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.


Beautiful beaches, fantastic dinning and extraordinary houses

Half Dutch, half French, St Martin is liked for its beautiful beaches, fantastic dining and magazine-worthy houses.
Here at Key Caribe, St. Martin is a firm island favorite. We enjoy early mornings drinking tea on a stretching swimming pool deck, taking in the too-good-to-be-true views, and afternoons filled with water experiences like catamaran trips or snorkeling tracks.
In truth, we like it a lot we have actually assembled our leading 10 factors for going to the island, with the specialist insight of our concierge partners. 10 factors, one strong reason to schedule an aircraft ticket and go see for yourself.

 

1. Beautiful views
The hilly nature of the island indicates you’re given picture-perfect vistas from your personal rental property, day after day. Take Sunrise for instance: You can either sit in your garden or relax at your infinitypool and enjoy the oceanview. Sunrise is a romantic honeymoon villa. Needless to say, your social media friends will be green with envy.

 

2. Beaches, beaches, more beaches.
Trying to find some peace and quiet? Chances are you’ll have Friar’s Bay Beach virtually all to yourself. Choose the action of coffee shops and beach bars. Baie Rouge is prepared for you. For an unforgettable day out with your partner load a picnic basket for an afternoon at Baie Longue. Travelers preferred beach since you can bring your very own food and beer. Or possibly you remain in the marketplace for snorkeling? Mullet Bay is your best option. The major attraction of Orient Bay is the nude beach and the world´s famous Club Orient (“Club O”), the island´s only naturist resort at the southern end of the beach. Which’s simply is the start of the options that are possible..
3. Excellent dining establishments.
French food? Island-style food? A mix of both? Even the most critical tastebuds fall for St. Martin. Like the Creole grouper at Karakter Beach bar. For a taste of the French impact, try Auberges Gourmande in Grand Case, “Auberges Gourmande serves specials you would anticipate at a dining establishment in Paris– foie gras, an incredible wine list– it’s undoubtably among the very best put on the island for those who like a timeless French dining experience. However you’ll likewise discover terrific fresh seafood choices too, so you get the Caribbean style however in a noticeably french method.
4. Personal happy hours.
The very first benefit of personal mixed drink hour? You begin whenever you like, oh, and there’s no cut off point either. At Acqua, astonishing views are the best way to enjoy a cold one. Perched atop the Terres Basses hillside, the vacation home has a damp bar, stunning balcony and lovely gazebo. The very best method to take delighted hour from great to spectacular? Have the island’s best personal chef, and his group come and prepare a mixed drink and wonderful dinner.
5. Comfortable nights in.
You currently understand there’s an wide range of excellent dining establishments on St Martin. However when you remain in the state of mind for a night in, your vacation home is your friend. Some like to head out, however absolutely nothing beats remaining in your very own vacation home, paying attention to your very own music. C’est la Vie and the chef, included in the rental, will delight your taste buds with her superb Caribbean style cuisine.

 

6. Sundown reveals.
Whether you’re parked on Plum Bay Beach with a picnic basket, or you’re drinking wine and enjoying the aircrafts
fly over at Sundown Bar, the sky gives a great show night after night.  “The view at La Dacha is fantastic. It’s the very best location to see the sundown.”.

 

7. Water, water all over.
Yes, there’s terrific swimming, however there’s much more under the surface area. Take a snorkel journey out to Prickly Pear island, or scuba dive around Turtle Reef. If you do not wish to get your feet damp, we enjoy taking a luxury yacht or catamaran trip around the island with Captain Sebastian. A rest stop in Anguilla for lunch? Why not. Take the paddleboards for a trip to St. Barts? You have actually got the best concept!
8. Dreamy interiors.
A mix of cultural impacts implies several architectural designs on one island. For instance, The Reef immaculate interior spaces include a ground floor, well-equipped and welcoming kitchen, a spacious dining area with a long table easily able to seat 10/12 people and an impressive home cinema with seating for 8. If this is too contemporary for you we also have the timeless caribbean home Le Caprice.
9. The night life.
Friday night at the Soggy Dollar Bar in Simpson Bay is an island staple, and music fans will take pleasure in Sopranos piano bar. If you’re trying to find late night home entertainment, Bamboo Bernies has actually been on the St. Martin night circuit for rather a long time, and has an unique method of making visitors toss on their dancing shoes.
10. Because once is never ever enough.
When an island has all of it like St Martin, it’s even more difficult to let yourself go and head back to the daily routine.  “There’s a lot to do and see, it’s tough to cover all of it in one go.” Perhaps there’s a beach you didn’t get to, or a restaurant you kept passing by but never had the time to dine at. That’s why we continue to return, time and time  again.


Easter in the Caribbean

Spending Easter in the Caribbean is a warm and welcoming experience. As with most things in the Caribbean, local traditions put a unique tropical spin on the holiday’s religious and secular celebrations.

The Religious Roots
The dominant religion throughout the Caribbean is Christianity, particularly Roman Catholicism. No matter where you go in the Caribbean, you are sure to find a lot of churches as many island residents are quite devout. As such, Easter celebrations in the Caribbean are quite established.

