A brief history of the TCI’s

27th November 2017 11:40 am

Present day Turks and Caicos is still strongly influenced by its history, even after becoming one of the top Caribbean destinations. You may know of it for its pristine beaches, beautiful luxury resorts, and thriving tourism industry, but the TCIs had humble beginnings.

History of the Turks and Caicos

Pre-Christopher Columbus

The original settlers of the islands were Taino and Lucyan Indians and their heritage of seafaring, salt raking and farming, and use of conch in their diet still persists and continues to play a significant cultural role today.

Even the name of the country comes from these early cultures. “Turks” is a reference to the indigenous Turk’s head cactus and “Caicos” is from the Lucayan term “caya hico,” meaning string of islands.

Post-Christopher Columbus

Some scholars believe Christopher Columbus’ first New World landfall was on Grand Turk in 1492. At this time, the Lucayan civilization had already disappeared and the islands were only sparsely populated.

Turks and Caicos 1600-1800

The Turks and Caicos was a popular place even in these times. From 1600s to the 1800s, the islands have passed from Spanish to French to English/Britain control. However, no settlements were established by any of these countries.

Instead, the Turks and Caicos islands were a common hiding place for pirates. Spanish treasure galleons were often attacked on their routes between Spain and Central America.

Bermuda (under British rule) was the Turks and Caicos first colonizers in the late 1600s, establishing the first permanent settlement on Grand Turk Island. Salt was a major commodity at this time because of its use in food preparation and preservation, and salt  was more easily raked in the TCI than Bermuda. Salt became the backbone of the Turks and Caicos economy for the next several hundred years. Bermuda’s colonization established British dominance that is still in effect today.

In 1706, the French and the Spanish briefly captured the Turks & Caicos Islands from the Bermudians. Four years later, the British reclaimed the islands for Bermuda.

After the American Revolution, displaced British royalists were granted land on the uninhabited Caicos Islands where they established plantations to grow cotton. Unfortunately, the soil of the islands was ill suited for growing cotton and the royalists left when cotton stopped being a viable crop. However, the royalists’ plantation slaves remained and their descendants are today’s local inhabitants.

Modern Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos became a British Crown colony in 1962. In the early 1980s, the Turks and Caicos (with Providenciales in particular) began its road to becoming the Caribbean tourist powerhouse today when Club Med Turkoise Resort opened.

Since then, the TCI government began pouring more money into its tourism industry and infrastructure development.

Turks and Caicos Tourism

There are so many Turks and Caicos  resorts and villas that now cater to family getaways that you’ll have plenty of options in choosing a place to stay. You can easily find entire homes or private villas that offer private pools, balconies, grills, and recreational equipment, including snorkel masks, flippers, and bikes.

There’s also a plethora of things to do when you visit the TCIs, including stand up paddleboard (or SUP), kayaking, snorkeling, kiteboarding, and more.

However, you can also visit various historic sites with out-island eco tours to see the roots and culture of the Caicos Islands on North, Middle & South Caicos.

Inspired By Turks and Caicos History?

Turks and Caicos excursions are very popular and spots fill up fast. It’s important that you book early so your guide can help customize the trips to specific interests.

Contact Big Blue Unlimited to learn more about what eco-friend activities you can do while you’re in the Turks and Caicos or go ahead and book your adventures today.


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What Makes TCI the Best Place for a Family Vacation?

20th November 2017 11:38 am

Turks and Caicos is often seen as the resort for the rich, the playground for the privileged, the vacation for the very famous. That’s true. There definitely are plenty of private Turks and Caicos villas owned by the rich and powerful. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the best places for a family vacation, because it certainly is.

While it might have seemed like an far-off tropical island suitable only to the rich and famous in the past, the Turks and Caicos are quickly becoming a more accessible destination for family travel.

Here’s why the Turks and Caicos are one of the best destinations for a family vacation:

Turks and Caicos Family Resorts and Villas

There are so many Turks and Caicos  resorts and villas that now cater to family getaways that you’ll have plenty of options in choosing a place to stay. Whether you go for the super luxurious resorts or a more budget conscious lodging, there’s a place for you and your family.

