for dining and nightlife.

Where do you and your friends like to spend your days off?

We like to go to the beach; Knip Beach and Mambo Beach are good. Sometimes we’ll walk or jog near Fort Nassau. If we want to escape the city, we head to Banda Abou on the western side of Curaçao. Lunch at Dokterstuin restaurant is always great.

What’s your favourite meal?

Papaya stoba. That’s Papiamentu for stewed papaya. It’s ripe and unripe papaya with goat, pigtail and spare ribs. I love it because of the sweet and salty in one dish.

Who is your favourite chef?

My father. Although he's not a professional chef when it comes to a local meal, he rocks it.

Do you have a favourite island fashion designer?

Marjorie Kort. She’s a talented lady. She creates beautiful, unique and easy-to-wear outfits. She has a nice boutique in town named Bamali.

What festivals should we all be excited about?

You should definitely experience our Carnival, which is a big national celebration. The Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival and the Curaçao International BlueSeas Festival are amazing events with international musicians.

 

23 Apr

By

Bon Bini Curaçao

April 23, 2015 | By |

Bon Bini is Papiamentu – the local creole – for welcome, and it is very sincere. Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, and unrivaled European architecture, Curaçao thrives on a live-and-let-live attitude that welcomes everyone.

This charming island in the South Caribbean was recently added to Air Canada Vacations’ lineup. The weather is always perfect, and you’ll find the best for every kind of traveller, whether you travel for cuisine, history, relaxation or adventure.

Fly non-stop to this inspiring destination from Toronto year round and take your pick of 14 resorts.

 

02 Apr

By

Top 10 Resorts to Check Out This Summer

April 2, 2015 | By |

Trying to find the newest, hottest resorts to stay at this summer? Search no more, as we have shortlisted the top 10 resorts to check out this summer in Mexico and the Caribbean. These include some brand new and recently renovated properties, as well as properties that have been newly added to the Air Canada Vacations lineup. From villa accommodations to boutique hotels, these are 10 resorts you definitely want to check out.  

1) Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria (Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba)

Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria

Snack La Caleta

The beach at Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria is an absolute pièce de résistance, with its pure white sand and turquoise water. If you want to maximize your intake of ocean views, make sure to dine at the Mediterranean Aire de Mar Restaurant, or stop by Snack La Caleta, a poolside snack bar that also overlooks the Caribbean Sea. A variety of activities are on offer at this resort, including non-motorized water sports, 2 tennis courts, a kids club and a yacht club.

2) Beach House Turks and Caicos (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Beach House Turks and Caicos

The 21-suite Beach House Turks and Caicos is a boutique hotel with an intimate setting. As a guest, you are entitled to dedicated lounge spaces on stunning Grace Bay Beach. Ranging from 1,150 to 1,580 square feet, guest suites feature a kitchenette, as well as a balcony or terrace with a day bed. The on-site Beach House Restaurant is a popular dining spot in Providenciales and showcases a creative Caribbean and contemporary menu. For additional dining options, you can take a shuttle to the hotel’s 2 sister properties, Alexandra Resort and Blue Haven Resort.

3) Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta (Riviera Nayarit/Nuevo Vallarta)

Bel Air Collection Nuevo Vallarta

Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta has your wellbeing in mind. Its Asian-style spa is perfect for some R&R: in addition to various spa treatments, it offers daily yoga and meditation, as well as a special low-calorie diet program for the health-conscious. Its infinity pool overlooking the beach does nothing but inspire relaxation, and a variety of special services like tea time and a nightly turn-down service with petits fours adds to the serene experience offered by this resort.

4) ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas (Willemstad, Curaçao)

ACOYA Lakefront Villa

Lakefront villa

Lush lodging is the name of the game at ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas. Deluxe rooms feature a private patio surrounded by a tropical garden. Suites range from 2 to 4 bedrooms and are appointed with a large private balcony, fully equipped kitchen, living room and dining area. Featuring a garden, pool or lake view, villas come fully furnished and offer the ultimate private sanctuary. On-site amenities include a swimming pool, a spa and fine dining at Restaurant Seasons.

5) Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Spa

The new, adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is the epitome of luxury. Stylishly decorated, each guest room features handcrafted furniture, a furnished terrace, designer toiletries and plush bathrobes. Dining is a regal affair as well with access to 3 exclusive restaurants, as well as 6 restaurants that are shared with its sister property, Hyatt Ziva. When you want to go for a swim, you can choose from a total of 14 pools, including 9 swim-up pools and 5 whirlpools, and when you’re in the mood for relaxation, indulge in a service at the oceanfront spa.

6) Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Lobby

It’s amazing that Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta can provide an oasis so close to bustling downtown Puerto Vallarta. The hotel lobby itself is like a mini sanctuary, housed in an enormous palapa and adorned with a calming, rushing waterfall. The resort is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and it offers a beautiful private beach on the Bahía de Banderas, the second largest bay in the Pacific Ocean.

7) Be Live Collection Canoa (La Romana, Dominican Republic)

Be Live Collection Canoa La Romana

Be Live Collection Canoa offers a convenient location in La Romana, right on Bayahibe Beach. It also facilitates day trips to neighbouring Del Este National Park, where you can explore over 400 caverns (some of which contain ancient pictographs), a variety of flora and fauna and Saona Island. The resort’s amenities cater to all ages: a lagoon-shaped pool, multiple dining options, a spa, fitness centre and kids club make it perfect for either a couple’s getaway or family vacation.

8) Point Grace (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Point Grace Beach

Featuring a remote location on the point of 19-km Grace Bay Beach, the 28-suite Point Grace offers a quiet, peaceful setting. Appointed with British Colonial architecture, this boutique hotel offers guest suites that are over 1,000 square feet in size, and that include a kitchen, terrace and upscale bathroom. It is also home to 2 Caribbean restaurants, as well as the oceanfront Thalasso Spa which incorporates the properties of sea mud and sea water into its treatments.

9) Meliá Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco, Cuba)

Melia Jardines del Rey

Opened in January 2015, the Meliá Jardines del Rey is a beautifully styled hotel that blends contemporary décor with a design that emulates a sugar cane plantation. It is home to 9 restaurants, 6 bars and a sweet corner called Macao, which offers a variety of ice cream and snacks. There is a boulevard that extends from the lobby to the beach, and guest rooms are located in 3-storey bungalows.

10) Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

akumal-bay-beach

Though Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort is now sporting a brand new look after a recent renovation, it has preserved what is at its core: a laidback, beachy vibe and unspoilt natural surroundings. Rooms are now ultra-sleek junior suites with outdoor hot tubs, but have retained their main focal point: an amazing view of Akumal Bay. The resort also offers pop-up beach bars and access to a world-class snorkelling site that is home to sea turtles and a beautiful coral reef.

 

Looking for more resorts like these? If you did not get a chance this past season, you may still wish to look at our Top 10 Resorts To Check Out: Winter Edition, or consult our full listing of properties in the Caribbean & Mexico.

 

20 Jan

By

6 Caribbean Carnivals to Kick Off 2015

January 20, 2015 | By |

How do you transform a cold bleak winter into a bustling landscape of tropical delight? We recommend sashaying towards the pulsing Calypso beats and flamboyant dancers that await in these 6 Caribbean destinations. Primed for their best ever Carnival seasons, prepare to be rejuvenated by the grand street parties and passions of the everyday people. But hurry – the celebrations are heating up, so start practicing those savvy dance moves and check out these 6 Caribbean Carnivals before it’s too late.

