What is the best Caribbean Island to visit at any time of the year?

19th June 2019 11:04 am

Weather. It’s the thing that can make or break a travel experience. You don’t want to head to the north for a white Christmas and find sunny skies waiting. Nor do you want to head to a Caribbean beach and find only drizzly rain to greet you. Fortunately, the TCI has your back! The Turks and Caicos are, by far, the best Caribbean Island to visit year-round. Today the Big Blue Collective takes a look at why.

  1. The crowds are not so crowded: Peak season isn’t a pain

There’s no getting around it: the Caribbean is a popular holiday destination. In some more frequented travel locations, this can mean standing room only at the beach! No one wants to waste a precious minute of their holidays, let alone spend them looking for parking or a spot on the beach. That said, venturing too far away from the beaten path can be a pain all of its own. From poor infrastructure to stressful navigation and a lack of amenities, being too much ‘in the wild’ doesn’t suit most people’s holiday needs.

The Turks and Caicos offer the perfect blend of ‘well known’ and ‘off the beaten track’. You won’t find the crowds thronging the beaches, even at the height of our peak season. There’s even a few beaches on the more remote islands where you may well be the only person there! Yet you will still find a convenient international airport, easy airline access, and a host of accommodation to suit any budget. Eco-tourists will find plenty of unspoiled vistas, while resort-lovers have a selection to choose from. The TCI offers a little of everything- and that includes a calm peak season. That’s just one of the reasons the Turks and Caicos are the perfect holiday destination.

2. The weather never really varies: All seasons are in

You often hear ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ used to describe the TCI. Or, perhaps, the ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ seasons. While there is a slight rise in temperature in summer, and a drop in winter, there’s very little difference overall compared to most travel destinations.

In fact, the winter season is actually the peak season in the Turks and Caicos! That’s because summer can be a little hotter, and what rain we receive tends to fall in the summer months. Winters, by contrast, are only a few degrees cooler, and the water is still warm and welcoming. There’s not much of a temperature spread at all. Annual temperatures only fluctuate between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (or 29-34 degrees Celsius). Water temperature is only a little lower.

The TCI also has almost year-round cooling breezes in the form of the Trade Winds. This helps keep everything fresh and balmy. So, while summer is a little hotter and a touch more humid, it’s still a fantastic holiday season. Where else in the world can you enjoy fun in the sun year-round? Just another reason the TCI is the best Caribbean destination there is.

3. Hurricane season typically behaves

Hurricanes are a fact of life on an island. It’s just part of the natural weather cycle that comes with smaller land masses. Of course, hurricanes are to be taken seriously, too. However, while the Turks and Caicos have seen their share of ‘mean’ Hurricanes over the decades, we’ve been remarkably luck in comparison to other Caribbean destinations. Whilst the ‘official’ hurricane season runs June- November, we typically don’t see much more than a squall or two. This comparative lack of strenuous hurricane activity is another reason we’re happy to call the Turks and Caicos the best Caribbean islands around.

4. You can always rely on the water

Part of the mystique of visiting the Caribbean is enjoying the wealth of wind- and water sports. Who can resist the allure of exploring the secret landscape of the world’s third largest barrier reef as colourful fishes flit around you? Or watching stingray flash underneath your board as you try your hand at stand up paddle boarding? Taming the winds from the back of a kiteboard? All this (and much more) awaits you in the Turks and Caicos. Perching on a natural underwater ‘shelf’, the islands have year-round flat, calm waters that are perfect for any number of waterborne activities. Always naturally warm ( the water temperature lags behind daytime temperature by only a few degrees) and pleasant, this is a paradise for water-babies everywhere. Yet another reason the Turks and Caicos are the best islands in the Caribbean!

5. Rich history and richer nature

The TCI has been inhabited a long time. While we don’t know much about the prehistoric people who left tantalizing traces of their presence, we do know tons about her more recent history. Romantic images of nestled plantations now explorable as ruins dominate the imagination. Or pick up traces of the salt-farming industries that once flourished here. Dig deeper, and you’ll find pirates, pioneers and so much more to delight you.

Or simply head out onto the back islands and enjoy the pristine views of unspoilt nature. Through our fascinating eco-tours you can explore landscapes virtually untouched by man. Let the spirit of nature refresh and renew your spirits in some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world.