You can easily find entire homes for you and your kids. Many private villas offer private pools, balconies, grills, and recreational equipment, including snorkel masks, flippers, and bikes.

Alternatively, you can also stay at an all-inclusive resort, which can greatly simplify your trip, albeit at a cost. As parents, it’s nice to know that your meals area already all planned out and that there are activities at the hotel to engage your active children.

Turks and Caicos Family Activities

While resorts often have dazzling amenities, it’s an absolutely must for you and your family to immerse yourselves in outdoor adventures. There’s a plethora of things to do with your children in the Turks and Caicos.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) is fun for all ages and can be done practically anywhere in Turks and Caicos. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it great for adults and kids alike and can offer a new way to experience the waters.

Stand up paddle board is a very affordable activity too. It requires very little gear—just a board and paddle, hence the name. You can try it out for an hour or be out on the water all day on a touring excursion.

Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to enjoy the beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays with your family. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

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.

Kayaks can easily be the highlight your entire Turks and Caicos stay. Become a part of a private multi-day kayak expedition where you will camp or travel inn-to-inn to explore nature reserves and the endless beaches.

Similarly to stand up paddle boarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

Snorkeling

Turks and Caicos generally has calm seas, and the beaches are further protected by natural formations like bays, reefs, and underwater walls. These formations are also brilliant places for kids to explore.

Snorkeling is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. Kids can’t get sick of either—there are just too many things to see underwater to get bored.

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help your family identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

Kiteboarding

For the older kids (especially the ones who have hit the moody age), a little more action is sure to keep them engaged and loving family time. Turks and Caicos is a kiteboarding mecca. It’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience who can train adults and older kids to kiteboard

With the islands located in an intersection of trade winds and surrounded by beaches that are shallow for hundreds of feet out, kiteboarding can be a great activity for beginners and experts alike.

Eco-Tours and Adventures

There are also special eco-tour your family can enjoy together. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters with a kayak or stand up paddleboard and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your ride.

Parents can choose the best activity for a family-adventure. Their trips are equipped with guides who are informative and certified to ensure that all safety precautions are taken. Guides will point out turtles, sharks, stingrays and any other sea animal that passes by.

Book Your Turks and Caicos Family Vacation Today

Turks and Caicos excursions are very popular and spots fill up fast. It’s important that you book early so your guide can help customize the trips to the age of your kids.

Contact Big Blue Unlimited to learn more about what eco-friend activities you can do while you’re in Providenciales or go ahead and book your adventures today.


Filed under: Accommodation, Tourism, Travel
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Turks and Caicos Weather in November

13th November 2017 11:35 am

Turks and Caicos weather in November takes a turning point as the islands transition from the “hot” months to the “cool” months. While the words hot and cool are on other ends of the spectrum, the reality is that the average temperature difference is a maximum of 10°F, so it’s really that big of a change.

Turks and Caicos Weather in November

While localized weather patterns can’t be predicted long term with accuracy, the Turks and Caicos temperatures in November tends to average between 25°C and 28°C (or 84°F and 76°F respectively).

November 30 is the end of the hurricane season (that officially began June 1). While there still needs to be a willingness to accept poor weather and be flexible with your plans, the likelihood of hurricanes should be reduced. Even if hurricanes do form but don’t make landfall on the islands, nearby tropical depressions or storms can disrupt air travel and create storm surges and flooding around the coast.

Turks and Caicos in November

The Turks and Caicos is a year round destination, but November is the transition month between off-peak and peak travel time in the Caribbean. This means there can still be some lingering resort and excursion deals before prices shoot up again.

Some people actually believe November is one of the best times to visit the Turks and Caicos because the prices are decent and the crowds haven’t achieved maximum size.

