Unique wedding activities when getting married in Turks and Caicos

30th April 2017 7:36 am

It’s hard to top getting married in Turks and Caicos. The spectacular white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters gives you plenty of opportunities to create picture-perfect moments.

 

Having your wedding or honeymoon in Turks and Caicos will put you in a small but elite group as well. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, and Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld all married or honeymooned here.

 

But more importantly, a Turks and Caicos wedding will put you in the perfect place for what REALLY matters: the honeymoon. We’ve previously mentioned some of the most luxurious Turks and Caicos resorts (many of which, offer wedding catering), but this island nation is also the premier location for some of the most exciting Caribbean excursions and activities.

 

Whale Watching

Any wedding can have a live band. But it’s truly a breathtaking moment when you and your new spouse gets serenaded by migrating humpback whales on their way south to their winter feeding grounds (or seas).

 

Whale watching in Turks and Caicos is one of the most memorable experiences for tourists. The best times for whale watching is from December to April, so definitely consider this activity if your wedding or honeymoon falls within this timeframe.

 

While the appearance of these majestic creatures can’t be guaranteed, we can promise that we would make the effort to spot them. Even if you’re doing a snorkel or diving trip, the moment whales get spotted, all of our boats are alerted.

 

Kayaking

With calm waters and shallow channels, kayaking is a favorite visitor activity. Whether you’re paddling into the sunset or just drifting under a full moon, kayaking gives you many ways to enjoy the waters.

 

Many parts of the islands are made of forests of mangroves. If you and your spouse are both adventurists, then kayaking is the best way to truly explore your Caribbean paradise. You’ll learn about the mangrove habitats, coastal ecology, island fauna and flora, and spot animals like iguanas and birds. You can even do multi-day kayaking trips for a truly unique experience.

 

Because a kayaking excursion is whatever you and your spouse make of it, it is a great honeymooning activity whether you are beginners or experienced kayakers.

 

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a great activity for active newlyweds. And when you go on a Turks and Caicos stand up paddleboarding excursion, you can easily paddle your way into an island national park and nature reserve made up of mangrove forests, channels, coral reefs, and cays.

 

However, if you want a more low-key honeymoon, SUP can also be a relaxing alternative. With calm, clear waters, SUP gives you an unobstructed view beneath the waves surrounding the islands without getting your hair wet.

 

So whether you want an easy 90-minute sightseeing trip or a four-hour adventure, stand up paddleboarding is a low-cost activity that offers the best of both worlds.

 

Kiteboarding

For a truly unique experience, it’s tough to beat kiteboarding on your honeymoon. With year round trade winds, warm ocean waters, shallow coastline, and scenic beaches, couples can let loose after a tightly scheduled wedding.

 

Even if both of you are kiteboarding beginners, our team of instructors has decades of combined experience that will get you cruising on the waves in mere hours.

 

Snorkeling

Put the wedding out of your mind and focus on exploring the coastal marine ecosystem with your new husband or wife. From beautiful reefs to vibrantly colored fish, snorkeling in the calm waters of the islands is one of the best ways to relax after a hectic wedding.

 

The Turks and Caicos islands have plenty of snorkeling sites to choose from, with no two experiences being the same. Snorkel during the night is an entirely different experience from the day, with different creatures taking their turn to be active. Or embark on an adventure like a snorkel cruise or snorkel ecotour or even combine with it stand up paddleboarding.

 

Or, you can keep it intimate with a private snorkeling excursion that will take you to secluded sites and beaches.

 

SCUBA Diving

People from all over the world go to Turks and Caicos for SCUBA diving. And when it comes to diving, smaller is better. New couples will join small groups to keep their diving experiences more intimate, and giving them greater opportunities to see the amazing marine life of coral reefs and walls without the disruptions of too many divers.

 

Dive the world-class reefs and walls in Grace Bay, Pine Cay, NW Point, French Cay and in West Caicos at your leisure. Spend the entire day traveling from site to site to dive unique locations. With favorable conditions and luck, you might even get to swim with whales and dolphins!

 

If you’re both new to diving, there are even diving courses that’ll get you comfortable in the open water.

 

Private Charters

You chose wisely when you decided on a Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon. The Caribbean islands are beautiful and there’s no better way for a newly married couple to see it than on an intimate, private charter.

 

Why limit yourself to a single activity when you can do it all on a private charter?

