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A Postcard from Curaçao | Episode 5 | Santa Martha (Watch Video)

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Fifth in a series of inspirational postcards from our friends at Dive Curacao.

Welcome to Episode 5 where we are visiting Santa Martha, located near the village of Soto.

Santa Martha is large 480-hectare sugar cane and divi-divi plantation that dates back to the 1700’s. Landhuis Klein Santa Martha was once one of the top three producers of salt on the island, along with Landhuis Groot Santa Martha and Landhuis San Nicolas, thanks to the large salt pans and nearby Santa Martha Bay being the most productive on the island.

Santa Martha Bay is one of the most beautiful and scenic lookouts on Curacao. This lookout provides an incredible and breath-taking perspective of Christoffel National Park not to mention the unique western landscape of Curaçao.

While in the area, a visit to the plantation house Landhuis Groot Santa Martha is highly recommended as it is one of the few houses built in a U-shape and now serves as a care facility for people with physical and/or mental disabilities.

Groot Santa Martha awaits unique development

The area, previously known as Coral Cliff and Sunset Waters Hotel is being developed into an all-inclusive hotel that will have 200 to 300 rooms that will be managed under the leadership of hoteliers Avila Beach Hotel and LionsDive Beach Resort, and developers Van Alstede.

This development involves an investment of 100 million guilders and should eventually allow for the creation of 250 new jobs. Moreover, a second hotel will be added to the area later down the line. This is planned to result in a combined total of between 700 and 800 rooms, leading to 1000 to 1500 new jobs. The entire plan, spread over a period of 10 years, requires an investment of at least 250 million guilders. In addition to the hotel with all its facilities, a marina with water sports activities will be constructed in the large inland waterways of Santa Martha, as well as outdoor recreations, such as horseback riding and hiking trails.

Furthermore, this hotel will adhere to a ‘from farm to fork’ mindset, which means that much of the hotel’s food will be provided by local gardeners, farmers, and fishermen from Groot Santa Martha and the community of Soto. This “from farm to fork” concept serves to underline the “Green Travel” and sustainable tourism commitments of the management group.

“We see it as our obligation to go beyond the sustainability standards of the Curacao hospitality industry. We are implementing innovative and sustainable solutions, providing meaningful information for colleagues and guests to encourage and help protect, and safeguard, the environment while supporting our local community.” Says Robbin Vogels, General Manager, Avila Beach Hotel.

Robbin went on to say, “The reef at Santa Martha is one of the most beautiful fringing reef systems on Curacao. For us it is especially important not only to preserve the reef, but we also have an obligation to improve it. Therefore, we are committed to support Coral Restoration Curaçao and are enormously proud to have thriving coral nurseries installed at LionsDive Beach Resort and Avila Beach Hotel. In addition, we will also create the first nursery in Bandabou at Santa Martha to increase the coral density thereby allowing the biodiversity to flourish.”

There are several dive sites you can reach from Playa Santa Martha by shore such as Mako’s Mountain, The Airplane Wreck and Playa Hundu.

Mushroom ForestThe Blue Room and Duane’s Release are a few of the many dive sites nearby which can be reached by boat.

​Straight out from the breakwaters there was a marking buoy, which identified the remains of a small plane, hence the name Airplane Wreck. The remains are covered in growth and make for nice macro photos.

Sincere Love from Curacao,

Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao

Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films


Videos produced and edited for Dive Curacao in cooperation with Nature Pics Films.  Photography courtesy of Avila Beach Resort.

Bryan Horne wasn’t born in Curaçao; he’s a Canadian native, drawn to the Island “out of a passion for scuba diving and the underwater world.” Moving was always going to be a life-changing decision, but in diving, Bryan had found his calling. As the founder and owner of Dive Curaçao, he spends his days showing off Curaçao’s hidden undersea treasures – and does his part to preserve them for future generations.

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And the winner of our Waterproof BODY 2X Power Stretch Hollow Fiber Undergarment competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a Waterproof BODY 2X Power Stretch Hollow Fiber Undergarment as a prize!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Megan Kinsey from the UK

Congratulations Megan – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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Gear News

Aqualung launches all new XSCAPE Collection featuring eco-responsible wetsuit

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Aqualung has announced the launch of its all new XSCAPE collection. Featuring a 100 percent neoprene-free wetsuit and a rash guard made from sustainable materials, the XSCAPE line is designed for a variety of water activities and reflects Aqualung’s commitment to innovation, ocean discovery and sustainability.

Made with Yulex® eco-friendly natural rubber and ultra-stretch fabric, the 4/3mm XSCAPE wetsuit provides enhanced comfort for diving in warm waters or above surface activities in colder temperatures, and can be used for scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving, paddling or a variety of other water sports. The flexible and lightweight XSCAPE wetsuit, available in a red and olive design for men and a tropical-inspired print for women, connects consumers to nature and the natural materials the collection is made from. The suit also features Powertex knee pads, recycled, quick-drying fleece around the torso area to provide additional warmth and comfort, and a reusable mesh bag for storage after use or collecting trash from the beach or water.

“The XSCAPE collection continues Aqualung’s legacy in innovation and their tireless work to create the most forward thinking and eco-conscious dive company in the world,” said Aqualung global ocean ambassador Philippe Cousteau Jr., the grandson of one of Aqualung’s original founders, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. “We all have the power to change the world with the choices we make and the XSCAPE sets the new standard for wetsuits and rash guards that are stylish, functional and sustainable.”

The new collection’s long-sleeve rash guard for men and women, and matching women’s leggings, offer maximum comfort and breathability and can be used above or below the surface. All rash guards and leggings feature UV protection and are made with polyester fabric sourced from recycled plastic bottles. The entire XSCAPE line comes in plastic-free packaging with hangtags made from recycled cardboard.

“Our aim was to design the ultimate eco-friendly wetsuit that could be used for all kinds of water sports,” said Laurent Boury, Senior Vice President of Brands at Aqualung Group. “Aqualung is committed to using environmentally-friendly materials and processes whenever possible to help reduce our carbon footprint and we made design choices to ensure the XSCAPE collection was as sustainable as possible.”

“The collection name, XSCAPE, is meant to evoke the feeling of freedom and the quest for wonder that surround exploration, travel, and Aqualung’s storied history, including the first “aqua-lung” created by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan that made underwater exploration possible,” added Boury.

To learn more please visit www.aqualung.com.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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