Turks and Caicos Weather in March

28th August 2018 12:28 pm

Want to know what to pack for your trip to the TCI? The great news is that the Turks and Caicos Islands are a pleasant travel destination no matter what time of year you choose to visit. However, March is a great choice for the average visitor, as it’s still part of the dry season and rainfall should be a minimum. On the plus side for our North American and Canadian visitors, too, it’s the perfect destination to escape the gloomy clutches of your own weather this time of year! That does mean the islands are a little busier than average at this time, however. Don’t let that frighten you- the TCI is still one of few places in the Caribbean where you stand a reasonable chance of having a beach to yourself!

TCI Weather patterns for March

Of course, as the TCI are islands, there’s nothing like fully predictable weather. The exposed nature of an island leaves it somewhat at Mother Nature’s mercy- but she’s generally pretty kind to the Turks and Caicos. Daytime temperatures usually hover around 82°F [27-28°C] pretty consistently, rarely falling below 74°F [23°C].

There’s unlikely to be any rain, or hurricane threat, at this time of year. This is still the dry season.

The Turks and Caicos tourist in March

As we mentioned above, this is part of the peak travel season for the TCI, so expect to find more visitors here than average. It’s possible you may encounter in-season pricing, but that can be offset against the fact that all tour operators are facing heavy competition- thus a great incentive to do their best.

Pests

The only pest-bugs to consider too much in the TCI are the mozzies, and they only tend to rear their heads when it is rainy season, so you’re in the clear for now. As the March trade winds will be in full swing, you’ll find that most flying insects avoid the area- and you- as they can’t fly properly.

Sunburn

Don’t let the fact it’s ‘winter’ here stop you from bringing your sunblock! UVA and UVB exposure is pretty consistent throughout the year, and we strongly advise using a reef-safe, high factor sunscreen during your travels here no matter what time of year you intend to arrive.

TCI activities perfect for March weather

While the Turks and Caicos are perfect for fun in the sun year-round, March is a particularly nice month for the water babies among you. Ocean temperature rarely lags behind ambient temperature by more than a degree or two, so the crystal clear waters will be warm and inviting. Think of your bathtub at the perfect refreshing temperature, and you’re in the right ballpark. If only winter was as clement everywhere in the world!

 

As always, snorkelling and diving can be done here year-round, as well as kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and any charter boat exploration you want to undertake. It’s a great time to add kiteboarding to your skill list too, as the winter winds tend to be more predictable [and need less of an experienced hand] than those in summer.

Whale Watching

March represents the very last tail end of the whale watching season, and you’ll likely only spot these magnificent beasts at play in the very early part of the month [February is a better choice for definite whale sightings]. As the stragglers will be in a hurry to reach their final destination, you will be better off heading out on a whale-watching expedition rather than hoping to spot them from the beach. Dive and snorkel enthusiasts, do remember that we will, if a suitable opportunity presents itself, attempt to interact with these giants of the water- so the experience of a lifetime could be waiting for you.

Kayaking and paddleboarding

It’s always perfect weather for kayaking in the TCI, and March is no exception. This unique way to explore the islands allows you to get up-close-and-personal with her varied marine animals and birdlife, nosing among the mangrove channels that give this area her characteristic flat, calm water and protect the diversity of animals in the area. If you’re interested in eco-friendly, non-intrusive travel, then this is the sport for you.

Big Blue Collective offer unparalleled stand up paddle boarding instruction, and now is a great time of year to try your hand at this simple and accessible water sport. The water in our home bay is typically very calm at this time of year, with the natural reefs that surround Provo providing the perfect windbreak even if the weather acts up a little on the sea. If you’re looking for a little active relaxation, there couldn’t be a better sport for you. We offer a full range of paddleboarding eco-tours for you to indulge in if you’re a little more confident, too- meet the bird life of the island, skim over the flat clear water as tropical fish flash below you, and so much more.

Plan ahead

The Turks and Caicos are a very popular destination at this time of year, as they make the perfect spot to soak in some rays and boost your mood before the Northern winter sets in at home. Add to that the last lure of whale watching and you’ll understand why this is one of the busiest times of year for local service providers. Whether you’re checking into a hotel, resort or renting your own private villa, be sure to get your bookings handled early so you aren’t disappointed. Book flights early, too, as the local airports don’t handle particularly high volumes of international flights weekly- you want to make sure you’re on the right flight, after all! You may find that in-season peak booking charges do apply at this time of year, so a little early booking might also be the best way to get a little discount on the cost, too. Fortunately, pressure and popularity is slightly relieved after the spate of US public and school holidays in February, so it will likely be a little easier to book and find rooms.

 

Adventure is always just a click away with Big Blue Collective, so now you know what the TCI weather in March is like, isn’t it time to get planning your next great eco-adventure with us?