Easter Foods
Easter dinner is a wonderful part of Easter celebrations. Of course there is the tradition of no red meat eaten on Good Friday, and eating fish and vegetables becomes the rule. .
Easter bun and cheese:  A specially made spiced bun with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, filled with raisins, currents and dried fruit, eaten with cheese.

Kite Flying
Flying kites is a popular pastime year-round in the Caribbean. It is symbolic of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and His eventual ascension into Heaven. These events feature impressive creations, with massive kites emblazoned with creative designs. Typically, the Easter weekend falls on dry season, making for a holiday weekend filled with beautiful warm weather.  Winds are typically high during that time as well.

Folkloric parade
The Seú or Harvest Parade is the second largest parade of the island of Curacao, where the streets of Otrobanda are again transformed into a euphoric display of folklore and groups dance through the streets to celebrate the harvest. Locals dress up in the most amazing folkloric costumes. It is a big, colorful event with lots of music and folkloric groups. You will appreciate and enjoy music played on traditional instruments.

Breaking Eggs
Also in some parts of the Caribbean, breaking a fresh egg out in the sun at precisely midday and placing it in a container of holy water on Holy Thursday will form a pattern of coagulated egg white by Good Friday that can be used to predict the future. For example, a ship or anything resembling a boat means you will be travelling.

No Beach on Good Friday
While this Caribbean legend may not be too popular with tourists, the tradition on some islands holds that if you step into the ocean on Good Friday, you will turn into a fish. With the previously mentioned being extremely farfetched, others simply say it is bad luck to go to the beach. The concept arises from the thought that it is bad to be working on your tan on the day of the Crucifixion.

Regardless, on some islands, example the Bahamas, Easter weekend is traditionally ‘back to the beach’ time as the Atlantic waters have finally warmed up enough for everyone to go swimming. In truth, today, going to the beach is no longer bad luck!

These are the most popular traditional Easter traditions of the Caribbean.  With the gorgeous weather and Christian traditions conspiring to make it a time both solemn and fun-filled, you will be fortunate to spend Easter in the Caribbean. Go eat some Easter bun! Go to church! Fly a kite! This Easter, enjoy the Caribbean traditions and have a happy Easter or as we say on Curacao Bon Pasku di Resurekshon!


Must Try Curacao cuisine

To become familiar with a country is to dine on its local specialties. Curacao’s cuisine is quit diverse and food has become the way of the land since it is as diverse as the many ethnicities and languages of its people. From upscale restaurants to street food stalls, there is something to appease any gourmet; especially these five dishes, that have made a delicious statement throughout the island. Just about every taste of Curacao is a testament of its eventful past, with flavors so rich you’ll be saying “dushi” (local term for sweet) with every bite.

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Kadushi (Cactus Soup)
From Curacao’s lush hills to its coastal cliffs, cacti can be seen just about everywhere on the island thanks to its arid temperatures. Along with the island’s wildlife, people have also relied on the prickly plant for its natural resources, which can still be traced here even to this very day in dishes like kadushi, well-known as cactus soup.
Traditionally providing a source of energy, the spines are removed, and the cactus is skinned, and sliced in order to reach the meat that is located inside of the plant. Once the meat is boiled in a broth, traditionally “palu di lele” (kitchen utensils made from tree branches) are used to stir the soup. Although green in color and slimy in texture, eating kadushi is an ideal way to familiarize your taste buds to Curacao’s culture, especially at the Marsche Bieuw (The Old Market) in Willemstad.

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Guiambo (Okra Soup)
Another dish normally served at The Old Market is guiambo, commonly known as okra soup. Also slimy in nature, the okra is stewed to perfection and mixed with seafood to give it the ultimate taste. Like most soups, it is best consumed with a spoon, although the gooey texture of the dish typically makes it stick to the spoon, which makes it a bit of a challenge to eat.
Nevertheless, once you’ve sunken your teeth into this hearty meal, the gooeyness of guiambo is outweighed by the flavor of the seafood and the okra. And like many soups of the Caribbean, it is customarily eaten as an entrée instead of as an appetizer.

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Ayaka
Just in time for the holidays, ayaka is a Curacaoan specialty that makes an annual appearance during the season of Christmas. You’ll find it neatly concealed in a green leaf of either plantain or banana, and unwrapping is required in order to savor the golden cornmeal treat filled with a variety of stewed meats usually consisting of chicken, beef, or pork.
Ayaka can be found in restaurants and markets across the island, making the pursuit of unwrapping this dish just as exciting as opening a gift during the holidays; particularly because of the savory goodness that is cooked up inside.

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Red Snapper
It is quite hard to resist the temptation of fish in Curacao, especially since specialties like red snapper, which is deemed a national dish, can be found on almost every menu.
That’s why this local favorite is worth a try. In restaurants like Grill King in Willemstad, chefs are masters at whipping up the traditional treat with a side of French fries, plantains, or funchi to make the Curacaoan staple complete.

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Sult
Pig’s ear or feet for that matter may sound like a dish for the adventurous foodie, but you might be pleasantly surprised since many of Curacao’s natives can’t get enough of this beloved dish. Locally known as sult, it is thinly sliced and drenched in a vinegar-flavored liquid in order to absorb the onion and other spices incorporated into the recipe.
If you’re thinking about taking your palate on a wild culinary journey, hotels like the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino have the right ingredients to make your appetite crave more of this unique spin on pork.

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