Category Archives: To Do

A Gourmand’s Tour of St. Maarten

Foodies often call St. Maarten “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” with French and Dutch influences merging to create a Caribbean cuisine like no other. Chefs and food-lovers alike flock to this small island to taste the unique food fusion.

When visiting the island, if you only have just a few hours to burn, or if you’re looking to add a bit of excitement to your leisurely vacation, we recommend taking a Culinary Road Tour with Flavors of St. Maarten Food Tours. You’ll experience a full range of foods St. Maarten has to offer as the signature 4-hour tour takes you to the French and Dutch sides of the island.

Bring your appetite and prepare to chow down at four different restaurants where you’ll enjoy appetizers, entrées, cocktails and desserts. The tour begins at Carousel Gelateria in Simpson Bay, and from there, you board an air-conditioned coach to head to four locations for local specialties served up by the best cooks, bakers and bartenders on both sides of the island. You’ll gain insight into the island’s fascinating history while you travel through cities, countryside, and beaches, finishing your tour on a sweet note.

While the tour does not cater to vegans, or anyone with allergies to onions, bell pepper or cilantro, they can accommodate vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten-free and dairy-free diets and nut allergies. However, they cannot not guarantee 100% free cross-contamination.

The tours consist of only small groups, and everyone is asked to wear a mask, wash hands frequently before and after stops, and maintain physical distancing at all times. Right now, you can book your tour for only $129.99 for adults and $99 for children. Private tours and a 2-hour walking tour are also offered. For more information or to book a tour, visit stmartinfoodtours.com.

Discover Buck Island on St. Croix

Set sail for a small, uninhabited patch of land just off the coast of St. Croix. Beautiful Buck Island is a pristine national monument protected by the National Park Service, which sees nearly 50,000 visitors per year.

It’s no surprise why this tiny island is so popular. Sandy shores combined with colorful coral reefs and a lush landscape make this the perfect island for exploring, hiking, snorkeling, and relaxing.

There’s truly something for everyone on Buck Island. Turtle Beach, located on the west end of the island, was voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic readers for its picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters. Plus, there’s hiking right on the island, and the shores surrounding Buck Island are ideal for swimming. Snorkelers will love exploring the underwater trail, which is one of only three in the United States, where they’ll find coral reefs teeming with marine life.

If you want to discover everything Buck Island has to offer, you’ll have to book a tour as the island is only accessible by boat to preserve its vibrant marine life. If you’re staying at Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Beach Resort on St. Croix, this natural wonderland is just a short boat ride away, and family-owned and operated Buck Island Charters is your go-to for the best experience. They are the only chartered tour company on St. Croix that uses sail power alone, and they’ve been doing so since 1968!

It’ll be smooth sailing aboard the Teroro II or Dragonfly with Captain Carl or Captain Heinz at the helm. They’ll treat you to a personalized tour of Buck Island that includes sailing, snorkeling and hiking. The charter provides snorkel gear and excellent instruction with a guided tour through the underwater trail and time to do your own exploring.

Weather permitting, you’ll visit the underwater trail first where you’ll spend an hour or so snorkeling. You’ll then sail over to Turtle Beach where you’ll spend around an hour and a half enjoying a self-guided hike to the top of the island to a wooden overlook with spectacular views, laying on the beach, or snorkeling the blue waters surrounding the island.

All you need to bring is your bathing suit, beach towel, reef-safe sunscreen, hat or cover-up, water shoes and sneakers or hiking shoes, a camera, a water bottle and snacks or lunch.

Captain Heinz and Captain Carl are a father and son team that have been sailing St. Croix’s waters for more than 30 years, so you know you’re in good hands. They’re happy to share their local knowledge with visitors and would love to have you aboard on their next trip.

To learn more about Buck Island Charters, visit www.gotostcroix.com/heinz or call 340-718-3161. For more information on Buck Island, visit www.nps.gov/buis/index.htm.

We #WishYouWereHere at Divi Resorts!

Photo of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Photo by: Tara, Luxe Tourista

We hope you’re missing us as much as we’re missing you! We can’t wait to welcome you back to our beautiful islands soon but in the meantime, we’ve gathered up quotes from some of our favorite blogs and articles about our islands and resorts to get you in the spirit and inspire you for future vacations in 2020. Don’t forget to tell us why you #wishyouwerehere on Instagram!

