The Best Turks and Caicos Hotels for Kitesurfing

10th July 2017 10:57 am

The Turks and Caicos has long been a premier destination for kitesurfing, because they are perfectly situated in the nexus of tradewinds and calm seas. Along with prime wind conditions, the Turks and Caicos islands are also protected by barrier reefs that create large shallow beaches and calm water surfaces.

Many Turks and Caicos hotels and resorts on Providenciales have real estate on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, which are coincidentally, also some of the best kitesurfing spots. Some even cater to the activity by offering kiteboarding lessons.

For those that don’t offer classes, they’re close enough to the best spots that it’ll be easy for you to find a PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructor. Many instructors outside of the resorts have decades of experience. Class sizes are small and some even offer private lessons that can help beginners get a good run or an advanced intermediate pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

Here are some of the best Turks and Caicos hotels near the top kiteboarding sites around Providenciales (Provo).

Long Bay

Located on the northeastern tip of Provo, Long Bay faces the easterly trade winds. Its orientation in relation to the winds is perfect for learning how to kiteboard and kitesurf. The beach is powder soft and the water is waist deep for hundreds of yards, which makes it great for beginners since instructors can walk next to you while you learn

For those who love to ride or are more experienced, Long Bay offers miles of open space with a constant and consistent breeze. Kite down-winders can also start at Long bay and end in Five Cays about eight miles away.

The Shore Club Turks & Caicos

Set on Long Bay Beach, the luxe suits are airy and elegant and some come with balconies that overlook the ocean. The one- to two-bedroom apartments have kitchens, living rooms and laundry facilities. Some have wraparound terraces with ocean views and/or hot tubs.

Room includes free breakfast, afternoon tea, and access to bikes and kayaks. There are three bars, and three restaurants with Asian and Peruvian cuisine. Other amenities consist of a gym, a posh spa and three outdoor pools, plus shops and a kids’ club.

Casita Sirena

Casita Sirena isn’t a traditional Turks and Caicos hotel. It is a spacious two-story house in a private residential neighborhood in the Long Bay Hills that is divided into separate units adjoined via open deck.

The house is just 250 meters from the beach and comes with basic cable television, DVD players, video library, wifi internet, a local cell phone, washer, and snorkeling gear.

Windward Lodge

The Windward Lodge is a rustic two bedroom guest house offering quality accommodation and a home away from home feel for guests. Each two bedroom guest house comes with a king size bed and twin beds. Long Bay beach is a five minute walk from the property along a public beach access.

Leeward

Leeward is frequently the gateway to many wave “surfaris.” While kitesurfing basics are often taught on the beach, this area is for intermediate to advanced riders only since there are strong currents, inconsistent wind, and high boat traffic.

Blue Haven Resort

This Turks and Caicos hotel is adjacent to the Blue Haven Marina and is a medium walk/short drive to Grace Bay Beach.

The bright suites feature marble bathrooms, minifridges, microwaves, and tea and coffeemakers, as well as flat-screens and free wifi. Upgraded rooms include ocean views. Suites include living areas and kitchens, while some have dining rooms and balconies. Premium suites include rooftop terraces.

Amenities include a deli and a restaurant/bar with fire pits, as well as an infinity pool, a spa and a 24/7 fitness room. There’s also an oversize chess board and beach volleyball.

The Atrium

Nestled in the exclusive Leeward community, the Atrium Resort offers a tropical island setting in a luxurious private and peaceful environment.

The rooms range from studios to massive three bedroom penthouses. The Atrium has earned TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence from 2013 to 2017 for its luxurious and welcoming style.

Grace Bay

Grace Bay has the largest concentration of Turks and Caicos hotels and resorts anywhere on the islands. While the crescent shape of the bay shelters the gorgeous beach , it also protects the beach from offshore winds. However, Grace Bay can become a great place for kitesurfing when there’s a big northeast system.

The water is overhead deep and riders here must be accomplished in riding upwind and water relaunching their kites. The barrier reef can produce excellent kitesurf conditions.

It is for these reasons that Grace Bay is for expert riders only.

Seven Stars Resort & Spa

Set on a white sand beach dotted with palm trees, this upscale resort features airy suites with furnished balconies or terraces. Some have ocean views, but all come with free wifi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and kitchenettes with Nespresso machines.

The one- to three-bedroom suites provide separate living rooms with sofabeds, and upgraded suites provide full kitchens and washer/dryers.

A breakfast buffet is included. The resort has three restaurants/bars with one having regular live music. Other amenities include a heated saltwater pool and a chic spa.

The Venetian on Grace Bay

This beautiful and refined Turks and Caicos hotel features screened-in porches or terraces with ocean views and suites with elegant furnishings. All come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and living rooms, as well as gourmet kitchens with stainless-steel appliances

The hotel has an outdoor pool with a hot tub, as well as a fitness center, tennis courts and BBQ facilities. Private chef services are offered.

The Somerset on Grace Bay

This luxe Turks and Caicos hotel is dotted with palm trees, giving a real sense of island living. The elegant rooms come with kitchenettes, as well as free wifi, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. The one- to five-bedroom villas feature balconies or terraces (some with sea views), plus full kitchens, living areas and marble bathrooms.

Breakfast and parking are free. Other amenities include two outdoor pools (including a walk-in infinity pool), a spa and a gym. A kids’ club is also available.


Filed under: Accommodation

Turks and Caicos Weather in July

1st July 2017 11:37 am

Because the islands are near the equator, the Turks and Caicos is said to experience about 350 days of sun each year and with seasons that are better described as wet and dry rather than spring, summer, fall, and winter. Turks and Caicos weather in July is generally warm and humid. However, July does fall within the rainy season and is categorized as a part of the hurricane season. Fortunately, the Turks and Caicos has experienced few hurricanes in the month of July.

Turks and Caicos Weather in July

While localized weather patterns can’t be predicted long term with strong accuracy, the Turks and Caicos temperatures in July tends to be average between 30.5°C and 26.5°C (or 87°F and 80°F respectively).

Turks and Caicos receives an average of 30 mm (or 1.181 inches) of precipitation in July. Interestingly, if it does rain, it tends to rain mid-afternoon.

Officially, July is part of the hurricane season (from June 1 to November 30), but hurricanes are actually rare for the islands. In fact, the Turks and Caicos has only suffered damages in 2008 (Grand Turk and South Caicos) from Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Hanna, in 1960 from Hurricane Donna, and in 1926. Hurricane Ike damaged 80% of Grand Turk’s structures.

You should always pay attention to and monitor weather reports regardless of when you visit. While it is historically unlikely for hurricanes to develop, it’s still nice to be forewarned of any rain!

Turks and Caicos in July

The Turks and Caicos is a year round destination, but July is typically categorized as an off-peak travel month (with November through December considered peak travel). This means if you look carefully and don’t mind the chance of rain, you can find great Turks and Caicos resort deals.

Mosquitos

Keep in mind that the Turks and Caicos are in the natural habitable range of mosquitos. The presence of mosquitoes on the islands is greatly influenced by the amount of rain, so mosquitoes generally aren’t a problem in July unless there’s heavy rainfall.

Turks and Caicos weather in July may increase the encounter of mosquitoes. However, that also varies by where you are located.

Grace Bay and other tourist regions in Providenciales usually see far fewer mosquitoes than the more remote west coast. Also, areas that are in the path of eastern trade winds usually minimize mosquito presence.

Grand Turk and Salt Cay also have less serious mosquito problems because these places lack dense vegetation and there aren’t many natural sites that collect rainwater or form pools, which are common mosquito spawning grounds. They are also experience breezes that aren’t conducive to mosquitos.

However, North and Middle Caicos, Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay, have many sites that are ideal mosquito spawning sites and tourists can experience severe mosquito exposure after heavy rains.

Activities

July conditions are great for watersports during this time. The seas are generally fairly calm and while it’s hot, there’s almost always a gentle breeze to take the bite out of the heat. If it rains, you’re already in the water!

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

Underwater activities are great because the Turks and Caicos islands are surrounded by natural reefs teeming with sealife, giving you plenty of exciting sites to explore.

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 July activity. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

Kiteboarding

With the islands located in an intersection of trade winds and surrounded by beaches that are shallow for hundreds of feet out, kiteboarding is one of the most popular activities in the Turks and Caicos..

It’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience with many of them participating in kiteboarding events.

Events

The Race for the Conch Eco-Seaswim is a 0.8km, 1.6 km, and 3.7 km (0.5 mile, 1 mile, and 2.4 mile) competitive swimming event with a  special 100 metre race is held for those 12 and under. It’s an amateur competition so families can register to race on their vacation!

Another event is Windvibes, the Turks and Caicos’ only kiteboarding event. It has been an annual competition since 2007 and has grown to include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and swimming events.

Less competitive events will include log throwing, a flipper race, potato sack race, limbo, and kite pumping competitions. You don’t need to be a kiteboarder to get involved! It generally occurs between the months of June and November.



7 Things You Can’t Get from Turks and Caicos Resorts

26th June 2017 11:12 am

Turks and Caicos resorts are world famous for offering the highest levels of luxury and service in the Caribbean islands. You have a lot of variety too, from stylish guestrooms to fully equipped private villas that are outfitted with your own pools and personal chef.

While these five-star Turks and Caicos resorts and hotels are stunningly beautiful and relaxing, they can be a little lacking in things to do. To truly enjoy Turks and Caicos, you need to step beyond the resort grounds and into the pristine beaches, dive beneath the waves, or cruise above the waterline.

Here is a list of activities you might not be able to get from Turks and Caicos resorts—even the all-inclusive ones.

#7 Private Charters

Spending your entire vacation at a Turks and Caicos resort is relaxing, but you’ll actually be missing a lot of what makes the islands so special. There’s so much to see above and below the waves.

Hire a private charter during your stay and you can experience Turks and Caicos in the way it was meant to be experienced. Avoid the tourist attractions and head out into the water. You’ll visit hidden and secluded beaches where you and your group will be the only people in sight.  

Many private charters are also outfitted with snorkeling and diving equipment so you can always explore the sites you visit.

#6 Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding (or SUP) is actually offered by some Turks and Caicos resorts, however the rates can get a little pricey and you’ll have to content yourself with being one among hundreds of stand up paddleboarders on the beach.

Instead, leave the resort and rent your own from a trusted vendor. You will have a lot more freedom of where to go and for how long your want to stay out on the water. There are even special eco-tours you can take where you can explore mangrove channels and national parks to safely and respectfully view the delicate ecosystems and nesting birds.

#5 Kayaking

Kayaking is another sometimes-offered activity by a resort. Renting your own kayak is a popular way to explore beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and the cays either on your own or on a tour.

There are even opportunities to join private multi-day kayak expedition where you can venture deeper into the national parks and nature reserves. There are also special hours you can kayak to catch the sunset. These kayak expeditions and sunset hours frequently take place away from the busy crowds that spawn from the resorts along Grace Bay Beach.

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

#4 Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a must-do activity during your stay at on the islands no matter which Turks and Caicos resort or hotel you are staying at. The area around the islands is perfect for snorkeling, giving you unmatched views of colorful reefs and the surrounding sea life.

While the resorts and hotels are often found near beautiful beaches, these beaches aren’t ideal for snorkeling. They are often full of tourists and the beaches, while lovely to relax and walk on, lack the exciting underwater scenery. You’ll have to venture to more isolated places away from the resorts to get the best snorkeling experience.

