5 Environmental Friendly Activities of a Turks and Caicos Excursion

25th October 2017 8:26 am

One of the reasons why the Turks and Caicos are so attractive to tourists is because of its natural formations. The sparkling clear waves and powder-like sand would lose all their appeal if there was litter all across the beaches.

Fortunately, there are many ways environmentally conscious tourists can enjoy the islands while helping to preserve the natural beauty of the Turks and Caicos.

Big Blue Unlimited’s Eco Philosophy

Our philosophy is to bring you the best adventures with the least environmental impact possible. We keep our group excursions small for two big reasons:

  1. Smaller groups minimize environmental impact
  2. Smaller groups maximize your experiences on the reef, in the mangroves, and in the ocean

This philosophy has been constantly refined over 20 years of our operation, and we are constantly exploring new ways to experience the islands in the best possible way. This evolution of our mission has helped us develop an operation that now has:

  • Over 40 kayaks
  • Over 20 stand up paddleboards
  • A fleet of bikes across four islands of the Caicos island group

Year after year, we find new ways to discover the Turks and Caicos and better ways to do so. While our vision gets refined, we have never wavered in working with the community to maintain a sustainable approach to adventure tourism.

Here are five ways we want to help you appreciate the Turks and Caicos without leaving a single mark on the environment.

1) Kayak in the Turks and Caicos

Kayaking is one of the best ways to traverse the beaches, mangrove channels, and areas around the cays without leaving a mark on the environment. As long as you don’t flip, you don’t even have to worry about your sunscreen residue either!

Any accessible waterway can be explored by kayak while you’re on the Turks and Caicos islands. You don’t have to stay on one island either. Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport with boats and trailers so you can truly explore a lot of different areas with kayaks.

2) Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddleboard (or SUP) is similar to kayaking in that it’s a great way to explore the waterways. One added benefit of stand up paddleboarding is that the elevated position from standing gives you a better view than from a kayak. You can see farther and have a wider area of view of what’s beneath you in the reefs.

3) Snorkeling and Diving

Humans spend so much time on land that it’s so easy to forget an ecosystem beneath the waves.

Snorkeling can be a real eye opener that allows you to see a whole new world of fish, coral, sharks, rays, and more.

If you want to go even deeper, diving can be a real treat. You can “scale” massive vertical walls and and descend drops and witness life in a myriad of depths. The Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites.

4) Water-based Eco Tours

There are even special eco-tours you can take while on a stand up paddle board. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

There are also snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites where you learn about the ecosystem.  Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

5) Out Island Eco Tours

The roots and culture of the Caicos Islands are found on North, Middle and South Caicos. Big Blue Unlimited has several outposts on these islands and have an extensive network of guides, bikes, kayaks and boats to give you an incredibly interactive ecotourism excursion that reveals the amazing ecology as well as culture of the islands.

Book an Environmentally Friendly Excursion Today!

Contact us now and explore the Turks and Caicos in an environmentally conscious and friendly way.



Turks and Caicos Visa and Entry Requirements

17th October 2017 9:51 am

Many people love visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and often do repeat trips for years to come. Besides being a Caribbean paradise, people love returning to the islands because of how easy it is to visit.

The Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory with a legal system based on English Common Law. This means that for most tourists, the process of visiting is relatively simple and straightforward.

General TCI Entry and Visa Requirements

Passport

All visitors traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands must have a valid passport 6 months from entry date and have at least two blank pages.

Children under 16 years can travel on their parents passports (provided that they are not traveling through the US).

Length of Stay

All visitors must show a valid onward or return trip ticket. In other words, you can’t get into the Turks and Caicos on a one-way ticket.

Visitors are granted entry for 30 days (see Visas for more detail). However, you can apply to extend your stay once. You can extend your stay by visiting one of the Immigration Department offices:

 

  • Providenciales, Downtown
    +1 (649) 941-7792
    +1 (649) 941-7793

  • Grand Turk, Cockburn Town
    +1 (649) 946-2939

Visas

A large list of countries are exempt from getting a visa prior to entering Turks and Caicos when visiting for 30 days or fewer. Some visitors planning to stay beyond 30 days will need to apply for a visa, depending on their country.

You can see the full list of countries here: https://www.gov.tc/bordercontrol/visa

Nationals of countries and territories not listed but are lawful residents of the United Kingdom, United States of America or Canada, or who are holders of a valid visa permitting their travel to any of these three countries, may be granted leave to enter the Islands without a Turks and Caicos Islands visa.

Apply for a Visa

Visitor’s Visas:

 

  • Single entry visitor’s visa: $150
  • One year multiple entry business visa: $500
  • Student visa: $300

 

All applicants must satisfy the Department of Immigration that they are genuine visitors, that they will not engage in an occupation and that they will leave the Islands at the end of the stipulated period.