Photo of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

ST. MAARTEN
“If you’re looking for a slice of heaven on earth, look no further than Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten. Divi Resort is located on a small, private peninsula on the Dutch side of the island, on St. Maarten’s Little Bay. Here, you will find beautiful 360 views, where the turquoise sea blends into lush green hills.” – Jill Deconti, The Luxe Travelers

Read the full article here: www.theluxetravelers.com/divilittlebay


Windows on Aruba Brunch - Waffles

ARUBA – Windows on Aruba “We had a very memorable and beautiful dining experience both at dinner and at brunch. The staff is welcoming, warm and kind. They, in fact, go all out to make this the best dining experience you will have on the island and its heavenly. Scenery, coupled with a brilliant menu truly creates the quintessential brunch visit on the island.” Dana Vento

Read the full article here: danavento.com/sophisticated-aruba-dining-experience-for-brunch


Views from Rainforest Adventures

ST. MAARTEN
“If you need a little adventure in your life, the world’s steepest zip line is here on St Maarten just for a thrill! It is pure adrenaline at 56 miles per hour in a drop! It is located at an eco-adventure park called Rockland Estate and the park is known as Rainforest Adventures. And honestly, it may be high up on the mountain, but it really was a fun ride down.” – Dr. Cacinda Maloney, Points & Travel

Read the full article here: www.pointsandtravel.com/things-to-do-in-st-maarten


Turtle swimming in the ocean

BARBADOS
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. Divi Resorts Blog

Read the full article here: https://blog.diviresorts.com/blog/island-adventures-10-reasons-to-visit-barbados/


Beach views at Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort

ARUBA
“Idyllic Aruba lures more than a million sunseekers to its sandy shores each year, who come for the pristine beaches, fantastic weather, world-class kiteboarding spots, lively nightlife scene, and even a chance to get up close and personal with pink flamingos.” – Tamara Elliot, Globe Guide

Read the full article here: www.globeguide.ca/divi-resorts-in-aruba


ST. MAARTEN
“The Dutch side is known for their stunning turquoise beaches and one of the best is Mullet Bay. Located close to Maho Beach, it is the quieter and bigger of the two. There are a couple local bars on the beach offering cold drinks and typical island cuisine.” – Tara, Luxe Tourista

Read the full article here: https://luxetourista.com/top-5-places-to-visit-in-dutch-st-maarten

DISCOVER BARBADOS BRITISH HERITAGE

Barbados is the land of lush landscapes, sandy beaches and flavorful rum, with a strong British influence from its many years of British occupation beginning in the 1600s. In 1966, Barbados gained its independence from the United Kingdom, and even though more than 50 years have passed, the country’s impact on the island is still seen in Barbados’ culture, architecture and traditions.

So how do you enjoy “old blighty” in the Caribbean you ask?

Catch a Sporting Event on Barbados
First, start with a spot of tea, then dress in your best whites to watch a game of cricket with refreshing gin of tonics included, of course. If cricket isn’t your thing, enjoy a chukka of polo plus stomping divots or a thrilling horse race at the Barbados Turf Club located within the Garrison Historic area just outside Bridgetown.

Watch the Changing of the Guard Show
A time-honored British tradition, every Thursday at noon, the Barbados Defense Force hosts a Changing of the Sentry ceremony at the main guard of the Barbados Garrison in Bridgetown. Donning the colorful Zouave uniform chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858, this unique display of British culture lasts about fifteen minutes. Be sure to get there early to snag a great viewing spot and snap a cheeky photo! While in Bridgetown, you’ll also want to stop by the Parliament Buildings to capture a few pictures. Built in 1870, these buildings have been the seat of government on Barbados since 1874 and were formerly the site of Colonial administration.

Visit Historical Museums & Buildings
For even more history, visit the Arlington House Museum, a restored 18th century building in Speightstown with an interactive 3-story museum, or stop by the Barbados Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to learn more about the island’s unique culture.

Stop by the Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue
Built in 1654, this historic synagogue was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831 but has since been restored to its original beauty. Right next door is the Nidhe Israel Museum, a museum that traces Jewish history in Barbados and highlights their contribution to Barbadian society

Take a Trip to the St. James & St. John Parish Church
These churches are amongst the four oldest surviving churches in Barbados. St. James is located near the site of the first settlement in Holetown and its church features a bell with the inscription, “God bless King William 1696.” The bell predates the American Liberty Bell by 56 years.