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

#3 Diving

Like snorkeling, Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales island isn’t suited for diving. What makes the beaches so great also makes for poor diving conditions. The water is shallow for dozens of yards out. Because of this, the hotels and resorts don’t offer the best SCUBA excursions.

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

There are plenty of diving companies that can take you to amazing dive sites teeming with fish, turtles, rays, sharks, and eels.

#2 Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is an exciting activity that many resorts can’t accommodate. Learning how to kiteboard requires PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors, and because it’s such a fun sport, the beginner classes that the resorts do have are often full.

However, since Turks and Caicos is such a hotspot for kiteboarding, it’s easy to find instructors outside of the resorts with decades of experience. Class sizes are small and some even offer private lessons that can help beginners get a good run or an advanced intermediate pick up and refine the more flashy techniques.

#1 Whale Watching

If you are visiting between November to February, you’re visiting at a great time for whale and dolphin watching. This period coincides with the humpback whale migration as they transit towards their northern feeding grounds.

The resorts and hotels hardly ever have their own boats to take guests to see whales but there are plenty of whale watching charters around the island during this time.

Even if you are out on a private charter to snorkel or dive, the boat captains are always in communication and will take you the last sightings of whales if you and the other passengers are game. You might even have the chance to snorkel or dive with whales!

 



7 Ways to Enjoy Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

19th June 2017 2:54 pm

Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos, on the Providenciales island can be found in the “Top  Beaches of the World” lists across many of the most trusted and respected travel publications. Condé Nast, TripAdvisor.com, National Geographic, Forbes, and more, all unanimously agree that this Turks and Caicos beach will leave visitors breathless.

 

Why?

 

Grace Bay Beach stretches across the northern crook of Providenciales from Thompson Cove to Leeward town and is made of soft ashen sand and open crystalline water. However, even though everyone knows it’s one of the best beaches (and THE best depending which list you read), it doesn’t mean it’s overcrowded. Grace Bay Beach is three miles of Caribbean paradise that ensures that everyone will have a chance to enjoy it in his or her own way.

 

Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Grace Bay Beach:

#7 Sunbathing

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Grace Bay Beach sand seems to be created just for people to lay on it. It’s powder soft and there are literal metric tonnes of it. So even if you’re staying at one of the famous Turks and Caicos resorts that sit practically on the beach along with thousands of other guests, you can still find an open spot for you and your party.

 

Grace Bay beach is wide with deep, clean sandy ocean floors.There’s no shade on the beach, but that just means it’s perfect to lay on and soak up the rays.

#6 Snorkeling

While Grace Bay Beach is the pristine Caribbean beach you imagine it is, it also has a vibrant reef and coral life beneath the surface. Two of the most popular snorkeling spots on the Providenciales island is Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef.

 

Bight Reef consists of only one main ridge of coral that extends 350 feet out from the beach. While Bight Reef isn’t necessarily the best spot to snorkel, it is very easy to get to and is great for beginners. There is a high density of relatively calm and tame fish, but larger sea creatures like turtles, stingrays, barracudas and lobsters are less common.

 

Smith’s Reef is more extensive and is the perfect balance of easy-to-get-to and great snorkeling experience. Smith’s Reef is arguably one of the best spots for snorkelling from the beach on Providenciales, is suitable for beginning snorkelers, and has enough sea life to interest even the most experienced of snorkelers.

 

Both snorkeling sites rarely have issues with currents or tides.

#5 SCUBA Diving

Obviously, you typically don’t do much diving at Grace Bay Beach, but the beach is very close to some excellent dive sites. In fact, the entire Turks and Caicos is renowned for miles of exquisite barrier reefs, walls, clear waters and abundant wildlife.

 

Because Grace Bay Beach is a part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, some of the dive sites are in protected areas, which means you’ll be seeing some stunning underwater landscapes and unique and undamaged coral formations.

 

The best Providenciales dive spots are too far to swim to from Grace Bay Beach, but there are plenty of charters that can take you to some amazing diving locations.

#4 Golfing

The Provo Golf and Country Club, located in the Grace Bay area, is the only 18-hole golf course in the Turks and Caicos but is consistently rated among the top 10 in the Caribbean.

 

The course is beautifully designed and maintained with rugged limestone formations and waterways that attract the area’s herons, egrets, and flamingos. It is a par 72 course and has hosted the Caribbean Amateur Championship twice.

#3 Birdwatching

Providenciales’ has a rich biodiversity due to the many ecological niches that can be found around the island and can be seen from the beach itself. Because of the proximity to wetlands and mangrove forests, beachgoers can spot a wide variety of birds, including:

 

  • Flamingos
  • Egrets
  • Herons
  • Ospreys
  • Pelicans
  • Warblers
  • Bananaquits
  • Anis
  • Mangrove cuckoos
  • Antillean nighthawks
  • Bahamas woodstar hummingbird

#2 Kayaking

Providenciales offers two types of kayaking areas: mangrove and wetland eco tours or flat water kayaking in Grace Bay.

 

Because of the large number of Providenciales resorts on or near the Grace Bay Beach, Grace Bay tends to have a high number of kayakers.

 

However, it’s not unheard of to do both, since the east side of Providenciales is near the Princess Alexandra National Park. Depending on your kayak tour operator, you might be able to venture from the beach to the protected areas for a truly full experience.

#1 Stand Up Paddleboarding

Because Grace Bay Beach is sheltered by the third largest barrier reef, the water around the beach is especially calm and peaceful. This makes it the perfect setting for stand up paddleboarding.

 

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is easy to master, and it takes most beginners only about half an hour of practice to cruise off confidently on their own.

 

While Grace Bay Beach doesn’t have the mangroves or wetlands, the water is great for cruising because the water is calm and offers a lot of space.


Filed under: Activities

Turks and Caicos Island: Grand Turks Water Excursions

7th June 2017 9:52 am

The Turks and Caicos islands are stunning Caribbean islands that have plenty of beautiful sites and fun activities in around the beaches. Nearly every visitor to the Turks and Caicos islands wants to spend at least some time in the water.

 

While all the biggest and most popular Turks and Caicos resorts are on the Providenciales island, some of the best shore and water excursions can be found around the Grand Turk island.

Things to Do on Grand Turk Island

Because Grand Turk is the second most populated island after Providenciales and is the historic and political center of the country, you have a lot of options as to what you can do while you’re on the island.

 

The capital city, Cockburn Town, was the first permanent settlement on the Turks and Caicos islands. It was founded in 1681 by salt collectors and is now an 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, the highest point of the island
  • Columbus Landfall National Park

 

But again, you’re in the Caribbean! Islands are fun, but there’s a whole new world for you to explore off the coast!

Grand Turk Shore and Water Excursions

Grand Turk shore excursions open up a broader variety of things for you to do on your Turks and Caicos vacation. The Caribbean has a rich biodiversity that is only visible and can only be appreciated only if you’re willing to get wet.

Diving Excursions

The Grand Turk island is formed in a unique way that makes it an exciting place for divers. It’s well known for wall diving and countless marine creatures call the reefs and walls home.

 

The famous Grand Turk “wall” runs the entire leeward side of the island. It is the third largest reef in the world with a drop that goes from 15 feet (4.57 meters) to 7,000 feet 7,000 feet (2.13 kilometers). That means you’ll find yourself in a company of plenty of underwater life hiding and living among the ledges and shelves of coral covering the wall.

 

Some of the most interesting dive sites among the over dozens of dive sites on the Wall include:

 

  • Black Forest
  • Tunnels
  • Sand River Canyon
  • Tunnels
  • Cecil’s Reef
  • Windmills
  • Tiki Hut
  • Library Reef

 

Diving with Big Blue Unlimited?

When you head out to dive sites with Big Blue Unlimited, you’ll be in a small group of no more than nine divers that will allow you to feel like you have the entire site to yourself. There’s no rush either. There are no dive time limits and a strong emphasis on flexible dive profiles. Big Blue Unlimited has been offering private Turks and Caicos diving excursions since 1997.

 

You’ll get to the dive sites quickly and comfortably and geared up with everything you need, including:

 

  • Cressi mask and fins
  • Oneill wetsuits
  • Suunto computers
  • Aqualung BCD’s
  • Sherwood regulators

 

All boats are fitted with O2 kits and are TCI marine certified.

Snorkeling Excursions

Just like diving, snorkeling is an excellent Grand Turk shore excursion. While you can’t quite go as deep as you can while diving, the Grand Turk wall still has magnificent displays of life closer to the surface.

 

If the 7,000 feet sheer drop is too intimidating, there are plenty of snorkeling sites at reefs or shelves around Grand Turk that is teeming with fish, coral, and invertebrate life. One of the more popular places to snorkel near Grand Turk is a smaller cay called Gibbs Cay.

 

Gibbs Cay is a small island located approximately one mile (1.5 km) off the southeastern coast of Grand Turk. Also known as Stingray Cay, Gibbs Cay main attraction is the vast numbers of stingrays that call it home. You’ll have a great opportunity to see them as many tour guides boaters feed them fish and squid feed.

 

Snorkeling with stingrays might seem intimidating, but the stingrays at Gibbs Cay are very familiar and friendly towards people. Some tour guides are even known to pick them out of the water while teaching visitors about the animal.

Open Water Excursions

Many charter boat operators are always on the lookout for open ocean encounters, especially during animal migration seasons. The Big Blue Unlimited team is constantly keeping a weather eye out and are willing to ferry divers to sightings.

 

Imagine the once in a lifetime experience of swimming with agile dolphins, graceful whale sharks, and the massive humpback whales.



Kiteboarding: The Best Activity Your Turks And Caicos Resort Does Not Offer

5th June 2017 10:35 am

Turks and Caicos resorts are known for giving their guests the royal treatment. From fully equipped chef kitchens to private balconies to direct access to beautiful Caribbean beaches, many five-star resorts on the Providenciales island do their best to make your Turks and Caicos vacation memorable.

 

However, while the resorts are masters of hospitality and luxurious comfort, they might not offer the fun activities you want for an island escape. Don’t get me wrong. If you want to be pampered and relax, any of the Turks and Caicos resorts will have you covered. But if you need a break from tanning, dozing on the beach, or floating in the shallow beaches, you might need to step off the resort grounds.

 

That’s actually the beauty of visiting the Turks and Caicos islands. Your vacation can be equal parts relaxation and heart-racing excitement.

 

Have you ever tried kiteboarding?

 

Kiteboarding (or kitesurfing) is among the most popular activities on the Turks and Caicos islands, but it is rarely offered by your resort. Fortunately, there are some great companies and excursion packages that offer kiteboarding on the Turks and Caicos islands.

Kiteboarding for Beginners

Kiteboarding is a surface water sport where a rider (the kiteboarder) harnesses the power of wind using a large controllable kite, which propels them across the water on a kiteboard.

 

While professional athletes treat kiteboarding as an extreme sport, kiteboarding is perfectly safe and fun for nearly anyone—including children and seniors. However, it is ill-advised to learn on your own. It’s important to learn from a PASA- and IKO-certified kiteboarding instructor to be truly safe as they can provide a complete picture of the sport, rather than bits and pieces of information should you learn on your own.

 

Big Blue Unlimited’s kiteboarding program is designed to help beginners get started with the sport by tailoring instructions specific to the individuals. Since your Turks and Caicos hotel and resort most likely doesn’t offer lessons, Big Blue can help put your on the water safely.

