The experience of a lifetime awaits you with Big Blue Collective

29th July 2018 7:16 am

With the beautiful islands of the TCI archipelago as our backdrop, and the wealth of knowledge our non-transient guides and staff have to offer, there can be little wonder that the Big Blue Collective experience is one that is highly sought after by guests to the TCI. Today, we’re giving you a little look into exactly what makes the Big Blue Collective experience so unique- and how it will help you craft memories of the TCI that will linger with you forever.

We enter the unknown- and take you with

There’s a dazzling amount of things to do in the TCI. In fact, we often say you can’t just visit the Turks and Caicos once… you’ll find yourself drawn back and back to these mysterious, unique islands to experience everything they have to offer. That’s where the Big Blue Collective guest experience really shines- our experienced dive team and many of our supporting staff literally do call this area home. You won’t find yourself with instructors or guides who’ve been in the area only at the heights of the tourist season, you’ll be diving under the watchful eye of people who’ve been at home in the islands since the 80s and beyond. Every hurricane, dolphin encounter or new sight that’s found they’ve experienced and lived through, leaving them able to give you a true insider perspective on what it means to be an Islander, how tourism interacts with the environment around you, and where all the best sights and experiences of the season can be had.

This insider knowledge has helped shape the tours and experiences we offer guests intimately too. We’re the only dive team offering all 5 dive sites for the area, both on-and-off the beaten track, for example. We know the secrets of the uninhabited islands, and where the TCI’s animals love to frolic. In short, we know how to help you experience the very best of the islands no matter how long your stay here with us will be.

All the fun, all the time

That’s not to say we know how to get under your feet! The whole point of your vacation here in the TCI is to have fun- whatever that means to you. You could be an avid lover of water sports, wanting to be in the water every moment of the day. Or maybe a relaxed week of beaches, cool drinks and hot sun does it for you. Perhaps you’re chomping at the bit to get exploring the picturesque historical sights of the islands, or keen to meet her wildlife up close and personal. Maybe you’re freshly married, and looking to spend a romantic sunset together in idyllic privacy.

In short, we care what makes the perfect holiday for you. However you define fun, and however you want to have it, we have the tools and knowledge to help you craft the ultimate destination experience in the TCI, you way, all the way.

Our guests make the experience

Enjoying the TCI isn’t about Big Blue Collective- it’s about you. Every visitor to the island, and every client who charters a boat or takes a lesson with us, brings their very own unique sparkle to the islands. It’s why we do what we do, after all! Your unique energy and experience help us bring dreams to life, and makes our dreams come true in turn. Nothing makes us happier than watching our clients embrace this wonderful corner of the world as their own, exploring her secrets and enjoying her radiance the way we do. We can truly state that not one guest experience is ever like the other- every visitor brings their own unique touch to the trip.

The world’s most unique destination

From the haunting, uninhabited heights of the South-East Caicos banks to the bustling hard of Grand Turk, there’s nothing like the TCI. Where else in the world do you find unspoiled, barely populated Caribbean beaches right alongside rugged and windswept mangrove swamps? The dazzling variety of life and experiences in this unique corner of the world help shape an experience like no other- once you’ve experienced it, you’ll understand why we’re proud to call the TCI our home.

Our fleet

A huge part of the guest experience we shape here at Big Blue plays out on our fleet of charter boats and dive vessels. From the zippy little ‘twins’, Lady Tamra and Little Chill, to the luxuriously appointed decks of the MV Live and Direct who’s seen it all, every one of our boats helps us stay on our toes and keeps you enjoying your time with us. We’re proud to offer one of the biggest and best appointed fleets in the TCI, helping us take you wherever you want to go.

Water sports, activities and exploration…oh my

When you have the perfect setting, a spectacular fleet, and an exceptional batch of visitors, what’s the only thing else that’s needed? If you guessed ‘things to do’, you’re right on the money! Fortunately, you won’t struggle to find things to keep you occupied here. Diving, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding…if it can be done in the water, we’ll help you do it! And that’s without your private exploration charters, eco tours, kayaking trips and kiteboarding factored in! The TCI can offer ultimate luxury, ultimate adventure, or the perfect blend of both- whichever flavour will make the trip outstanding for you.

All that’s missing from this perfect mix is you! We’re privileged here at Big Blue Collective to help you create a guest experience that you’ll never forget, and we’re looking forward to helping you achieve your TCI dreams today.