Enjoy High Tea with Bajan Fish & Chips
Yummy scones and tea are still a part of Bajan culture, and dishes similar to the UK’s famous fish and chips made with an island twist are local delicacies on the island. One of Barbados’s most popular meals is fried flying fish served with rich macaroni pie. Stop by Divi Southwind’s pureocean Restaurant to sample this delicious fish dish, and try it with a splash of malt vinegar for an extra kick of flavor!

Unique Island Souvenirs From Every Island

Whether you’re a collector of island tees, sparkling jewelry or sweet-smelling perfume, the easiest way to relive the Caribbean vacation of your dreams is by bringing back a few mementos.

The best souvenirs help you share the spirit and personality of the places you visited. We asked a few of our owners, members and guests what their favorites souvenirs are and we’re excited to share the results. Perhaps they are your favorites too!

Aruba
It’s the oldest aloe company in the world and it’s located right in the heart of Aruba. Founded in 1890, Aruba Aloe is the only aloe company that grows, harvests and manufactures its own souvenirs on-site. You can find Aruba Aloe products pretty much everywhere on the island, but for a more interactive experience, stop by the Aruba Aloe Museum and factory store to learn about the production process and Aruba’s 160-year history of aloe cultivation. Aruba Aloe products can also be purchased online at www.arubaaloe.com.

Barbados
Featuring a wide range of handcrafted, authentically Caribbean plates, bowls, vases, and more, Earthworks pottery is worth the short trip to the Edgehill Heights section of the St. Thomas parish. This one-of-a kind pottery studio and store offers over 150 designs and 36 stock patterns, so you’re bound to find something that suits your style. Earthworks can also ship fragile items if you’re worried about them surviving the flight home or if you’ve run out of room in your luggage. Visit www.earthworks-pottery.com to learn more and find your perfect pottery.

Bonaire
Cudushy Distillery, located in Rincón, is the only distillery on the island and home to the world’s only cactus liquor! The distillery features six different liqueur flavors inspired by local islands: Cadushy of Bonaire, Kukui of Aruba, Calbas of Curacao, Gold of Statia, Spices of Saba and Orange of Orange, which was inspired by Dutch Royalty. When on Bonaire, a distillery tour and complimentary tasting should be at the top of your to-do list. Cadushy Distillery also offers a line of award-winning cactus rum, vodka, whiskey and gin made right on the island. Grab a bottle or two to bring home or snag a sample pack so you can taste each flavor. Visit www.cadushy.com to explore the different types of cactus libations.

St. Maarten
How many people can say they made their very own perfume or cologne on a tropical Caribbean island? When you visit the island of St. Maarten, you can pop over to the French side of the island and do just that at Tijon Perfumerie! During this unique experience, you’ll learn about different types of fragrances before making your own unique fragrance from a variety of exotic spices, herbs and oils. Once you’ve perfected your perfume, you’ll name your fragrance. The name will be added to your very own sleek perfume bottle, which you can take home and enjoy for months. Plus, Tijon keeps a record of the ingredients in your custom perfume so you can reorder it anytime, even when you’re not on the island. For more information, visit www.tijon.com.

St. Croix
When you visit St. Croix, you’ll notice many local women wearing a unique type of bracelet. The St. Croix Hook or Crucian Hook as it’s known on the island is a metal, band-style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp or hook that represents love. These bracelets come in a variety of styles and colors, and you can purchase them in most jewelry stores on the island. To learn more about this popular Crucian accessory and to find your own, visit www.gotostcroix.com/st.croix-blog/show-love-crucian-bracelet.

ISLAND ADVENTURES: Bonaire Bucket List

Take a break from the ordinary and explore the extraordinary on the unspoiled and unforgettable island of Bonaire! Good things come in small packages and this bite-sized island packs a punch for activities to thrill and chill. In fact, Bonaire probably checks off more than a few of your bucket list items, so to help you find out which ones, we’ve created our very own Bonaire Bucket List!

Now next time you visit, you’ll have plenty of items to cross off your list. Plus, send us photos and videos of your experiences for a chance to have them featured on social media!