The Turks and Caicos is definitely a top contender for the title of ‘best Caribbean island to visit’. Keen to see for yourself? Why not let Big Blue Collective carve you the perfect Caribbean adventure today?


Filed under: Tourism

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 weather.com  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: info@bigbluecollective.com
  • 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.



Explore the wonders of the Conch Bar Caves with Big Blue Collective

25th January 2019 8:28 am

Explore the wonders of the Conch Bar Caves with Big Blue Collective

When you think of the TCI, we’re sure you think of sunlit beaches, swaying palms and the glorious blue of the water. Have you ever stopped for a moment to consider what lies under all the beauty, however? We bet you haven’t! The Conch Bar Caves are an utterly unique karst system of sinkholes, caves and ‘blue holes’… and today we’re showing them a little love too!

What is a karst cave, anyway?

Making a cave takes a good, long time. Karst caves are what you get when a mild acid eats away at limestone over millennia- something that happened in the Turks and Caicos when acidic rainwater slowly dissolved the exposed limestone bones of the island when sea waters were lower. Limestone itself is a little acidic, which adds to the effect. Soft areas are exploited, while harder areas (often with a stronger mix of rock) remain intact… and over time systems of sinkholes, dips and caverns are formed.

The Turks and Caicos is built on a skeleton of limestone, so the entirety of this unique corner of the earth- from the beautiful underwater vistas and her unique shores to the exposed rock outcrops you find as you explore the back country- is shaped by the unique erosion effects of water and sand.

Where are the Conch Bar Caves?

The Conch Bar Caves nestle on the Middle Caicos Island, and are possibly the best known cave system throughout the whole of the Turks and Caicos. It also holds the title of the largest non-submerged cave system in the entire Bahamas, so you’ll understand how unique this amazing chain is.

Unsurprisingly, this means it has a long history intertwined with island culture. When storms threatened, the Taino aboriginal people would take shelter here. Even after colonisation, the cave system was used as a bat guano resource, and it yields fascinating finds and tiny glimpses into the prehistory of the TCI (and some unique now-extinct animals) even today.

While Conch Bar Caves are the most impressive in the system, they’re not the only gorgeous underground vistas for you eager spelunkers to explore. Very close to Conch Bar is Indian Cave, notable for its natural ‘skylights’ bring light and tantalising glimpses of the sky into the cave depths. Desperate for the nourishing sun, unexpected wild ficus and papaya trees thrust trembling branches skyward here, making the most of what little nature has left them to work with.

East Caicos is another great site to explore if you’re interested in getting into the darkest depths of the TCI. While considerably smaller than the Conch Bar Cave system, they’re still fascinating- especially if you happen to stumble upon the faint traces of rail track showing its history as a guano mine.

Cave delving in the deep blue sea

Overland caves like Conch Bar Caves aren’t the only spectacular natural formations you’ll find in the Turks and Caicos, however. The TCI is also home to some spectacular underwater systems, especially in the beautiful mangrove channels and the shallower areas of the sounds. There’s so many, in fact, that scientists and naturalists debate the exact number- after all, one man’s ‘small cave’ is another man’s ‘deep crack’. No matter what you’d classify them as, however, there’s no doubt they are beautiful, and some provide amazing opportunities for divers.

The submerged caves are a mystery of their own, in fact. Most are not connected to the ocean by any means we’ve discovered, yet exhibit clear tidal behaviour. This strongly suggests a subterranean connection to the ocean we have yet to discover, adding another layer of glamour to these dark and mysterious depths. We’ve even found barracuda populations inland!

When is a cave a sinkhole instead?

Caves, as we’re sure you already know, tend to encompass a lot of horizontal space to go with their depths. Sinkholes, on the other hand, represent a dramatic plunge in the landscape, often formed originally by sudden subsidence. They can be tiny, less than a metre in depth, or massive, with soaring depths. ‘The Hole’, the famous Provo sinkhole, plunges a dramatic 60 foot to the water! You’ll find many beautiful examples around Provo, especially around the Cooper Jack Bay Beach. While the site remains unprotected at present, we’re hopeful more interest in this beautiful area- which also features storing stone formations and breath-taking scenery- will help drive efforts to conserve the natural beauty. Don’t forget to swing by Crossing Place Trail in Middle Caicos too!

