Effective April 16, 2022, international visitors to Jamaica will no longer be required to present a negative result from a COVID-19 Antigen or PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to their travel to enter the island. Additionally, Jamaica’s mandate to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces will also end on April 15, 2022.
“Eliminating mask mandates and the need for travellers to present a negative COVID test result are important strides toward our continued gradual relaxation of travel protocols as the spread of COVID-19 keeps declining,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “We are optimistic that these simpler requirements will serve to increase the appeal of Jamaica as a premier destination and keep us moving along the road to a stronger recovery for both the tourism sector and the nation’s economy as a whole.”
All other public health measures remain in place, including the requirement for public establishments to provide hand-washing stations or hand sanitizing equipment for anyone entering the premises. Visitors and residents are also encouraged to continue to exercise caution and observe best practices for health and safety.
Jamaica has recently eliminated travel-related quarantines and the requirement for travellers to complete and receive approval of a Travel Authorization Form for entry to the island. It also shortened the isolation period required for travellers who test positive for COVID-19 while in Jamaica, in keeping with CDC recommended guidelines, and eliminated quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated business travellers who present a negative PCR test taken within 3 days of travel to Jamaica.
“As we review our Jamaica CARES program and travel protocols regularly, taking these actions was the logical next step to keep Jamaica aligned with best practices globally,” noted Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Many destinations in the Caribbean region and around the world have been easing travel requirements, so this change will help us ensure that Jamaica retains its leadership position among the world’s top tourism destinations.”
Just last week, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) downgraded Jamaica to a Level 1 designation in its latest COVID-19 travel advisory to citizens due to the country having low cases of the virus. Joining just a handful of countries around the world at Level 1, Jamaica’s case levels have steadily decreased in recent months.
The health and safety of every Jamaican and every visitor to the country remains the island’s top priority through its comprehensive Jamaica CARES program. Jamaica CARES is a nationwide response to COVID-19 that includes the island’s comprehensive health and safety protocols which were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition and allowed the island to safely reopen in June of 2020.
Atlantis Paradise Island’s iconic coral towers make it one of the most easily distinguishable properties in The Caribbean. The theme of the landmark resort in The Bahamas was inspired by the lost city of Atlantis — a legendary sunken city believed to now be buried underwater somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
“In Bimini, there’s this myth that part of the lost city of Atlantis still exists there today,” explains Ted Adderley, vice president, sales at Atlantis. “This lost city of Atlantis became who we are and our identity. Even today, we try to manage the lost city of Atlantis and create a more modern contemporary feel to the resort.”
The legend behind the myth is evident across the resort from depictions of an underwater world in the lobby to what looks like remnants of a long-lost civilization integrated into its main marine life exhibits.
Focus on conservation
While Atlantis has grown to include five distinct properties, including the classic Royal towers connected by a famous bridge suite, and the luxurious and modern rooms found in The Cove, the resort is all about being more than just a place to stay. “We’re a destination in and of itself,” Adderley says. “And purposely done so that you can find what you need here.”
Along with a massive water park with slides and a lazy river, multiple beaches and pools, a casino, and a luxury marina able to accommodate yachts straight out of Below Deck — and visits by the likes of Drake — Atlantis is home to more than 50,000 marine animals who aren’t there for entertainment value. There’s a major focus on sustainability and conservation with an education centre and animal-rescue rehabilitation hospital on site. Behind the scenes, a team of 165 people, including marine biologists, study these mammals and help nurse them back to health to the point where many get re-released in the wild.
Food to dine for
On the guest side, there are many notable restaurant options by internationally renowned chefs on property. The popular Nobu restaurant by chef Nobu Matsuhisa features dishes like Wagyu beef, a wide assortment of nigiri, sashimi, and maki, and a signature bento box dessert creation made from rice flour with chocolate fondant cake and green tea ice cream.