Filed under: Weather

The very best dive spots in the Turks and Caicos, revealed!

24th August 2018 12:26 pm

There can be no surprise that there are awesome dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, given that Turks and Caicos diving is seen as one of the ultimate activities in the area. Whether you simply want to go scuba diving in Providenciales, or are ready to embrace a multi-day private eco-charter cruise for the ultimate dive experience, Big Blue Collective have everything you need to perfect your trip. Here’s our guide to the secrets of the best TCI dive spots, and the ones you simply can’t miss off of your trip itinerary.

Turks and Caicos diving is exceptional everywhere

It’s important to say, however, that while the dive sites listed below are our favourite dive sites in Turks and Caicos, the diving in the TCI is superlative wherever you head. Marine life in this area is vibrant, thriving on the coral barrier reefs of the area, and visibility is almost unmatched anywhere else in the world. Some of the scuba diving in Providenciales lies literally only minutes off the shore, while you can also use one of our private charters to explore the less well-known areas on the dive-site-hopping day trip of a lifetime. The area is packed with other water sports, non-diving attractions, and historical sites to visit, all in the laid-back Caribbean vibe typical of the islands. Weather is fairly steady, outside of the odd hurricane in season, and almost all the animals [whales are an exception] make their home here year-round. Where else in the world do you have beach diving, cruise diving, wreck and reef diving all accessible within minutes of each other? In short, you’ll love the experience wherever you head, so don’t be shy to explore!

  1. Sandbore Channel and French Cay

When it comes to scuba diving in Providenciales, these two sites are a must-visit. While Grace Bay beach has little to offer herself, the barrier reefs that lie a short trip offshore are a must for any visitor to explore. Spur and Groove reef formations are common here, with sheer edges towards the west and even a few secluded and undercut walls for you to play with. Sandbore channel lies between Provo and West Caicos, bringing you a little of both worlds, and is rich in soft corals and sponges. Head out to French Cay if you want an almost-guaranteed shark sighting, as well as to meet the local ray populace! Sea turtles, eagle rays, lobsters and eels all call the area home, alongside vibrant shoals of tropical fish. Many coral species can also be found in the area, making it a spectacular first dive site for any visitor to the islands.

2. The walls of Grand Turk and Grand Turk’s McDonalds

Turks and Caicos diving is rich with walls, and nowhere is this more apparent than near Grand Turk. The TCI themselves are situated on a soft, sandy plateau that abruptly falls away to the seabed just offshore, making the perfect environment for some of the best walls you will ever experience. In some places, you will be met by a literal sheer drop! Around Grand Turk, as you head out towards the walls, you will also cross a very interesting area of ‘transition’ barrier reef. Think sand chutes, arches, canyons and so much more to explore. Of these all, Grand Turk’s McDonalds is probably the most spectacular, an underwater arch teaming with life and with cleaning stations nearby that attract large groupers. Spur and Groove reefs are also common here. You’ll find some of the largest densities of tropical fish around Grand Turk, and the calm water here is perfect for viewing- the clarity will astound you.

3. The wrecks [and whales] of Salt Cay

Lying within the ‘Columbus passage’, Salt Cay is perhaps one of the best-known dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, mainly due to its association with whales. During their seasonal migration in winter, Humpback Whales are channelled through the passage on their way from their breeding grounds, making sightings in the area spectacular. Salt Cay is actually the most remote of the Turks and Caicos Islands, meaning the coral in the area is pristine and the marine life bold.  The wreck of the British warship HMS Endymion lies just offshore, allowing you to get in some wreck diving while you are here. Be sure to watch out for both the anchor and cannons! There’s also another fascinating wreck in the area, dating from the 1900s and displaying one of the world’s first diesel engines. There’s also a few placed wrecks to explore, notably a small fishing boat and a twin-engine airplane [Cessna 401].

4. Columbus Landfall Marine National Park

This national park is synonymous with Turks and Caicos diving. It’s also the largest protected marine area in the islands, so remember to dive with care. There are 25 moored dive sites available here, alongside shore dives and- of course- some great unmoored dives too. Reef mixes with sand, getting down to about 40 feet. Once the reef ends, however, a drop of thousands of feet begins. Be sure to check out the ‘amphitheatre’ dive site before you go!

While these four sites are some of our favourite dive sites in the Turks and Caicos, they are far from all that’s open to you. Be sure to also head out to tiny, quiet West Caicos, one of the few spots in the Caribbean where you stand a realistic chance of being the only dive party out there. In fact, wherever you go you are bound to have a spectacular experience, from scuba diving in Providenciales to the wreck diving off the coast of Salt Cay.

