Category Archives: Barbados

ISLAND ADVENTURES: 10 Reasons to Visit Barbados

Home to famed singer Rihanna and Mount Gay Rum (the rum that invented rum), this surprisingly large island with a British heritage offers endless amounts of fun and adventure both on land and below the water. Our corporate Communications Specialist, Alyssa Smith recently experienced the island for herself and we followed along to find out what makes Barbados so special.

Whether you’re longing for leisurely days lounging beachside or seeking a thrilling new adventure, there’s something for everyone on Barbados. Delicious food, lush landscapes, friendly faces and striking landmarks you have to see to believe, are in abundance on this island. Fun for the whole family or romantic island bliss for two lovebirds, Barbados checks all the boxes for a perfect Caribbean paradise.

They are everywhere, and they are adorable! Originally brought to the island 350 years ago from West Africa as pets, these quick-moving mammals are a joy to watch in their natural habitat. While you can see Green Monkeys anywhere on the island, the best place to catch a closer look is at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where not only can you see hundreds of monkeys doing what they do best – monkeying around, but you can also watch as unique species of deer, tortoises, peacocks, caimans, iguanas and more roam freely throughout the 4-acre forest. Insider tip: arrive a little before 2 p.m. so you don’t miss feeding time, where all the animals gather to grub out. For details, visit

Warm sand, turquoise water and sunny skies are always on the menu on Barbados! With more than 70 miles of both pink and white sand beaches, there’s a shore for every occasion. Check out Bathsheba for the coolest rock formations, Browne’s Beach for stellar snorkeling and Dover Beach for the ultimate in relaxation, located right on Divi Southwinds’ property.

If you’re a culinary connoisseur, a gastronomy guru or just a traveler who loves to chow down, Barbados is the island for you. Stop by Divi Southwind’s on-site restaurant, pureocean to savor award-winning Executive Chef Henderson Butcher’s perfectly fried flying fish and rich macaroni pie, both local delicacies you have to try. And if you want to experience the island’s best fusion of food, entertainment and culture, stop by Oistins Bay Gardens for the famed Oistins Fish Fry every Friday night. Oistins is open every night of the week, but the seafood market really comes alive Friday nights with sizzling seafood, energetic music and a bustling crowd of locals and tourists ready to devour the most authentic Barbadian dishes. The locals swear by Pat’s Place & Uncle George’s, but be sure to arrive early to avoid long lines.

If you think surfing is not for you, think again! Barry’s Surf Shop will have you shredding waves like a pro in no time. Open to all skill levels, a beginner surfing lesson with Barry’s includes a quick beachside class to learn how to properly stand up on the board, and then you’re off. With a stand up success rate of 99%, you’re bound to discover why the sport is so addictive, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out you missed your true calling in life! To book your lesson, visit

Dive into an underwater world where turtles, fish and colorful sea creatures abound. Climb aboard Tiami’s 60-ft catamaran to spend the day snorkeling and swimming side-by-side with turtles and a variety of exotic fish, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Back on the boat, enjoy a fully stocked bar, delicious snacks and a full lunch, all served up by an attentive, upbeat crew. To book your tour, visit

Think dinner and a movie, but a million times better! Harbour Lights Barbados’ Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show is a must while on the island, happening on Mondays and Wednesdays only. Enjoy a night full of lively entertainment from bands, dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and even a fire performer. Add great music, an upbeat party environment with dancing and balloons, flowing drinks and a traditional Bajan style BBQ, and you’ve got an ideal night out on Barbados. For more details, visit

What do you get when you mix history with rum? The St. Nicholas Abbey! No, it’s not an actual abbey, but it is filled with 350 years of history and Barbados’ finest aged rum, just waiting to be sipped. Originally a sugarcane plantation, this now museum, working rum distillery and plantation home has a cafe, tropical birds, vibrant gardens, mahogany forests, tropical gullies, a steam mill, a courtyard and more, all on its 400-acre property. For more details, visit

Prepare for a journey far below the ground into mystical caverns to explore the island’s most popular attraction, Harrison’s Cave. This natural wonder features fascinating grottos, dripping stalactite formations that look like glistening chandeliers, huge echoing caverns and underground waterfalls. Marvel at the formations as you wind through the caves by tram or book the Eco-Adventure Tour where you get down and dirty to discover the caves by foot, and sometimes by hand and knee, for even more excitement. For more details, visit Another sweet spot to visit is the Animal Flower Cave, the island’s only accessible sea cave, located on the north side of Barbados. Named for its many sea anemones, this is a popular destination for locals and tourists thanks to its spectacular views, a natural swimming pool inside the cave and a restaurant overlooking the crashing waves.