What colour is your favourite?

‘Blue holes’ is a special term for sinkholes characterised by remarkably perfect round surface openings that conceal deep, watery depths. You’ll see magnificent examples at Cottage Pond and the Middle Caicos Ocean hole here in the TCI. Cottage Pond has even proved to be home to a previously unknown species, a marine remipede. While remote, Middle Caicos Ocean Hole is so impressive it’s well worth the visit as part of our eco-tours. 2000 feet wide, it’s possible the largest of its type in the world! Another can’t-miss, East Caicos holds a variety of blue holes scientists suspect are, in fact, super rare black holes, of which only 5 or so are known worldwide.

Get a glimpse into the distant past

Caves have been way more to mankind then just pretty items of scenery, however. It’s unsurprising, if you consider it, how closely tied early man was to these sheltering, protective areas of the landscape. It was no different in the Turks and Caicos. Splendid artefacts from the proto-population of the area, the Taino, have been found throughout caves on the island, especially at West Harbour Bluff in Provo. Consider taking one of our popular boat cruises out to see the area.

The TCI isn’t just a pretty island destination- it’s a spectacular eco-adventure just waiting for you to explore it! Be sure to add Conch Bar Caves, and some of these other remarkable natural features, to your Big Blue Collective tour itinerary on your next visit.


Filed under: Tourism

Travelling solo in the Turks and Caicos: Your one-stop ultimate guide

16th January 2019 8:27 am

Travelling solo in the Turks and Caicos: Your one-stop ultimate guide

Travelling solo is one of the most formative experiences you will ever have. It’s an utterly unique experience which leaves you free to do it all your way, free of compromise or other’s expectations. It can even be a way to re-find yourself in a busy world of deadlines and joy-sapping daily grinds. Yet the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas are seldom sold to the weary solo traveller looking for a way to relax and unwind- and they really should be! Travelling the Turks and Caicos solo is an epic experience everyone should have under their belts- and here’s Big Blue Collective’s top tips on making the most of the experience.

Get to know the real you

Don’t worry, this isn’t the moment we launch into some deeper metaphysics. We mean it very literally. The way to get the most out of solo travel to Provo, or anywhere in the TCI, is to know your likes, wants and dislikes. Do you like to live at the centre of the party? Is it cocktails and heady nights dancing for you? Then rich and vibrant Provo is the destination you need to explore. Are you more of a contemplative type who longs to be out in nature? Then let us craft you the perfect eco-experience so you don’t miss a single inch of the unique natural landscape and vibrant wildlife that makes the TCI so special. Are you a super-active athlete who wants to cram every inch of the day full with sports that challenge your body and mind? Then let’s hit the water together and explore the many sports open to you, rounding it off with some backcountry cycling for variety. Are you keen to embrace the iconic fun-in-the-water that screams ‘Caribbean’, but have never so much as seen a kiteboard, paddle board or canoe? Great news- we have some of the best instructors in the world working for us, and we’re here to help folks of all levels discover the deep passion for kiteboarding, stand up paddle boarding and many more sports that we all share.

In short, plan your solo experience so that you ‘play nicely’ with yourself. Catering to your personal strengths is the key part of crafting the best solo experience possible- and the Big Blue Collective is here to help you create the holiday of your dreams, every step of the way.

Know when to hang with the crowd

Solo travellers are always warned to take a little extra care with their personal safety. It’s great advice, of course! You’ll be glad to know that the TCI is one of the safest destinations in the world, making it a fantastic choice for the solo adventurer. All the same, while you man-made threats are few, you don’t want to get too stuck in the one-man groove either, especially if you are playing on or in the water or exploring the less developed islands. That’s why opting for a Turks and Caicos experience with the Big Blue Collective is so rewarding for those flying solo- you always have a buddy on hand if you hit a sticky patch, feel ill, catch too much sun or need a helping hand, but can still enjoy your alone time too.