KAYAK THROUGH LUSH MANGROVES
Glide through crystal clear waters to discover the mangrove forest of Lac Bay, where you’ll find three types of mangrove species, plenty of fish, vibrant sponges and coral, upside-down jellyfish and more! With clear bottom kayaks, you won’t miss a moment of underwater action as you navigate through romantic mangrove tunnels. Once you’ve worked up a sweat paddling with your partner, you’ll have the opportunity to cool off with a peaceful snorkel through a calm mangrove channel.

EXPLORE BONAIRE WITH A LOCAL
Discover the beautiful island of Bonaire in air-conditioned comfort with the help of a knowledgeable local guide from Tropical Travel Bonaire. Stops include 1000 Steps, a popular diving destination and beach, and Goto Lake, where you can often spot a flock of flamingos. You’ll also visit Museo Chich’i Tan, a 130-year-old Bonairian home and heritage museum where you’ll enjoy a local snack and lemonade prepared by the homeowner, and a tour of the residence. Rounding out this full island experience are stops at the colorful salt pans, historical slave huts, and Jibe City, the best spot on the island for windsurfing.

SWIM WITH TURTLES
Hop aboard and sail through the Caribbean’s bluest waters with Woodwind Cruises to explore three unique spots near Klein Bonaire. Snorkel through colorful coral reefs where you’ll discover an abundance of awe-inspiring fish and magnificent sea turtles, all pointed out to you by an expert guide. Back on board, enjoy drinks, snacks and a delicious local lunch to keep you energized.

RIDE HORSES THROUGH THE DESERT
It sounds like the start of a great western movie, but it’s real life! Saddle up with Rancho Washikemba for a leisurely horseback ride through Bonaire’s pristine desert terrain, spotting donkeys, parrots and iguanas along the way. Plus, if conditions allow, you might even have a chance to swim with your horse in the gorgeous Blue Lagoon Bay.

FEED 700+ DONKEYS
Yes, you read that right! Do yourself a favor; buy a bunch of carrots and stop by the Donkey Sanctuary. You will not regret this heartwarming experience where you can hand-feed hundreds of hungry donkeys alongside your car. Animal-lovers rejoice – if you bring tasty treats, these affectionate asses will instantly become your best friends.

SCOOT OR CYCLE AROUND TOWN
What could be better than a leisurely open-air drive around town with the wind blowing through your hair? We’re honestly not sure! Enjoy this experience with a single or double scooter or a traditional Dutch bicycle and prepare to travel throughout the island in style.

DRINK A CACTUS
Sip on something completely new that you can only find on Bonaire – cactus liquor! Born and bred on the island, a visit to the one-of-a-kind Cadushy Distillery includes an educational tour, as well as a sampling of several types of the world’s only cactus liquor in a relaxed, laidback environment. Afterward, enjoy a cactus cocktail under the shade of Calabash trees in the distillery’s tranquil gardens where parrots and other tropical birds like to play.

LEARN TO SCUBA DIVE
Discover a whole new underwater world when you learn to scuba dive at Divi Flamingo’s very own PADI 5-star dive operation, Divi Dive Bonaire. Friendly instructors will ease you into the water with a comprehensive educational class, underwater practice and a relaxing guided dive of the famed Calabas Reef, located right next to the resort.

WINDSURF IN JIBE CITY
The mecca for windsurfing on the island, you simply cannot ignore the colorful sails as they glide across the water with ease at Jibe City’s Sorobon Beach. Perfect for newbies and pros alike, Jibe City is THE place to learn this thrilling sport, and when you’re ready to take a break, grab a lounge chair by the water and relax with a cold drink.

GO FOUR-WHEELING TO BAT CAVES
If you like to go fast and you’re not afraid of getting a little dirty, you’ll love this quad tour, which not only takes you to the Bolivia Caves, home to hundreds of bats and ancient Indian drawings, but also to the Spelonk Lighthouse, where you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of waves crashing into the jagged coastline.

MEET A FLOCK OF FLAMINGOS
Pretty in pink, these birds of a feather flock together throughout the island. You’re most likely to spot these blushing beauties near the salt flats or at Goto Lake, but you can also get a closer look at a few flamingos in a special section of the Donkey Sanctuary.

To reserve your stay on Bonaire, visit www.DiviResorts.com. To book your scuba diving experience, visit www.DiviDive.com.

For more information on Bonaire adventures visit www.TropicalTravelBonaire.com. If you’re staying at Divi Flamingo, simply stop by the Concierge Desk.