For complete directions and information on apply for a Turks and Caicos visa, please visit: https://www.gov.tc/how-do-i-apply-for#visa


Filed under: Tourism

Overcoming Nature’s Release

11th October 2017 10:33 am

During the second week of September the power of Hurricane Irma was felt far and wide across the northern Caribbean and Turks and Caicos Islands. The eye passed mere miles south of Provo and the winds lashed hard against homes, businesses and the islands. We were very grateful not to experience the anticipated 15ft sea surge, and with the exception of a handful of boats and dock systems, it was the wind that did the damage over the land.

A solid preparation plan secured the Big Blue vessels to underground concrete blocks and the water sports gear was stored safely indoors. These all weathered the storm admirably. The elevated Big Blue base, one of only four of the original iconic Leeward buildings still in existence, took a beating and the wooden front section and balcony were ripped away. It is testament to the builders that the majority of the original roof and walls stayed intact and the stone foundations held fast. Despite what seemed like a large amount of debris and rain damage our beloved adventure base will live to fight another day.

While we bare witness to the devastating power of a hurricane and sympathize enormously with those who lost of lot more and remain temporarily homeless, we have taken the opportunity for a spring clean and an office revamp. The onset of another large hurricane named Maria hastened our clean-up operation and the staff rallied around to prepare. With great relief she passed by Provo with barely a scratch so under blazing sun and through days of windless and relenting heat most of the hard work was painfully completed. The kayaks and paddleboards returned to their racks by the waterfront and the resumption of power fired up the dive compressor. The boats, new fleet and old favourites, made their way back to the Big Blue dock ready for action. Our office has been relocated to the former dive maintenance room and the effervescent Sherline is standing by to answer calls and reply to messages.  We are grateful that the cooler weather of autumn is just around the corner.

The beaches survived and the mangrove wetlands have stood up to nature’s ultimate test. The sand, churned up by the wind and waves, continues to settle and the vivid colours we all love so much are becoming evident once again. Even the wind is blowing out of the east as it should. The whole island is rallying around and while there is still much to be done we are all keen to return to our respective passions. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the magical playground of the Turks and Caicos.


Filed under: Uncategorised

It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up for Kalama Kamp 2017!

9th October 2017 3:11 pm

Big Blue Unlimited is proud to partner with Dave Kalama for his annual Kalama Kamp. This year marks the 7th installment of the weeklong Kalama Kamp Turks and Caicos beginning on October 7, and ending on October 14.

What Is Kalama Kamp?

Kalama Kamp is magical weeklong event that is led by Dave Kalama where you can become a better stand up paddleboarder in one of the best paddling locations in the world. The Turks and Caicos are a group of islands in the Caribbean that is surrounded by calm, crystal clear blue water. It’s an amazing experience any avid stand up paddleboarding enthusiast should sign up for.

This year’s Kalama Kampers will be hosted in Private Villa accommodations.

Costs

All prices are shown in USD. An additional 4.166% sales tax will added to your total.

  • Single Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom): $4950
  • Double Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom) with a single Kalama Kamp participant: $2200
  • Double Occupancy (King Bed, private bathroom) with both people participating: $4700 per person
  • On island resident rate / no accommodation (full course, 2 meals per day) $3000
  • On island resident rate / no accommodation (half course, 1 meals per day) $1600
  • Deposit : $500

What’s Included:

  • A selection of stand up paddleboards, paddles, hydration packs and leashes
  • Boat support where needed (i.e.: on the waves/ reef, for down winders and “backcountry” safaris)
  • Luxury Private Villa accommodations with pool
  • All meals provided by our private local in-house chef (except two lunches and one fish fry dinner excursion)
  • All local accommodation taxes included
  • Airport transfers and land transport

What’s Not Included:

  • Flights. Guests must make their own flight arrangements to Providenciales (PLS)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks available at cost at Villa
  • Gratuity for guides

Who is Dave Kalama?

Dave Kalama is a waterman, pure and simple. He is a watersport celebrity who has a following in big wave surfing, stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing, outrigger canoe racing, and more. He frequently partners with longtime friend and fellow big wave surfing pioneer, Laird Hamilton, to promote the watersports.

Kalama’s resume is densely packed with major accomplishments, including:

  • Co-developing of the big wave surfing technique of tow-in surfing
  • Promoting and mastering stand up paddleboarding, an ancient Hawaiian mode of water transportation and watersport
  • Taking on increasingly longer solo paddle events between various Hawaiian islands
  • Co-developing foil surfing
  • Being awarded the Beacon Award at the Maui Film Festival for “helping to revive the surf film genre”
  • Being featured in big wave riding films and photographs while riding the largest ocean waves in recorded history
  • Appearing in the opening sequence of the James Bond film, Die Another Day

There Are Still Spots Remaining!