Kiteboarding Lessons

Every instructor will approach the first lesson differently, but all certified instructors will stress the same thing: safety.

 

The bottom line is to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Before you even get on the water, your instructor will teach you how to make good assessments and decisions based on the weather. Once your instructor gives you the “okay” to go on the water, there is no guarantee you will be up and riding, but you will have a foundation to build up your skills.

Kiteboarding equipment

A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without straps or bindings.

 

Common kiteboarding equipment includes:

  • Power kite
  • Flying line
  • Control bar
  • Kite harness
  • Kiteboard
  • Safety hook knife
  • Helmet
  • Personal floatation device
  • Impact vest
  • Board leash

 

Managing all the above equipment shows how important it can be to have a good instructor guiding you at the very beginning of your kiteboarding adventures.

Where to Kiteboard on Turks and Caicos?

As a beginner, choosing where to kiteboard is as important as having a good instructor. Every beach has its own character in the way the wind and water moves and just because a beach seems to be popular with kiteboarders, they might not be the best places for beginner kiteboarders.

Long Bay Beach

The best place to learn and do your first launch is Long Bay Beach. The lessons can be accessed near the Shore Club entrance, one of the premier Turks and Caicos resorts on Providenciales island.

 

Big Blue instructors teach primarily on Long Bay Beach because its orientation creates the ideal wind and water conditions for beginners. The sand is powder soft and the water is only waist deep for hundreds of yards. This means instructors can walk next to you while you learn and give you pointers and corrections right when you need them.

Getting to Long Bay Beach

There are multiple ways to get to Long Bay Beach from your Turks and Caicos resort for your kiteboarding lesson.

 

Shuttle (Free)

Big Blue offers a complimentary shuttle to any guest at a Turks and Caicos hotel and resort in the Grace Bay area.

 

Taxi

All taxis on the Providenciales island know where the Shore Club Entrance is. Just tell the driver “Long Bay Beach, through the Shore Club Entrance” and you’ll get there in no time.

 

Driving

If you’re driving yourself, you simply need to get on the Leeward HIghway, the main road running the stretch of the island. You’ll most likely need to head east (away from the airport) since the entrance to Long Bay Beach is near the south eastern side of the island.

 

Look for the Shore Club resort and turn into the entrance. Continue to the end where you will make a right turn followed by an immediate left. Park where you can but don’t leave any valuables in the car.

 

Head to the beach access and you will see Big Blue Unlimited immediately to your left.

Leeward Beach

Getting to Leeward Beach from a Turks and Caicos resort is simple and easy. However, while it is the start of many wave “surfaris” and the end point of “backcountry” kite safaris, Leeward beach has strong currents and a lot of boat traffic. Leeward Beach is better for intermediate to advanced riders and is not the best place to get your first launch.

Grace Bay

Grace Bay is another popular kiteboarding location, however it is for EXPERTS ONLY. The water is deep and riders must be accomplished in riding upwind and relaunching their kites in the water.

I’m Ready to Kiteboard on My Turks and Caicos Vacation. Now What?

Contact Big Blue Unlimited and schedule your first lesson! Our instructors have decades of combined experience and are ready to help you on your first launch.


Filed under: kite boarding

The Wildlife of the Turks and Caicos Islands

30th May 2017 8:41 am

The Turks and Caicos islands are one of the top destinations for travelers and vacations—for good reason too. The islands have beautiful beaches, temperate waters, and stunning coral reefs. It’s the very picture of paradise. wildlife of turks and caicos

Countless animals think the same thing and have done what many tourists hope and dream of doing. They call the Turks and Caicos islands home.

In fact, many biologists and ecologists view the Turks and Caicos islands as a biodiversity hotspot. The United Kingdom archipelago territory is home to many native land and marine organisms as well as introduced species beginning from the days of the Caribbean’s earliest salt-pan establishments.

The United Kingdom and Turks and Caicos Islands Governments share responsibility in conserving and preserving the nature reserves. The natural ecosystems are so well regarded that the United Kingdom has placed the islands on their list for future UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

While many Turks and Caicos vacations are geared towards luxury retreats and water activities, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the natural beauty while learning about the island’s wildlife and delicate ecosystems at the same time.

Here are some wildlife visitors can hope to see during their Turks and Caicos vacation.

Land Animals of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos islands are home to the critically endangered rock iguana. It is the largest indigenous land animal still alive, but with only about 50,000 left in existence.

The best place to see the iguanas is Iguana Island (or Little Water Cay) near Providenciales. While it’s possible to kayak to Iguana Island from Providenciales, you can also hire private charter boats to take you there.

Birds of the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos islands are common nesting sites for a variety of birds with over 200 species of birds observed on the islands. Each of the seven major islands and 40 smaller islands and cays have their own unique terrain and ecosystems so birdwatchers will see different birds depending on what type of habitat they are observing from.

Because the Turks and Caicos islands are relatively free of development, most of the birds on the islands are not used people. While the Turks and Caicos resorts will see the occasional green heron or cattle egret, the most avid birdwatchers will want to travel to some of the more remote areas of the islands to spot larger wading birds and the less common species.

The islands and cays hold a variety of ecosystems, which creates a huge spectrum of niches for birds to fill.

The ecosystems include:

 

  • Beaches, coves, and tide pools
  • Mangrove forests
  • Inland saline ponds
  • Rocky cliffs
  • Caves
  • Wetlands
  • Forests

 

While the vast majority of the birds are skittish and tend to avoid humans, there are some great ways to get close enough for photographs. For wetlands like marshes or mangrove forests, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding is great way to get around. Kayaks and stand up paddleboards are quiet, unobtrusive, easily navigable, and extremely eco-friendly. You’ll see the unique mangrove cuckoo, West Indian whistling duck, several varieties of herons, and more.

Biking is great for inland birdwatching sites, especially for places within North and Middle Caicos islands. You’ll be able to see flamingos, antillean nighthawks, gnatcatchers, and more.

Marine Animals of the Turks and Caicos Islands

It’s no surprise that marine animals are one of the highlights of the Turks and Caicos islands. There are countless snorkel and dive sites that practically opens a whole new world for you to explore. While there are too many species to list, some notable marine life you may encounter include sharks, barracudas, lionfishes, sea turtles, and coral.

The barrier reef is absolutely teeming with fish, rays, coral, sponges, and more. Obviously, snorkeling and diving are the best ways to get close, but you can also see marine life above the water line. Sea kayaking and stand up paddleboarding or alternatives if you don’t want to get your hair wet. They’ll also make it less intimidating when you encounter sharks.

While a bad reputation still hovers around sharks, sharks are absolutely necessary for a healthy Caribbean environment. You’ll find grey reef sharks around the barrier reef and nurse sharks and lemon sharks in the wetlands.

Turks and Caicos has an amazingly low shark attack rate despite the number of sharks in the area. There have been only three recorded shark attacks on humans in the Turks and Caicos, and none of those cases resulted in loss of limbs or fatalities.

Whales of the Turks and Caicos Islands

If you’re lucky enough to have a Turks and Caicos vacation between the months of November and April, you’ll have a chance to encounter dolphins and the migrating humpback whales!

These are superb times for whale watching. Many boats are on the lookout for whales during this time and will happily take their divers to a nearby sighting, giving them the rare chance to swim and dive with the whales.

During this time, humpback whales are migrating to their feeding grounds near the poles from their nursery grounds in the tropics. So not only does this mean you might be able to see a humpback whale, you might a mother with a calf!

 

Best Ways to Spot Wildlife on Turks and Caicos

Exploring the natural reserves and spotting land and marine life are excellent eco-friendly things to do in Turks and Caicos, and there are several ways to do it.

We’ve mentioned kayaks, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, charter boats, diving, and snorkeling. They each have their strengths in spotting wildlife, but it really depends on what kind of habitats you want to explore.


Filed under: Eco adventure

5 Ways to Enjoy the Turks and Caicos Islands

17th May 2017 11:31 am

Vacationing in Turks and Caicos is one of the best traveling decisions you will ever make. The archipelago nation’s tourism strikes a careful balance between luxury resorts complete with royal treatment and nature reserves brimming with life and beauty and waiting to be explored.

 

Whether you are are traveling family, a honeymooning couple, or a solo adventurer, there are plenty of ways to enjoy and experience the Turks and Caicos Islands. And because it’s made up of seven main islands and over 40 smaller islands and cays, it’s easy to find a site that suits you and your vacation pursuits.

 

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: hitting the beaches. Providenciales has several beaches that are consistently ranked among the best in the world by Condé Nast magazine and World Travel Awards. There’s good reason too. With stunning white beaches made of powder soft sand and clear turquoise waters, these beaches are what people think of when they imagine a Caribbean paradise while daydreaming in front of their laptops during a conference call at work.

 

However, if you don’t want to spend your entire trip lounging at the beach, here are some of the favorite and most popular picks by tourists while you vacation in Turks and Caicos.

#1 Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) can be done by nearly anybody and nearly anywhere. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

 

The great thing about SUP is that it is what you make of it whether you’re a beginner or seasoned paddle boarder. It can be a leisurely way to sightsee or it can be a full body workout—whatever you’re in the mood for.

 

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.

 

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.

#2 Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to traverse the 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.

 

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.

 

If you’ve already reached your preferred tan, you can kayak during sunset. Enjoy a completely different experience in cooler temperatures and watch the sky light up in fiery shades of red. You’ll also see completely different marine life as the nocturnal creatures swap with their daytime counterparts to take their turn on and around the reefs.

 

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

#3 Snorkeling and Diving

Turks and Caicos has marvelous conditions for underwater activities: great weather, warm and clear water, and shallow reefs teeming with fish, coral and marine life.

 

Snorkeling and diving is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. You can’t get sick of either—there are just too many snorkel and dive sites to visit and no two are the same.

 

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, Turks and Caicos is a tough place to beat in terms of quality dive sites. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

#4 Kiteboarding

For a unique experience, try kiteboarding. 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.

 

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.

#5 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, if there’s an opportunity, you can bet we’ll let you know when you’re out on a snorkeling or diving excursion. If we catch wind of whales nearby, we’ll pack up your gear and make our way over to give you a chance to snorkel or dive with whales!

 

The opportunity to swim with these majestic creatures shouldn’t be missed.

 

Do… Everything?

Depending on how long your trip is, it might be possible to do every one of these activities. You don’t even have to do them separately. You can sign up for private charters that can take you to places most tourists don’t even see.
These charters aren’t operated by small dinghies. They’re sizable boats that can store kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling and diving gear, so you don’t have to pick and choose.



How to Book and Enjoy A Stand Up Paddle Board Vacation

10th May 2017 7:37 am

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities to do on calm waters. Fortunately, the islands of Turks and Caicos are surrounded completely by calm waters, which makes it a great destination for stand up paddle boarding.

 

But what is stand up paddle boarding and why do so many people find it so fun?

 

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) has a low bar for entry, which makes it great for nearly everyone. It requires very little gear—a board and paddle—and it takes only moments for even the greenest beginners to get the hang of it.

 

Once you have the equipment, you can take yourself out and navigate the beach, wetland, marsh, river, lake, and more.

Why Do Stand Up Paddle Board on Vacation?