No matter where you look, you’re bound to find abundant greenery, majestic towering trees and vibrant flowers, and there’s no shortage of sanctuaries dedicated to preserving the island’s flora and fauna. Bask in the natural beauty with a scenic drive up Cherry Tree Hill or a stop at the ever-popular Flower Forest, Hunte’s Garden or Andromeda Botanic Gardens. For more details, visit, and You can also book a full-day island excursion with Glory Tours to uncover even more of the island’s remarkable sights. For tour details, visit


When he’s not jumping from one of our five Caribbean islands to the next, Regional Operations Director, Jan ten Have uses his multifaceted experience and talents to work closely with our operations teams on many areas of day-to-day resort management. We caught up with this very busy man to learn more about his past experience and what it’s like to be an island-hopping Director with Divi Resorts.

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from the Netherlands, and up until 1987, I lived, studied and worked around “The Hague.” It’s a beautiful city that’s well-known because the Dutch government, the Royal family, most foreign embassies and the International Peace Court are all located there. The city has so much to explore, from forests to parks, lakes, canals, beaches and more. It’s also very modern, with wonderful shopping centers, boutiques, open-air markets, a vibrant nightlife and a tiny, but authentic Chinatown.

What’s your past experience in the travel industry?
I’ve had many years of experience at various resorts and also in the airline and cruise industry.

As a Regional Operations Director, you travel a lot, so where do you call home base?
Aruba is where I live and call home. I moved here from Holland in 1987 on a one-year contract to assist with the reopening of the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, now called the Hilton. That contract was extended for another year and then I moved on to a new position setting up an airline catering plant at the Aruba airport. After five years working in that industry, I got in contact with Divi Resorts, and here I am 23 years later.

What role did you start with at Divi Resorts and how did you progress over the years?
In 1995, I started as the Food & Beverage Manager, then moved on to property management at the Alhambra Casino & Shops. After that, I was asked to help out on various assignments at the resorts on Barbados, Bonaire and St. Maarten, and in 2001, I assisted with the opening of Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort & Casino on St. Croix. My latest role has me focusing on elevating our staff, systems and services to the next level and training employees to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations. We have a strong leadership team, so my goal is to bring those resources together to ensure we work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Seeing the smiling faces of our staff when they accomplish difficult tasks and seeing our guests enjoying their vacations to the fullest. I also appreciate that there’s always a new challenge, and all of the islands are different, so I’ve learned to adapt to better assist each resort team.

What are your favorite activities on your days off?
It used to be scuba diving, snorkeling, running and going out, but nowadays, a perfect day off starts with a morning swim in the ocean, followed by a relaxing breakfast on the beach. I leave the rest of my day open for anything exciting that comes along.

What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to travel to different countries with my lovely partner, Irma, and although we’ve been to many places around the world, there’s still so much to explore.

What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?
I took a break from Divi Resorts on my 50th birthday to work on cruise ships again. I hadn’t done that since I was 22 years old, and it was great. After four years, I decided to rejoin Divi Resorts, and I am so happy I did!

Island Adventurer

When you’re dreaming of a past vacation, the easiest way to relive it is to bring out a few mementos. Souvenirs can help you recall the good times and the great stories from your trip. The best souvenirs communicate something about the spirit and the personality of the place you visited. We gathered a few suggestions of great souvenirs you can bring home from the Caribbean. Each of these islands is home to at least one of the Divi Resorts—we hope you have an opportunity to check them all out!

Aruba Aloe ( is the oldest aloe company in the world. Founded in 1890, it’s also the only aloe company in the world that grows, harvests and manufactures its products right on-site. Its products are sold pretty much everywhere in Aruba. You can also visit the Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory Store.


Cadushy Distillery (, located in Rincon, is the only distillery on the island of Bonaire. It’s most well-known for Cadushy of Bonaire, a cactus liqueur with a cooling lime taste, the earliest entry in the distillery’s Island Liqueurs line. Sign up for a tasting and learn first-hand how the spirits are produced. Don’t forget to bring home a few bottles of your favorite flavors.


Earthworks Pottery ( is worth the short trip to the Edgehill Heights section of the St. Thomas parish. Everything at this workshop is authentically Caribbean, handcrafted by local artists. It offers a range of plates, bowls and vases, available as unique pieces or as part of beautiful sets. Earthworks is also happy to ship fragile items back home if you’re worried about their survival in your suitcase.


Although the wild-growing guavaberry can be found elsewhere in the Caribbean, locals speculate St. Maarten is the only place it truly thrives. It’s a central part of local folklore and traditional cuisine. The juice of these berries (no relation at all to guava) is mixed with rum and sugar and then aged to create guavaberry liqueur. Sample the sweet, light concoction and bring home a few beautiful bottles from Ma Doudou (, a small shop just off Front Street in Philipsburg.











When you visit St. Croix, you’ll notice many local women wearing a unique type of bracelet. The St. Croix Hook or the Crucian Hook ( is a band-style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp. This clasp (or “hook”) represents true love on St. Croix. These bracelets come in a wide variety of styles, and you can find them in most local jewelry shops.