Curaçao

Boasting one of the longest carnival seasons in the Caribbean, Curaçao knows how to keep the party going. The Dutch island officially jumpstarted its celebrations at the beginning of January and the good times will continue in the coming weeks. First up, local artists will compete during the five-day Tumba Festival (Jan. 26-30), an epic music battle where the winning Tumba (song) is crowned the 2015 Carnival anthem. February ushers in more fun and talent with a jam-packed parade schedule featuring extravagant costumes inspired by folklore, impressive floats and even specially trained horses. Be sure to catch the main daytime parade, “Gran Marcha,” on Feb. 15, and the night-time finale, “Marcha di Despedida,” on Feb. 17, the day before Lent. Locals ceremoniously mark the farewell by setting fire to a straw-filled King Momo, a traditional evil symbol that needs to be cleansed before the fasting period begins. Coupled with fireworks, this is one feast for the eyes that is not to be missed.

Dominican Republic

If you want the ultimate Carnival experience in the Dominican Republic, simply head to La Vega any Sunday this February. Centrally located between Puerto Plata in the north and Santo Domingo in the south, La Vega is a two-hour drive from either coast and home to the country’s most popular Carnival. See if you can spot the city’s famous characters, the “Diablos Cojuelos,” who flood the streets in bright costumes and elaborate devil masks. They may just catch you off guard with a playful whip of their "vejiga" (looks like a balloon) as you nibble on a frío frío (a snow cone).

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe’s Carnival season started two weeks ago, but it’s full steam ahead until the last street party runs dry on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 18). While festivities can be found in every town, make your way to Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre for the biggest parades and celebrations. On the last day, expect the streets to be filled with black and white Carnival devils and be prepared for the crowd’s cries when King Carnival “Vaval” is cremated at night. Once he is laid to rest, let the late night dining and dancing begin!

Martinique

Up for a challenge? Test your endurance in Martinique this February when revelry takes over Fort de France. The island’s Carnival is five intense days (Feb. 14-18) of lively street parades, zouk music and indulging joviality. From cross-dressing brides to elected Carnival Queens, there is something new to discover every day.

Panama City

Photo by mashmuzik via Instagram

Photo by mashmuzik via Instagram

If you’re looking for a party that rivals the likes of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then look no further than Panama City. Taking place from Feb. 14 and culminating in an extraordinary parade on Feb.17, Panama City’s Carnival celebration is one of the largest in the world. Catch all the action at the “Cinta Costera,” the waterfront boulevard next to the city’s busy Avenida Balboa, and you won’t miss a beat…or stay dry for very long. Sure, in true Latin American style, there are live salsa and reggae bands, but there is also at least one tradition unique to this Carnival: the “mojaderas.” By bucket, water balloon or fire hose, be prepared to get soaked in a Caribbean dance party.

St. Martin/St Maarten

One island, two different Carnival affairs. The northern French part, St. Martin, is the first to host the festivities (Jan. 30-Feb. 18) and you can count on glittery costumes, loud drums and dancing processions to take over the streets in Marigot. Sint Maarten, the Dutch southern side, then welcomes partygoers mid-April (April 16-May 4) for its own brand of merrymaking, complete with international concerts and a Carnival Village that offers a wide selection of tasty local treats (Johnny cakes, anyone?). Don’t miss the Grand Carnival Parade on April 30, also known as King’s Day in the Netherlands.

 

Ready to sway your hips and move your feet? Don’t miss a beat! Learn more about these Caribbean destinations now.

 

22 Dec

By

Top 15 Destinations to Visit in 2015

December 22, 2014 | By |

Wondering what the world has in store for you in 2015? With a new year, comes new resolutions. And with new resolutions, comes the need for new experiences. This upcoming year, make your new experiences about seeing new places, eating new food, meeting new people. Not sure where to start? From luxury destinations to foodie favourites, these top 15 destinations should give you a very good glimpse at what 2015 holds for you.

1) Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

The hustle and bustle of Nassau never gets old. As both a popular cruise ship port and the commercial hub of the Bahamas, this city has an undeniable pulse. Bay Street is particularly bustling, with its myriad duty-free shops, restaurants and the famous Nassau Straw Market. In 2015, the buzz will be around the opening of Baha Mar, the biggest project to be undertaken in the Bahamas since Atlantis. In addition to 2,200 luxury rooms, this new mega resort will house a Vegas-style casino and approximately 40 restaurants.