With so many activities you can do while vacationing in Turks and Caicos, why even consider stand up paddle boarding? We already mentioned that it’s easy to start, but it’s also what you make of it. Here are some different ways you can enjoy stand up paddle boarding on your vacation.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding As A Workout

Yes, vacationing should be about letting yourself go: Order the fresh lobster sauteed in extra butter, and don’t forget to end dinner with a slice (or two) of tiramisu cake.

 

But if you’re the type that needs to keep your calorie intake and expenditure in check, SUP is a great form of exercise while on a Caribbean vacation. Don’t coop yourself up in your resort’s gym. Take your exercise to the beaches and enjoy the sun and waters. You’ll paddle directly over barrier reefs and countless fishes and other marine life.

 

SUP is a full-body workout that activates your core, shoulders, glutes, and calves, and your sense of balance is constantly tested. Like jogging or rowing, you decide how fast and how far you want to go.

 

Want a little competition? Race the shark behind you!

 

Just kidding.

 

While grey reef sharks are common in barrier reefs and nurse and juvenile lemon sharks can be seen in the wetlands, there have only been three recorded shark attacks in the entire Turks and Caicos archipelago with zero cases of fatalities or loss of limb.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding As Leisure Activity

SUP can easily double as a leisure activity. Your SUP hourly rentals don’t come with a personal trainer so you can go as slowly and rest as often as you like.

 

Besides, what’s the rush? You can see straight through the crystal clear water to the reefs below your board, which are packed with vibrantly colorful and active life.

 

You can even time your stand up paddle board experience with the beautiful sunset. It’s a completely different experience to be on the water while the sky gently turns from bright blue to fiery orange, red and deep shades of purple. Life that was active during the day now goes to sleep and the nocturnal marine life wakes up to take their turn on and around the reefs.

Explore the Islands with Stand Up Paddle Boards

There are areas where SUP or kayaks are the best forms of transportation. Turks and Caicos, while it can be a luxurious retreat, is also teeming with wildlife.

 

Skim the waters of nearby mangrove channels and explore the national parks and nature reserves. Because SUPs are human powered, you can get up close and personal with birds and iguanas without scaring them away with loud and noxious engines.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Is Family Friendly

If you’re on a family holiday, SUP is perfect to enjoy time with the entire family whether your family has children, teens, or adults.

 

Children and adults alike can enjoy learning and exploring on stand up paddle boards. Even if every family member is a beginner at stand up paddle boarding, there’s no shortage of accomplished and expert instructors that can teach you the fundamentals. Your family will be on your way with just a few instructions and a few minutes of practice.

Where to Stand Up Paddle Board in Turks and Caicos?

Stand up paddle boarding can be done in many places in Turks and Caicos. You can do it in the mangroves of North and Middle Caicos or above the reefs of Providenciales. You can even bring SUP equipment with you on charter boats and explore secluded beaches and cays that aren’t seen by the general public.

 

Rest assured, there is no shortage of beautiful stand up paddle boarding sites on Turks and Caicos.

Planning Your Stand Up Paddle Board Vacation

When you’re ready to book your stand up paddle board vacation, whether it’s an hour-long workout or a three-day eco tour, there are several things you should look for.

 

Instructors

Even though stand up paddle boarding is relatively easy and straightforward, you are always at the mercy of the tides. Nothing can beat the power of the ocean.

 

Make sure that you are able to feel comfortable on the water and using the equipment. Always feel free to ask for an instructor. They know their equipment and locations better than anyone. Listen to their advice and pointers and follow their instructions and you will be able to fully appreciate how fun the sport is.

 

Weather and Season

Weather and ocean conditions can be fickle. While things can change on the day of your booking, you can still make plans to an extent.

 

For example, September to November is a great time to paddle board. In addition to historically great conditions, it also coincides with the annual Kalama Kamp. Kalama Kamp is a weeklong paddle board adventure that is hosted by Dave Kalama, a legendary Hawaiian surfer.

 

This experience couples paddle board instructions with wilderness, backcountry, and wave safaris to make stand up paddle boarding a truly memorable adventure.

 

Finding the Stand Up Paddle Board Experience for YOU
There won’t be any shortage of stand up paddle board rentals on Turks and Caicos. So whether you just want to workout for an hour or go on a four-hour sightseeing tour, you can sleep soundly knowing that your stand up paddle board booking can accommodate you.



The Best Beaches of Turks and Caicos

3rd May 2017 9:41 am

The fact that you’re even interested in the Turks and Caicos islands probably means that you love being near the water and have a high standard for beautiful beaches. If that’s true, Turks and Caicos is one of the best Caribbean islands for you. But with nearly 130 square miles (or 330 square kilometres) of beachfront, where and which are the best Turks and Caicos beaches?

 

Well, it depends.

 

Do you like relaxing? Do you like checking out marine life? Or do you want something that’s a little more unique and adventurous?

 

These are all important factors to determine which Turks and Caicos beach is best for you, but rest assured, those beaches are there.

 

Here’s a list of some of the best beaches to visit while you’re in Turks and Caicos.

Relaxing Beach

With seven main islands, you won’t find a shortage of beaches. Every single island will have at least a couple of beautiful and secluded beaches, but the ones listed here are award-winning can’t-miss spots.

Grace Bay, Providenciales Island

Grace Bay is on the island of Providenciales and is home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the island country. The resorts definitely picked a good spot, and many of them highlight their location for good reason.

 

Grace Bay is picture perfect and is the very image of what people think of when they think of a Caribbean beach: amazingly clean, clear water in various shades of turquoise lapping a beach made entirely of sugar white sand. With virtually no seaweed, rocks, or shells on a long stretch of the bay, Grace Bay is perfect for lounging and soaking up the rays.

 

While several resorts sit near the beach, there are few peddlers and it’s large enough that it never seems crowded.

Taylor Bay, Providenciales Island

Where Grace Bay is on the northeast side of the island, Taylor Bay is on the southwest side of Providenciales. Taylor Bay, like Grace Bay, is one of the best Turks and Caicos beaches for relaxation.

 

The water is clear, calm, and shallow, allowing beach goers to walk dozens of feet into the sea and only be knee deep in water.

 

It’s a good spot if you want to make sure you experience as little human contact as possible without venturing off to a more remote island. Just make sure you pack yourself a lunch and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and shade.

 

Active Beaches

Relaxing on the perfect beach is a perfectly fine thing to do while you’re on holiday. But sometimes, the sense of adventure can just derail your plans to do nothing. While the Turks and Caicos beaches are known for unwinding, they are also havens for people who just can’t sit still.

 

Here are some beaches that can quench your thirst for adventure.

Pelican Beach, North Caicos Island

Pelican Beach in Whitby, North Caicos is lovely in its own right but a little harder to reach. While some would appreciate if it was easier to get to, the seclusion and quiet is hard to argue against.

 

One of the best ways to get to Whitby is to bike. Biking North Caicos is a great activity if you have the time and opportunity to do it. It’s an easy 12-mile ride that will take you through the North Caicos interior, giving you a small glimpse into the farming community, plantation ruins, and the 250 feet deep blue hole, Cottage Pond.

Long Bay Beach, Providenciales Island

While we know Providenciales Island has beautiful beaches, it also has a couple of beaches that are made for active people and families. Ever tried kiteboarding?

 

Long Bay Beach is in the path of constant year-round trade winds and is surrounded by warm seas, waist-deep waters for hundreds of yards, and pristine beaches: the perfect conditions for kiteboarding and kitesurfing.

 

As Long Bay Beach is a prime location for kitesurfing, there aren’t any shortages of equipment rentals or talented instructors. With consistent wind, it’s a great place for beginners. Or, if you’re more advanced, kick off at Long Bay Beach and ride all the way to the end at Five Cays—an eight mile trip.

Leeward Beach, Providenciales Island

Leeward Beach on Providenciales Island is a lovely and quiet beach. However, it’s also a great launch off point for kayaking.

 

There’s a long stretch of calm water where you can paddle between islands and cays and seeing a wide variety of marine ecosystems. From mangroves to lagoons to reefs to Iguana Island, there are numerous sights to see.

 

You can spend all day traversing the islands by kayak. Fortunately, there are kayaking tours you can do that includes rentals, gear, and lunch. While you’re here, try to keep count of the number of conch shells. There are a lot!

Grace Bay, Providenciales Island

Grace Bay is so long that it makes it onto both lists. On one end of Grace Bay is Smith’s Reef. It is one of the best places to snorkel in Turks and Caicos.

 

It’s in the name itself: Smith’s Reef is home to a beautiful and diverse reef and snorkeling here will you put you face-to-face with colorful fan coral, eagle rays, sea turtles, and more.

 

You can walk straight into the waters and make your own way to the reef. However, there are many snorkeling tours in Turks and Caicos that will take you to amazing snorkel and dive sites.

 

Hidden Beaches of West Caicos Island

West Caicos is one of Turks and Caicos large but uninhabited islands. It’s probably safe to say that the West Caicos beaches will be fairly private and quiet.

 

Honestly, the beaches on West Caicos can be relaxing, but you have to be willing to seek adventure to get there. There are private charters that will take you to some of the best diving and snorkeling sites around West Caicos, and the captains of the boats will happily swing by some of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

 

It takes a little bit of work to get to these hidden beaches, but we all know it’s always more about the journey.



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.



Kalama Stand Up Paddleboard Kamp is a hit

22nd March 2017 5:45 pm

Dave Kalama’s STAND UP PADDLEBOARD Kamp was an instant hit here in the TCI. Together with Philip from Big Blue, Brody Welte (Dave’s partner) and John Denney, 8 participants from first timers to experienced paddlers tasted the best the TCI had to offer. Perfect waves, learner waves, downwinders, mangrove excursions and even a moonlight paddle as well as excellent snorkeling. Each morning was started with Dave’s scaled down version of his big wave preseason beach work out, followed by instruction in paddle techniques. 18 different Naish SUP boards were used in the Big Blue fleet with everyone enjoying a variety of different conditions and performance.
This camp was so successful we are already planning the next one! Dates will be confirmed before the new year, cross fingers.
The expertise of Dave, Brody and John proved invaluable while Philip’s local knowledge and passion helped make this Kamp fun, safe, flexible and adventurous.
“This is a great location,” Dave said, “this is perfect – there are so many factors to it that create a very adventurous experience for people.”
Brody added: “For us to be successful it’s essential that we partner with people like Philip and Big Blue – we would not exist without him.
“It’s essential to have someone that’s well established in the community and who let’s people come in and have their experience but leave no trace on the environment.”


Filed under: Activities, Sponsorship

Kayak Expedition Opens Up New Territory

22nd March 2016 5:43 pm

The Big Blue kayak expedition to the eastern side of Caicos Islands at the end of November was a huge success. Despite some logistical hurdles the 3-day trip ran smoothly and an incredible amount of wildlife was recorded. Perhaps of greatest interest was the varied nature of the terrain that was explored and the long circular route that was established including a short potage.

Big Blue’s high performance Valley Sea Kayaks were shipped to South Caicos in advance of the expedition. Transport by air for the team members was provided by TCI helicopters and offered the opportunity to survey the dense network of mangroves, cays and tidal channels from above. This research proved to be immensely valuable although potential routes seen from the air can be much harder to determine from kayak level on the water. Tides also play a huge role in determining what and where you can access. The tidal range is not huge, 50cm or so on spring tides, but timing it correctly is essential.

