Family-friendly fun is the name of the game in the Turks and Caicos

29th March 2019 6:48 am

The Turks and Caicos is one of the most amazing destinations in the world for a family holiday. From our fascinating history to the beautiful beaches, there’s plenty to explore- and keep active young minds out of trouble, too. It’s not a matter of finding things to do with the kids in the TCI- it’s more about fitting it all in! Here’s the Big Blue Collective’s top tips for enjoying your holiday with the whole family.

Safe waters, soft beaches

It’s no secret that the TCI has some of the best beaches in the world. When it comes to having yourselves the ultimate family holiday in the TCI, you’ll be thrilled to note that these are entirely kid-friendly, too. The soft white sand is perfect for play, and the warm waters are calm and still, especially when compared to many other Caribbean destinations. While every parent knows it’s important to keep an eye on safety when the young ones are in the water, this does make swimming in the sea a safer, more relaxing sport with even pretty young children. Kick a ball around, build sand castles, have a family picnic or grill, or join in a volleyball match- there’s plenty to keep young minds occupied and having fun!

Fun in the sea and sun

The Big Blue Collective offers a host of family-friendly wind-and-watersports, too. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of the easiest water sports to learn, and is accessible for almost everyone. Scull your way through the calm, flat waters and discover the many exciting ecological sites the islands have to offer- from the mysteries of the mangrove backchannels to watching turtles and other marine life at play, it’s the perfect way to bond and stay active at the same time.

Kayaking is also a great way for the whole family to get out on the water. Older children will be able to handle their own kayak, whole a double kayak will let little ones in on the moment too. Why not consider a trip out to Iguana Island for the kids to meet these fascinating reptiles up-close-and-personal? Older kids will also be able to learn the basics of the exciting world of kiteboarding with the Big Blue experts.

Keen to get the kids interested in an active lifestyle? Remember that we run a special Kalama Kamp at the end of the season for children aged between 9 and 16. Not only will they have plenty of fun learning the basics of stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba, snorkelling and even kiteboarding, they’ll also be introduced to the ecology of the island in a fun yet meaningful way. It’s 10 days, over 2 straight weeks, of adventure and exploration, allowing the children to exercise their bodies and minds in a way that ‘normal’ life doesn’t often encourage. Relaxed and extremely safe, they’ll have a fabulous time- and you’ll still have time plenty of time to bond together and share in their new skills.

Water adventures for the whole family

Why only play on the surface of the water when there’s a family adventure waiting below it, too? Snorkelling is an activity that will engage the whole family, allowing you to explore the fascinating underwater marine world and its many inhabitants. Meet fantastical tropical fish, endangered sea turtles, and many other denizens of this remarkable hidden world together. Several of the most family-friendly snorkelling sites on the island even include informative trail boards for you to follow as you explore.

Older kids can get to grips with the basics of diving, too, and many supreme dive sites can be easily accessed from the islands. Or spend some precious family time together on a special charter boat, and let the wind take you where you want with no pressure- just the guiding hand of our expert captains to help you make the most of the experience.

Ecology and adventure

Head off the beaten track on a day of exploration and adventure. Remote West Caicos is calling to you. Discover the ruins of plantations long lost to time, and learn more about the history of the salt industry in the TCI. Browse the remarkable artefacts of the prehistoric people who called the island home at the small Grand Turk museum, and then grab a heavenly ice cream and prowl the streets, soaking in the quaint Bermudian architecture. You can even safely bicycle through some of the quieter areas of Provo, and pack a picnic to celebrate the day. Don’t forget to make a detour to the Grand Turk Lighthouse! Conch World also offers a fascinating eco-friendly look at this critical local product, and there’s plenty of interactive exhibits to keep the kids engaged. And, of course, the chance to spot whales at play in season!

Festivals and fiestas

There’s always something happening on the island you can enjoy together as a family. Why not join the Thursday Fish Fry at the Bight Children’s Park, and enjoy some of the very best food the sea has to offer? Browse the market stalls for that perfect something for folks back home, or simply soak in the live music and vibey atmosphere.

The Turks and Caicos make the perfect family destination, and there’s plenty for kids to do in the TCI. We at Big Blue Unlimited welcome adventurers of all ages, and look forward to helping you and your special people make memories together that will help you all remember the deep bond of family in a fun, thriving atmosphere, so why not get in touch with us today?