Matsuhisa is well known for putting his own twist on traditional Japanese fare. Meanwhile, the cocktail menu includes everything from sake infusions and an award-winning Bahamian Samurai cocktail to fresh takes on staples like the Oni Negroni, which is made with Hokusetsu sake and Aperol.
At Café Martinique, Michelin-starred chef Michael White puts the focus on sustainability with locally sourced food in the adjacent Marina Village. Each dish is like a work of art using local Bahamian ingredients blended with unique Mediterranean-inspired flavours. Appetizers currently range from beef tartare to a creative twist on french onion soup. Mains are seafood or meat centric like a pan seared sea bream with asparagus and gnocchi Parisienne or a venison loin with chestnut bourbon cream. Be sure to leave room for dessert with options like profiteroles with Madagascar vanilla ice cream drizzled with a 70 per cent chocolate sauce.
Located in The Cove, Fish by José Andrés is another delicious option that pays homage to traditional Bahamian cuisine. The expansive dinner menu features oysters, mussels, tuna tartare, Caribbean grouper, jerk chicken and a vermicelli mac ‘n’ cheese with jumbo lump crab. There are also a multitude of dishes made with conch, a local staple in The Bahamas. A signature beverage is the salt air margarita, which instead of a salt rim features a salt infused foam.
Notably, Andrés is also the founder of World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit organization that heads to the frontline around the world to provide meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. Andrés is currently near the border in Poland to serve warm meals to Ukrainian refugees who are seeking shelter from invading Russian troops.
Get off the beaten path in Nassau
While Nassau, New Providence and Paradise Island are well known for tourism in The Bahamas, there’s still plenty to experience that’s off the beaten path when you head off the resort.
If you want a cold one — or to sample a flight — check out Pirate Republic, the first craft brewery in The Bahamas. There are two locations to choose from, one in the Marina Village at Atlantis and one in downtown Nassau near the cruise port, which has a wider selection of seasonal brews like the B’limey Ale, a cream ale made with toasted lime peel for a burst of citrus; or an imperial stout aged for six months in John Watlings Rum Barrels.
For a unique underwater experience, head to Clifton Heritage National Park to admire the views of its underwater sculpture garden including the mesmerizing Ocean Atlas piece by Jason de Caires Taylor of a local Bahamian girl carrying the weight of the ocean above her. Back on land, the site is home to installations about the islands’ colonial and pre-colonial history.
Those who like to shop can head to Bahama Hand Prints, a retail shop selling accessories and apparel featuring exclusive designs made using a hand screen printing technique.
The Southern Caribbean island expands its offerings with a fresh roster of new restaurants, bars, art workshops, food-based experiences, and hotels
Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, and stunning European architecture, Curaçao – which sits on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt – remains an unrivaled tropical escape in the Southern Caribbean. Curaçao’s natural beauty, world-class dive sites, pristine beaches and idyllic weather have won it further accolade and recognition. Its capital city, Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – features the iconic and colourful Handelskade backdrop, vibrant street art, and a growing portfolio of boutiques, al fresco restaurants and trendy cafes, just to name a few of the many reasons why Curaçao continues to flourish as one of the most exceptionalislands in the region.
Starting Mar. 10, testing will no longer be required to enter the destination,regardless of vaccination status or country of origin. Additionally, all on-island COVID measures (nightly curfew, mask mandates, proof of vaccination), have been eliminated. In addition to the change in entry requirements, restrictions surrounding nightly curfew, mask mandates and proof of vaccination for large-scale events have all been removed. The relaxed measures apply to the destination, though hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and tour operators may enforce protocols at their discretion. Subsequently, it is recommended that travelers verify specific requirements or protocols directly with each venue.
With travellers now more than ever seeking memorable encounters and cultural immersions, the island is poised to become a trending destination in 2022 and beyond. Speaking to the island’s culture of creativity and inspired action, an impressive new roster of restaurants, craft cocktail lounges, nightlife venues, art workshops, immersive food encounters, and new hotels and resorts are introducing more ways to experience life in Curaçao.