 

Cruise the nearby Caicos Cays or distant West Caicos and South Caicos with your new husband or wife. Stop if you see a spot you like and take out the paddleboards, kayaks, kiteboards, or snorkels for a private adventure.

Biking

While the beaches and ocean are some of the best places to be on a Caribbean island, the island interiors are fantastic in their own right. Enjoy whichever island you are on by bike. Biking the islands is one of the best ways you and your spouse can truly appreciate your honeymoon or wedding location.

 

You can do it on your own (some villas offer complimentary bicycles to their guests) or join a bike tour.

 

The North Caicos biking eco-tour will take you on a 12-mile tour of North Caicos’ interior. You’ll see the farming community of Kew, the Wade’s Green cotton plantation ruins, and the 250-feet deep blue hole, Cottage Pond.

 

So What’s Next?

No matter what you plan to do, your Turks and Caicos wedding or honeymoon will be spectacular. It can be relaxing or it can be full of adventure. In both cases, Big Blue Unlimited is dedicated to helping you create a memorable experience of your first days as a married couple.



The Best Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding Spots

23rd April 2017 7:31 am

In the world of kiteboarding, the Turks and Caicos Islands are still relatively uncharted waters. Truth be told, the best Turks and Caicos kiteboarding spots hold up with any of the top spots in the Caribbean. They’re some of the best-kept secrets in the kiteboarding world, and absolutely worth exploring.

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer beautiful weather year-round, bathtub-warm water, and surprisingly empty beaches, along with cooling winds that make for the perfect kiteboarding conditions.

Best of all, these waters are perfect for kiteboarders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or you’re learning to kiteboard for the first time, the conditions make for an unforgettable experience—no matter who’s on the board.

Where to Kiteboard in the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands have an incredible wealth of great spots for kiteboarding or kitesurfing. The best wind conditions tend to be between November and July, which conveniently overlaps with tourist season. Come August, the winds vanish, so don’t expect to get any surfing done in the late summer or early fall.

The water in the Turks and Caicos is always warm, so you can kiteboard right in your bathing suit. The standard kite sizes are 10m and 12m. Let’s take a look at the best locations for kiteboarding:

  1. Long Bay

Long Bay Beach, in the Caicos Banks, is the best spot for kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos. Long Bay is located a short five minutes away from Grace Bay, the main tourist spot in Providenciales. Long Bay catches the Easterly trade winds thanks to its east-facing location on the northeastern tip of Provo, which makes it absolutely perfect conditions for first-time learners.

What makes Long Bay so special? The white sand beaches are incredibly soft, and they’re complemented by shallow, waist-deep waters that extend out for what seems like miles. At low tide, the water is only two feet deep, and at high tide, they’re still only as deep as 4.5 feet. These waters are especially forgiving to first-time learners, as they’re so shallow for so far that your instructor can easily accompany you on foot. The water can be choppy at high tide, but it’s incredibly flat at low tide.

When you hear “best spot for kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos,” your mind may immediately jump to “overcrowded beach,” but that couldn’t be further from reality. Long Bay is still relatively undiscovered, and there’s never many more than 20 kiteboarders strewn across the several -mile beach. Luckily, it’s just busy enough that there’s always someone around to help you get up on the water.

The side-on winds of 15-25 knots and flat waters make it a great spot to ride freestyle and freeride. At Big Blue, we do most of our famous kiteboarding instruction at Long Bay.

  1. Grace Bay

Grace Bay Beach is also located at the northeast corner of Providenciales, only five minutes from Long Bay. Grace Bay is a step up from difficulty over Long Bay, only offering conditions for more experienced riders.

The crescent shape of the beach actually makes it so that during normal trade winds, the wind is totally dead offshore. But, when northeast wind systems kick in, Grace Bay becomes one of the best kiteboarding spots in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The water is much deeper at Grace Bay—12 feet deep to be exact—so riders here must be experienced enough to ride upwind, and they must also be able to relaunch in overhead deep water. The beach runs seven miles long, so there are always plenty of clear spots to launch from. The water is typically fairly choppy here, making it perfect for chop hopping.

If there’s a swell, then there’s typically an amazing break on the barrier reef, located a mile offshore, which creates perfect kiteboarding conditions. The North Shore reef brings a huge challenge to even the most experienced riders. Note that you’ll definitely need a boat if you want to get that far out and be able to make it back to shore.