Filed under: Activities, Tourism, Travel

Enjoy the wonders of West Caicos

1st July 2018 7:12 am

Why not head off the beaten track with Big Blue Collective during your next visit to the TCI archipelago? Experience the clear blue Caribbean waters of near-untouched West Caicos for yourself, enjoy a wealth of water sports adventures perfect for the whole family, and feel the thrill of discovery tingle your spine at every turn. We highly recommend this unique area of the TCI archipelago for the adventurous at heart and anyone who wants to take a ‘no-holds-barred’ peak at the true heart of the Turks and Caicos for themselves.

Where in the world is West Caicos, anyway?

Don’t worry if this much underrated area of the TCI archipelago has escaped your radar so far! When many imagine the TCI, it’s usually the tourist ‘hot spots’ of Provo and Grand Turk and their idyllic beaches, so this exquisite jewel in the TCI crown often goes without too much thought. Fortunately, Big Blue Collective is here to help you redress this!

Unsurprisingly, West Caicos is the name for the most westerly isle in the TCI archipelago, offering seven miles of pristine, unspoilt and unique ironshore coastline for you to explore. Ironshore coastline offer something truly spectacular to see, being a form of hard, fossil-rich rock ‘pads’ that can be thought of as a form of fossil reef. This unique shoreline rolls easily into unsurpassed calm, clear blue water at an easy 6-8 foot depth that’s perfect for snorkelling and freediving experiences alike. It isn’t all easy, however! A few hundred feet later the bottom hits 40-50 foot before plunging into an adrenaline-pumping wall.

Legendary diving on West Caicos

Those in the know when it comes to diving in the TCI and her clear blue Caribbean waters will whisper to you of her legendary sites, with evocative names like Spanish Anchor, Highway to Heaven and Magic Mushroom. These famous sites all lie along West Caicos herself, running south to north. We’ve been diving the TCI archipelago since our inception in 1997, so you can rest assured our dive team offers you a wealth of experience and knowledge to help you make the most of your experiences here. None of the dive team are transient to the area, either, so they come marinated in local knowledge, customs and secrets. We dive only in small groups, allowing you a flexible and intimate dive experience every time, and are one of very few operators in the area who dive in all 5 of the TCI’s best dive spots- West Caicos included.

This is the perfect excuse to combine your dive adventure with our ‘edges of the banks’ snorkelling adventure, which typically visits the shores of West Caicos too. There’s no other public trip like this available in the TCI, so we take particular pride in being able to offer this experience of a lifetime to you. Explore TCI’s secret spots, enjoy an open ocean encounter which could bring you face to face with dolphins, whale sharks or whales, and snorkel the stunning virgin reefs of the territory undisturbed by man or other boats.

What else can I do on West Caicos?

While the diving alone is enough to bring you to this spectacular part of the islands, there’s a whole lot more waiting for you on arrival! Both the Northern and Southern tips of West Caicos, as well as her entire Eastern shore, offers stunning beaches for you to enjoy, all with far less traffic than those on the better-known islands too. They’re the perfect spot for a beachside picnic before heading back into the water, or to celebrate a romantic moment together as the sun falls into the water.

If you’re keen to explore on land a little, Lake Catherine and Yankeetown offer not only a wealth of historical sights iconic to the TCI, all relating to the salt farming and plantation industries that once thrived here, but also some of the most picturesque and undisturbed locations in the TCI archipelago. This is only a small part of what makes West Caicos the perfect location for a full day charter exploration, to allow you to fully experience the magic of this area for yourself.

Big Blue Collective’s adventures to West Caicos are a firm favourite among the team as well as our guests, simply because of the wealth of beauty and fun the area offers. West Caicos’ uniquely rocky ironshore coastline offers excellent diving and snorkelling, with the deep wall drop-off lying conveniently close to the island and offering a perfect ‘free diving’ experience to our snorkelers too. Her protected coves offer the ultimate swimming adventure, while her picturesque ruined plantations [and the stunning sights of Lake Catherine] make the perfect frame to simply amble and enjoy the beauty of this island. You can even access some of Provo’s typically inaccessible western beaches and creeks easily from West Caicos, too.

Take a leisurely kayaking trip our into the water to explore, or challenge your skills on a stand up paddle board in the flatter water immediately off of West Caicos. West Caicos also offers a perfect perch to spot Humpback Whales on migration during the whale season in the area. Big Blue has an impeccable track record for whale watching in the area, with an enviable record of soft in-water encounters. If you’re planning to use one of Provo’s private villas as your home base for your TCI experience, we can even arrange pickup and drop off for you.

Ensure you get the full TCI experience, and be sure to schedule a dive or a full day charter with Big Blue Collective to the wonders of West Caicos- you won’t be sorry you did.