Below are some of the newer experiences to be discovered:
With more than 55 nationalities on the island, Curaçao is recognized for its diversity and multicultural food scene. Not only can travellers enjoy traditional Caribbean and island fare, but also enjoy new, fine dining options and elevated European cuisine, as well as a unique mix of food influenced by the destination’s proximity to South American and Latin cultures.
New restaurants have opened in Curaçao, providing travelers with noteworthy options like Bario Urban Street Food – a colourful and unique outdoor food court located in the artsy and mural filled neighborhood of Otrobanda.
Part of Bario hotel, the food stands and plaza is made of shipping containers and food stalls, including Lionfish and Mangoes, which specializes in sustainable dining, bringing travellers the opportunity to taste the unique fish in inventive ways – from quesadillas to tartare.
Travellers seeking a locally trendy dining experience should head to the island’s first gastropub, BKLYN, which offers sharable food like jackfruit bao buns and cocktails in a lively setting with 90’s hip hop headlining the soundtrack.
While the island is known for its Blue Curaçao, never has it been blended into cuisine, until the opening of Ceviche 91. Located in the historic Rif Fort overlooking the ocean and the iconic Queen Emma floating bridge, Ceviche 91 is home to the world’s first Blue Curaçao Ceviche, made with local fresh seafood and the iconic liquor. Other delectable new restaurants include SAL The Kitchen, which stands for “salt” in Spanish and celebrates the fact that the walls of the restaurant, and specifically the kitchen, were built out of coral, Serafina – the island’s quintessential Italian restaurant with a dreamy patio and handmade pastas, and the lively OBaAR Brazilian Lounge which offers South American cuisine.
When it comes to casual dining, travellers can enjoy the new De Broeders (Two Brothers) Cafélocated in the heart of Willemstad that offers local cuisine with a modern twist, or Bliss the Berry, the new breakfast and lunch option in Mambo Beach known for fresh, tropical smoothie bowls.
Balancing out these new and modern options are immersive experiences that focus on highlighting ancestral cooking techniques and true Curaçaoan flavors. Vittle Art is a new bespoke cooking workshop that takes place in the cacti-filled countryside and focuses on generations old techniques. Participants forage local and wild ingredients like vegetables, herbs, and plants, that are grown on the property’s grounds and then learn how to create local dishes from scratch.
A group lunch is enjoyed in a bohemian setting overlooking the hills and desert like landscape. Further connecting guests with Curaçao’s history, the Pan Sera breadmaking workshop at Kas di Pal’i Maishi serves as a window into the daily routines of the rural population from 130 years ago. Small groups learn how to make traditional bread with resourceful tools, then enjoy an al fresco lunch, pairing their creations with traditional stews.
Nightlife is back
The popular, walkable district of Pietermaai, known for its boutique hotels, small shops, cozy cafes, and nightlife scene, is back in full swing. With its picturesque and pastel-colored buildings and a street donned with sparkling lights, Pietermaai is the quintessential Curaçaoan experience.
Here, travellers will enjoy the island’s first mixology-focused craft cocktail lounge, Ochenta Cocktail Bar; the lively and social Mr. Porter Cafe; and the iconic Cuban-inspired Mundo Bizarro Restaurant and Lounge. No night out in Curaçao is complete without a visit to “Truk’i Pans” or food trucks, with local favorite being BBQ Express, offering BBQ meats and french fry combo plates topped with flavors like local peanut sauce.
Where to stay
Curaçao has seen a surge of new and re-branded hotel developments backed by the world’s top hospitality brands, as well as unique boutique and independently owned properties. From a fully renovated Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort and Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, to a brand-new Curio by Hilton Collection property, Mangrove Beach Corendon Curaçao Resort, the all-inclusive Dreams Curaçao Resort, Spa and Casino, and the Wyndham-branded Kunuku AquaResort, the world’s leading hospitality brands have set their sights on Curaçao and planted flags on the island.