The first day explored the small cays to the north of South Caicos and paddlers interchanged between the rougher ocean side and the sheltered leeward sides. The islands, barely solidified sand dunes, are covered in coastal plant including various palms, cacti, sea grapes and casuarinas which give way to vast colonies of red and black mangroves on the water’s edge. The ends of these cays offer some surprisingly spectacular cliffs, sweeping turquoise channels, and gorgeous sheltered beaches; perfect locations to stretch cramped legs, cool off with a swim, and enjoy a well earned picnic lunch. Almost every Cay seemed to be home to a different osprey family and associated nest.

The majority of the time was spent exploring the mangrove channels and interconnecting waterways. The bird population; herons, egrets, sandpipers, kingfishers, and flamingos, was very healthy. The fish life consisted of large schools of mojarra, baby barracuda and bonefish. The occasional juvenile lemon or nurse shark and turtle were also spotted. The most noticeable aspect of the trip was the solitude and total wilderness. There was no one around, there was no development, and the wildlife unused to seeing people. At the end of each day kayaks were left on the nearest beach and a motorboat transported the guests back to South Caicos for the night. Accommodation and memorable seafood was enjoyed overlooking the Harbour at Cox’s Hotel.

Using a GPS and photographs taken from the air a circular route through the mangroves and out to the coast on the southern tip of East Caicos was established. Another longer route via Hog Cay has been tentatively identified and partly explored. It will have to be completed on another expedition. Big Blue offers customized small group exploratory kayak expeditions throughout the Caicos Islands. Please contact Mark for more information and prices.


Filed under: Kayaking

Big Blue Part of Adopt a Mangove Program

22nd March 2017 1:39 pm

Adopt a Mangrove
Mother Nature and Human Nature working together – for a change.

Big Blue has set out to help the “Adopt a Mangrove” campaign in its efforts to support local conservation initiatives. It also provides an
opportunity for visitors to the Turks and Caicos to take part by donating time and money to this valuable program.

The Adopt a Mangrove Campaign is a conservation initiative to restore impacted areas and to reduce climate change by planting mangroves. It will act as a major campaign for Turks and Caicos Islands residents to unite in reducing the affects of climate change. Most importantly, community support of this endeavor will show our governing authorities and the world that the citizens of the TCI are serious about
preserving our Protected Areas, protecting our environment, and banding together to reduce climate change.

At present, there are 200 small mangroves now thriving on “Star Island” with another 200 seedlings in the nursery system being readied
for the transplant stage. For a donation of $25 you can adopt your very own mangrove and plant it on Big Blue’s Kayak Ecotour! On the guided kayak ecotour you will explore mangrove channels, learn about their ecological importance, and then stop at the planting grounds to plant your very own seedling!

Once “Adopt a Mangrove” has received your donation, you will be sent an e-certificate and your name will be added to the list of supporters. You will also have the option of receiving adopt a mangrove’s e-mail updates that will detail the annual growth and survival of our Star Island mangroves, as well as the new planting projects that they intend to undertake as the program and the mangroves grow.

For TCI residents, the adoption program can include plantings along the canal sustems and other backyard wetland areas where appropriate.
Private homeowners can protect and stabilize their waterside properties with mangroves and feel good about reducing their own
carbon footprint.

For more information please contact Big Blue at info@bigblueunlimited.com or visit www.merangel.net/mangroves


Filed under: Eco adventure, Sponsorship

TCI Wetland Program Continues

1:11 pm

The joint expedition to assess the wetland areas of the Turks and Caicos continued through the week with visits to North Caicos, Middle Caicos and Grand Turk. Mark Parrish of Big Blue caught up with the team to help lead a trip to the vital wetland areas between South Caicos and East Caicos. Initial findings and observations were then presented to an open meeting of stakeholders and interested parties at the National Environmental Centre. Aspects of the proposal that will be submitted to the Darwin Initiative later in the year were discussed including the designation of particular wetlands as new RAMSAR sites, the ‘wise use’ of these areas, and available international cooperation for RAMSAR sites. Ralph Higgs of the TCI Tourist Board invited Wesley Clerveaux, Director of the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources (DECR) to a joint meeting with the TCI National Trust to assess cross department cooperation and use of resources. Dr. David Stroud suggested that the TCI might be the first country in the world to have a network of managed RAMSAR sites and explained how RAMSAR protection can be applied to mangroves, coral reefs, sea-grass beds and Karst or underground wetlands. This is set to be an ongoing project of significant importance to the environmental health of the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Filed under: Uncategorised

Big Blue Short Film

22nd July 2012 12:51 pm

The Big Blue Expo 2012 was the perfect start to our year. Our event was held at the OPUS bar and grill. The Expo showcasing our team and products and our BIG BLUE SHORT FILM, it was well attended by our friends and partners through the islands and across the tourist sector. Prizes for contributions towards ECOTOURISM were awarded to our unsuspecting partners from the sister islands of North Caicos, Middle Caicos and Parrot Cay. Susan Butterfield, Lawrence “Big Mac” Campbell, Cardinal Arthur, Danny Forbes & Sara Kaufmann (middle co-op), JD Thomson and Parrot Cay resort and spa. Many of you who have been with us know our team up north and their awards were well earned through their hard work and dedication.


Filed under: Uncategorised

Pro KiteSurfers on Turks & Caicos

22nd April 2010 12:47 pm

Today, after one month we sadly said our goodbyes to Betrand Fleurry (Wainman Kites) and Ian Alldredge (Naish Kites). They had come down with top female rider Tuva Jansen (Takoon Kites) and one of the sport’s leading photojournalist teams based out of Mauritius, Stephane Fournet and Leena Ballack who had left last week, to write and record a kite surfing story in the Turks and Caicos.

They were led by Philip Shearer (Big Blue) and Big Blue’s top instructor and wily pro Wes Matweyew (Cabrinha Kites). Hope Le Vin, our 16 year old local team and sponsored rider (Naish, Big Blue and Blue) was ever present with her enthusiasm and skill as was local rider Stephane Gaudet.
To say we had fun is an understatement. Even if the weather for the month of February was bizarre (with winds blowing out of the south and west for much of the time) and stacking the odds against us for that perfect cross off shore wave, we still managed to score some great sessions both in the flats and in the waves. That said a tremendous of hard work has gone into this story by all involved both in front and behind the camera.
The team were based in Leeward near Big Blue’s base and would venture daily to find waves and wind. We traveled from West Caicos to East Caicos and everywhere in between.

While we wait for the story and images and DVD to be released it is safe to say we enjoyed each others company and vibe a lot. Betrand, Ian, Tuva, Stephane and Leena were welcome guests. We learned from all of them. Stephane and Leena: your patience and professionalism. Tuva: getting the ball rolling. Betrand: great sense of humour and of course a brilliant rider thanks to Wainman Kites. Ian: natural skill and flair with a bit of “I don’t mind, whatever works” thrown in. Hope: infectious passion. Stephane: perfectionist. Wes “handy me my skimmy please” Matweyew: persistent all rounder. Philip “island time” Shearer: the art of self landing a kite!
Thank you one and all. We look forward to seeing you back here for some more cutbacks and sliders!! Safe travels. Philip.


Filed under: kite boarding

Kayaking with Documentary Film Maker, Ian Cross

22nd March 2010 12:39 pm

Another great day in the mangroves south of Bellefield Landing, North Caicos. The protected RAMSAR wetlands site continues to offer world class kayaking and birdlife. Ian Cross, legendary Australian wildlife documentary filmmaker & owner of Pilot Productions joins Big Blue together with his son for an afternoon of exploration. The lower tides brought hundreds of fish out from their hiding places including small barracudas (10-20cm in length) and an assortment of Mojarras. The reddish egret we had seen the week before continued to resolutely guard her nest and we were careful not to disturb her. The highlight was probably the flock of Sandpipers that scouted the way for us all the way up the mangroves, showing off their beautiful wings and making plenty of noise. To top off the day we even saw a small group of elusive Wimbrals and a spectacular yellow crowned night heron.


Filed under: Uncategorised

2010 Windvibes

12:25 pm

The Turks and Caicos Islands 2010 annual kiteboarding/ kitesurfing event, Windvibes held this May was a huge success. With more kiteboarders and spectators than ever before, the 2 day event had great winds (even if the 2nd riding day was postponed), great events and great winners. The event was organized by sponsored local rider, Hope LeVin (BLUE, BIG BLUE and NAISH) with main sponsors BLUE, THE SURF SHOP and BIG BLUE UNLIMITED providing prizes, time and event organizers/ helpers. Hope’s dedication and love of the sport ensured that next years event has a lot to live up to. The event comprised of course racing, freestyle and for the first time with the aid of THE SHADOW BOX (a 3D GPS) highest jumps and fastest rider categories.

All the Big Blue riders featured and while Hope and Philip did not participate on the final day, the events were dominated by Big Blue Unlimited’s very own pro rider and instructor, Wes Matweyew, who won the freestyle, high and speed categories. Well done Wes! Will Pollock who only started late last year, had an excellent showing and came second in the course racing! Nice one Will.

The event which took place on the south side on Long Bay beach worked out beautifully. Lots of different folks helped to make it a success and the spirit that it created and the interest that it generated only confirmed to us why Big Blue is dedicated to the growth of the sport and has a clear vision to lead this sport in the TCI.


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue Unlimited Host the Best Kiteboarding 2014 Product Shoot

22nd July 2015 11:38 am

Big Blue continues to lead the way kiteboarding in the Turks and Caicos Islands. No surprise then that the BEST kiteboarding crew joined forces withour team to video, photograph and location scout for what has become their highly successful 2014 product photo shoot. World champion, Your Zoon, extreme kiteboarder, Ruben Lenten, Sam Medesky (Canadian champion), Mike Schitzhofer (Austrian champion), Gisela Pulida (9 x female world champion) and Chris Bobryk (USA) were out on the water everyday with photographer Quincy Dein and videographer, Miguel Willis all under the guidance of Big Blue’s very own veteran local waterman, Philip Shearer. The days were long but the rewards were amazing. Check out the 2 videos below.

Turks and Caicos kiteboarding with Big Blue and BEST 2014 product shoot

Turks and Caicos kiteboarding with Big Blue Unlimited and BEST 2014 product shoot

Killer shots, great footage and great vibes. Philip and Big Blue took the BEST kiteboarding team to some of the best spots in the Turks and Caicos Islands, only accessible by boat. For almost two weeks we had wind and amazing weather, perfect for kiteboarding and photography.

Team Big Blue and the 2014 BEST kiteboarding team


Filed under: kite boarding, Sponsorship

Big Blue July Summer Kids Kamp

22nd July 2016 11:36 am

Big Blue opened up the world of watersports to the kids of the Turks and Caicos Islands by hosting what will be the first of many kids kamps. Through the entire month of July children between the ages of 10-12+ were treated to week long adventures and education stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, kiteboarding, boating, hiking and scuba diving. Children would arrive each week and be split into diving and non diving groups. Those learning to scuba dive would be taken poolside by Tanya, Tom and Lizzie and go through their open water drills. The others meanwhile would head out under the guidance of Blue, Ray, Jason and Elvardo to explore the mangroves, reefs and beaches in the Leeward area.

While our junior open water scuba divers plied their books, answered their knowledge quizzes and performed their newly learned open water skills, the others were learning about the maritime reef and mangrove ecology. Adventures by SUP and kayak were interspersed with trips to the reef to snorkel and introductions to flying trainer kites with Wes.