If you’re able to catch Grace Bay during its side-on northeast winds, don’t miss the chance!

  1. North & Middle Caicos Islands

Many riders never make it off Providenciales, but there are many neighboring cays that are perfect for kiteboarding. At Big Blue Unlimited, we offer Surfaris to the Middle Caicos and North Caicos Islands that let you explore these nearly deserted beaches.

Leaving from Leeward, we explore the Turks and Caicos backcountry, seeing many sights that you’ll never forget. If you’re in the Turks and Caicos and you’d like a truly unique kiteboarding experience, be sure to check out one of our Downwinders or Surfing Safaris.

  1. Northwest Point

Northwest Point is a little-known beach at the—you guessed it—northwest point of Providenciales. This untrodden beach is completely secluded, giving riders all the open water they could ever need.

Northwest Point has some of the strongest winds of any point on the island. The waters here are home to many sand bars and small waves that also make for great snorkeling. If there’s a swell, there’s a great break on the reef here too.

  1. Chalk Sound

Chalk Sound has unbelievable turquoise water that always seems to be reserved for the world’s most beautiful locations. Chalk Sound National Park is a sight to behold in southwest Providenciales. This natural lagoon has hundreds of small rocky islands and clear waters.

It can be hard to get up or to launch in Chalk Sound, but once you do, it’s one of the most beautiful kiteboarding spots in the world.

  1. Turtle Tail

Located on the south coast of Providenciales, Turtle Tail is actually a luxurious residential area with some of the most beautiful ocean views on the island. This peninsula is more difficult to get to than Long Bay and Grace Bay, but once you can get there, it provides buttery-calm waters that are great for any skill level.

Just like Long Bay, Turtle Tail is constantly exposed to the Easterly trade winds, which can make for choppy conditions when the winds are strong, but the shallow Caicos Banks typically make for incredibly calm waters.

Learn more about our kiteboard offerings in the Turks and Caicos here, or get in touch with Big Blue Unlimited to book your kiteboarding excursion now!


Filed under: kite boarding

Which are the main resorts and Islands of Turks and Caicos?

22nd April 2017 8:36 am

The Turks and Caicos islands are increasingly becoming one of the more popular Caribbean destinations for vacationers from all over the world. You can pack your day full of activities—or relaxation—on Providenciales beautiful beaches, Grand Turk’s historic Cockburn Town, or Salt Cay’s superb diving spots.

But with multiple islands and upscale resorts or tranquille villas sitting on over 128 square miles (or 332 square kilometres) of combined beachfront and gardens, where are the best resorts and activities on Turks and Caicos?

First, let’s get to know the islands. Turks and Caicos has seven main islands in the country and about 40 smaller islands and uninhabited cays. If you need help deciding where to stay, visit our accommodations page to learn more. From west to east, here are the main islands:

 

West Caicos

West Caicos, formerly known as Belle Island, is (unsurprisingly) the westernmost island and is the second largest uninhabited island of the archipelago.

Because the island and the surrounding waters are largely protected by the West Caicos Marine National Park, it is not possible to stay on the island. However, because of the protection, the reefs surrounding the island have some of the best diving spots in the country.
There are over two dozen dive sites, one of which, is known as the Wall, with sheer drops from about 40 feet down to 6000!

 

Providenciales

The Attractions on Providenciales

More commonly known as “Provo,” Providenciales is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos (most visitors fly into Provo airport) and has the some of the best and highly rated resorts on travel review sites.

Ranked consistently as having some of the best beaches in the world by Condé Nast magazine and World Travel Awards, it’s also the location of gorgeous scenery, breathtaking sandy beaches, and stunning ocean views. Some of the best attractions on Providenciales include:

  • Caicos Conch Farm (the world’s only conch farm)
  • Grace Bay
  • Bight Reef
  • Anna’s Art Gallery
  • Princess Alexandra National Park

Of course, you can also visit the Provo Golf Club, arguably one of the top 72-hole golf courses in the Caribbean.

 

The Accommodations on Providenciales

While most of the luxury resorts are located on the north shore near Grace Bay, which is the location of some the most beautiful beaches, there are other popular places that offer great accommodations. You’ll discover that the common theme of these resorts are ocean bay views and luxurious five-star treatment.

