Choosing the Perfect Turks and Caicos Excursion

2nd August 2017 11:22 am

Several islands of the Turks and Caicos are the very image of a beautiful Caribbean setting. While strolling on the white powder-soft sandy beaches next to the lapping waves of crystal clear turquoise water is a must do, there are actually plenty of other things to do in the Turks and Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos actually have much more than just beaches. There are several national parks that protect marshes, wetlands, and mangrove forests around the islands and cays, which support delicate ecosystems and countless animals who find the area as appealing as humans.

There are plenty of ways you can see the natural beauty of the Turks and Caicos, including various excursions.

For example, you can stand up paddleboard, kayak, snorkel, SCUBA dive, hire charter boats, or explore the islands on eco tours.

For each activity, there are countless vendors who can provide these services, so you have to choose carefully on how to trust best person or team to make your vacation a perfect one. Beyond the group you want to work with, you also want to know how you want to spend your time.

Here are some considerations:

How active are you?

Not very active

For those who would rather spend more time relaxing, but still want to see the wonderful areas in and around the island, kayaking is a great eco-tour activity.

Any accessible waterway can be explored by kayak while you’re on the Turks and Caicos islands, which makes kayaking is one of the best way to explore the Turks and Caicos. Because there are so many shallow channels, tidal creeks, and cays, kayaking is a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

You also don’t have to be a super athlete to use a kayak either. The Turks and Caicos waterways are shallow and tend to be calm. You can take your time coasting or drifting and paddle when you want to.

Somewhat active

If you want to be a little more active, you can try stand up paddleboarding. 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 to be active without doing anything too extreme.

More active

If you’re the more active or adventurous type, snorkeling and SCUBA diving are amazing activities. The Turks and Caicos is an ecological wonder beneath the calm waves and has great conditions for snorkeling and diving: great weather, warm and clear water, and shallow reefs teeming with fish, coral and marine life.

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.

How to choose an excursion operator

Once you’ve decided on what you want to do, you now have to place your trust in someone who can ensure your trip goes smoothly. There are a lot of ways you can do this. TripAdvisor often hosts reviews of excursion companies from all over the world and it’s a great starting point to learn how you want to plan your trip.

Choose sustainable

The Turks and Caicos serve as a unique ecosystem for countless plants and animals on both land and in sea. In addition to the previously mentioned coral reefs, the Turks and Caicos is also home to island birds and are even in the path of migrating humpback whales and dolphins.

Because you’re partaking in a Turks and Caicos excursion that treats you to the natural beauty of the islands, it’s important to choose an excursion operator that is a committed member within the conservation community.

For example, Big Blue Unlimited is the country’s only ecotourism award winner, and it continually strives to reduce its own footprint while encouraging its guests to reuse and recycle whenever possible.

How long have they been in business

Once you get an idea of who the Turks and Caicos excursion operators are, you can learn more about them. Like any business, one of the key indicators of a solid business and staff is the length in which they have been in operation.

Big Blue Unlimited has been offering diving, snorkeling, kiteboarding, boating, kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding services for over 20 years.

When you decide on Big Blue Unlimited, you are actually doing two things. You are selecting an operator that is dedicated to ensuring your trip is one of the best you’ll ever take, and one that is doing its part to support the natural environment of the Turks and Caicos.


Filed under: Activities, Eco adventure

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

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.



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.



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

Catlin SeaView Survey

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.



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