Emphasis was always on having fun and every Friday with 6-8 newly certified junior open water divers and 6-8 eco warriors, Team Big Blue would jump on Live & Direct and head to West Caicos to party. Diving, boat jumping, cliff jumping, exploring and plenty laughs. We certified 22 junior divers and made over 35 children very happy.

A perfect start to the summer.


Filed under: Activities

Big Blue Boost for The Middle Caicos Handcraft Co-Op

22nd March 2014 11:32 am

We, at Big Blue Unlimited, are all delighted to continue our Eco tourism commitment in the Turks and Caicos IslanMade in Turks and Caicosds. Since December 2012 Big Blue has sponsored a local artisan Stacia Arthur to work on a daily basis at the Middle Caicos Artisans Studio and Outlet in the village of Conch Bar. Stacia is on hand to offer information, answer questions and demonstrate the traditional handcraft techniques for tourists visiting the co-op. The Middle Caicos Co-op forms an integral part of the experience offered by Big Blue on our Heart of the Islands eco-tour to North and Middle Caicos.

In addition, a vivid and attractive display within our base at Leeward introduces our guests to the handcrafts of North and Middle Caicos even if they chose not to visit these islands. This helps the Middle Caicos Co-op realize its goal of bringing income to the island artisans and showcasing the traditional handcrafts which are all made from sustainably harvested local grasses and palmtops. It additionally encourages visitors by increasing their awareness of the local handcrafts available.

Long recognized as a true force preserving TCI’s traditional handcraft and culture, the Middle Caicos Co-op is a not for profit organization established in 1998 with only 6 artisans – Today over 60 artisans and volunteers work together to promote the cultural heritage of the TCI. Big Blue Unlimited is proud to sponsor the artisans and volunteers who keep the Middle Caicos Co-op alive and we hope this helps to provide confidence and resources to continue in their work and goals.


Filed under: Activities

8th Annual Turks and Caicos Windvibe

22nd March 2015 11:10 am

Big Blue Unlimited was once again proud to support and be the main sponsor for the 8th annual Turks and Caicos Windvibes event. What started as a kite event is now billed as a family beach event with kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming races. Windvibes is the perfect platform to showcase the best of these sports and thus the Big Blue experience and Windvibes have become perfect partners.

windvibes 2013

Every year our team rider and Windvibes organiser, Hope LeVin, puts hours of effort into pulling togther this excellent celebration of the watersports lifestyle. On the day she was joined by nearly all of the Big Blue team who bring with them dozens of  kayaks and stand up paddleboards. While Long Bay beach filled up with kites and kiters ready to race it also became centre stage for SUP, kayak and swim races. For those who wanted to stay dry Windvibes organized tug of war, log throwing and the all new concha wonka contest.

As Hope MC’d the event she was able to rely on Ray, Ben, Jason, Wes, Elvardo, Philip, Nicola and Mark to organise and supervise the different events.

Over 60 participants young and old, boy or girl, either kiteboarded, paddled, kayaked, pulled or swam. The beach was one big colourful festival and celebration of beach and water life in the Turks and Caicos. Windvibes gets better every year and this year was the best so far. We look forward to being there next year. See you on the beach!


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue Hosts 2013 Kalama Kamp Turks & Caicos

22nd March 2013 11:08 am

After the resounding success of the last 3 years, Big Blue’s season was again kick started by hosting our annual 2013 Turks and Caicos Kalama Kamp. Dave Kalama and John Denney teamed up with Philip, Jason and Wes as eight stand up paddlers converged on the Turks and Caicos Islands to learn the finer points of stand up paddle boarding while getting to a little bit more about the waterman’s lifestyle.

Dena, Mark, Mike, Curt, Larry, James, Joe and Colin woke up early every morning to take part in Dave’s daily beach work out. The all action dawn wake up call highlights the core concepts of why and how Dave stays in shape for not only his big wave surfing but also his grueling long distance paddles.
A hearty breakfast was followed by a trip to Big Blue to strip down the essentials processes that make up a solid and effective paddle stroke. With video, demos and on water critique, Dave, John and Philip help rebuild everyone’s stroke from a solid foundation.

With this in place the Kalama Kampers were treated to amazing down winders, mangrove excursions and reef safaris. When the waves did kick up….well you can guess what happened. Excitement and mayhem. Dave’s outstanding teaching ability and wave riding demos helped one and all catch either their first waves of make the next one better.

Another classic week, where we laughed, played, paddled, learned and surfed a little. Bring on 2014. See you there.


Filed under: Uncategorised

Catlin SeaView Survey

22nd March 2017 10:49 am

During the second week of November Big Blue’s expertise was called upon to help the Catlin Seaview Survey complete their tasks in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The mission of this 5-year global project in conjunction with the University of Queensland in Australia is ‘to record, research, and reveal the world’s coral reefs to all in high resolution, 360-degree panoramic vision.’ Big Blue provided staff, vessels and logistical support across the entire Caicos Islands for the survey team who visited the north shore reefs, West Caicos, French Cay and South Caicos.

 A team from Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet series also flew down to film a short documentary about the Catlin project and they too turned to Big Blue to aid them with local advice and diving support. Look out for this production in the coming months.

The final piece of the jigsaw and not to be underestimated; the financial backers for the whole project is the Catlin Insurance company. The CEO Mr. Stephen Catlin brought down two groups of corporate guests for a little luxury treatment and using our new vessels, a 40ft Hinckley motor launch and a 44ft Manta Cat, along-side our ever versatile ‘Live & Direct’ adventure cat Big Blue delivered once again. We introduced 14 of the guests to the delights of Scuba over two days, facilitated a demonstration with the reef survey team, and conducted one of our signature ecological education eco-tours around the reefs, cays and mangrove ecosystems along the Caicos Cays. If we were able to impress the suits and help keep the Catlin sponsorship and interest alive then our mission was accomplished.

It was a fascinating week and we will closely follow the Catlin Seaview Survey on their continued global quest. The equipment that they are using is state of the art 3-Dimensional filming equipment with technology supplied by none other than media giants Google. The camera also uses a hybrid of facial recognition software to identify coral diseases and thereby aid in the documentation and standardization of coral reef surveys around the entire planet.



Big Blue Supports Enable Passion & the HTC Atlantic Kiteboarding Crossing

10:40 am

Big Blue Unlimited and our kiteboarding team have been asked to support and provide safety for a Turks and Caicos resident kiteboarding party to meet and greet the six riders crossing the Atlantic. The six riders will be met in the open ocean by a group of resident riders who will welcome them home on their last leg of their epic journey!

Expert Big Blue kite guides, Philip and Wes, will lead the six riders to their final destination – the beach in front of Blue Haven resort, right next to Big Blue’s base in Leeward.

The six riders will be riding non stop, 24hours a day, in 2-3 hour shifts. Their journey starts on Wednesday 20th and leaves from Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. If winds and currents co operate they should arrive in the Turks and Caicos Islands sometime between the 7-15th of December.

Big Blue will be ready and waiting and so will Turks and Caicos and the rest of the kiteboarding world.

Stand by!


Filed under: kite boarding

Big Blue & TCI Kiters Welcome Enable Passion

10:34 am

One month ago we were invited to help create a local on the water kiting event to welcome The Enable Passion kiters. The trans Atlantic kiteboarders had yet to leave Fuerteventura and their arrival was supposed to coincide with the Grand Opening of Enable Passion’s sponsors, Blue Haven Resort and Marina, on the weekend of 6th-8th December. 48 hours after their successful Atlantic Crossing, I’ve had time to reflect on what was a real high point and learning experience for our local kiteboarding community.

The idea was perfect, meet Enable Passion riders on the water and ride down wind with them to land at Blue Haven’s beach. Truth be told, the reality was always going to be tricky, fraught with potential hazards and disasters. However, its not everyday that kiteboarders cross an entire ocean. The last time such a famous feat ended in the Turks and Caicos was 521 years ago, under the guidance of Christopher Columbus.

The fact that these riders were coming to Leeward and Blue Haven made the invite to participate impossible to turn down. For those who don’t know Big Blue’s “Rebel Base” is on the water in Leeward. We have been diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and kiteboarding this area for over 15 years and some of us over 30 years. We had to at least try and guide Enable Passion through this stunning area of natural beauty.

Early emails were sent to the local kite community and only but a few responses came back. Bad news, I thought. No one’s interested. Early into their venture, Enable Passion’s Double A had lost not one but both propellers to the deep blue sea and were forced to head south of their proposed route to the Cape Verde Islands. A week or so later, with new propellers, they headed back to sea but their course stayed southerly. Here in the Turks and Caicos most, myself included, thought that they’d never regain their intended North westerly course in order to make landfall. No doubt this was to blame for the lack of initial interest. However, once those trusty trade winds kicked in, as they have for sailors across the centuries, Enable Passion’s dream started to look like a distinct reality.

This time last week we called a safety meeting at Blue Haven’s Salt Bar & Grill. The ultimatum was set. Don’t come and you don’t get to ride.

I had already briefed our Big Blue team about the increasing possibility of this event but had not wanted to get too detailed as their arrival dates kept changing. That evening at Salt, I had no idea if 5 riders would show up or 25. Much to Ingo’s and my surprise local riders kept on arriving. Minutes before seven that evening Ingo introduced the Enable Passion dream and updated the TCI riders on their position. They were less than 100o miles away. A recorded on board video of Filippo and Erik brought their arrival into sharp reality and with it a genuine level of excitement.

A detailed safety briefing highlighting the variables and pitfalls of open ocean riding had most of our local riders on edge.

As the weekend passed and Enable Passion drew closer, local riders checked their gear, honed their self rescue techniques and continuously monitored wind reports on windguru. Tuesday’s arrival date was looking grim. Light wind, got lighter. NE switched to E and was threatening ESE. We ran procedures over again and again. The what if’s, the worst case scenarios, the ideal scenario, a sleepless night. A dummy run on the Sunday by team rider, Hope and myself, proved it was doable and that it would be exciting. It was exhilarating in fact. Blue water sailing, windsurfing or kiteboarding is a rush. But it was no joke. We both knew it. Safety was all that mattered. No heroes, no special cases. All that mattered was to follow protocol.

Cometh the day, cometh the hour. Big Blue was a hive of anxious activity.

A buzzing excitement enveloped our office as waivers were signed, kit was passed out, uniform collected, media, cameras, interviews, timing, skippers checking and rechecking their boats, kiters discussing wind while Enable Passion sailed their way to our open water meeting point. Skippers and crew, Paul, Blue, Dave, Mark, Ben, Elvardo double checked their roles while Hope, Mark, Roberto, Jess, Julien, Tom and I conferred on any potential hazards.

A BIG BLUE Thank you to the TCI riders. You are top sports! Following all safety instructions to the letter. A special mention to guides, Mark K, Hope, Roberto, Jess, Julien, Craig and Tom and skippers Paul, Dave, Mark P, Ben and Blue. You lot ROCK and were and are awesome. Thank you. Philip x A big shout out to Ingo and the Blue Haven team for bringing Enable Passion to Leeward!

Images provided by Andy Mann, Tropical Imaging. Agile Levin, Captain Dave and Tanya…thank you all.