We’d advise considering a resort or shared accommodation rather than a private villa if you’re all alone, so you don’t feel lost or isolated too much. As a tour provider, we’re happy to help you find the perfect match for your personality, so don’t be afraid to ask. Come armed with useful numbers, just in case you need them- we’d advise having your accommodations telephone number, and our own, firmly added to your address books in case you need them.

Don’t be afraid to schedule some ‘you time’, though- especially if you already know you love your own company. The TCI is refreshingly free of touts and over-eager ‘helpers’, so you’ll be able to have a fun time exploring the local bars and haunts without practising the polite-but-firm ‘no’ seasoned travellers to other parts of the world get so used to wielding.

Not getting out of your depth- even in the waves

Another great aspect to solo travel in the TCI is how very familiar everything will seem to you. Everyone speaks English fluently, and the U.S dollar is our major currency. We’re a British Overseas Territory with strong links to U.K culture, and much of the local’s daily lives will be completely familiar to you, if slower and a lot more fun! Culture shock won’t come into play, and we guarantee you’ll feel at home immediately. All of the Big Blue Collective’s instruction is carried out in English, so lessons will be easy to access and you’ll have more time to get out and do your thing.

Won’t I feel like I’m missing out?

We’re absolutely certain you won’t. Solo travellers can sometimes feel a little homesick, so it’s important to get into the spirit of your solo adventure. Come ready to snap photos and make the most of every day. Pack your time here with all the things you want to do, free of the need to compromise or listen to others whine and spoil the experience. Get ready to make new friends and explore the edges of your comfort zone in the very best way possible. Bring along devices so you can stay in touch with family and friends along the way- and make them super jealous as you go! Change your mind, go where you will, experience what you want- and all in the super-gorgeous Caribbean surroundings of the Turks and Caicos, where fluffy white beaches, turquoise seas and gorgeous vistas at every turn are the name of the game.

With the Big Blue Collective on-hand to help you make the most of your solo travel in the Turks and Caicos, and your spirit of adventure driving you onward, an epic experience in the Bahamas awaits you!


Filed under: Tourism, Travel

Can you visit the Turks and Caicos as a budget traveller?

29th December 2018 11:56 am

There’s a prevailing idea that the entire Caribbean is only a playground for the rich- but nothing could be further from the truth. Today, the Big Blue Collective will be showing you that the Turks and Caicos is an excellent travel destination for everyone, including budget travellers, and how to make the most of a budget-conscious holiday in the TCI.

Know your seasons

The Turks and Caicos, like all popular holiday destinations, has peak and off-peak seasons. This doesn’t have as much to do with the weather-which is pretty glorious all year long, although the summer season sees a little extra rain here and there- as it does with the ebb and flow of visitors to the island. Naturally, prices are at their lowest during the off-peak season, and this is the perfect time for the budget-conscious traveller to swoop in and enjoy. You will probably want to eye the main islands of Provo and Grand Turk for best results, as the smaller islands are less populated and so have less scope for you to sniff out a great deal. That’s no hardship, though, as these vibrant islands have so much to offer everyone.

In the TCI, the off-peak season is sometimes referred to as the ‘hurricane’ season, as it’s the time of year they are most likely to occur. However, the Turks and Caicos are more sheltered than other islands, and hurricanes (while possible) occur only rarely and seldom without any warning. Very rarely, you may have to have some flexibility on your travel dates, but these interruptions tend to come with plenty of warning. The general weather at the off-peak time of year (the summer and autumn seasons) is gorgeously hot, more so even then during peak season.

Scoring a great deal from your airline

As the TCI is an island destination, flights can take up a decent portion of your overall budget, so it’s always a good idea to start looking for deals here. The Turks and Caicos are serviced by a range of airports from the US mainland so it’s pretty easy for some careful searching to net you a great deal on travel. Flights to the TCI have increased in recent years, which has generated a pleasant drop in prices with the extra availability, and you shouldn’t be afraid to consider flying from a smaller airport (we recommend Fort Lauderdale) rather than a larger one, as this will often save costs too.

Sign up to a few of the best-known booking sites and even directly with your favourite airlines, so you’ll always be poised to snag a super deal the moment it flashes through your inbox. Subscribers typically get first dibs on the best deals! If you can afford to be a little flexible on your travel dates so much the better. It’s highly likely you can find a full return trip for under $300 pre-tax.

