6 reasons you simply have to try stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos today!

27th November 2018 9:42 am

Stand up paddle boarding has been around for a long time now -in fact, the Big Blue Collective is proud to be among the first providers to offer it here in the TCI. It’s certainly seeing a surge in popularity at the moment, however, so what better time for us to introduce you to the sport that makes us so very passionate? Before you know it, you’ll be here to share the fun with us- we guarantee it.

Rising global popularity

Stand up paddle boarding, affectionately known as SUP among practitioners of the sport, has become one of the most popular water sports in America and even seen a surge among the canals and waterways of the U.K. It’s thought to have origins deep in Africa, but it surged to prominence more recently around Hawaii in the ‘sixties as travellers began to use their canoes a little untraditionally!

No matter its origins, though, there’s little doubt this sport is booming today. Here are just 6 of the many great reasons you need to try stand up paddle boarding for yourself, today!

  1. SUP is easy to learn

Water sports may seem intimidating to begin learning- but stand up paddle boarding breaks through a lot of that barrier. The boards are wide and stable, and you can start off in placid, shallow water and still have a ton of fun.  We know it can get discouraging if you struggle with a sport everyone claims is ‘easy’, but stand up paddle boarding really is hugely accessible to a wide range of people- and our friendly Big Blue Collective instructors are always at hand to help you get better and better, too.

If you have any experience in the sport, you’ll know of Dave Kalama and his mastery of the sport of SUP. Here’s a pro tip from the Big Blue Collective- he’s here in the TCI to teach his famous Kalama Kamp program once a year, so why not come and join in on the fun?

2. Bring the whole family…

And we really do mean the whole family! We even offer specialised training for older children, and the seniors among you will be longing to start too once you see the fun. Focusing more on enjoyable, relaxing activity then pressurised sport and super-quick reflexes, stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos really is a great way to reconnect with each other and have fun at the same time.

3…or don’t, if you’re a loner!

Paddle boarding is a great bonding experience for the family, or a perfect way to relax and unwind with your friends. But it’s also a sport you can enjoy safely solo, once you have the basics down pat. So if you’re headed for a solo spin through the Caribbean, don’t let that stop you from dropping in and joining the fun. We offer one-on-one tuition to help you get started, too.

4. Quiet contemplation

It’s not every water sport that can call itself perfect for a little meditative contemplation, but stand up paddle boarding in the TCI is ideal for a little relaxation at a soul level. Head out on one of Big Blue Collective’s fabulous eco-tours and drink in the beauty of this almost-untouched environment. Watch stingray and dolphins flit happily between you in the glassy sea, admire the glowing shoals of fish, and allow the still perfection of one of nature’s most beautiful corners to wash away your cares. Explore the back channels and mangrove groves and marvel at nature, or play in the crystal blue water of the sheltered bays– whatever your style of adventure, stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos brings you memories that will last a lifetime.

5. Keep up with your gym bod

Jet skis and motorised water sports are fun, but they don’t do much to chase away the holiday bulge! Gently self-powered, stand up paddle boarding is a great way to combine sport and fun on your holiday with zero pressure. It’s a fabulous workout for the shoulders and arms as well as your core, legs, back and even your balance. If you’re looking for a little extra adrenaline, you can also catch a wave or two on your way back, too! Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to be super-fit to do stand up paddle boarding in the Turks and Caicos- just up to a little activity and equipped with a great sense of humour!

6. Easy to afford

Don’t worry that stand up paddle boarding is going to be an expensive sport to keep up if the bug bites you! While not all water sports have the most affordable price points out there, stand up paddle boarding is far kinder on the pocket. If you’re new to the sport, the Big Blue Collective’s paddleboard instruction allows you to rent equipment, too. Just bring yourself if packing all your gear is too annoying- we’ll do the rest. Just don’t miss out on a chance to experience this sport in one of the most spectacular destinations in the world.  

Keen to try your hand at this exciting sport? We don’t blame you- stand up paddle boarding in the TCI simply has to be on everyone’s bucket list! Why not get in touch with the Big Blue Collective’s friendly team today, and book your experience now? We’re waiting to hear from you!

 



TripAdvisor vote Grace Bay Beach the No 1 in the world- but we knew that all along!

18th November 2018 9:42 am

The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards have spoken- Grace Bay beach is the best in the world. Thousands of reviews from travellers just like yourself have been analysed and aggregated, and the results were overwhelming. So if you’re planning the ideal winter getaway this year, it’s time for you to come and say ‘Hi’ to the Big Blue Collective, and bask in the sun on the-official now- world’s best beach.