Filed under: kite boarding

The Family Reunion – Transatlantic Kite Boarding

10:21 am

The atmosphere was electric as the family members of the Enable Passion Atlantic Crossing kite boarding team climbed aboard our new vessel, ‘Luna Del Mar’, on Tuesday morning. They were chomping at the bit to get out there to the welcome the riders and see their loved ones again.

We drove up the coast to rendezvous with the kiteboarders and drop off a Big Blue pilot aboard their mother-ship, Double A, a Lagoon 500 sailing cat, in order to run communications and help guide them in to the Blue Haven Marina on Providenciales.

The celebrations began even before we manoeuvred alongside. Flags were waving, horns were blowing, and everyone was cheering madly. The riders themselves were clearly pumped to be nearing land for the first time in nearly a month and of course for seeing their families after their epic odyssey.

The rain came and went but as the wind picked up we peeled away and watched with admiration as the adventurers launched their kites for the last time from the stern of their boat. It is a skill that the team had clearly honed over 27-days of non-stop relay kiting across an entire ocean.

And they kept at until all 6 riders were in the air by which time the fleet of Turks and Caicos resident riders had sailed out into the deep blue to join the fun. At this point we were all about 2 miles outside the reef somewhere off North Caicos. fulmira.com It w

getting excited

as an impressive sight and heart felt welcome from fellow kite boarding enthusiasts although most had never ventured this far from land, let alone out into water this deep.
And then the wind disappeared and there was no choice but to help the other Big Blue rescue boats fish all the Enable Passion and TCI riders out of the water. This was a shame but the Enable Passion riders and their families couldn’t have been happier.

Sooner than expected they were able to consummate their euphoric reunion and girlfriends, brothers, and mothers leaped off the boat into the sea to a warm embrace. We eventually got everyone back aboard and the kiters, beaming from ear to ear, congratulated each other with high fives and hugs all around; they had done it!!

 

true patriots

They had completed their 3750 mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean, following the same route and passion of Christopher Columbus 500 years before them on a voyage of self-discovery and ultimate adventure. It was a privilege to witness these scenes and to be part of the Big Blue Unlimited and Blue Haven teams that welcomed them to the shores of the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Filed under: kite boarding

New Snorkel cave found on West Caicos!

10:10 am

There is nothing better than discovering new places in the Turks and Caicos and after 16 years of exploring these islands we thought we’d covered most of it. But on Christmas Eve, whilst on a full-day adventure to West Caicos onboard our new luxury vessel, Luna Del Mar, we anchored in a sheltered cove along the leeward coast of West Caicos and discovered something exciting.

Luna Del Mar at West Caicos

It was a beautiful location where the seafloor quickly dropped down to a coral shelf at about 25ft in depth and then continued onto the sandy plain that runs out to the deep wall.  The water was very clear and there was healthy amount of fish swimming along the edge of the shelf. I noticed an open slot in the limestone and swam down to investigate.

With my legs vertically above me I poked my head down through the hole and was very excited to see a largish cave or tunnel extending under the rock to a beautiful opening about 30ft away. The cave itself was clearly providing shelter to a number of fish including a family of surgeon fish. The roof and sides of the cave was a wealth of invertebrate life including sponges, feather-dusters and various miniature corals.

West Caicos cave

We spent a fun hour free-diving down again and again to see the cave and view its inhabitants.

One of our guests, a gutsy 10 year girl, was an excellent free-diver and managed to build up her courage to make it through the cave unassisted. Not a bad feat at 25ft of depth.

West Caicos cave


Summer Camp Ideas For Active Kids

20th March 2017 10:02 am

As the school year draws to a close and the long summer months loom large, parents want to ensure that their kids don’t spend the entire summer cooped up in a basement sitting only inches away from a TV screen.kalama kamp

The goal is to keep your child active, engaged, and mentally sharp so that summer can be as much about learning as the school year.

Luckily, every kid still dreams of going to summer camp. Whether it’s the traditional American Dream, cabin-in-the-woods camp, or something a little more international and adventurous, there are plenty of options out there for parents looking for summer camp ideas.

Traditional Sleepaway Summer Camps

Traditional summer camps give your kids the classic sleepaway camp experience. Spending the summer up in the woods, sleeping in a bunk bed in close quarters with other boys or girls, your child will learn about comradery, teamwork, and independence from their parents.

These camps typically fill the day with activities like swimming, team sports, arts and crafts, learning about nature, and other educational activities.

These camps can last as long as only one week, or for the entire summer. Keep in mind that these camps are best for truly independent, responsible kids who don’t mind being away from their parents for extended periods of time.

Faith-Based Camps

Faith-based summer camps are very similar to traditional summer camps, but with the added feature of incorporating the child’s faith into daily activities, and meeting kids with similar religious backgrounds. Traditionally in America, these camps tend to be Christian or Jewish.

At Jewish faith camps, you’ll see Shabbat seamlessly integrated into the camp life experience. Kids will learn all about what it means to practice the Jewish faith, along with all of its cultural implications.

At Christian faith camps, your kids will not only learn about what it means to have faith in God, but also being part of a Christian community. Of course, you’ll still do the usual summer camp sports and activities.

Summer Day Camps

If you’re someone who wants to keep summer camp closer to home, then day camps are likely the best option for you. Day camps are great because parents can still work their 9 to 5 jobs while their kids have a blast during the day. Most of these camps last five days a week for one or two weeks at a time, but there are camps that extend into the weekend.

Like traditional summer camps, most day camps consist of full days of action, including arts and crafts, team sports, hiking, rock climbing, and games. If you’re looking for a low-commitment, easy-going camp experience, this is the option for you.

Specialty Camps

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Do you want anything but the traditional childhood for your child? Try something above and beyond and send your kid to a specialty camp. Whether it’s a sports camp, dance camp, equestrian camp, circus camp, band camp, or even science camp, your child can learn skills that will stay with them for an entire lifetime.

Some of these camps are full sleepaway camps, whereas others are just day camps.

Kalama Kids Kamp

Want to try something truly outside the box? Want to take part in your child’s unique summer adventure? Why not combine a vacation with your child’s summer camp experience?

If you’re looking for a summer holiday camp that gets your child off the couch and out into the true wilderness, then you should check out Big Blue’s Kalama Kids Kamp in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Kalama Kids Kamps are full of excitement, adventure, and non-stop thrills.

This isn’t your parents’ traditional summer camp. Kalama Kids Kamp is all about getting to know the ocean: its creatures, its waves, its ecology, and its potential for adventure.

What’s Involved in Kalama Kids Kamp?

Big Blue’s Kalama Kids Kamps take place for two weeks every July in the Turks and Caicos Islands. These camps are five days long, and are jam-packed with unique experiences that kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

From Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Kids will hit the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean to take part in:

Better yet, we at Big Blue have different levels of adventure summer camps fine-tuned to different skill levels to meet the needs of each child. We break kids into three skill levels, split into groups of eight to ten:

  • 10-14 years old, non-diving ($400 per week): This is a great introduction to our Kalama Kids Kamps. Taking place in shallower seawaters, kids will learn to get comfortable kayaking, snorkeling, and SUPing.
  • 12-14 years old, junior open water diving ($485 per week): The true to step to becoming an ocean adventurer, in this level, kids will focus on becoming certified as junior open water divers.
  • 12-16 years old, junior advanced open water diving ($585 per week): This level is for kids who’ve already earned their junior diving licenses. We’ll put their diving skills to the test, and take part in more advanced dives.

Why Visit the Turks and Caicos Islands For Summer Camp?

While your kids are away at camp, you can explore the Turks and Caicos Islands on your own. What’s there to do on the Turks and Caicos Islands?

Why not follow in your kids’ footsteps and check out some of the Islands’ high-thrills activities. Get out on the water and try out a stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking tour, learn to kiteboard from some of the world’s top experts, or scuba dive in some of the Caribbean’s most impressive coral reefs.

Looking to stay dry? Take a private boat charter, take a biking tour around the islands, or simply hang out on the beach with a cold drink and delicious plate of freshly caught seafood.

To learn more about the adventures that await your child in the Turks and Caicos Islands, contact Big Blue Unlimited and book today. Our Kids Kamps will leave your child with a lifetime of memories.


Filed under: Activities

What to do on Turks and Caicos Islands

15th March 2017 1:50 pm

The Turks and Caicos Islands are quickly becoming one of the most popular vacations spots in the Caribbean. Sitting east of the Bahamas, this paddle boarding turks and caicospicture-perfect tropical destination is more than just a place to sit around lying on the beach.

While the population of Turks and Caicos is only 32,000, these islands see over 600,000 visitors each year thanks to stunning natural visuals, world-class upscale resorts, an exciting nightlife, and unbeatable recreation.

If you’re planning on visiting, here’s a list of things to do on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Beaches and Oceans

The number one reason people come to the Turks and Caicos Islands is to enjoy some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Every corner of the islands features perfect white-sand beaches and bright, turquoise waters that will make you feel like you were dropped into the middle of a postcard.

While you may be satisfied with a simple stroll down these pristine beaches or a casual swim in the ocean, Turks and Caicos is much more than that. Here are some more high-thrills adventures to take advantage of the perfect blue waters.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Turks and Caicos is one of the world’s prime scuba diving destinations. If you’re looking for things to do in Turks and Caicos, this is something that can’t be missed.

The islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, and Providenciales (known to locals as “Provo”), are each known for their spectacular wall diving. These islands sit atop two underwater limestone mountain plateaus that are divided by a 6,000-foot-deep chasm. As a result, the area is home to some of the best wall diving on the planet.

In addition to these stunning wall drops, you’ll find incredible barrier reefs complete with tube sponges, schools of fish, reef sharks, hawksbill turtles, and even humpback whales. The Turks and Caicos are home to the third-largest coral reef system in the world, so it’s worth a dip down below the surface to check it out.

If scuba diving is a little too extreme for your tastes, many boat tours offer snorkeling adventures that will help even the most beginner divers to experience the beauty of the coral reef.

Watersports and Eco Tours

It doesn’t end at scuba diving. When you come to the Turks and Caicos Islands, there’s a whole host of exciting watersports to keep the whole family entertained. And don’t worry about experience level—most excursions have options for beginners too.

Explore the area’s extensive mangrove channels by kayak. Take a paddleboarding tour through a beautiful national park and nature reserve. Take a ride on a gust of wind while kitesurfing. There’s no shortage of activities for thrill seekers.

If you prefer to take in adventure sitting down, take a boat tour or private charter around the islands. If you time your trip right, you may be lucky enough to witness the migration of humpback whales on a whale watching tour. There are also bike tours available to take in the sights on land.

For a complete guide of the adventures that await you in the Turks and Caicos Islands, check out our entire list of island eco adventures to keep your heart pounding the entire time.

Island Fish Fry

The Island Fish Fry is the perfect way to get a taste of the local Turks and Caicos cuisine. This free weekly event, which takes place in Provo every Thursday night from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., offers food from a wide variety of the most delicious local restaurants.

From island delicacies like perfectly cooked lobster, crab ‘n rice, freshly caught local fish, or hearty favorites like mac ‘n cheese, the Island Fish Fry will never have you leaving hungry.

The family-friendly event is also home to some of the islands’ best cultural acts. Every week, a host of local entertainers take the stage to impress the lively and diverse crowds of both locals and tourists. You’ll be on your feet all night dancing along with the local musicians—with different bands hitting the stage every week. Turks and Caicos is well known for ripsaw music, which prominently features the handsaw as the main instrument.