Filed under: Family

Your one-stop guide to all the TCI travel resources you could ever need

2nd March 2019 6:44 am

Whether you’re making your very first trip to the gorgeous island, or are a regular traveller to the Turks and Caicos, there’s a lot of information you need to keep track of to make sure your trip is the smoothest, most enjoyable experience possible. While the Big Blue Collective is always on hand to answer any questions you may have, we’ve also compiled this handy list of online resources to help you with your planning. With everything you need all in one place, all you have to do is come and enjoy the sun!

What is the Turks and Caicos central tourism authority?

What better place to start as a Turks and Caicos travel resource than with the tourism board? The tourist board for any country is an organisation founded specifically to help travellers like yourself easily access the basic information you need in your holiday planning. They also help bring together resources on service providers and showcase the very best of their country. The TCI has an excellent tourist board, and we highly recommend you visit their page to get a fabulous overview of the Islands and the pace of life here. Their site is easy to access, has its own events listing that’s kept up-to-date, and provides a veritable wealth of information on the islands.

They can be reached on the following:

How do I get more information on the weather?

The TCI is very unusual as a destination in that we have fabulous weather almost every week of the year. While we have an off-peak season at the height of summer, there’s no wrong time to come! Remember that the Big Blue Collective blog also has detailed overviews of the expected weather patterns for each month. However, you may still want to know specifics of the expected weather during your stay to keep an eye out for anything that may affect your flights, to schedule your favourite sporting activities, or just so you can plan your wardrobe (hint: come relaxed and cool, you won’t go wrong). We highly recommend  to give you utmost clarity on the exact state of the weather. Their daily overviews provided detailed temperatures (including ‘real feel’ as well as thermometer readings). Look ahead with their 36-hour predictions, and watch a real-time rainfall map that even gives you expected end times.

For mobile travellers, and use during your stay here, the Accuweather app is a neat and compact, low resource app which gives reliable predictions.

Where do I find the latest TCI news?

There’s a surprisingly varied range of local publications, such as the TCI Sun, which you may enjoy browsing through while you’re on the islands. If you’re keen to get to grips with everything island-related, however (including the latest juicy gossip) we highly recommend checking out the news feed at the Turks and Caicos Weekly News. From the intricacies of local politics, through excitement like offshore rescues within the TCI waters and even important environmental developments, they bring you a little of everything in one user-friendly, easy-to-digest interface.

How do I find hotels and restaurants in the TCI?

When it comes to finding traveller-specific information on the very best villas, hotels and restaurants in the TCI, you can’t beat the old hands at the game. Travel information giants Fodor’s Travel and the Frommer’s Guide both offer you exhaustive basic guides to the island’s we’re sure you will enjoy. If you’re in search of a more of a peer-to-peer, digital-age travel guru, then there’s also the forums at Tripadvisor dedicated to travel in the TCI. Not only will you find many honest reviews of island destinations (be sure to check out the Big Blue Collective’s stellar ratings on the site while you’re there), you’ll also be able to ask any more personalised questions you may have. Or go straight to the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association to get information from the horse’s mouth.

What about transport in the Turks and Caicos?

One of the distinct benefits of island life is, of course, the short distances between all amenities. Chances are high, however, you’ll want to take advantage of something a little more modern than your feet, at least to get to your hotel from the airport! Taxis in the TCI are a little different from what you’re used to. They don’t use a meterage system, so it’s always best to double-check the fare before you travel. While rates are pretty fair on busy routes, if you’re heading to a destination where the driver isn’t likely to be able to fill the cab on a return trip, it can be a little pricey. Uber has yet to hit the islands, so don’t expect to save costs that way. You may want to consider a car rental as a cheaper option if the budget is a little tight.

That said, there’s a host of great, reliable taxi services available on the island. We recommend using Tripadvisor’s often updated Top 10 list to find your favoured provider, as you can use honest reviews to help you make a decision. If you’d rather rent, all well-known international brands like Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar and Payless are present on the island. You can compare airport pick-up rates on this useful site. US visitors please remember we drive on the opposite side of the road for you, the same as the UK and Europe!

How do I find things to do in the TCI?

Not to toot our own horn (ok, maybe a little, but we’re super proud of what we’ve achieved here), but if you’re looking for the best way to find things to do in the Turks and Caicos, you’re going to need to chat to the Big Blue Collective! Not only do we offer the widest range of adventure sports, diving, snorkelling and boat tours available in the TCI, but our helpful team are always on-hand to give you pro-tips, up-to-date information on the best spots, and anything else you need to do to make your fun in the sun a reality. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by any of the below routes:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: o. +1 649-946-5034 or c. +1 649-231-6455

Now you have your one-stop reference to finding anything you need in the Turks and Caicos, all you need to do is get booking! We at the Big Blue Collective look forward to seeing you soon.