Leading into 2022, the momentum does not stop with the recent grand opening of Zoëtry Curaçao Resort & Spa and the upcoming grand opening of Sandals Royal Curaçao in Summer 2022.
Travellers that prefer independently owned and locally-inspired accommodations can enjoy artful and inspired new boutique hotels, like the 8-room BOHO Bohemian Boutique Hotel in the heart of Pietermaai, the nature-inspired Terra Boutique Hotel, or the colorful 18- room Bario Boutique Hotel, located in the artsy district of Otrobanda. For travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience and to get to know Curaçao outside of the capital city of Willemstad, the island offers diverse options, such as the eco-tourism focused Mondi Lodge, the private and remote plantation home Landhuis de Bouvrie available on Airbnb, or the quirky and intimate Bed & Bike Boutique Hotel located in the famous Jan Thiel Beach area.
For more information on visiting Curacao, click here!
A cool Caribbean archipelago encompassing 700 dreamy islands, The Bahamas has quickly become a favoured destination for Canadians flying south for the winter. Beyond its offering of beaches, sand and spas, The Bahamas is also a haven for wildlife lovers, its waters teeming with fascinating animals like gentle nurse sharks, stingrays and the Instagram-famous swimming pigs.
The island of Andros is home to the world’s third largest barrier reef, which hosts more than 164 species of fish and coral, making it one of the most popular locations in the country for divers and snorkellers. The beauty of The Bahamas goes beyond (and below!) the surface of its beaches. Visitors to the region have the chance to experience and enjoy the thrill of close wildlife encounters and voyages on animal adventures unlike anywhere else.
Meet Exuma’s most famous residents
Most novel of these experiences has to be the renowned swimming pigs in The Exumas. A must-visit photo opportunity, popularly documented across social media, the Big Major Cay swimming pigs are equally adorable and mysterious. How did these intelligent creatures end up living the dream on their own private island, surrounded by crystal blue waters with cascading palm tree canopies?
The story is still unclear. Some share enchanting tales of buccaneers and pirates, their captive porkers making a grand escape, while others speak of farmers seeking a place for their animals to be away from their homes and villages. Whatever the truth may be, be sure to speak to the locals whilst there and see which story rings the most true to you. The captivating swimming pigs have captured the hearts and attention of many and are an important and protected asset of the Bahamian ecosystem.
Adhering to a strict diet, it is important for visitors to abide and respect the rules and regulations and to remember that though appearing cute and cuddly, the swimming pigs are still wild animals that should be respected, treated gently and should only be fed fruits and vegetables. Guests are able to visit the pigs via chartered tours where they can spend time in the water with the animals, feeding them, petting them and observing how they swim and interact with each other and their tropical surroundings.
Swim with the sharks
Over in Compass Cay, located 75 miles from Nassau, the gentle and docile Compass Cay sharks (also known as nurse sharks) await the attention and admiration of human visitors with eagerness not to be outdone by their porcine counterparts. Growing up to 10ft long and weighing anywhere between 200-300 pounds, these bottom dwelling sharks feed on a diet of shellfish and coral and can live for up to 25 years.
Brown in appearance and smooth to touch, with hundreds of tiny serrated teeth, Compass Cay sharks are mostly harmless to humans, but should still be treated like all wild animals, with care and consideration guiding your interactions with them. A unique attribute of the nurse shark is their sucking: they vacuum up sediments with a distinctive high-pitched squeal, which makes them all the more endearing.
Snorkel with sting rays
Similar in smoothness and the way in which they gracefully glide through the Bahamian waters are the beloved Stingrays of Grand Bahama Island. Swim, snorkel or simply stand and enjoy these stingrays and their shallow white sand home. A gentle hands-on experience, suitable for the entire family, including little ones who are certain to never forget the memorable experience of holding and feeding a friendly stingray.