Filed under: Diving, Snorkeling

Explore the untouched Mangrove swamps of the TCI

9th July 2018 7:10 am

The beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands offers so much more than just her beaches- although they are magnificent too! Over one-third of this unique territory is blessed by near-untouched mangrove swamps, offering a wealth of bird and marine life as well as spectacular water sports experiences to the eager visitors who come here. This utterly unique ecosystem [don’t let the word ‘swamp’ give you the wrong idea] has had a profound effect on the geography and history of the TCI, and Big Blue Collective’s SUP eco tours offer you the perfect opportunity to experience this lush, uniquely Caribbean phenomenon for yourself. We’re proud to offer the best mangrove experiences in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands, right here waiting for you!

Why the Mangroves matter so much

Without the unique mangrove heritage of the islands, the face of the Turks and Caicos- and, in fact, the whole Caribbean- would be completely different. Mangroves in the Caribbean can be thought of as the ‘lungs’ of the island…and, in fact, the world. They breathe new life into the unique and fragile ecosystem of the area, one tide at a time. These unique areas of dense vegetation help to protect the shoreline, preventing erosion as the waters move in and out, and preserving the spectacular powder-soft beaches of the area for our enjoyment. When storms [even the sometimes damaging hurricane winds] move in on the area, the mangroves offer a vital buffer to help shelter bird life and the unique coastline from the powerful winds. Their roots hold the precious soils of the area steady, while also keeping the water quality high through filtering sediments and potential pollutants from entering the system.

They have another use too- and that’s part of what makes snorkelling the mangroves such a rewarding experience. Think of them as a ‘nursery’ for the many marine species that call these exquisite waters home. From tiny shrimp and molluscs right through to tropical fish, the mangrove habitats of the Caribbean offer rich food sources and sheltered waters for them to grow and thrive. Threatened, endangered and rare species such as sea turtles can all be found taking shelter in this area of easy food and calm waters, making them one of the most vital ecosystems in the area. In some parts of the world [although not in the TCI itself], mangroves even offer an easy, sustainable source of tannins, wood, natural dyes, charcoal and very much more, helping man and nature thrive together. That’s why Big Blue Collective believe so strongly in the SUP eco tour experience and its many benefits for visitors to the area

Tell me more about SUP eco tours through the mangroves in the TCI

Big Blue Collective have been everywhere- and we’re here to share the TCI’s secrets with you! There’s no part of the Turks and Caicos we don’t know like the back of our own hands, so who better to help you explore this dazzling area for yourself? Stand up paddle boarding is possibly one of the most openly accessible water sports there is, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Beginners taking their very first tentative steps with the paddleboard will find the ‘flat’ areas of the TCI perfect to hone their burgeoning skills, while more experienced paddle boarders will find plenty to entertain and challenge them at every turn. Once you have some confidence in the sport- which you can easily gain on sight here with our Paddle Fit instructors and in our home bay- you can experience the diverse joys of our SUP eco tours for yourself. While the bustling hubs of Provo and Grand Turk offer you tons of exciting experiences, the true joys of the TCI lie in her more remote areas along North, Middle and South Caicos such as her unique mangrove channels…perfect to explore under the watchful eyes of our guides. Round out the celebration with a picnic on a near-deserted beach before heading to Daniel’s Cafe for some tasty seafood and cocktails.

Snorkelling in the Caribbean mangroves

As we mentioned above, the Caribbean mangroves incubate the unique bird and marine life of the TCI, making snorkelling in this area one of the most rewarding snorkel trips you’ll ever take. Big Blue Collective’s range of experience with snorkelling is such that we’ve even helped open a new snorkelling cave spot on West Caicos, so you know we can walk the talk too! The shallow reefs throughout the area offer spectacular viewing opportunities for a traditional snorkel experience too, so you’ll have an unparalleled chance to experience two richly diverse snorkelling environments in one tour too. If you’re looking for something truly unique to experience, we highly recommend our night snorkelling tour, the ‘edge of the banks adventure’. This boating adventure will see you exploring French Cay, West Caicos and other elements of the remote islands to find virgin reefs in all their unspoilt glory- with only the rarest boat sightings to intrude on the view. Secret spots will unfold around you, open ocean encounters with the friendly marine life await, and there’s even the chance we’ll spot dolphins and whales at play as we go. This tour showcases the passion big Blue Collective has for action, adventure and education in one, and will leave you with memories that beg to be recorded by your cameras.

From our SUP eco tours to the unique chance to snorkel among the mangroves of the islands, Big Blue Collective will help you create the ultimate Caribbean mangrove experience, a spectacularly unique way to enjoy everything the TCI has to offer you.