Filed under: Accommodation, Tourism, Travel

The best flights (and carriers) for the Turks and Caicos in 2019

23rd March 2019 6:41 am

Are you heading out to the TCI soon? The Big Blue Collective are waiting to meet you! Of course, you aren’t going to get very far on your journey without getting your flights in place first. Fortunately, despite our small size, the Turks and Caicos are fairly easy to access from a huge range of airlines, especially if you’re willing to travel via the continental US. Here’s our easy guide to TCI flights and carriers for the 2019 year, whether you’re heading here solo or bringing the whole family!.

Are there direct flights to the Turks and Caicos?

Yes, there certainly are! While you can get to the TCI from literally anywhere in the world via the United States, there are also many other destinations offering you flights straight into Provo’s international airport. Depending on the airline (and your geographic distance from the islands), there may be a refueling stop or plane swap, but through partner alliances you will be able to book a roundtrip with the airline with all costs included- taking you straight from home to the beach, hassle-free

Travel to the TCI from the US couldn’t be easier

The United States offers direct flights to Provo from 10 major cities. While the New York hub is the most popular departure point and offers the most departing flights, you can easily book a range of flights from Miami, Washington DC, Fort Lauderdale and many other main cities, so you are somewhat spoilt for choice. Your best airline choices will be JetBlue, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and SouthWestern, all of which offer multiple routes and departure points you can tailor to suit you.

Non-US North American flights:

Air Canada offers a comprehensive range of flights leaving from almost every major city in Canada. These include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Quebec and Ottawa, among many more, so you are guaranteed to find a flight that fits your needs. While each route does vary slightly depending on your departure airport of choice, they all run regularly during the later week ( most route departures are Wednesday-Sunday), so you won’t have to delay for even a day. These flights are typically direct. WestJet also offer some Provo flights.

Getting to the TCI from South America:

Direct routes into Provo depart from Cuba and Havana regularly. Excitingly, the Havana route, which runs a non-stop flight daily, is run by our official airline, interCaribbean, itself. Caicos Express Airways also runs weekly routes from these destinations. Whether you’re here in the popular seasons, or opting for an off-season adventure, it couldn’t be simpler to get here.

Arriving in the TCI from all Island nations:

Finding direct routes to the TCI from the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Antigua and the British Virgin islands is a cinch. Again, interCaribbean Airlines dominate the direct routes from these destinations, although Bahamasair comes a close second, and most routes offer at least two flights weekly, if not daily.

Flying to the TCI from Africa:

The many rich airline partnerships on the continent allow for connecting round-trips direct to Provo. Most long-haul international flights from the African continent depart from either Johannesburg via OR Tambo airport, or from Cape Town International airport. While the length of the flight means that most of these flights are code-shared through the Star Alliance network, both Qatar Airlines and Turkish Airways offer ‘direct’ routes to the TCI. Likewise, South African Airways also offer many routes to the island. Air France and British Airways also operate regular connecting flights through these airports. Most of these routes are offered with once weekly departure dates. SAA also offers a route which will take you straight to Grand Turk.

How do I get to the TCI from Europe?

Our European visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to getting to the Turks and Caicos from their hometowns. The only airline currently flying direct flights into Provo is British Airways, departing through the Heathrow (London) hub. However Lufthansa and Air France also operate code sharing routes to Provo from multiple European destinations. You will also be able to easily access United Airlines flights from multiple European destinations, and can connect to the Turks and Caicos anywhere on Air Canada’s routes.

Can I travel to the TCI from the Middle or Near East?

As with our African visitors, the large distances involved means that there are no direct, single airline routes currently available from the Middle and Near East. Don’t worry too much, however- Qatar Airways offers a codeshare route to Provo, as does Turkish Airways. You will need to depart from Abu Dhabi or Doha to catch these flights. Air Canada, British Airways, and American Airlines all offer Middle Eastern routes which will connect you to the islands, as well. These routes typically only operate weekly or bi-weekly, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.

What if I live further afield?

If you are travelling from Australia, Japan, China or India, or if we didn’t mention your homeland above, don’t worry! You still won’t have too much trouble getting to the TCi. Qantas Airlines does offer a code sharing route for Provo. Otherwise, look for a fantastic deal that will take you into any of the main United States hubs, and pick up a connecting flight to Provo International Airport from there. Your journey may be a little longer, but the trip will be well worth it!

No matter where in the world you live, you’re sure to find a great deal on an airline flying to the Turks and Caicos. The Big Blue Collective looks forward to welcoming you when you arrive.