The dive sites of the Turks and Caicos are calling to you- are you ready to answer? Get in touch with Big Blue Collective today, and make all your diving dreams come true.


Filed under: Diving

Providenciales’ snorkeling tours: The Big Blue Collective difference

17th August 2018 12:24 pm

If a Grace Bay snorkelling cruise out of Providenciales sounds like the perfect way to kick off your exploration of the Turks and Caicos, then you’ve come to the right place. With decades of on-island expertise to draw from, the Big Blue Collective difference will shine- and today we look at how.

Why are Providenciales snorkeling tours a can’t-miss?

The TCI chain is separated by a deep channel- the same channel that is responsible for making the area so spectacular for whale sightings during the season. This unique layout- with Grand Turk and Salt Cay clinging to the deep Turks Island Passage, and the Caicos islands nestling on a plateau with extensive barrier reefs- has led to a landscape of gorgeous reefs, sparkling ocean water, plunging walls and a varied marine terrain that’s second to none. Wherever you venture, you’ll find glowing coral and spectacular sea life unfolding before you.

With that said, there’s no doubt that Providenciales’ snorkeling tours are the most accessible and varied in the whole chain, simply because the island is so developed compared to the rest of the TCI. That’s not to say you can’t explore it all! Provo makes a fantastic base for further-flung exploration as well as local expeditions.

Provo herself has a great variety of sites to explore, with beach reefs like Smith’s reef and Bight reef if you don’t want to head offshore. However, a Grace Bay snorkeling cruise out of Providenciales herself is the perfect way to really embrace the spirit of exploration needed for a satisfying snorkeling experience.

Why are snorkeling cruises the best?

Snorkelling cruises typically deliver more dramatic results then beach snorkeling. Superior visability, as well as the larger and more defined coral formations you’ll encounter, both make for an immensely satisfying snorkel experience. Of course, there’s also the lure of the many large animals who call this corner of the world home- you are unlikely to meet them face-to-face from a beach snorkel as they don’t come into the more shallow water.

Tell me more about your Grace Bay snorkeling cruise out of Providenciales

Some of the most spectacular snorkeling sites in the TCI lie off of the Grace Bay barrier reef area. This is slightly deceptive if you’re planning on taking a swim out there, though! The reef lies half a mile off of the coast, so it is essential to either take a cruise or charter a boat to reach the best snorkeling sites in the area. Expect it to take 10-30 minutes to reach the optimum snorkeling sites. You’ll need at least ⅓ of a day to explore the area properly, although we do ½ and full day charters too if you are looking to maximise your experience. A great deal of the accommodation in Provo nestles around the Grace Bay area, so having a boat which will pick you up and drop you back on your ‘home’ beach can be incredibly convenient. Add to the romantic ambience by opting for our sunset snorkel, which will give you an entirely different take on the area.

Don’t forget to take a little time to play on Grace Beach herself. This spectacular area is often counted as one of the top 5 beaches in the world, and it’s immediately apparent why. Soft white sand awaits you, with crystal clear water lapping the fringes. While this very clarity and visibility is the reason the snorkel sites of the area lie so far out, it’s also a luxurious delight well worth experiencing on its own terms.

Many tour operators only take their patrons to the same spots they could access on their own from the beach- but that’s not the Big Blue Collective experience. We ensure you see all the sights, experiencing everything this unique corner of the world has to offer, in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Please remember that alongside our Providenciales snorkeling tours we also offer private boat charters if you’d like to totally customise your snorkeling experience.

How can I make the most of my snorkeling experience?

Big Blue Collective boats all carry snorkeling equipment, although you’re welcome to bring your own if you are a more experienced snorkeler. The typical snorkeling rules do apply if you want to get the best from your experience:

 

  • Look, don’t touch. Remember that coral isn’t a dead entity, but a living ‘animal’, and human touch can kill it. This includes taking a little care that your gear doesn’t knock or impact the area.
  • No souvenirs! It’s very tempting to reach out and grab a little piece of the beauty all around you, but remember it has a better place in the water, thriving.
  • Stay friendly: Chasing, following and trying to feed the local sea life is a one-way ticket to a spoilt experience. Rather let them do their thing, and enjoy the experience.

 

Lastly, we do ask that guests avoid overuse of sunscreen [and body lotion] before a dive trip. These can interfere with the vibrancy and growth of the coral, and we’d rather be safe than sorry.

Providenciales snorkeling tours are one of the best ways to kick off your exploration of the marine life teaming in this little corner of the globe. Take a Grace Bay snorkeling cruise from Providenciales herself, and experience the beauties of the phenomenal barrier reef for yourself. Spot fish and rays at play- and maybe a dolphin or two! Explore the vibrant colours of this exceptional natural habitat, and make memories that will last forever. Big Blue Collective offers you the ultimate snorkeling experience, so be sure to take advantage today.