Kamala Kamp and Big Blue Collective: The ultimate stand up paddle board adventure in the Turks and Caicos

19th July 2018 7:09 am

What could be better than stand up paddle boarding in the beautiful turquoise waters of the TCI? Doing it with the experience and skill of the Kalama Kamp guide [and Big Blue Collective’s certified Paddle Fit instructors] to hone your skills while the beauty of the TCI National Park unfolds around you!

Enjoy this fantastic sport with this experienced team while the mangrove channels of the National Park glimmer at you right across from our offices, waiting for you to explore them. Concerned that your skills need a little brush-up? No worries- the team has you covered with expert instruction. Experience the ultimate stand up paddle boarding retreat in true Turks and Caicos style- it’s the trip of a lifetime you’ll want to repeat again and again.

What does Kalama Kamp in the TCI offer?

Picture a simple boat ride on crisp, clear water kicking off this dream holiday, and you’re already close to what awaits you. Kamala Kamp guides will escort you through the active water-sport holiday retreat to beat all others, with 6 days of all-out, totally inclusive water and wave adventure awaiting you. Think of it as a stand up paddle boarding retreat featuring only you and a tiny, select group of others to ensure everyone gets personal attention. The Kalama Kamp guides are some of the world’s ultimate watermen, spending their lives immersed in nuances of the sport and the beauty of the islands that support it. You’ll receive personalised daily instruction on stand up paddle boarding from Dave Kalama himself- enough of a lure in itself- but there’s so very much more to the experience too. Immerse yourself fully in the joys of water sports in the TCI, enjoying daily beach workouts and night’s filled with fun, fun, fun. Through the partnership with Big Blue Collective and Club Med, you’ll have the best week of your life.

What extras are included?

Experience the wonders of the TCI national park for yourself on our staggeringly gorgeous eco tours, which come as part and parcel of the experience. This is a national park with a difference- after all, so much of the Turks and Caicos territory is underwater, with the perfect pristine environment for coral growth, instead of the land parks we’re used too. The Islanders work hard to ensure all tourist activities in the area work synergistically with the environment, with boat and diving pollution kept to the utmost minimum, and Big Blue Collective supports these endeavours wholeheartedly. We live in a spectacular time for coral, with growth and recovery dramatically boosted by the lack of severe hurricane damage over the last 30 years, so there is literally no time like the present to experience the wonders of the TCI reefs. While climate change hasn’t been without its own impact on the area, the time is most definitely now to experience it in all its glory. The same reefs that proved the perfect hiding spots for privateers and pirates in the past, helping to shape the very bones of this unique island culture, are now waiting for you to explore them.

Snorkel trips to the outer reefs of the Turks and Caicos will see you take your stand up paddle boarding skills to the max, while a full moon paddle will leave you with uniquely beautiful memories that will last forever [and a story that will earn you drinks in any pub worldwide]. This beautiful corner of the Caribbean offers lush native vegetation, soft white beaches and the classic heart-tugging blue seas that call to the soul. Seeing them under the sparkle of moonlight- and testing your SUP skills at the same time- is truly magnificent.

Explore the mangrove channels with your certified Paddle Fit instructors, and let the spectacular marine and birdlife that call this area home unfold around you. SUP surfing will thrill you with its adrenaline-packed action. In short, if it can be done on the water you’ll have a chance to experience it in this jam-packed action adventure. Explore the TCI’s beautiful beaches, and her off-the-beaten-path ecosystems in all their glory. You may even get a chance to spot whales and dolphins at play as you paddle board, or meet the iguanas of Iguana island!

Breathe in the singular atmosphere and culture of the Turks and Caicos

If the unique culture of the area calls to you, you’ll also have time to explore the sights of the two main islands and the many remnants of the salt industry and plantations that once thrived in the area. Learn more about the domestic fishing trade that boosts the economy of the area, and meet the friendly locals and learn more about their lives on the islands too. Allow the glory of one of the last unspoilt areas of the Caribbean, free from the hectic demands of high tourism, to refresh your soul, then challenge yourself against her flat seas and trade winds. Where else in the world can you stand on a Caribbean beach, stand up paddle board lapping in the water next to you, and be virtually alone as you celebrate catching the perfect downwinder and riding it the whole way? Your only difficulty will be leaving it to go back home! Be sure to bring your camera to capture every moment of the trip to share with friends and loved ones.

Use this unique stand up paddle boarding retreat to hone your skills under the guidance of Kalama Kamp guides who have mastered the waves as few others can. If you’d like to know a little more about the 2017 Kalama Kamp experience, you can find out more here… or simply drop us a line today and ensure you’re part of the 2018 line-up! Big Blue Collective is happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you craft the perfect SUP experience within the beautiful confines of the TCI National Park.