Explore the mysteries of the world’s third largest barrier reef in the TCI

20th March 2019 6:27 am

The environmental splendour and rich wealth of flora and fauna in the Turks and Caicos never fail to thrill our visitors. That’s part of the reason that the Big Blue Collective make ethical, non-destructive tourism such a keen focus of our ethos and beliefs. You may not realise how much of the ecological beauty of the area is tied to our gorgeous, but infinitely delicate, barrier reef- but that’s what we’re here to share with you today. Read on to learn a little more about this fascinating feature of our crystal-clear seas- you’ll be left amazed and humbled just as we are, we’re sure!

What is the Turks and Caicos barrier reef?

It’s no secret by now that the unique geography of the TCI plays a huge part in creating the remarkably still, warm waters and beautiful beaches we love so much (and bringing us the dazzling whale season too). That same calm water, coupled with our vigorous, cooling trade winds, is what makes the TCI such a great place for kiteboarding and other water-and-wind adventures.

A key player in this unique ecological magnificence is the offshore barrier reef lying just inside Grace Bay. Barrier reefs are simply submerged banks of coral lying close to the land without ever actually touching the shore, and they help shape the way the sea caresses the beaches and bays of the island. These awe-inspiring structures are made by the actions of millions of tiny little creatures called coral polyps. Each minute organism will measure mere centimetres across, but collectively the limestone-calcium skeletons they leave behind combine to form miles and miles of the reef for you to explore. If the reef were weighed, it would be in tons- no mean feat for such a small creature!

Our barrier reef really is an exceptional creation- it’s the third largest in the world, and sometimes called the ‘junior Great Barrier Reef’! The reef continues to expand by slow centimetres each year, which goes to show the immense age of what meets the eye today. Exploring here is, quite literally, a trip back into the Turks and Caicos’ prehistory.

Why is the TCI barrier reef so very special?

You may be asking why the Turks and Caicos barrier reef is so unusual, though? Around 60 distinct coral ‘species’ can be found on the reef, with evocative names like ‘staghorn’, ‘brain’ and ‘sea plume’. These collectively play home to a magnificently broad range of marine animals, from the flamboyant flamingo tongue snail to the yellowtail snapper and lobster (beloved of fisherman) and even barracuda and endangered sea turtles.

The Turks and Caicos National park system includes large stretches of our offshore waters, making the ‘parks’ very unusual indeed, and this careful curation and oversight has ensured the reef remains safe and pristine, free from the threats approaching the Australian Great Barrier Reef itself and many other reefs worldwide. You won’t find as beautiful, as safe and as unharmed a reef anywhere else.

How can I enjoy the barrier reef for myself?

This important environmental management doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the reef for yourself, however! The barrier reef is one of the world’s ultimate diving and snorkelling destinations, all a mere step or two from the beauties of Grace Bay Beach and the other islands. Advanced divers love exploring the dramatic drop of the underwater shelf surrounding the islands, known as the Caicos Bank, but there are dive sites aplenty here no matter your skill level. Stay in the Bay, head out to Northwest Point Marine National Park or Grand Turk’s Columbus Landfall National Park to chance seeing whales at play (in season). Looking for something a little different? Step off the beaten track at Pine Cay in West Caicos for stunning displays of gaudy topical fish and even the occasional eagle ray or nurse shark for added thrills.

Nowhere else in the world offers the diversity and wealth of snorkelling sites that the TCI boasts. The famous Smith’s Reef site, part of Providenciales’ Princess Alexandra National Park, even has underwater placards in place to guide you through the site- it’s like the world’s most interesting botanical garden! Bight Reef also has a coral trail laid for you to follow.

While there aren’t any parts of the TCI’s barrier reef that lay above the water, you can also consider taking one of our tailored private charter boat tours out to the far side of the reef. If you’re in the mood to simply relax and unwind on the deck, the crystal clarity of the water will give you a remarkable view of the sea life flashing busily beneath you, and all our boats come fully equipped with top-end dive and snorkelling equipment for the more adventurous members of the party.

Even if you’re not keen to head out into the water for some fun, you can still experience the calm, still water that laps the beaches and have your own slice of the barrier reef experience. It’s the reef itself that helps maintain those turquoise warm waters with the clarity and beauty they are famed for, filtering and cradling the inland water.

We hope we’ve piqued your interest in the fascinating world of the Turks and Caicos barrier reef. Whether it’s a drive to learn more about the gorgeous marine life it supports, your love of diving and snorkelling or just for fun and play, it’s a can’t-miss part of the TCI experience. Let the Big Blue Collective help you discover the very best of the TCI’s hidden secrets. With local knowledge and decades of experience to call on, we’re here to craft you the holiday of a lifetime.