Divi's Active Caribbean Vacations

Relaxation or recreation—what's your vacation style? In reality, most visitors to the Caribbean do a bit of both, balancing time spent relaxing by the pool and napping under a beach umbrella with active water sports, island exploration and adventures. Knowing this, the Divi Resort group provides visitors to the islands of Aruba and Barbados with a diverse range of daily activities, excursions and sports.

Aruba's Antilla wreck sits in clear water and rises close to the surface, making it ideal for both divers and snorkelers to explore.
Aruba's Antilla wreck sits in clear water and rises close to the surface, making it ideal for both divers and snorkelers to explore.

Cool Waters and Dry Land

Aruba is best known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts and nightlife, but also has a lot to offer both in and under the water. Boaters and fishermen can sign up for coastal sails, or head into blue water to battle with pelagic gamefish. There are shorelines to explore by SUP and kayak, and the steady trade winds stoke windsurfers and kite-boarders. Thanks to the island's arid environment, there is little coastal runoff, creating stellar water clarity for divers and snorkelers. Scuba enthusiasts can explore colorful reefs and a trio of historic shipwrecks—the Antilla, Pedernales and Star Garren— and linger on a sponge and gorgonian-encrusted slopes that allow for long multi-level profiles. A fleet of modern dive boats gives access to a wide range of sites, and there are more than a dozen sites that can be reached from shore. Snorkelers will also enjoy Aruba's reefs and shallow wrecks, which rise close to the surface and offer warm, clear water. More than a dozen snorkel sites can be reached by a short swim from the shore, while boats are the only way to visit a number of the island's favorites. A good way to enjoy a complete Aruba snorkeling adventure is to book a half-day or all-day excursion that combines visits to several snorkel sites with stops for lunch BBQ and relaxation.

Offroad tours venture into the arid landscapes of Aruba's Arikok National Park. Nearby are the ruins of a 19th-century gold mine.
Offroad tours venture into the arid landscapes of Aruba's Arikok National Park. Nearby are the ruins of a 19th-century gold mine.

For those who would rather stay ashore and look beyond the usual staples of beach and shopping, Aruba has a wilder side filled with adventure. The island's undeveloped northern coast provides a dramatic contrast to the stereotypical image of a lush Caribbean landscape. Here, you will find a landscape of red-rock bluffs and cactus reminiscent of the American Southwest. Much of this desert-like landscape lies within Arikok National Park, which covers more than 20 percent of the island. Networks of trails and dirt roads wind through the park, leading to hidden coves and cool tidal pools cut into the rugged, surf-washed shoreline. Hikers can follow paths along the coast or up hillsides littered with giant boulders and unique rock formations. A less-demanding but equally adventurous way to explore the park is by with an offroad vehicle tour. A highlight of many tours is a stop at caves where walls are decorated by pre-Colombian artwork of the Arawak people. Also popular are the ruins of the Bushiribana Gold Mill and Ayo Rocks, where wind-sculpted boulders are said to resemble the shapes of birds and dragons.

Hikers and off-roaders can visit the Quadiriki Caves to view ancient petroglyphs created by the indigenous Arkawk people.
Hikers and off-roaders can visit the Quadiriki Caves to view ancient petroglyphs created by the indigenous Arkawk people.

Both land and sea adventures in Aruba can begin at any of the three Divi properties. If you fancy adding a round on the links or a set on the courts o to your other island adventures, then the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort is the place to be. As Divi's premier property on Aruba, it offers golf, tennis, a fitness center, water sports, a climbing wall, complimentary Kid's Club and nightly entertainment. Three restaurants provide variety, and guests have the option of an all-inclusive meal plan that expands culinary choices to include eight dining venues at other nearby Divi resorts. Next door, and directly on the ocean, is the all-suites Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort. This sprawling and lushly-landscaped low-rise property includes nine restaurants and four swimming pools. one and two-bedroom suites set against a half-mile of white-sand on Eagle Beach. These accommodations are ideal for families or couples traveling together, as all include living rooms, full kitchens and furnished balconies. Vacationers looking for the high life might also want to check out the four-pearl Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, which is located in the premier high-rise district of Aruba's Palm Beach, within walking distance of the island's most popular resort district. This all-suites resort delivers upscale amenities, spectacular pools, beachside restaurants and a spa.

Sea turtles are a common sighting in the waters of Barbados and are especially prevalent around the wrecks found in the Carlisle Bay Marine Park.
Sea turtles are a common sighting in the waters of Barbados and are especially prevalent around the wrecks found in the Carlisle Bay Marine Park.

Caribbean Flavors with a British Accent

The island of Barbados combines a Colonial heritage with vibrant Caribbean culture. Its citizens are members of the British Commonwealth, meaning afternoon tea is still a thing, but so too are carnivals and calypso. This cultural diversity is reason enough to visit, but there are also plenty of diversions to fill an active day. Though not as well-known in diving circles as other Caribbean islands, Barbados offers some noteworthy underwater experiences that include reefs, shipwrecks and marine life encounters. The waters are best-known for an abundance of sea turtles. In fact, four of the world's five species of sea turtles are found in the waters of Barbados. The huge leatherback and stout loggerhead are occasional visitors, while hawksbill and green turtles are quite common. The best snorkeling is found within the island's two marine parks. The sheltered waters of Carlisle Bay Marine Park are turtle central, and also offer an abundance of fish life and five shipwrecks that can be enjoyed by both divers and snorkelers. Folkestone Marine Park is known for its shallow coral reefs and equally plentiful turtle population.

A hike to the summit of Gun Hill Signal Station passes through manicured gardens to deliver captivating views of the entire island.
A hike to the summit of Gun Hill Signal Station passes through manicured gardens to deliver captivating views of the entire island.

After drying off, vacationers will have many opportunities to participate in that most British of activities: the daily walk. This could be as civilized as a stroll through the historic streets of the capital city of Bridgetown, which is home to a number of historic and culturally significant landmarks, including the Garrison, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outside the city, the focus shifts to botanical gardens, plantation great houses and traditional rum distilleries. More ambitious treks lead through tropical forests, cane fields and farms, boulder-choked gullies and coastal trails that lead over surf-washed bluffs to white-sand beaches. The most popular area for these walking tours is along the island's less-developed and hillier eastern coast. Favorites include a walk-up Chalk Mountain and a hike on the Airbnb Heritage and Nature Trail, which begins with a ramble through the historic port town of Speightstown before heading into the forests and the boulder fields of the Whim Gulley.

There's no driving to Bottom Bay Beach, which keeps the crowds down and rewards those willing to walk.
There's no driving to Bottom Bay Beach, which keeps the crowds down and rewards those willing to walk.

The Divi property that serves as headquarters for both in-water and on-land experiences is the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. The 20-acre grounds of this resort open to Dover Beach, and occupy a prime location in the heart of the St. Lawrence Gap's shopping, dining and entertainment district. All accommodations are one and a two-bedroom suite with kitchens, and the property is very family friendly. One of the landmark features of the resort is the open-air beachside restaurant, which serves up nightly sunsets over the Caribbean.

Ready to get started on you won an active Caribbean vacation with Divi Resorts? Our agents can set it all up, including airfare and all other details of travel. Just give us a call at 800-330-6611 or send a note to sales@caradonna.com.