Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos consists of a long chain of islands that stretch from the southernmost tip of the Bahamas down to the edge of the Dominican Republic. Its largest and most populated landmass is picturesque Providenciales, but there are hundreds of sandy cays dotted across the sea that provide endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

Providenciales

Providenciales, or more commonly known as “Provo”, covers an area of 38 miles and is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos. It is here where most international flights arrive at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). Surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches, Provo has been ranked “Best Beach” by Conde’ Nast magazine and by the World Travel Awards for several years running. Found on the western end of the island chain, Provo offers all modern conveniences, including luxurious hotels, villas and condos, numerous restaurants, spas and shopping facilities, a championship caliber golf course, and full service grocery store. Although Provo is the most developed of the islands, it is still a destination for those who want to escape their busy schedules and relax.

What to do in Providenciales

Grace Bay which features the famous 12-mile Grace Bay beach is the location for most of the tourism infrastructure, the Princess Alexandra Marine Park, which is also the playground of “Jo Jo” the famous bottlenose dolphin. Visitors to the world’s first Conch Farm discover how to grow conch from tiny veligers to four-year-old adults. This is where most of the water sport activities take place from diving to deep sea fishing and everything in between.

Stones engraved by shipwrecked sailors (or waiting ship wreckers) can be found on the hilltop overlooking the now abandoned Marina Inn near Chalk Sound and Sapodilla Bay. If you like old ruins that are not too difficult to get to, visit 2 sites of plantation houses built by Loyalists, Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill. “The Hole” at Long Bay is a deep and wide Limestone chimney with a mysterious depth of salt water at the bottom.

 

Living Luxe on Parrot Cay

With the stamp of approval from stars such as Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Parrot Cay is the beach escape of your dreams. Parrot Cay is the beach escape of your dreams. Donna Karan also owns a home at the lush, 1,000-acre island resort Parrot Cay boasts the level of service and amenities that make for a “once in a lifetime” type of vacation, an easy 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales.

So what makes this heaven on earth so special? For starters, like most beaches in Turks, you’re promised powder-soft sands and calm, clear waters. The water here is ideal for long afternoons of snorkeling and diving, and yoga on the beach is an unbeatable experience for those who like to access their inner zen. The resort’s world-class Shambhala Retreat Spa takes a holistic approach to their services with Ayurvedic and aromatherapy body treatments. Post-spa, we recommend you stretch out on your private beachside daybed with a glass of rosé. Celebrities, they’re just like us!

 


Barbados the Caribbean paradise

 For many travelers, Barbados is one of those special places that keeps them coming back, year after year. With spectacular white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise surf, a vibrant local culture and bustling city vibe, this island is unlike any other in the Caribbean. From rum shacks to fish markets, lush, tropical mountains and wild, deserted coastline, Barbados is a destination that’s pretty hard to beat. Here are 7 reasons why we can’t seem to stay away.

1. Beaches for all

barbados-leamington-pavilion-23It’s not on every island that you find beaches for every type of traveler, but Barbados has all the bases covered: All along the posh West Coast, the water is clear, shallow and calm. Protected from the wind, these shores are ideal for families with small children. On the South Coast, the water is a bit livelier and wavy, perfect for diving or for those who are just learning how to surf. For strong swimmers and seasoned surfers, there’s no better place to be than Bathsheba, a rugged part of the East Coast on the Atlantic. Unspoiled surf for miles, this is truly a big wave paradise.

2. Oistins Fish Fry

Every Friday night, locals and tourists alike head to Oistins, a fishing village on the South Coast for their informal weekly celebration of food, music and drinks. With many vendors to choose from, just look for the one that has the biggest crowd and take your pick of what was caught fresh that day. Top off your grilled or fried fish with a local Banks beer, life doesn’t get much better.

3.Spa Indulgence 

The only thing that rivals a relaxing day at the spa is a relaxing day on the beach. Why not have both? The Indulgence Spa at Royal Westmoreland right on Mullins Beach–said to be one of the best in the Caribbean–will take island relaxation to a whole new dimension. Everything you might expect from a traditional spa is available, from skin wraps to scrubs to full-body massages, but the Exotic Coconut Rub & Milk Ritual wrap will leave you in a state of pure Caribbean bliss.