Filed under: Snorkeling

A kayak could be your best choice for experiencing the magic of the TCI

13th August 2018 12:24 pm

Hit the water with the experts on kayaking in the Turks and Caicos! As the original eco-adventure company in TCI waters, we pride ourselves on delivering the ultimate experience no matter where you venture- and going by kayak may well be our favourite way to get there!

See the TCI from its most unique vantage point

If you want to truly experience everything this unique corner of the world has to offer, then there’s no better way to do it then from the water. Not only does this allow you to get your adrenaline pumping with your daily dose of water sports, you get to experience the true nature of the area and the rhythm of her seas. Even better, stripped free of modern engines and crashing, clanging tourism equipment, you’ll have a unique chance to experience the islands and their wildlife that’s both individual and intimate.

There’s a little bit of everything to experience when kayaking in the Turks and Caicos. North and Middle Caicos bring you a remote emptiness almost unheard of in the Caribbean. Grand Turk and Provo bring back the hustle and bustle of people. Almost everywhere you look there’s quaint, historical buildings, the ruins of plantations and the salt industry, and unspoilt beaches just waiting for you to explore them. The small group size [private tours are available too] allow the whole experience to be all about you, minimizing your ecological impact while maximising your enjoyment.

Kayaking the Turks and Caicos will leave you with an intimate understanding of the area and her isolated beauty. In fact, it’s the only way to access some of her more precious beauty spots! Being both super-quiet and low to the water, kayaking allows you to explore places you’d otherwise never see. With shallow, crystal clear water slowly peeling away from your kayak, you’ll be able to spot marine creatures going about their business undisturbed- turtles, rays, tropical fish and possibly even dolphins!

Where will kayaking tours on the TCI take me?

Our flagship kayaking eco-tour is perfectly balanced to ensure everyone enjoys. You’ll visit the iguanas at iguana island, explore the challenge of the coastal mangrove channels that embrace and protect the flat seas around TCI, and have a superb view of the native marine and bird life in the TCI’s tidal creeks. Spot the native ‘wild’ donkeys and horses as you paddle past.

Shake it up a little, and add a snorkelling combination to your Turks and Caicos Kayaking experience. You’ll kayak through the protected nature reserves of North Caicos while snorkelling the exquisite reefs in the area.  Kick it up even further, and charter one of our knowledgeable guides to help you custom tailor the perfect private kayaking tour experience. While you’re free to bring your own equipment, we also have kayaks available to rent, and our expert instructors can help you learn the sport [or brush up your technique] if you desire.

In the end, we can get our kayaks anywhere on the island you desire, so you are free to start and end where you please. Leverage our knowledge to help you explore off the beaten path, and take home memories of the wild cays and tidal creeks to call your own. Get a taste of what awaits you here. Turn it into a massive camping trip, or hop from inn-to-inn nightly. We even facilitate kayak rentals for play, if you’d rather stick to the calm bays alongside your villa or hotel.

How do I stay comfortable kayaking the Turks and Caicos?

If you are no expert at kayaking, we will set you up with a ‘sit on top’ kayak, which is easier for the novice to handle. A double kayak is perfect for parents with little ones, or anyone else who might not be able to handle a kayak on their own. It’s not advised to head too deep into the ocean if you are inexperienced, as the tidal patterns can be intimidating to a new learner, but rewarding adventure awaits if you’re a little more confident.

Be aware that water does tend to get everywhere during your kayaking experience, so we strongly recommend you use a waterproof pouch for important belongings like wallets, electronics and cameras. Dress for the kayak too- beachwear and a sarong for ladies, or comfortable, easy-to-move-in shorts for the guys. Sunscreen, and perhaps a hat or neck wrap, are always advised to prevent sunburn from intruding on your grand adventure! While we won’t be paddling too intensively, a soft pair of cycling gloves may be an idea for you if you have soft hands or are prone to blisters. Lastly, don’t forget your sense of adventure! As always, there are a few things we don’t recommend doing while kayaking the Turks and Caicos- be sure to check them out too!

Kayaking in the Turks and Caicos is one of the most rewarding ways to explore the islands, and it’s even environmentally friendly too. Not only can you access every nook and cranny, allowing you to see sights that would otherwise not be open to you, it’s also a placid and friendly way to experience the true nature of the islands without leaving any kind of negative footprint on the ecosystem. With our expert guides to help you every step of the way, you are free to plan your ultimate kayaking experience or allow us to help you create your perfect itinerary.

No matter what you do, be sure to add kayaking in the Turks and Caicos to your bucket list of TCI experiences- we’re waiting to hear from you!


Filed under: Kayaking