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The Dos and Don’ts of Exploring the Islands

Dos and Don’ts of Exploring the Islands

Our Caribbean islands have so many beautiful and interesting locations to explore; you may want to spend a day or two of your Divi vacation on an island excursion! We want your day of exploration to be fun and safe, so we came up with some “dos and don’ts” of venturing out on an adventure!

Don’t…

… rely on your cell phone or GPS to navigate you.

Technology is great, but when you’re exploring an unfamiliar place, the last thing you want is to get lost because of tech issues. There are many areas on the islands that get poor or no cell reception, and even if you are able to pick up a signal, your battery could die! As a backup, always bring a map along on your excursion to ensure that you don’t get lost.

… forget the essentials.

For a full day of island exploration, you’ll want to remember to bring money (preferably the local currency), sunscreen, a map (see above) and a bottle of water along. Don’t forget to pack your camera as well; you’ll want to take a lot of pictures to document your adventure!

… be bogged down by heavy luggage.

Nothing ruins a day of exploring like an achy back or shoulders from lugging around heavy equipment. Pack what you need for the day, but try to leave unnecessary things behind so that your bag is light enough to carry all day. If one of the stops on your excursion involves shopping, save that part for the end of the day so that you don’t have to carry extra bags around for long.

Do…

… your research.

Before you leave for your vacation, do some research on the island you’re visiting to find some attractions to see and areas to explore while you’re there. There are endless options of websites with ideas and tips for travelers, so check out a few and make some notes of places you want to visit during your trip. Each island’s tourism authority has its own website, and these sites offer great suggestions for top attractions and landmarks. Trip Advisor also has a lot of great tips and reviews on popular sites and activities, so you can get ideas from travelers like you!

… ask the locals.

Once you’re on the island, ask around for suggestions of “must-sees” during your vacation. Our Divi Resorts staff members are always happy to provide info about the island they call home, so ask them for some ideas about what to see and do. As locals who are immersed in the island and it’s culture, they may have some insight that you can’t find anywhere else.

… try something new.

Whether the island you’re visiting is like your second home or it’s your first time there, you can always find something new to see and do! Don’t limit your vacation time to doing the same old thing; venture out and explore while you’re there. From checking out a new vista to sampling the fare at a restaurant you haven’t tried yet, experiencing something new and exciting on your vacation will ensure that it’s memorable for years to come.

Packing the Perfect Beach Bag

Laying out on the Beach

Is a day at the beach part of your summer plans? Whether you’re visiting us in the Caribbean or spending a weekend at a beach resort nearby, you’ll want to remember to bring all of the essentials for a great day of fun in the sun. Here are some of our favorite items to fill up your beach bag:

Sunscreen – Undoubtedly, the most important thing you can pack in your beach bag is sunscreen! It will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and ensure that you leave your beach day with a healthy glow instead of a burn! Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day to keep your skin protected.

Tip: Try a spray-on sunscreen that lets you apply even coverage easily without missing a spot.

Read more about sun protection!

Accessories – When packing for your beach day, you definitely don’t want to leave your sunglasses, hat, flip flops and cover-up behind at the resort. These summer accessories will make you look stylish while also keeping you comfortable during your day in the sun. You also won’t want to forget a plush, comfy towel to lie on.

Tip: Polarized sunglasses are great for people with sensitive eyes. They’ll give you crisp, clear views of the beautiful scenery while keeping you squint-free!

Hair products – If you’ve got long locks, you’ll want to bring along some beauty accessories to keep your hair out of your face and untangled for the day. Pack some hair ties, bobby pins or clips, in addition to a headband or scarf to keep shorter hair pulled back. You can also bring a small bottle of detangling hair spray and a wide-tooth comb to brush out any knots from the wind or water to keep your hair looking great.

Tip: Want to keep the beachy waves after you’ve left the shore? Try spritzing a saltwater spray into your hair and scrunching it to imitate the look your hair gets from the ocean air.

Entertainment – While your main reason for a beach day might be to get some much needed R&R, you may also want to pack some things to keep you entertained throughout the day. Pack some portable speakers to play music from your phone or MP3 player, a book or magazine to read, or even a game like bocce ball or horseshoe. If you have little ones, don’t forget the necessary tools for sandcastle building!