Make sure to choose your booking site carefully, however, as you don’t want to get stuck with rigid, inflexible policies should you need to alter anything about your travel plan. Typically airlines are very gracious about assisting with changes driven by any potential of hurricanes or inclement weather during the rainy season.

How to find budget accommodation in the TCI

Your next largest cost will, of course, be a place to stay in the Turks and Caicos. It’s usually best to contact villas and resorts directly if you want to score the best deals. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little internet-sleuthing first too! It’s always good to have an approximate idea of their usual fees. However, by dealing directly with them, you’ll often net some savings because there are no other listing fees to pay.

One of the best things about the Turks and Caicos is that nowhere is really that far from a beach. Even accommodation advertised as ‘in-land’ will typically only be a block or two from gorgeous views of the beach and sea, and these will be priced attractively low compared to those with beachfront access. If you are renting a car (which we recommend you do) then nowhere will be too difficult to access. Otherwise, simply pay a little attention to the location to make sure you can access everything you need easily. You also have the option to explore ‘homestay’ or apartment rentals to keep costs low. If budget is particularly tight, lodgings towards the west half of Provo can often be found for a steal, but are the furthest from typical amenities.

Getting around the TCI on a budget.

The TCI is a small and intimate place. Bar the western outskirts of Provo, most places on the island are a ten-minute drive (maximum) for anywhere you will want to explore. Taxis can be a pricey proposition, however, as it’s common to charge per distance and passenger on the islands. Jitneys, which are the most common transport for permanent islanders, are a touch hairy for the average tourist, and the fares can add up too. This makes a hire car the best option for most travellers. With the 2 large car hire firms on the island offering a unique car class, comprised of small, older but strictly checked and perfectly safe cars, you can access rental cars cheaply and easily- for less than the cost of scooter hire!

Bicycles can be a great alternative on resorts and for the wilder areas of the island- but you may find the local driving skills a little discouraging if you plan to hit the main roads on a cycle. It’s also a little hot to spend all day in the saddle. Off of Provo, however, the situation is different, and walking and riding will offer a serviceable, cheaper alternative to car rental on the smaller islands.

Keeping other costs low on the TCI

With all the savings you’ve already made, you hopefully have a fun budget open to you. Even better, many of the best places to visit on the islands are free to enter, and so are the fantastic beaches! The offshore snorkelling sites are also free to access, though you may want to put some money aside for a boat trip a little further out, where some supremely gorgeous sites can be found.

For watersports like diving, boat cruises and kitesurfing, booking a package deal will help you keep your budget tight without sacrificing a second of fun. Many resorts also offer day-passes to allow you to use the facilities even if you aren’t staying there. Food costs can be kept tame by cooking some of your own meals (though spare a little cash to enjoy the fantastic island fare in the bars and grills too), and you are also free to bring some food from home with you, as there are no restrictions.

Visiting the Turks and Caicos on a budget is more than feasible with a little smart planning. The Big Blue Collective is always happy to answer questions about our beautiful island home, as well as help you create a scintillating wind-and-watersports package to suit your budget, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions.


Filed under: Tourism

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

Visit the Turks and Caicos: Fun in the sun awaits

19th September 2018 10:33 am

If you’re wondering what to do in the Turks and Caicos, wonder no more! Big Blue Collective is here with the top tips you need to plan the ultimate TCI excursion, explore the beaches of the Turks and Caicos, and take home memories that will last a lifetime.

What can I do in the Turks and Caicos?

It’s probably better to ask what you can’t do in the TCI. As island destinations go, this one has it all, from beauty and relaxation to the ultimate in sea and wind adventure. Where else in the Caribbean can you move freely from island to island, free of the tourist crowds and over-commercialised flotsam that comes with them? Offering the perfect balance of development and natural beauty, the TCI has it all. The islands’ claim to fame may well be the beautiful beaches of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, but the excitement doesn’t stop there by far.