Mosquitos

While the Turks and Caicos are in the natural habitable range of mosquitos, they only become a nuisance when there is flooding, usually from the tropical storms. Also, November and December is about the time when the trade winds amp up again, which can greatly reduce a mosquito’s flight.

Tourist areas like Providenciales usually see far fewer mosquitoes as these areas are well maintained and have good drainage systems.

Grand Turk and Salt Cay also have less serious mosquito problems because these islands lack dense vegetation and there aren’t many natural sites that collect rainwater or form pools. They also experience breezes that disrupt mosquito activity.

However, North and Middle Caicos, Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay, have can be mosquito spawning sites after heavy rain.

Activities

Turks and Caicos in November is great if you love hanging out in or on the water. The ocean is frequently described to be at a comfortable, “bathtub warm” temperature with calm conditions. This is a great time for visitors because the rush of tourists hasn’t fully returned yet.

The ocean water is at a very comfortable 82°F, or 28°C.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes stand up paddleboarding a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

Some special tours using paddleboards include eco-tours you can take 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.

Kayaking

Kayaking is great to explore beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

Like paddleboarding, you can embark on kayak eco-tours that let you explore the Turks and Caicos’ natural beauty.

Snorkeling and Diving

If the sea is calm enough, snorkeling and diving are great activities to do when you’re in the Turks and Caicos during November. Crowds haven’t quite picked up yet, so you still have an opportunity to enjoy the snorkel and dive sites in relative quiet.

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites. Knowledgeable guides can help you identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, diving is an excellent November activity. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

Events

Turks and Caicos Conch Festival

Every November, the island of Providenciales hosts the Turks and Caicos Conch Festival—a celebration of the islands’ national symbol and greatest export: the conch, a marine snail that for years has played an integral role in local cuisine.


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Which Is The Best Caribbean Island to Visit in February?

6th November 2017 11:35 am

One of the best times to visit the Caribbean islands is February. It’s a popular time to visit as it’s in the middle of peak travel times, which means there will be great weather, a vibrant energy from all the visitors, and a lot of opportunities to enjoy yourself.

But because it’s during peak travel time, prices will be a bit high and you will need extensive planning, no matter which Caribbean island you end up choosing to go to.

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos in February

Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is a strong contender as one of the best Caribbean islands you can go to during February. In terms of natural conditions, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better than a February vacation.

TCI Weather in February

Providenciales weather in February is great. It’s one of the drier months and the temperature is at a comfortable 85°-90°F (29°-32°C). Mosquitos aren’t very common unless there’s the unlikely event of heavy rains and flooding

TCI Prices in February

Because February is just past the the middle of peak travel season (December to April), prices start coming down. However, the Turks and Caicos tourism industry is till in full swing and every business is operating at 100%.

TCI Activities in February

Kiteboarding

The average wind speed during February is actually higher than normal, which makes kiteboarding an excellent activity for a February vacation on Providenciales.

Since Turks and Caicos is such a hotspot for kiteboarding, it’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience. It won’t take long for beginners to get a good run or an advanced intermediate to pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

Stand up paddleboarding or kayaking

The day to day ocean conditions tend to be a little choppier and have higher swells during the winter months, which can take away from a stand up paddleboaring or kayaking ocean excursion.

However, Providenciales has many natural formations like bays, reefs, and mangrove channels that can shield certain areas from the more tumultuous ocean surface, so paddleboarding or kayaking can still be a fun activity.

Whale Watching

November to February are great months to spot whales in the Turks and Caicos. This season coincides with the humpback whale migration as they transit towards their northern feeding grounds. You might even catch sights of a few calves as the Caribbean is a known breeding ground.

These, of course, are chance encounters. However, February in the Caribbean is usually peak whale spotting times.

Book Your February Caribbean Trip Early

February is one of Turks and Caicos’ busiest months in terms of tourism. It’s important that you book early—not only for your hotel and flights, but also for any activities you want to do.

Contact Big Blue Unlimited to learn more about what eco-friend activities you can do while you’re in Providenciales or go ahead and book your adventures today.


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