Tip: If you’re planning to bring electronics to the beach, like your phone, MP3 player or eReader, make sure to put them into a protective case first to keep sand & water from ruining them!

What are your must-have items for a beach day? Share them in the comments below!

Exploring Barbados

 St Nicholas Abbey

Will you be joining us on the lovely island of Barbados this summer? Here’s an inside look at some of the great things you can do during your vacation!

What to see:

There are so many sights to see on Barbados, it’s hard to narrow our list down to just a few! This island is immersed in British history and culture, so it provides a great destination for visitors who want to explore historic sites. Some of the most beautiful historic landmarks are the churches, which can be found all over the island. These churches have been around for centuries and boast spectacular architecture; they are definitely a must-see for those seeking a taste of island history.

Barbados is also home to beautiful sugar plantations, many of which have been restored and preserved for generations and now offer tours to the public. One of our favorite plantations is the St. Nicholas Abbey, which has remained seemingly untouched for nearly 350 years. The current owners have kept many of the rooms in the same condition as they were centuries ago, and the daily tours offer a glimpse back in time to the history of this plantation home. After the tour, make sure to stop by the tasting room, where you can sample delicious rum from the on-site distillery that is still in operation today. The tasting is often hosted by a member of the current owners’ family, who provides you with an even more in-depth look into the history of the house and its rum distillery! Visit St. Nicholas Abbey for more information.

No Caribbean vacation would be complete without a visit to the local beaches, and Barbados has an abundance of gorgeous beaches to see. The beaches vary greatly depending on which side of the island you are on; on the southern coast, the shore is calm and there are miles of white sand, while on the eastern coast, there are larger waves that attract surfers from all over the world. We also suggest visiting the beaches of the northern coast, where giant coral and sandstone cliffs rise directly out of the ocean, creating the most striking scenery.

What to eat:

You can’t visit Barbados without sampling its seafood specialty – flying fish. This light, flaky fish is often served fried on a sandwich or in tacos, but it can also be served grilled and seasoned to perfection. Luckily, when you stay at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, you can get some of the best flying fish on the island at our on-site restaurant, pureocean. We highly recommend ordering the Bajan Flying Fish Sandwich for lunch; it’s delicious! At dinner, you can get your fix for flying fish by trying out the Flying Fish Pop appetizer, an herb crusted fish and plantain lollipop served with a tangy tomato and orange sauce. This local delicacy is not to be missed, and Chef Butcher and his culinary team have perfected it! View the full pureocean menu.

What to drink:

Barbados is home to Mount Gay Rum, the world’s oldest rum that is known as “the rum that invented rum” by locals. Mount Gay Rum is a tradition on this island, and that’s why you’ll find rum punch on the drink menu almost anywhere you go. Once you taste it, you’ll understand why it’s a favorite! This light, fruity punch perfectly accompanies the laid-back Barbados lifestyle, and it’s sure to get you in the vacation state-of-mind. Want to learn more about Mount Gay Rum and get some fun drink recipes? Read all about it on Mount Gay Rum!

For more great ideas on what to do during your Barbados vacation, check out Visit Barbados.

Time For A Dive! 17 Dive Tips to Reduce Air Consumption

17 Tips To Reduce Air ConsumptionIt’s been a long and chilly winter in many places, but not on our Caribbean islands! On Bonaire, for example, it’s a balmy 85 degrees today – the perfect weather for a day in the water!

In our opinion, one of the best ways to shake off the cold weather blues is to join us on an underwater adventure. That’s why we want to invite you out to sea with Divi Dive Bonaire, our own PADI 5-star dive center at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino.

Our Divi Dive team welcomes divers of all experience levels and offers various scuba diving courses and certifications to get you ready to explore the ocean depths. Of course, our team focuses on one of the most important rules for diving: to be well informed about safe diving practices before you head into the water. That’s why our team would like to share some dive tips from the Divers Alert Network with you, so that you can be better prepared for your underwater exploration!