Don’t miss out on a stand up paddleboarding experience of a lifetime. With just a few spots remaining, you can still sign up for this year’s Kalama Kamp!

 

Email reach@kalamakamp.com to inquire for more information or visit www.kalamakamp.com to sign up!



Where to Find the Best Turks and Caicos Sailing

3:09 pm

The Turks and Caicos is one of the premier destinations for sailing because of its prime location in the Caribbean for professionals, amateurs, and casual passengers alike. If you aren’t interested in captaining your own boat but still want to experience the freedom of taking on the open seas, then here’s how you can enjoy some of the best sailing in the Turks and Caicos.

Safety

Before we get into how to find the best Turks and Caicos sailing excursions or companies, it’s important to understand the local geography and how that can impact your experience and safety.

The Turks and Caicos are surrounded by beautiful reefs and are cooled by tradewinds. However, the same natural environment that attracted you to the islands can also be hazards for boaters. If you decide to sail the Turks and Caicos yourself, you should familiarize yourself with the area.

Alternatively, you can charter a boat and an experienced crew to give you an unforgettable experience on the water.

Season

January through March is often one of the best times to set sail in the Caribbean. It’s not too hot yet in the open sun and there aren’t too many storms during this time. However, because of this prime time, prices tend to be higher.

Charter Companies

Charter companies are often the goto resource for when you want to sail the Turks and Caicos. Two ways charter companies are segmented are by the size and tier.

Company Size

Larger companies have larger fleets, which gives some flexibility for any schedule disruptions. They can also offer upgrades. Smaller companies tend to have better service, but a smaller fleet size means it will be harder to book with them as their openings can fill up very quickly.

Company Tier

A company tier describes the age of a fleet. First tier companies have boats that are five years or younger while second tier companies can have older boats. Many boats in the first tier companies have more advanced technology, including autopilot, GPS, stereos, and more.

However, a company’s tier isn’t really that big of an issue for passengers as the technology is more for the crew and captain.

Choosing a Charter

If you’re unfamiliar with sailing or the Caribbean conditions, it’s highly recommended that you choose a crewed charter. At Big Blue Unlimited, our fleet is manned by a very accomplished and capable crew who are dedicated to providing our passengers with an enjoyable and environmentally friendly experience.

Excursions

Our vessels are set-up as first-rate scuba diving, snorkeling and adventure platforms that are available for private charters across the archipelago. This means you can take a gentle cruise around nearby Caicos Cays or go further to West Caicos, French Cay, and even South Caicos.

No two trips are the same. Our captains will take you wherever the conditions will give you the best experience possible. Our experience of the tides, knowledge of the islands, and awareness of the reefs and wilderness can safely give you a close up encounter with the natural beauty of the Turks and Caicos.

What to Expect

Every one of our vessels are equipped with snorkeling gear so none of our excursions are just a mere boat ride. Each trip out to sea is to an impressive dive or snorkel site where you can immerse yourself with the marine life and beautiful coral.

Depending on the vessel you choose, some of our boats even have space to bring diving equipment, paddleboards, kayaks, and kiting gear.

We expect you to get hungry when you adventure with us. That’s why our excursions provide lunch! Food and beverages are served to your requirements and taste by Big Blue’s very own chef and we have a selection of healthy snacks or meals to choose from.

Book Now

Contact us now and let us know that you are interested in booking a private charter!


Filed under: Private charters

Hurricane Kate – Grateful

1st October 2017 8:54 am

All things considered we must be thankful and count ourselves blessed, lucky and fortunate. We, Big Blue that is, got off lightly as did most of our hurricane katie TCIislands.

The carnage and devastation suffered by our Southern neighbours is by no means beyond the realms of comprehension when looking around our own less fortunate neighborhoods. However, the sheer scale of hurricanes Irma and Maria’s swift, destructive and warlike forces are barely believable. We know it could so easily have been us. 🙏🏽

Here, at home there are many that have suffered similar fates, losing everything with those in Grand Turk and South Caicos especially, hardest hit.

This most active hurricane season is not yet over by any stretch but as the sun begins to shine again and as Maria heads off past the horizon perhaps now the #turksandcaicos can get back to the very real and serious business to continue clearing up while picking up the pieces together.

A winding road lies ahead but we do have excellent infrastructure, public services and supportive government here enabling us to bounce back quickly and to help communities get back on track with all the major service businesses are aiming to be ready come October and November.

As we knuckle down to be ready to share more adventures with our extended Big Blue family this season, it is important that we be grateful for the simple things in life while offering a prayer to those who have really suffered this September. They really have a long, long road ahead. #Barbuda #BVI #Dominica #Puertorico #Cuba #Stmartin #Guadeloupe #Martinique and #Mexico

#tcistrong #hurricaneirma #hurricanemaria #madeofocean #uwphotography #snorkeling #gnarbox #welivetoexplore #unityisstrength


Filed under: Hurricane