4. Rum shops

A fundamental part of Bajan culture, rum is the drink of choice for many islanders, and rum shops can be found almost everywhere you go. But this isn’t the clear white liquid you mix with a Coke (although you certainly can); drinking the local rum here is more like savoring a good scotch– straight up with some ice on the side. Deep, flavorful, caramel colored and complex, if you weren’t a rum fan when you arrived, you will be before you leave.

5. Tip Top Cuisine

the-cliff-001-gareth-sambidge-cropThe food scene in Barbados is a cut above. With a strong local food culture as well as as lots of European influences, there are plenty of food options for all tastes and budgets. Aside from the popular local food chain Chefette (for the best rotis around), and the famous flying fish sandwiches at Cutters, there is also amazing Indian food at Aspara Samudra, incredible Italian at Cin Cin’s and for a very special evening, The Cliff is one of the top restaurants in the whole Caribbean.

6.Take a Zip

In the Walkes Spring Plantation in St Thomas Parish, you’ll find high-flying vacationers exploring the island’s treetops. A fan-favorite for those looking for an adventurous day out,Aerial Trek Zipline Adventure’s 100-feet course is a surefire way to get well-acquainted with nature on the island. It doubles as a crash course in the island’s ecosystems too, as the knowledgeable guides describe the plantation and its friendly inhabitants as you take off from each of the 8 different platforms. And if you’re looking for an extra-entertaining Christmas card photo this year, the staff is ready and willing to snap pictures of excited zip-liners.

7. Private Villas

barbados-leamington-pavilion-20There’s no better way to experience the island than within the comfort of your own private villa. With the freedom to explore Barbados and all its charm at your leisure, you can take a day to lounge by the pool or relax with a book on the beach, then head out to dinner, or have something prepared by a top local chef right in the comfort of your home.


Must know Curacao Holidays

If your planning a vacation in Curacao then one of the things you definitely need to know is the different types of Curacao Holidays. In order to get the most out of your Curacao experience. But don’t fear Keycaribe is here! sharing with you the most common celebrated holidays in Curacao.

New Year’s Day Jan 1
After the year ends with a big bang, the first day of the New Year is traditionally a time for family gatherings. (Stores are closed). For several days the streets are littered with the red paper wrappings of thousands of firecrackers.

Carnival Monday Feb 16 Carnival Monday Feb 16
During the eight Carnival weeks Curaçao is turned into one big melting pot of people having fun on and off the streets. It all culminates in the Grand March at Sunday March 6 (Dates are subject to change) and is finished off with the Farewell Grand Parade at Tuesday evening 8 March. Monday, March 7, is an official public holiday.

curacao, carnaval, willemstad, keycaribe,morrenpoleon

Good Friday Apr 3
An official holiday on this largely Catholic island and the beginning of a weeklong spring break for schools. Like all school vacations, expect local beaches to be crowded. Grocery stores and markets do a record sale in fresh and salted fish on the previous days. Spring breath begins for schools, and lasts through the following week.

Easter Sunday
Local children are decked out in their spring finery for the traditional first communion celebrations, which are held between now and Ascension Day. (May 21 May) The Curacao Cultural Ministry organizes a major kite flying competition at the Waaigat Parking area in Punda.

kite, competition, curacao, willemstad, keycaribe, morrenpoleon

Easter Monday / Seu Folklore Parade Apr 6
On the Monday after Easter local folklore groups wear traditional costumes and parade through the streets of Punda and Otrobanda, recalling the harvest festival of yesteryear. The groups, which range from young children to older people, play traditional musical instruments as they dance through the streets.

Koningsdag King’s Day Apr 27.
King’s birthday Willem Alexander.There are official celebrations at Fort Amsterdam and a festive atmosphere in Punda.On this day you can sell and buy almost all kind of things on the streets
and almost every store gives good discounts on sales!

kindsday curacao, keycaribe, willemstad, morrenpoleon

Labor Day May 1
The government of Curaçao and labor unions organize special activities.

Ascension Day May 14
A popular time for first communion celebrations.