Today’s tips from the Divers Alert Network: 17 Ways to Reduce Air Consumption

  1. Streamline your equipment. Stash accessories in pockets or leave them behind. Reduce the lengths of your hoses where you can and route them close to your body. Clip in your console and your octopus. Choose a BC sized properly for your body and for the buoyancy you need; too much causes excess drag.
  2. Drop weight. The less weight you carry, the less air you have to put into your BC to maintain buoyancy, so the less bulk you have to drag through the water. You use more air dragging more bulk around. Most divers can drop two pounds or so.
  3. Get neutral. And get trimmed properly, so that when you’re neutral, you’re horizontal. That minimizes the size of the “hole” you have to make in the water when you swim.
  4. Move slowly. Water resistance increases exponentially with speed. Swimming twice as fast requires four times as much energy. All your movements should be in slow motion.
  5. Kick within your slipstream. Keep your fins within that “hole” in the water made by your body. Wider kicks increase drag.
  6. Use efficient fins. Some deliver more thrust for a given effort than others, especially split fins. See ScubaLab tests in our Gear section for details.
  7. Don’t skim the bottom. Both the bottom and the surface cause turbulence that robs energy if you swim within a few feet of them.
  8. Make long surface swims on your back. And breathe surface air: It’s free.
  9. Pause after inhaling. Under water, your breathing pattern should be inhale, pause, exhale, inhale, pause, exhale. The pause (held with your chest muscles, not by closing your throat) allows more gas transfer to take place in your lungs and less oxygen to be wasted.
  10. Breathe slowly. Friction between the incoming air and your mouth, throat, lungs, etc. increases exponentially with speed. More friction means more energy expended for less air actually arriving in your lungs. Move the air slowly.
  11. Breathe deeply. The more complete each breath is, the fewer of them you have to take. Breathe “from the diaphragm,” trying to completely fill and completely empty your lungs.
  12. Use a high-performance regulator. Better regulators minimize the work of breathing. They minimize the amount of air you burn just getting air.
  13. Maintain your regulator. They lose performance and increase work of breathing with use and age, and need regular maintenance.
  14. Readjust your regulator. On many regulators, the purpose of the adjustment knob is not merely to prevent free-flowing on the surface. It’s also to minimize work of breathing at depth. Periodically during your dive, open the valve until the regulator just begins to bubble, then back up on the adjustment a bit.
  15. Stop all leaks. Lots of little bubbles add up. Usual suspects: tank O-ring, BC inflators, console swivels.
  16. Stay above. At five feet less depth than your buddy, you’ll see almost everything he does, but you’ll use substantially less air. (Though the difference is greatest at shallower depths.)
  17. Manage currents wisely. Learn how to detect, avoid and cope efficiently with adverse currents.

Want more tips from the Divers Alert Network? Visit www.diversalertnetwork.org for more information and articles about diving safety. Then come see us at Divi Dive Bonaire for your training and certification; we’ll have you ready to discover the underwater world in no time!

Divi Little Bay Voted Best Resort on St. Maarten

Little Boy at Divi Little Bay on St. Maarten

Have you heard the news? We were voted as the BEST on St. Maarten!

Divi Resorts is feeling the love on St. Maarten! Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on St. Maarten was recently voted as Best Resort and Indulgence by the Sea was voted as Best Spa in The Daily Herald’s “Best Of 2014” issue.

This year’s “Best Of” issue was the 14th edition of the publication, and results were collected through an online survey asking people to vote for their favorites on the island of St. Maarten. We are proud that our resort and spa were selected for the #1 spot in their categories!

So what makes our resort and spa the best on St. Maarten? Here are our top 3 reasons to visit each!

Top 3 reasons to visit Divi Little Bay Beach Resort:

  1. Location, location, location!
    Our resort is set along its own private peninsula on St. Maarten, offering stunning views of the sparkling water and a beautiful beach that is perfect for lounging. If you want to go out and explore, you’re close to the island’s capital and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment.
  2. Never a dull moment
    When you plan a vacation at Divi Little Bay, you can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout your trip! From water sports to shopping, from diving to poolside lounging, there is always something fun to do at the resort!
  3. Smiling faces around every corner
    Whether you’re grabbing a bite to eat at one of our resort’s restaurants or visiting the activities desk to find out what’s going on during your stay, you’ll be greeted by the warmest hospitality on St. Maarten. Our staff members are truly passionate about delivering the best vacation experiences, and they’re always happy to welcome you to Divi Little Bay!

