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.



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.



New Snorkel cave found on West Caicos!

22nd March 2017 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


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