The Islands of the Bahamas are rich and abundant in the natural resources and wildlife that they have to offer those who visit the region, with swimming pigs, sharks and stingrays as well as starfish, turtles and more. Whether in shallow waters or wading in the deep, you are guaranteed to make lasting memories and enjoy experiences that you’ll reminisce long past the end of your holiday as you plan and anticipate your next visit.
As the temperature begins to drop and our clouds turn drab hues of grey, many Canadians are dreaming of Caribbean beaches and planning their escape. For those craving sun, sand, sea and the finer experiences in life, these luxury villas in St. Martin provide the perfect oasis for your winter escape.
The world’s largest square-rigged sailing vessel, Golden Horizon, will have its guests remembering a time when the sea beckoned for all those seeking to abandoned dry land for an adventure at sea. A near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel, France II, the Golden Horizon retains the charm, adventure and romance of an historic ship. And it attracts like-minded adventure seekers for a sailing experience that will allow guests to connect with the elements of the natural world.
The ambience on board is relaxed, casual, elegant and without unnecessary formality – an environment that encourages guests to return time and time again and to share their stories and experiences. All of the Golden Horizon’s 140 cabins are outside facing, providing breath-taking views and evoking the luxury and facilities expected of a boutique cruise ship, but retaining the charm, adventure and romance of a truly historic sailing vessel.
Powered by its billowing sails, the tall ship will follow the sun as much as possible, providing guests with the chance to discover a new-found freedom and the time to connect with the beauty of the natural world. In fact, Tradewind Voyages makes it clear that on its cruises, it intends to spend as much time as possible using the Golden Horizon’s sails, rather than using its main propulsion engines. And its Captain will endeavour to plot courses using the local winds and currents to give guests a true sailing experience and adventure on every voyage.
From May to October 2022, Tradewind Voyages’ Golden Horizon will be based in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean for winter 2022 season. It will operate three new collections — Western Mediterranean, Central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean (including Greece and Turkey) – for its Mediterranean summer season 2022. The extensive program will offer 22 different voyages and include visits to Spain, France, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Turkey. (tradewindvoyages.com)
Canadian cottagers know that summer is for relaxing and reconnecting with friends and family in the forested countryside. But as temperatures drop, why not trade Canada’s snowy pines for the azure water and white sands of The Bahamas? To keep the cottage vibes alive well into the winter, we offer our picks for the properties that blend familiar cottage comfort with the warm splendour of the Caribbean.
Located just off a massive barrier reef, KAMALAME CAY is a charming collective of cottages, bungalows, and beachside villas scattered across 97 acres of private island paradise. With proximity to jungle gardens, world-class beaches, and the resort’s own premier amenities, each of Kamalame Cay’s 20 properties offers a slice of Bahamian bliss infused with Caribbean flair and complete with modern amenities.
A stunning collection of luxury villas just minutes from downtown Nassau, the prestigious PALM CAY community boasts golf, spas, and its very own marina on 69 acres of immaculate tropical sprawl. Palm Cay Rentals has properties for families of all sizes, from cozy one- bedroom waterfront apartments to magnificently appointed four- bedroom colonial villas.
The island of Eleuthera is known for its sandbars, marvelous pink sand beaches,and quaint colonial architecture. Nothing showcases the soul of Eleuthera quite like the GOVERNOR’S HARBOUR COLLECTION, an assortment of lavish homes, apartments, and cottages nestled between the beach and town.
If you haven’t experienced the Caribbean’s Out-Islands, put it on your bucket list immediately. Out-Islands offer something different from a large resort vacation; the pace is slower, the beaches are quieter, the waters seem bluer, you breathe a little deeper.