Flag Day Jul 2 Flag Day Jul 2. Dag van de Vlag
Celebrated with official ceremonies and cultural events at Plaza Brion and the Village of Barber.

Curaçao Day Oct 10. Dag Van Het Land Curaçao
Is an official non- working public holiday to commemorate the first anniversary of the date when Curaçao gained autonomous country status. As per the aforementioned Curaçao government announcement, October 10 will be an annual non-working public holiday, called “Curaçao Day”, from this year onward.

curacao, willemstad, keycaribe, morrenpoleon

Special Curaçao Holidays
St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 Or Sinterklaas
Children carefully set out their shoes on the eve, filled with grass for St. Nic`s horse. Those who have been good receive a gift, those who haven`t are afraid a “Zwarte Piet” will carry them back to Spain in a Sack. Local schools participate fully in the festivities look for jeeps full of Piets in black face driving around residential areas throughout the week. It may surprise you to see local businesses decorated with caricatures of black face Piet.

sinterklaas

Fuik Day Or Fuik Dag
Is a Curaçao’s yearly recurring boat party in Fuik Bay on the first Sunday of the year with boats, booze and DJ’s.
Since 2011 big DJ’s like Chuckie, Afrojack and others have played there, but who’s coming this year… On the first Sunday of the year (or the second if it’s bad timing) everything that floats comes to Fuik Bay for one big party on the water. Bring your inflatables and lots of booze because this is one big BYOB party on the water.

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Spending the Holiday season in Curaçao

Spending the holiday season in the caribbean is a whole other experience. It doesn’t snow it won’t get cold and Santa doesn’t climb down your chimney. nevertheless spending your holidays in the caribbean will be an experience worth while. A visit to the Caribbean is always a good thing, but a Caribbean Christmas is the best time of all. The most important thing a wanderluster in the caribbean holiday season needs to know, is what and how we celebrate.

caribbean-christmas

Christmas season officially starts in Curaçao when we hit mid- November, its all about the music, the spirit and gatherings. every other weekend you will find at the side of the street “Tambú” gatherings. “Tambú” is a traditional holiday season music that contain rather controversial lyrics sometimes stating how the year went by. Early December there’s the “Koop-avond” night where stores in the city stay open every Thursday till 9, where people can shop, gather and have a good time shopping while enjoying festive music and food.

St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 Or Sinterklaas
Children carefully set out their shoes on the eve, filled with grass for St. Nic`s horse. Those who have been good receive a gift, those who haven`t are afraid a “Zwarte Piet” will carry them back to Spain in a Sack. Local schools participate fully in the festivities look for jeeps full of Piets in black face driving around residential areas throughout the week. It may surprise you to see local businesses decorated with caricatures of black face Piet.

sinterklaas

Christmas eve Dec 24
Christmas eve is the time where families usually gather (allot of workers get half day off or stop working at 3), if they still havent decorated the christmas tree parents and children do so and follow along with a christmas eve dinner or party. its a time families reflect together and prepare for christmas day.

Christmas day Dec 25
Christmas day is a big celebration where the main focus is food. families wake up early in the morning and start preparing the christmas dinner. Around 9 families goes to church to thank god for the birth of our saviour. After this they proceed visiting family members in the neighbourhood to spread the blessings and remind them about christmas dinner. After christmas dinner they proceed opening gifts and spending time together.

Punda-X-Mas-Scene

New Year’s Day Jan 1
After the year ends with a big bang, the first day of the New Year is traditionally a time for family gatherings. (Stores are closed). For several days the streets are littered with the red paper wrappings of thousands of firecrackers.

Fuik Day Or Fuik Dag
Is a Curaçao’s yearly recurring boat party in Fuik Bay on the first Sunday of the year with boats, booze and DJ’s.
Since 2011 big DJ’s like Chuckie, Afrojack and others have played there, but who’s coming this year… On the first Sunday of the year (or the second if it’s bad timing) everything that floats comes to Fuik Bay for one big party on the water. Bring your inflatables and lots of booze because this is one big BYOB party on the water.

75490ec50d96a88bb17a9a913c12c615

Now that you have a feel of what to expect ask santa this year for the gift of a Caribbean Christmas. It’s easy to wrap, fits under any tree and comes with a lifetime of memories.