Meet the island of Grace Bay Beach

Even if you don’t know much about the Turks and Caicos, chances are you’ve heard of our most populated island- Providenciales. A little bit of a mouthful, the locales tend to just call it Provo. Home to the international airport servicing the islands, it’s also where most of the hotels, villas and resorts can be found. There’s little wonder it’s so iconic a part of the TCI landscape- the exquisite lure of Grace Bay beach aside, Provo has a little bit of something for everyone. There’s an 18-hole golf course calling you to walk its greens- it’s even been voted one of the best courses in the Caribbean, so you know we aren’t kidding- tennis courts, and plenty of trails to go biking if you love to live an active lifestyle. There’s luxury day spas and shopping opportunities galore, allowing you to indulge and let go of the stress of daily life, and Pilates and yoga are even offered on the beaches to help you rebalance from the inside-out.

Being one of the most developed islands in the Turks and Caicos chain, Provo is also home to some of the best food around. Of course, there’s plenty of succulent seafood to indulge in-including that you catch yourself- but there’s a little bit of something for every set of taste buds. If you want a true taste of the islands, be sure to indulge in a conch dish or two!

Fun, sun, water and play are the name of the day on Provo

Talking about heritage and culture, there’s plenty of that too. Provo is redolent in historical sites to explore- and you’re sure to fall in love with the quaint Bermudian architecture in the older parts of town, too. Wade and Cheshire Hills offer a glimpse into the island’s time as a cotton plantation HQ, there’s the intricacies of the Conch Farm to acquaint yourselves with, plenty of sites tied to the salt industry, and natural wonders galore. You can even get an overview of the area from the air with helicopter tours!

But there’s no doubt what the biggest draw for the Grace Bay Beach area is- and that’s the beaches and the water. Head out early for a pre-dawn adventure on a stand up paddle board, or ride the winds kite surfing. Scuba and dive sites abound, with a few iconic ones nestling just off shore of Grace Bay Beach herself. Awe-inspiring marine life swirls around you in dazzling colours as you snorkel at the reef, and if you want to see nature at its most dazzling there’s a boat-trip through the marine reserve to consider. If it can be done in the wind or on the water, then you’ll find it here on Provo. And, of course, Providenciales is the headquarters of the Big Blue Collective, too, so we are perfectly placed to help you make the very best out of your experience.

Bask on the TripAdvisor number 1 beach in the world- Grace Beach

But then there is the beaches. Grace Bay and her rolling sands are beckoning to you! Imagine the very best of a Caribbean beachfront, then double it. Feel the powder-soft sand, so perfectly white and inviting, radiating the warm heat from the sun overhead. Add turquoise gem-like waves lapping softly at its fringes while boats and people play in the water unfolding below you. Only the odd palm interrupts the perfection- and it’s almost all yours. Despite her radiant beauty, the Turks and Caicos aren’t yet as popular a destination as the rest of the Caribbean, and you’ll find a place free from the typical crowds here. And if you feel like heading off the beaten track a little, there’s any number of gorgeous nature walks that start at the lush vegetation surrounding the beach. Your heart will leap out of its chest, and your soul will bask in the beauty of it all. If you’re feeling a strong need to unwind and escape from it all this season, then your home-away-from-home is waiting for you here. Conveniently ringed by many of the resorts and villas in the area, grabbing a snack [or a heady cocktail] is simple, too, so there’s really no need to move from your spot at all.

If you’re looking for some even better news, we have that too- Grace Bay isn’t the only beautiful beach the Turks and Caicos has to offer! From semi-secluded magnificent stretches of beach just begging for a romantic sunset walk, to the dramatic limestone cliffs of the bay on Grand Turk, there’s a whole wealth of natural beauty just begging you to explore and enjoy.

TripAdvisor have simply confirmed what we knew all along- that Grace Bay Beach is the very best beach experience you could ever have. Come join the fun in this gorgeous corner of the world, and allow the Big Blue Collective to help you make all your beach dreams come true today.


Filed under: Uncategorised

New name, same great experience: welcome to the Big Blue Collective!

15th November 2018 9:41 am

With over 2 decades of experience in the Turks and Caicos, there’s very good reasons that Big Blue Unlimited is a name that came to be synonymous with quality, care and passion. A lot can change in two decades, though- as anyone who’s taken a trip back in time via their closet can attest! Sports evolve, hotels grow and the needs of visitors change- but one thing never has. Our passion, expertise and commitment to service with a smile remain as strong as ever- and we’re super proud to introduce you to the next stage in our evolution. Big Blue Unlimited is all grown up, and proud to express our growing network of friends and family as the all-new Big Blue Collective! It may be a new name- but the same superlative experience awaits you.