Little Bay Spa View of St. Maarten
Top 3 reasons to visit Indulgence by the Sea Spa:

  1. A new experience every time
    Indulgence by the Sea offers so many spa treatments and services; you can visit again and again for something new each time! Whether you are looking for a quick mani/pedi or want a luxurious massage, you’ll find the perfect option at our spa.
  2. The ultimate relaxation
    What could be more relaxing than the sound of the ocean waves crashing nearby while you’re getting pampered? Book a Sea Escape Massage and you’ll get to unwind in your own private cabana on the beach while a massage expert helps soothe your aching muscles.
  3. Packages to pamper you all over
    Want to enjoy the full spa experience? Indulgence by the Sea offers various packages that let you spend hours relaxing, so you’ll leave feeling fresh and rejuvenated from head to toe.

What are you waiting for?? Plan a getaway to St. Maarten today to see for yourself why Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and Indulgence by the Sea Spa were voted as the best of the best!

Want to see the full publication of The Daily Herald’s “Best of 2014”? Read all about it here!

New Year, New You! Kick-start your 2015 fitness goals the Divi way!

Aruba Rock Climbing

 

Vacation time certainly has its benefits – new adventures, exciting experiences and an opportunity to unwind are always on the list of top reasons to plan your next getaway. But sometimes, it can be hard to keep up with your wellness goals while you’re away from home. Vacation time is typically focused more on rest and relaxation than health and fitness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active in fun and creative ways during your trip.

Let’s explore some of our favorite ways to find time for fitness while you’re on your Divi Resorts vacation:

Take a walk

The islands that are home to our Divi Resorts offer a lot to explore, so plan to spend some time sightseeing on foot during your trip. Many of our resorts offer guided group walks of the beaches and nature trails, and there are also plenty of walkable areas around town. There is so much to see and experience on each island, so pack your walking shoes and get ready to discover new places!

Make a splash

A fun way to get active on your Caribbean vacation is to take advantage of the islands’ most popular amenity – the ocean that is just steps away from our resorts! Our Divi Resorts destinations offer a variety of ocean activities, from snorkeling, to paddle boarding, to jet skiing. Several of our resorts offer water sports centers so that you can easily rent your equipment and head out to the ocean, and our resorts on Bonaire and St. Croix also offer PADI 5-Star Dive centers for exciting scuba adventures.

Explore the activities

There is never a shortage of activities available at Divi Resorts, and many of the daily activities are focused around fitness. From Caribbean dance classes to water aerobics, there are always plenty of ways to keep moving. You can also get adventurous with your fitness routine, trying out something new like the rock climbing wall on Aruba or a guided trail hike on Barbados.

Running in Aruba

 

Play around

It’s easy to keep up with your health and wellness goals when you find ways to make fitness fun! A great way to bring more fun to your daily physical activity is to invite friends or family to participate with you, and at Divi Resorts, there are a ton of games to get everyone moving. Challenge someone to a game of tennis, volleyball, golf, bocce ball or horseshoe; you’ll be so entertained, you may forget that you’re getting a workout.

Eat smart

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goal to eat better. Dining at Divi Resorts’ restaurants is a delicious way to keep up with healthy eating habits while you’re on your trip! Our chefs have introduced healthy versions of old favorites, like Spinach and Artichoke Dip made with Greek yogurt, so that you can satisfy your appetite without over-indulging on calories. The restaurants are also offering new farm-to-table and dock-to-dish specialties, deliciously flavorful salads and nutritious side options to complement your healthy meal.

Keeping up with your New Year’s resolution for improved health and wellness can be easy and fun when you vacation at Divi Resorts!

Here are some of our favorite fitness tips:

What are your best tips for staying fit while on vacation? Let us know by leaving us a comment!