2) Saint Lucia

Who knew there was such a thing as a drive-in volcanic crater? Whether you knew of its existence or not, you should know that Saint Lucia has one. It’s called La Soufrière Volanco (or Sulfur Springs) and you can drive up to its crater to witness it emit steam and sulphur. If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, you can even have a warm sulphuric mud bath (though you should be warned that as much as it softens the skin, its rotten egg smell may not be well received by your nose). If first-time experiences are what you’re after in 2015, then this may be something to add to your wish list.

3) Osaka, Japan

In 2015, you may want to familiarize yourself with the expression kuidore (Japanese for “to eat yourself bankrupt”). Osaka’s food scene is booming and if you have appetite to spare, then you may want to sample Osakan fare. Takoyaki (octopus balls), Kushikatsu (a deep-fried meat or vegetable skewer) and Okonomiyaki (pork- or seafood-filled pancakes) are among street food favourites. And don’t forget to check out the multiple Michelin-star restaurants scattered around the city.

4) Turks & Caicos

Marina at Blue Haven Turks and Caicos

Marina at Blue Haven Turks and Caicos

Turks & Caicos is all about luxury – world-class hotels, spas, golf courses. In the last couple of years, it has undergone even more development in the luxury department. In 2015, make sure to check out some of Providenciales’ newest boutique hotels, including the all-suite Beach House Turks & Caicos and the Blue Haven Turks & Caicos, which has its very own marina!

5) Panama

Panama City Skyline

Panama is a country of stark contrasts: it is highly industrialized on the one hand, yet an eco-friendly haven on the other. If you’re looking for a city pulse similar to Miami, Panama City has got it: its abundant high-rises, dining and nightlife are why it has been dubbed the “Miami of the South.” If nature is more your thing, you can hike through the national parks of Coiba and Darien, awe at the cloud forests of Chiriqui or check out the Panama Canal.

6) Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Pura Vida (literally translated as “Pure Life” in English) is probably the most commonly used expression in Costa Rica. While its uses are varied, the meaning is universal: life is beautiful and you should know it. And if there is any place in the world where you can see Mother Nature’s beauty on full display, it has got to be Costa Rica. This is a country with some of the richest flora and fauna in the world, impeccably fresh produce and amazing vistas. If you have not yet had the chance to visit this mecca of natural beauty, make sure to add it to your 2015 bucket list.

7) Hawaii

Kauai Hawaii

If island hopping is on your travel wish list for the new year, then Hawaii should definitely be on your radar. The Hawaiian Islands have got it all: Visit Kaui for some history, Oahu for action-packed Honolulu, Maui for its culinary delights or the Big Island for its volcanic sights. See more Hawaii Highlights.

8) Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Milan is currently in full swing, preparing to host one of the world’s main events of the new year: Expo 2015. The theme of the exposition is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and will take place from May 1 to October 31, 2015. It will feature more than 60 custom-built pavilions and the city is currently planning special exhibitions and the opening of new museums for the event.

9) Curaçao

Curacao diving

In 2015, Curaçao will celebrate 5 years of its semi-independence as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its Dutch influences are nevertheless visible on the island – in the colonial architecture of Willemstad, the local specialties at MarsheBieuw (also called Old Market) and in the local patois called Papiamento. Besides it cultural diversity, Curaçao has over 40 world-class dive spots – see our top 5 here!

10) Grenada

Spice Mas Festival Grenada

Also known as “Spice Island,” Grenada is one of the world’s largest producers of nutmeg and mace. Spice is not Grenada’s only gem though; this island is abundant in other natural riches like its beaches, the Annandale Falls, the beaches at Morne Rouge Bay and Grand Anse, and the flora and fauna of Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve. In 2015, get a taste of the island by attending the Spice Mas Festival, Grenada’s colourful carnival that features music, parading and masquerading.

11) Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Move over Riviera Maya, it’s time for Riviera Nayarit to shine. This 320-kilometre stretch of Pacific coastline is definitely a quieter alternative to its Caribbean-sided counterpart. You can golf in one of two Jack Nicklaus golf courses in Punta Mita, surf in Sayulita or relax in the peaceful town of San Blas. Riviera Nayarit will be seeing a significant amount of touristic development in the coming years, so go visit before the crowds swarm in!