You’ll also find locally handcrafted goods like straw baskets and hats, fantastic storytellers, arts and crafts, and more activities to keep the whole family entertained for hours.

Golf

What’s a relaxing tropical vacation without a round of golf? With a reputation as one of the most skill-testing courses in the Caribbean, the Provo Golf Club features 18 stunning holes of world-class golf. The course blends in to the natural surroundings of the island, showcasing limestone outcroppings, local wildlife, and natural water features.

You don’t have to worry about lugging your clubs to the island with you, as the Provo Golf Club offers brand new Taylor Made Club rentals that’ll keep you on the top of your game—and you’ll need to be, as 11 of the course’s 18 holes have water features that you’ll have to avoid. Although, if you do end up in the water, you’ll have a nice view of the island’s water birds, that include pelicans, flamingos, and herons.

If you’d prefer to play a shorter 9-hole course, the Waterloo Golf Club, located close to the Cruise Ship Center in Grand Turk, offers a quicker option. But book your tee time early—they only hold spots open for 36 golfers per day.

Restaurants and Nightlife

Unsurprisingly, Turks and Caicos cuisine is largely centered around seafood. The most famous local ingredient is conch, which is a type of sea snail. You’ll find it centrally featured at top local restaurants like Coco Bistro and Le Bouchon du Village.

When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop. Every single night, no matter where you are, you’ll easily be able to find live Caribbean-style music, a karaoke bar, booze cruises, dance parties, and more. Whether it’s live Jazz, Rake ‘N Scrape, Ripsaw, or just a simple set of steel drums, you’ll never be far from live music.

To experience the best sights and sounds of Turks and Caicos, book a tour with Big Blue Unlimited now!

 


Filed under: Activities

When is the best time to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands?

11th March 2017 1:46 pm

When planning any tropical vacation, or any vacation for that matter, it’s absolutely crucial that you research the best time of year to visit your ideal destination. While everyone wants to travel to Turks and Caicos during their native winVisit turks and caicoster, that won’t always be the best time to visit our islands.

So when is the best time to travel to Turks and Caicos? Truly, this place is great to visit year-round, but in our opinion, the best time to visit Turks and Caicos is during the months of April and May. Why? These months offer the ideal combination of avoiding huge crowd sizes, keeping travel costs down, enjoying a variety of water sports, and staying away from the rainy season.

High and Low Season in Turks and Caicos

As with any tropical destination, certain times of year are much busier than others in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Of course, every traveler is different, so you’ll have to decide how important crowd sizes are to you. The one major impact that crowd sizes will have is on your wallet—the busier the time of year, the more expensive your trip will be.

The busiest time of year for tourists in Turks and Caicos takes place between December and April. Traditionally, rates during these months can climb as high as 30% to 50% higher than you would find during low season. Not only are rates higher, you may have more trouble booking accommodations or booking activities.

The lowest season for travelers takes place between July and October. Not coincidentally, this time period is also hurricane season in the Turks and Caicos. As most people want to avoid the possibility of having their trip canceled by a hurricane, the end of summer and early fall tend to be far and away the cheapest time of year to plan a trip. If you’re willing to be flexible, you can save a lot of money by visiting between July and October.

Turks and Caicos Weather

As the Turks and Caicos are fairly close to the equator, the temperature doesn’t vary much from season to season.  The coldest month of the year is December, although cold is a relative term, as the average temperature in Turks and Caicos in December is a pleasant daily high of 80°F (27°C) and daily low of 73°F (23°C).

August and September are the warmest months of the year, typically experiencing daily highs of 88°F (31°C) and daily low of 80°F (27°C). Therefore, in terms of temperature, there’s never a bad time to visit.

Turks and Caicos Rainy Season

The Turks and Caicos rainy season typically takes place between the late-summer to early-winter months, from late August to early December. According to the National Climatic Data Center, November is the rainiest month, with an average precipitation of 3.7 inches, or 94 millimeters. Therefore, you may want to avoid travelling to the islands during this time.

That being said, on average, Turks and Caicos experiences some of the least amount of rainfall in the Caribbean, with an average of only one rainy day every 8.5 days in Providenciales. Even in the rainiest months, there’s only an average of 5-6 rainy days per month. With sunny skies almost every day of the week, it’s hard to go wrong here.

When Is Hurricane Season in Turks and Caicos?

Unsurprisingly, hurricane season coincides with the rainy season. The Atlantic hurricane season ranges from July to October, although hurricanes affecting the Turks and Caicos are actually quite rare.

What does this mean for your vacation? It’s actually still quite possible to plan a trip during these months, as long as you’re willing to be flexible. In terms of weather warnings, there’s normally at least a week’s notice when it comes to hurricanes. This means that you can open yourself to some of the lowest seasonal fares if you purchase weather insurance coverage on your airline ticket, or buy a flexible fare.

Most local accommodations are willing to offer refunds in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, but if you’re booking during hurricane season, make sure to check your hotel’s weather policy before you book.

Best Time to Travel to Turks and Caicos By Month

December & January – December and January have some of the best weather of the year, with a near-perfect temperature and completely dry conditions. These months also have higher-than-average wind speeds and choppier water conditions, which make them perfect for kiteboarding, surfing, and windsurfing. The downside is that December and January are the busiest months of the year, and therefore, the most expensive.

February & March – The weather stays strong into February, with choppy ocean conditions and high wind speeds. February tends to be the best month of the year for whale watching in the Turks and Caicos, with spottings ending in March. Surprisingly spring break doesn’t hit the Turks and Caicos as hard as other Caribbean destinations, so prices start to drop in these months.

April – Above we picked April and May as the best times to visit the Turks and Caicos. The temperature is great, the ocean warms up, the winds are still strong enough for watersports, sportfishing is strong, the mosquitoes stay away, and crowds tend to die down.

May – The weather starts to warm up in the month of May, and the winds tend to die down. This makes May the ideal time to enjoy calmer water activities like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. Prices also tend to get fairly low during May, making it a great time to visit.

June & July – June and July mark the start of hurricane season, although the average day is still calm and hot. As a result, these months tend to have some of the best conditions for enjoying the ocean.

August & September – These are the hottest months of the year. They can also be wet and full of mosquitoes. The ocean tends to be quite flat at these times of year, making them perfect for diving and snorkeling. These are some of the quietest times of the year, and therefore the least expensive.

October & November – At the heart of rainy season, these months can be heavy on mosquitoes. Every water sport is enjoyable at this time of year, assuming the skies are clear. The islands tend to get busier starting in November.

For more information about booking activities in the Turks and Caicos, or to learn more about local accommodations, contact Big Blue Unlimited today!


Filed under: Eco adventure

New Kayak Routes – Turks and Caicos

18th March 2012 1:54 pm

Mark spent a long weekend over in South Caicos exploring new kayaking heaven. Miles and miles of channels and mangroves deep into the heart of East Caicos. Watch this space for more information. Very exciting indeed!

These routes have now been opened out and we offer tours throughout the Turks and Caicos for all levels of Kayaker, from beginner to advanced – come and see what makes our kayak adventures on TCI different. 


Filed under: Uncategorised

Multiple Whale sightings on Turks and Caicos

11th February 2017 1:51 pm

What a season! February is not even finished and nearly the whole Big Blue team has had multiple whale sightings and encounters! Our Stand Up paddle board guide, Ray was able to get his first in water encounter as well. Needless to say he is jumping for joy. Get down here and give us a call!


Filed under: Uncategorised

Epic New SUP and Kayak Territory on TCI

15th January 2012 1:33 pm

Mark and Philip were joined by an old friend and long time Big Blue client, Andy and sneaked out on the Natural Mystic to find some new SUP and Kayak territory close to home. The fact is we hit bull’s eye! New and extended range trips coming soon. We are super stoked to find this new stash. Keep an eye out for our new SUP trips and Kayak Adventures.



Whale watching by boat in February

16th January 2012 1:24 pm

Mark and Philip took their good friend Andy on a birthday boat ride today to show him some whales. Well February has not disappointed and nor have the whales. Within minutes of leaving the dock we found our whale. True to form, we had to work hard to keep our eyes on him in the swell. We lost him for 30 minutes and picked him up on the way to Parrot Cay. Both Andy and Mark managed to get a full frontal underwater view as he passed by. Not once but 4 times! How many people do you know get to see a for the first time whale on their birthday and then board a flight 90 minutes later? Only at Big Blue……..
We can’t wait for March. See you down here.


Filed under: Uncategorised

Wind is up on West Caicos – Kiteboarding

17th January 2012 1:20 pm

It had to come. The wind has finally arrived. It started last w/e with a solid 20 knots and died. But that was only a sign of things to come. This evening Wes and Philip skipped out for a 2 hour evening kiteboarding session fully maxed on 11’s and 12’s. Big time hang time was had if only to prepare for tomorrow’s 25-30 knot and 6-9 foot day. It promises to be EPIC! The small kites are at the ready. Bring it on.

 


Filed under: kite boarding

The Dolphins of the Caicos

18th January 2012 1:15 pm

My amazing day on the north shore consisted of just about everything. A mother dolphin and her cute little calf, (which I had seen twice this week already) just outside our office in the Leeward Channel followed by some really great snorkeling at Leeward Reef.

I guided a lovely family around and we spotted all kinds of fish and also an octopus and a school of about 20 reef squid. This afternoons private boat charter brought on a reef shark and a hawksbill turtle at Ft George reef. Cant wait to show up for tommorow!!


Filed under: Snorkeling

Diving and Dolphins at French Cay

11th February 2012 11:54 am

A pod of 6 dolphins greeted Laura, Brent and guests first thing this morning. The water was mill pond flat, perfect for a day’s diving at French Cay.

After their encounter they did their first dive at the stunning site of “double d” with sharks and eagle rays to boot. The second drift dive was off the charts! 2 huge Eagle Rays interacting with each other, followed a few minutes later by a 5ft Nurse Shark.

On the way back they found another dolphin. another stellar day with Big Blue in the TCI!

Diving French Cay – Turks and Caicos

Diving at French Cay is one of our favourite spots and a more advanced site, but it is worth it as the account of just one dive above testaments! The Cay is about 60 minutes by boat from Leeward with one of our dive charter boats


Filed under: Diving

Crab Festival Turks and Caicos – Things to do and see

11th January 2012 11:37 am

The annual Turks and Caicos Crab Fest is held on Middle Caicos at the end of June. The aim of the event is to support the culture and community spirit of Middle Caicos and North Caicos by spotlighting the cultural heritage of catching, cooking, and eating local crabs. Co-sponsors Big Blue are there in force to help with the entertainment and safety, and to donate some prizes.

Naturally a small fleet of inflatable stand-up paddleboards are brought along for good measure and prove to be a great success over and over again. All proceeds benefit the Doris Robinson primary school on Middle Caicos.

2017 Crab Festival

2017 will see the running of the 7th annual Turks and Caicos Land crab Festival on Middle Caicos. This is a unique celebration of all things crab including culinary and cultural. The event is held at Bambarra Beach from 10am until late. All are welcome and it proves to be a great event to visit when on TCI, so come along. 

The Middle Caicos Great Blue land crab

The land crab can be found between May to July on Middle Caicos as they emerge from their deep burrows awakened by the Spring rains. They prefer Middle Caicos as it is one of the least inhabited islands and they generally get left alone. Read more about the Great Blue land crab here.


Filed under: Activities