Sailrock, an uncompromising, low density resort community on the Out-Island of South Caicos, Turks & Caicos, is a meticulously master-planned oasis of white sandy beaches, finely appointed villas, ocean-side bluffs, uninterrupted ocean views, quiet backwater bays, and the world’s third largest barrier reef system. For short-term vacationers looking for a luxurious Out-Island experience, there’s Sailrock Resort. And for connoisseurs of authentic experiences wanting to own real estate in this island paradise, Sailrock Living offers hassle-free home ownership.
REST AND RELAXATION Offering both serene tranquility and soft adventure, Sailrock Resort is a boutique resort featuring unparalleled service and exclusivity in a secluded island setting. Uniquely situated between the Caicos Bank to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Sailrock Resort boasts two beaches and a carefully curated collection of activities for guests to experience and explore the surrounding ocean environments.
If you’ve been looking for total rest and relaxation, you’ve found it. Whether you want to rejuvenate at Na Spa, relax on the sun deck surrounding the infinity-edge pool, spend an afternoon snorkelling the expansive barrier reef, dine on seasonal Caribbean cuisine, watch pink flamingos dance at the nearby salt flats, or take in a spectacular sunset while sipping on a signature cocktail – it’s all here.
LIVING THE DREAM Serenity, luxury, and natural beauty are core attributes of the Sailrock community. Designed as a low density and naturally preserved environment, Sailrock’s Peninsula Neighborhood offers a varying mix of homesites and floor plans across its 770 acres of unique topographies, vegetation, and shorelines. Luxury interiors offer a refined living experience with organic furnishings, open and airy design, and natural connections to the outdoor terraces, decks, and gardens. Homeowners enjoy the added benefits of hassle-free ownership via the turn-key management services offered by Sailrock Resort, which include a structured rental program designed to maximize your vacation home investment. As an added benefit, all Peninsula Villa owners have access to Sailrock Resort’s activities, luxurious amenities, and authentic dining experiences.
OUT-ISLAND ACCESS There are over 90 international flights to Turks & Caicos every week, including direct flights from Toronto. South Caicos is just 40 miles southeast of the island of Providenciales, and is serviced by daily commercial flights that take just 25 minutes. Charter and private jets can also access South Caicos directly from the United States and beyond. Plus, commercial ferry service and charter boats are also available between Providenciales and South Caicos. Always careful and respectful of the island, Islanders, and their culture, the best of South Caicos and Sailrock await you. Visit sailrockliving.com.
This romantic retreat is closer to home than you think.
The sun shimmers across the turquoise water as The Royal Duffy – the boat connecting guests from the shores of Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica to its private island – approaches a heartshaped dock, home to The Caribbean’s first all-inclusive over-the-water villas. With palapa-style architecture, see-through glass floors, a plunge pool or Sandals’ signature Tranquility Soaking Tub for two, outdoor shower, and massive hammocks, this luxurious oasis feels miles away from the ordinary. But these over-the-water villas are closer to home than you may think, located just a short drive from the Montego Bay airport or a direct flight away from several major Canadian cities. Once here, travellers can snorkel, dive and swim directly from their private refuge, that is, if they can tear themselves away from their spacious suite.
DID YOU KNOW? The villas were inspired by Adam Stewart’s (the Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts) honeymoon in The Maldives.
WHERE ARE THEY? The first over-the-water villas and bungalows were built at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, but over-the-water bungalows are now also at Sandals South Coast in Jamaica and Sandals Grande St. Lucian in Saint Lucia.
LUXURY SERVICE Trained in accordance to the standards of the Guild of Professional Butlers – who provide butlers to the likes of nobility and celebrities – each over-the-water suite features butler services such as unpacking or packing suitcases, getting clothes laundered, drawing bubble baths, serving breakfast in bed, or setting up private dinners.
THE INNOVATION GAME Since 1981, Sandals Resorts has continued to redefine the all-inclusive concept. It was the first Caribbean vacation provider to offer many now-mainstream features and amenities, such as Jacuzzis and swim-up pool bars.
GET INSPIRED Search #SandalsSuiteLife, and you’ll get a sense of the Instagram-worthy escapes that await.