Twenty years of passion, pride and fun

Who could not be inspired by the staggering beauty of the TCI archipelago that surrounds us? Certainly not us! Using all the wealth of experience our local guides- we aren’t a transient company, and call the TCI our home year-round- we’re proud to offer you the very best of what the Turks and Caicos have to offer. It’s why we’ve come to be so highly sought after, after all! The Turks and Caicos may seem like a small island group, but there’s an overwhelming amount of things to do here. We know you want something more than average, which is why we work so hard to help you hand-craft the perfect trip for you. Every guest experience if fully customisable, to help you get the very best from your adventure with us. Whether it’s soaking in the peace of the back islands in our eco-tours, or powering your way through the gorgeous blue seas with a range of wind- and water sports, we love to help you achieve your dreams.

The spirit to build insider knowledge

Here at the Big Blue Collective, we live and breathe our passion for the Turks and Caicos. A key part of that is our experienced team, who call the island’s home year-round. We’ve seen the TCI at the pinnacle of perfection, and we’ve weathered a few of her less-great moments. This allows our experienced dive team to share all the secrets gathered over the last twenty years with you. We’ve experienced the odd hurricane, we’ve met the dolphins and stingray that flit through the blue waters personally, and we’ve felt the thrill of whale season each year as these gentle giants show themselves in the local seas. The Big Blue Collective is here to share it all with you- the laid back-chill vibe of the island, our party spirit with our festivals and regattas, the knowledge of how to tread lightly on the world and preserve her natural beauty for the next generation to enjoy, and all the tricks of getting the very best from your island experience.

These long years of fun, exploration and learning enable us to offer you guest experiences had nowhere else. We’re the only ones to offer all 5 dive sites for the TCI, for example, and we’re just as happy off-the-beaten-track as we are on it. We’ve explored the secrets of the unpopulated islands, and we’ve met their wildlife personally- now it’s time to share that with you. Leave your guest experience in our trusty hands, and you’ll soon experience the Big Blue Collective’s unique difference.

Enjoy your vacation your way

Don’t let all of this make you think we’re here to micromanage your time here though [unless that’s what you want, of course]! We know you’re here to kickback and relax, and allow your soul to embrace the peaceful beauty of the area. Adaptability and flow are the name of the game. Allow us to handle the nitty-gritty details of your time here, while you concentrate on enjoying your holiday your way. Whether fun means sun-drenched days and party nights, clocking up time on the waves, exploring the island’s rich history or enjoying an ecological adventure that does no harm, we’ll help you make your time here perfect. Whatever your definition of ‘fun’ we have the toolkit to help make it happened- from our experienced instructors and our private fleet right through to all the insider tips and tricks you could need.

Growing together into the future

You see, the TCI isn’t about us, or a bucket list, or a ‘must-do’ this-and-that you need to meet. It’s about you and your unique spirit, and learning to vibe with the islands. That’s why we’ve opted to become the Big Blue Collective- because every visitor, every moment and every experience is what makes us collectively better and stronger. Your unique essence is what helps us bring our passion for the TCI alive. Watching you experience this beautiful corner of the world we call home, meeting each unique personality and watching you fall in love with the Turks and Caicos the same way we have- that’s what keeps us working so hard. Once you’ve experienced the TCI for yourself, you’ll understand why we love doing what we do so much- and we just know we’ll see you back again and again, too.

Join the collective today

It’s time for you to join the adventure! No two experiences of the TCI are ever the same. Each and every sunrise brings new inspiration [and new surprises to keep us on our toes]. Each sunset is a chance to enjoy new friends and share new experiences. This keeps us grounded in the now, maintaining our commitment to the small group experience that honours nature and our guests.

It’s been twenty years, and we’re proud to have you join us in the next stage of our evolution. The Big Blue Collective is pure adventure. Pure excitement. 100% Natural. See you on, in, under or over the water soon!

 


Filed under: Uncategorised

TCI in the off-season? Yes, please! Your dream vacation is waiting for you

11th November 2018 9:41 am

If you’re longing for a Caribbean dream vacation, but are worried about the crowds or your budget, then the TCI in the offseason may very well be the best possible solution for you. In fact, all savvy travellers know this is a great season to explore, have fun and enjoy the beaches and the watersports in almost undisturbed splendour. This picture-perfect destination is as splendid off-season as during the peak season, and the weather and water change a lot less than you’d think, too! Here’s the Big Blue Collective’s definitive guide to travelling the TCI in the off-season.

