Friday, September 8, 2017

The little treasure on the outskirts of the Caribbean Sea: Curaçao

Characterized by a semi-arid climate and a very different vegetation compared to the classic tropical Caribbean, Curacao is indeed more similar to the southwest of the United States. In fact, the landscape is full of various species of cactus, evergreens and spiny bushes.

Nevertheless, the island strikes with interesting spots, which offer a great diversity of kiting conditions, for all the levels of riders.

Nick Brouwer, the owner and instructor at Nixkitecuracao, helped us find out what the island has to offer.

Saint Joris Bay

Saint Joris Bay is absolutely the top location for kitesurfers on Curacao. It is actually a large lake, which connects to the Caribbean Sea though a canal. The spot is very popular not only for the 'Curaçaoans,' but also for many kite-tourists coming for flat water conditions.

The spot, which is very easy to access, offers an onshore wind with the first 40 meters of shallow water, usually with mirror-smooth surface. The spot is for sure ideal for people who still have to learn kitesurfing or have little experience in riding.

If we don’t want to get to far from Willemstad, the island’s capital, we can go to Marie Pompoen, where we can find side-shore winds and pleasant conditions of shallow waves. However, the spot is suitable only to advanced riders, due to the difficult access to the water, consisting in narrow passages through the rocky coastline.

Little Curacao

Expert Kite surfers can find great conditions in Little Curacao (Klein Curaçao). It is a deserted island located 10 kilometers southeast of Curacao with turquoise waters, shipwrecks and great waves. Of course, kiting in Little Curacao is beautiful, but also pretty difficult, and the spots are only suitable for advanced riders.

The waves around the little island are quite big with side winds.

Little Curacao

The island in uninhabited, but we can easily find daily flights to this little paradise, which still remains an important breeding ground for various bird species. 

Little Curacao

Wind conditions.

The season on Curacao runs between December and August. The best period is between May and July, when the wind blows between the 15/ 25 knots every day. September, October and November there is no wind.

It's pretty easy to find good accommodations on the island. In order to be close to the main spot of Saint Joris Bay, stay at Hacienda La Bouganville,  which is located less than 2 km from it.

Hacienda Bouganville

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

El Cuyo: the potential new kite Mecca in the Yucatan Peninsula.

This winter I had the chance to pass sometimes for business in the Riviera Maya, the beautiful coast area going from Cancun to Tulum, passing by Playa del Carmen. I consider myself a bit of a local in this area, since I have been kiting here several times and for medium-long periods.

Whenever I come back I enjoy meeting old and new friends on the beach and share experiences, having sessions together in the turquoise and warm waters of this Mexican paradise.

David Furchtgott Nussbaum

Talking about old friends I met again with pleasure David from Morph kiteboarding and the occasion was visiting his new  kite luxury guest house ‘Casa Morph’ in El Cuyo. David is a great kiter which I had the pleasure to see in action and to portray in a couple of my pictures, but he is also a smart and active entrepreneur and Casa Morth is his last great idea.

Casa Morph

The magnificent new property, built by David, lies directly on the beach, in the best central position, and it is so well designed that it blends architectural beauty to functionality as a kitesurfing guest house of unmatched quality. Quite a huge contrast between the surrounding laid back  posadas in town. The rooms are noting but luxury and spacious, with very elegant furnishing and huge showers bathrooms. Definitely the place to be for a kite holiday of great comfort.

The beach from Casa Morph

The spot: I already knew about the steady and reliable winds of this place, but I could not imagine to find such great conditions for kiting  as I experienced.

On the shores of El Cuyo, the wind blows practically every day due to the thermal effect of the hot Yucatan flat behind the coastline. In fact, just after the sun rises, the wind starts blowing with an unstoppable growing rate. You can have 14-16 knots in the morning, up to over 20-22 in the afternoon.

The Beach in El Cuyo

The coast is just a huge spot all long for several miles of sandy beach and the water varies from choppy within the early wind to wavy with the strong afternoon ones.

The wind blows massively up to the sunset, constant and with no gusts, steady as if it was blown by a gigantic fan. The same fan which just switches off just few minutes after sunset, showing how important is the thermal effect produced by the combination of the sun connected with the flat and hot Yucatan land.

 Talking with David I found out he is trying to grant access for kiters to the immense lagoon behind the coastline. This area is in fact a protected reserve and a massive undisciplined amount of people throwing their kite in wouldn’t be tolerated (well environment first, I’d say). 

El Cuyo Lagoon

We know how often overcrowded kite spots can create problems and the local communities are very protective about environmental problems. But here comes David with the proposal to the authorities of a daily quota fee limited group of kiters in the lagoon. That might convince the authorities to let supervised kiters to access ride in it.

If this attempt would be successful El Cuyo could become a great new Kite paradise in the heart of the Mayan land. 

The condition are great and this spot offers waves and flat waters for freestylers. Very close to the U.S. and to the Riviera Maya, full of tourists and therefore kiters, this place, with its constant winds all year round, will become very popular soon..

What to add more? Good Luck David for your great initiative, I’ll be visiting Casa Morph very often.