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

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

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

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