Divi Resorts Ditches Straws to Reduce Pollution & Promote Eco-friendly Efforts

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Divi Resorts is getting rid of plastic straws at all of its Caribbean resorts on Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Maarten & St. Croix, as part of its “Divi Green” initiative.

According to National Geographic, Americans use 500 million straws daily and 8 million tons of plastic trash flows into our world’s oceans every year. While plastic drinking straws are not the top contributor, these tiny tubes are unnecessary and have become a huge problem for the beautiful Caribbean islands and the creatures that call them home. Their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish. Divi Resorts hopes to curb this pollution by removing straws from all of its resorts, effective immediately.

“Our goal is to take an active role in protecting and maintaining the beauty of our tropical islands and the creatures that call them home,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “We’ve always been focused on green initiatives, through our Divi Cares program, and searching for ways to improve our sustainability, so this is just another way we can do our part to help the environment.”

Divi Resorts has been embracing the green movement on its Caribbean islands for years, with initiatives such as water conservation, energy management and waste management programs created to save valuable resources, reducing energy usage and efficiently recycle waste. In addition, Divi Resorts staff participate in workshops and seminars conducted by environmental committees, local government organizations and non-governmental environmental organizations to increase awareness and spread the word about sustainable living. These programs have earned Divi Resorts many awards and recognitions including the Barbados Environmental and Sustainable Tourism Award.

“We’re proud to say we’re putting our best foot forward when it comes to ‘going green’ on our resorts,” said Galaverna.

Travelers looking to stay at Divi Resorts can find information on great Caribbean vacation deals at and also enter to win a free Caribbean Summer Vacation (contest ends April 11, 2018).

Divi Resorts Chef Participating in Barbados Food and Rum Festival

Tantalize your taste buds at this year’s 8th annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival featuring Divi Resorts Executive Chef Henderson Butcher and his creative culinary skills. Slated to be even bigger and better than last year, this mouthwatering event, happening November 16-19, highlights the island’s internationally acclaimed master chefs, unique Caribbean flavors and world-class rum.

“This event is a great way for locals and tourists alike to discover the culinary capital of the Caribbean and sample delicious dishes,” said Chef Henderson.

An executive chef at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort’ pureocean restaurant, Chef Butcher has more than 18 years of expertise, growing up with a passion for cooking his country’s cuisine to share with the world. Now he spends his time his time crafting creative Caribbean dishes using local foods, and helping budding chefs discover their talents.

“Being selected as one of the featured chefs is a great honor and I’m proud to represent Divi Southwinds Beach Resort at this festival,” said Chef Butcher. “Plus, this event gives me the opportunity to interact with young, up-and-coming chefs on the island.”

Chef Butcher is cooking up a storm from 7pm-midnight as part of the Signature Rum event on Friday, November 17. On the menu for this year’s event are dishes that reflect the powerful effect rum can have in the cooking process.

“Barbados is the birthplace of rum, and we believe that people don’t use it enough,” said Chef Butcher. “When you put it in food, it gives it a different flavor. That’s why for my dishes, I want to highlight those flavors.”

Chef Butcher’s menu for the festival includes: Oven Roasted Pork Belly Porchatta with Rum Infused Char Siu style Barbecue Sauce on Savory Roast sweet potato with caramelized cinnamon butter, Purple Pickle Octopus Mount Gay Sliver Citrus Marinated Vegetables and Smoked Sweet Plantain Balls with Ginger Rum Gel and Salted Okra Crisp.

With Divi’s biggest sale of the season, featuring rates as low as $125 per night, there’s no better time to travel. And for locals looking to enjoy a stunning staycation, contact the resort directly to enjoy huge savings on your booking.

“We’re thrilled to offer our biggest sale of the season for Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, especially with this exciting event coming up,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “It’s the perfect opportunity for tourists to learn more about the beautiful island of Barbados and experience its world-famous rum and distinctive Caribbean flavors.”

Fall specials are on sale now for a limited time only but you can travel right up until December 31, 2018. For individual reservations, please call 1-800-367-3484 (Toll-free US) or 1-919-419-3484 (International). For group reservations, please call 1-800-801-5550 or email To find out more information about Divi Resorts, visit

For more information on the 8th annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival, visit:

6 Summer Carnivals to Visit in the Caribbean

crop over festival barbados

Courtesy of the Caribbean Journal

You may associate carnivals with the season of celebration just before Lent, but that’s not the only time you can find people dancing through the Caribbean streets. Various islands hold their own carnivals throughout the summer, celebrating everything from another bountiful sugarcane harvest to the unique heritage of the local culture.

Barbados, for example, is home to the Crop Over Festival, an exciting mix of street parties, music and parades. It culminates on August 7, Kadooment Day, with an enormous parade of vibrantly costumed people along Spring Garden Highway. Check out the list of other summer carnivals here.