12) St. Kitts

St Kitts Sea Turtle

St. Kitts may be small, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked when planning your 2015 travels. This little island has plenty of history, which is visible in the capital city of Basseterre. It also has plenty of natural habitat to explore, from its rainforests to its coral reef systems like Sandy Point and Turtle Bar. See our Top 5 Things to See in St. Kitts for more ideas.

13) Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs has had a mini tourism boom in the last few years and its number of lodgings is estimated to be in the triple digits by mid-2015. In addition to its desert scenery, 10,000-foot mountains and evening spas, the city is now also home to the Architecture and Design Center, launched in late 2014 to preserve the city’s desert modernism movement.

14) Barbados

Foodies, there is one thing you should know for 2015: The food scene is absolutely blossoming in Barbados. Having just celebrated its 5th edition this past November, the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival has become a culinary success. In addition to wine and rum tastings, it features cooking demonstrations by international celebrity chefs such as Mark McEwan, Marcus Samuelsson and Anne Burrell. Stay tuned for the 2015 program.

15) Chile

Patagonia, Chile

It’s never too late to visit the end of the earth. After making a stop in the capital city of Santiago (which, by the way, has opened a number of new museums and art galleries in the last few years), most travellers will either head to the Atacama Desert or to trek through the bare, rigged landscapes of Patagonia (a.k.a “the end of the earth”). Another must for a 2015 trip to Chile is its brand new wine and food festival, which will take place in late September.

27 Nov

By

5 Diving Spots to Explore in Curaçao

November 27, 2014 | By |

Curaçao’s beautiful beaches are for more than just lounging around: they offer tons of amazing diving opportunities. In light of its world-renowned marine life, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 diving and snorkelling spots in Curaçao. Here they are!

1) Superior Producer

In 1977, the Superior Producer set sail for South America, making a stop in Curaçao along the way to refuel. Unfortunately, the ship never made it to its final destination. Today, this shipwreck lies at the bottom of the ocean and makes for a fascinating diving experience. It is covered in various species of corals, including the orange tube coral. When the polyps extend to catch food in the night, the wreck turns orange. Different areas of the wreckage are suitable for different diving experience levels: the open wreck is ideal for beginners, while advanced divers can explore the engine room and crew cabins.

2) Porto Mari – The Valley

stingray

In addition to its beach, Porto Mari offers great diving and snorkelling opportunities. Home to a double reef named “the Valley” that is accessible from the shore, this diving spot is ideal for beginners. There is a variety of marine life to observe here, including sting rays, eagle rays and groupers. After your underwater exploration, you can cool down with a drink at Porto Mari’s boat-shaped beach bar.

3) Curaçao Sea Aquarium

The Curaçao Sea Aquarium is not just a place to observe marine life from a distance – here, you can get into snorkelling gear and swim with stingrays, groupers and tropical fish in the aquarium’s natural lagoons. Sharks and sea turtles also reside at this aquarium, though these are creatures you will have to observe from behind a glass partition.

4) Mushroom Forest & The Blue Room (aka “The Cave”)

Blue Room

Mushroom Forest is exactly what its name sounds like – a series of coral formations that look like mushrooms. Right next to Mushroom Forest is the Blue Room, a cave that is accessible via a narrow opening that allows sunlight to pass through, giving it a vivid blue colour that makes it appear as though it is lit up.

5) Playa Kalki (aka “Alice in Wonderland”)

Dubbed “Alice in Wonderland,” Playa Kalki’s reef features an underwater wonderland of colourful fish. Lobsters, eels, dolphins and whale sharks can also be spotted. The beach (Kalki) gets its name from its limestone cliffs, called “Kalki” in Papiamentu (one of Curaçao’s three official languages – Dutch and English are the other two).

Want to explore more than Curaçao’s underwater world? Check out our Curaçao travel section.