The Caribbean is famous for its high-end designer shopping and great deals on luxury items to be found there. The Caribbean Journal rounded up the top seven islands to visit if you’re looking for next-level shopping experiences. At the top of the list is Barbados, home to Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown. Limegrove storefronts include Cartier, Breitling, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Gucci and many more high-end brands. If you’re interested in splurging during your Barbados vacation, take a taxi to Limegrove, just half an hour from Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. And if you’d rather not max out your credit cards just yet, the St. Lawrence Gap (right outside Divi Southwinds) offers a world of options for souvenirs and unique gifts.
Barbados is the perfect island to explore. It offers up a world of quintessentially Caribbean experiences to any curious traveler. It’s easy to fall in love with Barbados, but here are a few vacation activities that virtually guarantee you’ll be booking a return trip as soon as you get home.
Swim with Sea Turtles
Hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles love the warm waters surrounding Barbados, and they are a protected species. Find a catamaran sailing tour that also offers snorkeling—your guide will point out sea turtles, and if you’re lucky, you may even get to interact with these gentle reptiles. There are many tour options available.
Sample the Best Street Food and Enjoy the Culture
Divi Southwinds Beach Resort is situated right on the St. Lawrence Gap, a favorite spot for nightlife, dining and taking in the rich Bajan (Barbadian) culture. Take a stroll and you’re sure to encounter plenty of options for delicious street food (expect to find lots of traditional jerk chicken and macaroni pie!), experience the vibrant local architecture and maybe even strike up a conversation with a warm and friendly Bajan.
Explore the Rugged East Coast
The east coast of the island is wilder and much rockier than the rest of the island, making for stunning scenery. Rent a car and drive to Bathsheba Park, where you can enjoy a picnic. The views are dramatic and unforgettable.
Learn to Surf!
If you’ve never been surfing before, this is the perfect place to start. The dream-like Dover Beach has soft golden sand and calm waves, and Barry’s Surf School, located just a short walk from Divi Southwinds, has plenty of options for surfers at all levels.
Enjoy the West Coast Beaches
Every beach on Barbados is a public beach, so take your pick! The West Coast is home to most of the more accessible, tourist-friendly choices. There’s nothing better than a little Bajan R-and-R with a perfect view of the Caribbean Sea. Before you know it, you’ll fall in love with Barbados.
The Caribbean offers so much more than beaches in terms of beautiful scenery—although it’s also home to some of the best beaches in the world. Conde Nast Traveler published a list of the 25 Most Beautiful Places in the Caribbean, and we’re proud that three of our islands are featured in it.
The National Marine Park on Bonaire includes all waters surrounding the island. Its protected status is the reason Bonaire has the clearest water you’ll see anywhere, teeming with diverse marine life. Bathsheba Beach on Barbados is situated on the majestic eastern shore, a breathtaking stretch of rocky coastline and vibrant greenery. Renaissance Island on Aruba offers the perfect opportunity to view flamingos and take photos with these odd yet beautiful birds. Check out all three amazing entries on the list when you visit us in the Caribbean!
Sunwing, a Canadian low-cost airline, announced earlier this week that it will offer direct flights from Toronto to Bonaire this winter.
Starting December 17, 2017 and continuing through April 15, 2018, the weekly flight will depart Toronto on Sundays. It will be the first (and only!) direct flight to Bonaire from anywhere in Canada.
Bonaire has some of the best dive spots in the world, consistently ranking as one of the top dive destinations anywhere. It’s home to 57 different types of coral and about 350 species of fish.
Turtles love St. Croix! Every year from April through September, sea turtles lumber ashore to lay their eggs on just about every beach on the island. A few weeks after the mother leaves the nest, dozens of baby sea turtles hatch from their shells and make a break for the sea, to live the rest of their lives out in the ocean. Turtle season on St. Croix is a rare opportunity to witness the life cycle of these amazing creatures.
Leatherbacks, hawksbills and green turtles all live in the Caribbean, and St. Croix is one of their common nesting grounds. If you’re on St. Croix this summer, it’s easy to join in local efforts to protect sea turtles and watch the beaches for nesting or hatching activity.
Turtlewatch with SEA
The St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) offers its members a chance to go on a turtlewatching trip with marine biologist and educator Jen Valiulis. Once you join the organization, be sure to sign up right away—space goes fast.
Upcoming 2017 Dates
June 29 – Leatherback Hatchling Watch 5:15 p.m.
July 26 – Leatherback Hatchling Watch 5:15 p.m.
These dates are only available to SEA members. Join for as low as $35 per person and get yourself on a future turtlewatch. Use this membership application and email email@example.com, or call 340-773-1989.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers the Sandy Point Turtlewatch program to St. Croix community groups and youth groups. Groups must have at least 15 and no more than 30 participants. This program runs five nights each week (Tuesday through Saturday) from April 15 through July 31.
If You See a Turtle in Distress
If you see a turtle struggling, stuck in the brush, acting strangely, injured or on a road, it’s important to call someone who is familiar with the species and is equipped to give it proper help. On St. Croix, those people to call are the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rescue (STAR) network. This group of dedicated volunteers are “on call” to assist with reports of sea turtles in distress. You can reach them at 340-690-0474.
Protecting Sea Turtles
All sea turtles are classified as either threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. There are serious penalties for harassing, harming, capturing or collecting sea turtles or their eggs. When it’s turtle season on St. Croix (and all year round), you can do your part to protect these wondrous animals by keeping in mind a few common-sense guidelines from GoToStCroix.com:
Turtle season on St. Croix is a special time to witness the wonders of nature. Summer is a great time to bring your entire family to the island for fun and awe-inspiring environmental education!
Anytime is a great time to visit Bonaire, but the timing is particularly sweet this fall. The Bonaire Fall Festival: Dive-Dine-Discover program, now in its third year, will take over the island from August to November. You’ll be able to enjoy special excursions and unique culinary options from a wide range of providers. At the end of each month, the island will also host a food festival called the Taste of Bonaire.
Chibi Chibi Restaurant at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort will offer a discount in cooperation with the Bonaire Fall Festival (buy two entrees and receive a complimentary dessert, appetizer or two glasses of house wine). Divi Dive Bonaire is also offering fall dive package specials (just click on the link and scroll down to “Packages” for details). Hope to see you soon on Bonaire!