  • Seven Stars Resort & Spa
  • The Venetian on Grace Bay
  • The Somerset on Grace Bay
  • Grace Bay Club
  • The Tuscany
  • The Regent Grand
  • Blue Haven Resort
  • The Shore Club
  • Gansevoort
  • Le Vele
  • Ocean Club West
  • Northwest Point Resort


Some all-inclusive resorts include:

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
  • Amanyara
  • Club Med Turquoise
  • Parrot Cay

 

North Caicos and Middle Caicos

The Attractions on North and Middle Caicos

North Caicos and Middle Caicos offer spectacular outdoor sights. While both islands offer stunning beaches, they are less crowded and more intimate.

Snorkelling is heavily impacted by the weather. Three Marys Cays in North Caicos and Mudjin Harbour and Conch Bar Beach in Middle Caicos are excellent spots when conditions are good.

Both islands also have great hiking and exploration activities, including:

  • Crossing Place Trail – the main link between North and Middle Caicos
  • Conch Bar Caves
  • Flamingo Pond Overlook

 

The Accommodations on North and Middle Caicos

The hotels and villas on North and Middle Caicos are all more intimate and tranquil than their Providenciales counterparts. Most offer full kitchens and some even offer complimentary bike use for their guests.

  • Blue Horizons Resort
  • Cedar Palm Beach Suites
  • Hollywood Beach Suites
  • Sundial Villa
  • Villa Palmetto

 

East Caicos

While it used to be home to plantations and ranches, East Caicos is now deserted and uninhabited. Its 18 square miles (or 46.5 square kilometers) beachfront is occupied only by sea turtle eggs and mosquitos. Lots of mosquitos.

 

South Caicos

The Attractions of South Caicos

Commonly called The Big South, South Caicos island is the fishing capital of the country with natural harbors and several fishing plants.

South Caicos is largely untouched by tourism, which means that you’ll see an unfiltered Caribbean destination in its true form. However, there are charter boats that can take you to some of the loveliest dive and kayak sites around the islands. You can also explore historic and abandoned sites like the South Caicos Salt Salinas.

 

The Accommodations of South Caicos

There are only three hotels on South Caicos:

  • East Bay Resort
  • Sail Rock Resort
  • South Caicos Ocean & Beach Resort

 

Grand Turk

The Attractions of Grand Turk

Grand Turk is the second most populated island and is the historic and political center of the country. It is also the easternmost of the country’s large islands and is known as the first landfall into the New World by Christopher Columbus and the first dryland that American astronaut, John Glenn, stepped onto after his historic orbit around the Earth.

The capital city, Cockburn Town, is an intimate Caribbean town that is easily walkable and has many interesting sites to see, including:

  • The National Museum of Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Grand Turk Lighthouse
  • Columbus Landfall National Park

Other activities you can do while on Grand Turk include:

  • Snorkeling at Gibbs Cay
  • Diving Library Reef
  • Hiking Sand River Canyon
  • Kayaking
  • Diving Black Forest

 

The Accommodations of Grand Turk

While Grand Turk resorts aren’t as luxurious as Providenciales’, there are still many great options from which you can choose.

  • Crabtree Apartments
  • Turks Head Inne
  • Beachside Bungalow
  • Bohio Dive Resort
  • Island House
  • Reef House
  • Osprey Beach Hotel
  • Salt Raker Inn

 

Salt Cay

The Attractions of Salt Cay

Salt Cay is the smallest of the inhabited islands of the Turks and Caicos islands and is also the southernmost island.

Salt Cay has seen very little tourism development and most visitors come for the island’s and surrounding water’s wildlife.

Popular activities include:

  • Whale watching
  • Scuba diving

One of the most popular dive spots are the sink sites of the mostly intact H.M.S. Endymion (sunk in 1790) and the General Pershing (sunk in 1921).

 

The Accommodations of Salt Cay

Only rental villas are available on Salt Cay. Most have full kitchens offer complimentary use of bicycles, kayaks, snorkel gear, and airport pickups.

  • Castaway Villa
  • Charming House
  • Genesis Beach House
  • Half Way House
  • Pirates Hideaway
  • Purple Conch Cottage
  • The Villas of Salt Cay
  • The Vistas of Salt Cay
  • Tradewind Guest Suites
  • Twilight Zone Cottage

 

Now that you have an idea of what is available to you during your visit to Turks and Caicos Islands, you can begin narrowing down places you want to stay during your trip. If you need more help, visit our accommodations page to learn more.