Deals, deals everywhere

The off-season in the TCI is typically seen as May to November, and is mostly driven by the fact that it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and people feel less of a need to flee their inclement, snow-covered homes as they do in the winter peak season. The islands don’t stop, however, and you’re more than welcome to come join the party year-round. Remember, while the ‘permanent’ TCI community is small, it’s super welcoming and we know how to relax no matter what the calendar says!

Even better news is coming, though. Because of the drop-off in visitors, the off-season in Turks and Caicos is easier on the budget then the peak season. Unlike many other destinations, the prices fall fast, too, so you’ll be able to sneak in on the tail of the winter peak with much better pricing as long as you time it right. Of course, the Big Blue Collective offers some sweet deals all year round, but imagine being able to save anywhere between 20% and 50% on your hotel stay while you are here? Great, isn’t it?

One thing to note- as with many tourist destinations, hotels and facilities may choose to time any renovation and construction they need to do to stay competitive, welcoming and modern for visitors to the off-peak season. When you make your booking, feel free to ask to be placed away from any such activities that may be taking place, so you don’t get disturbed needlessly. They will be happy to accommodate.

How will I get to the TCI in the off-season?

You may be worried that there will be a slowdown in flights to the TCI during the off-season. Fortunately, although some airlines do slow their routes down a little, buying a package vacation can be the perfect way to avoid having to worry about your flights at all. If you are more of a book-it-yourself vacationer, then simply sign up to some airline sales pages. These will put specials on flights up two to three months ahead of the departure times, and these specials tend to be ‘less popular routes’- just like the off-season TCI! Combined with the airlines who regularly offer hops from the U.S mainland to Provo, you’re sure to find a sweet deal at just the right time.

Meet the locals and live their real lives

The islands are gorgeous at any time of year, but peak season in the TCI does tend to see the tourists outweigh the locals. By coming in the off-season, you’ll have an unprecedented opportunity to experience the true local flair and meet the people who call this corner of the Caribbean home for good. It’s a relaxed atmosphere full of local colour, and a great time to sign up for activities like our eco-tours, or to explore the smaller islands.

The ‘slow’ season is also the best time to sample island cuisine. Both crab and lobster season kick off around about now, so succulent, delicious dishes await your eager taste buds. Expect to find a plethora of festivals unrolling around you to celebrate this bountiful natural harvest. There’s also the South Caicos Regatta and a bunch of local holidays celebrated through the TCI off-season, and the fall even features the world’s one and only Conch Festival. Experience TCI culture at its very best.

Guaranteed relaxation and ample privacy

Not one for the crowds? Then the Turks and Caicos off-season is perfect for you. Hotel occupancy is lower [hey, you may even get a room upgrade to sweeten the experience], the beaches are even less full than usual, and you’ll feel like an exclusive VIP no matter where you venture. You’ll also score a better price on car rentals to get around, and have a smoother, quicker airport check-in too. Thinking of heading to the islands for a honeymoon or vow renewal? There’s no better time for some intimate, romantic fun.

What about hurricane season?

Summer in the TCI is, indeed, officially ‘hurricane season’- but don’t panic just yet! The area has experienced very few ‘true’ hurricanes in the last hundred years. The most you are actually likely to experience is increased rainfall, which can even be refreshing given the heat. The weather is a little hotter, but for many folks that’s just an extra drawcard. Just be sure to pack your sunscreen! All the hotels and resorts will offer hurricane policies to cover you if, for any reason, the weather does get too inclement for you to fly in, but the chances are pretty low. The water gets a little warmer and the winds stronger, so if you’re keen on water sports and windsurfing, you’ll find a stiffer challenge awaiting you. The smaller crowds will also mean tour operators like Big Blue Collective are freer to give you truly personalised instruction. There’s less chance of anyone spotting your learning oopsies, too!

The warm water and basking heat also make this the perfect opportunity for you to book your very own private cruise, allowing you to play, explore and go where your whims take you. Enjoy having the seas to yourself, and being able to fully explore the dive sites with the utmost freedom.

So, looking for something exciting to do with your summer vacation this year? Why not consider visiting the Turks and Caicos in the offseason to top up your fun-o-meter, nab yourself some private time on the beaches, and enjoy all this fascinating island chain has to offer with a sweet deal or two to make the experience even better? The Big Blue Collective looks forward to welcoming you to this summer paradise this year!


Filed under: Special offers, Tourism, Travel