The ultimate diving destination

Where else can you find the perfect, clear blue waters of the Caribbean just beckoning you to come and explore the world below? The islands themselves perch on a shelf of land, a plateau of sorts, almost 11 000 feet above the bottom of the ocean. Then there are the exquisite coral reefs ringing the islands themselves. With this combination of landscapes, you’re guaranteed spectacular coral formations and arches, rich in flitting, brightly-hued tropical fish and amazing sea creatures. Several noted wrecks lay just offshore, offering their own challenges for the intermediate and advanced diver. Bare metres away, you’ll see the seabed plummet away from you into spectacular walls just waiting for you to explore. Or head into one of the many cave systems on the islands and experience the bare bones of this beautiful corner of the world for yourself.

Water sports are king in the TCI

Still wondering what to do in the TCI when you aren’t diving? The answer is: take to the water! The ocean temperatures around the chain barely ever drop, leaving you with warm, lapping blue waters to soothe and relax you. Provo is the centre of sport fishing in the area, while the flat waters of the bays make an excellent place to try out your kiteboarding and paddleboarding skills. If you’re a more experienced adventure, the local trade winds and spectacular channels of mangroves will challenge your skills while allowing you to drink in the gorgeous sights. Or head out wakeboarding and parasailing to experience all the adrenaline pumping activity the area has to offer.

Paddle through the mangroves

Beautiful wetlands are just waiting for you to kayak or take a stand up paddle board through them, while mangrove channels beckon you to come and meet the incredible marine animals that call the area home. See young sharks and stingrays flit around you, and watch turtles make their slow way up the banks. You may even spot starfish and conch on the banks as you slowly float through. Don’t forget to enjoy the cries of the local bird life as they rustle through the trees. The shallow waters of the TCI make this a spectacular way to explore the islands while staying eco-friendly

Stay busy out of the water with Turks and Caicos excursions throughout the islands

The fun isn’t only in the water, however. There’s plenty to do on land too! If lazy days in the sun sound right up your alley, then you can keep yourself entertained on the fine golf courses, including one of the top 10 courses in the Caribbean. Or charter your own boat and head off to explore the water. Take a day trip to the outer islands and share a romantic picnic on a secluded beach as the sun sets into the water. Join a local sports team for a kick up match, or head out to explore Provo’s beaches on horseback. Poke around the quaint Bermudian architecture of Provo and Grand Turk, and pop into the local museums to learn more about the fascinating history and culture of the TCI.

If adventure is still your style, then you’re going to want to embrace an eco-tour of the less populated islands too. Explore the cliffs and caves of these remarkable landscapes, and discover the ruins of the salt industry and plantations that brought the first flush of wealth and attention to the islands. You’ll spend your time amongst some of nature’s most beautiful scenery all the way, meeting wild donkeys and even the iguanas of Iguana Island. Big Blue Collective is well known for their spectacular Turks and Caicos excursions, so why not explore your options further with us?

Head to the beaches of the Turks and Caicos

With all the adventure under your belt, what would an island holiday be without a little downtime with a cocktail on the beach? With soft white sand below you and the beautiful blue water lapping softly at your feet, what could be better than to bask in the warm Caribbean sun and feel your cares melt away?

Grace Bay beach has been considered one of the best in the world, so you know the beaches of the Turks and Caicos aren’t to be missed. The beaches at North, Sapodilla and Long Bays may be better known for their spectacular dive and snorkelling sites, but the beaches are out of the world too. The beach at Mudjin Harbour is always worth a visit, and you’ll have the lighthouse and limestone cliffs to explore too.

With two declared national parks extending deep into the sea, spectacular opportunities for fun with wind- and watersports, powder-soft beaches to relax on, clear blue water to float through and eco-adventures galore, what more could you want from a destination?

Don’t wonder what to do in the Turks and Caicos, wonder why you haven’t booked your own vacation there already! Why not let Big Blue Collective help you make your Caribbean dreams come true today?

 


Filed under: Activities, Tourism, Travel

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

Your ultimate guide to enjoying Cockburn Town

25th May 2018 10:16 am

Did you know that Grand Turk houses the capital of the TCI territory, Cockburn Town? Anyone visiting Turks and Caicos would be forgiven if they’d formed the opinion that Provo was the capital of the territory- it is indeed one of the most urban and populated islands in the chain- but the quaint charms of Cockburn Town are sure to win your heart once you visit. Today Big Blue Collective clues you in to all her secrets, to make the experience all the more fun.

Why should I visit Cockburn Town?

Grand Turk is actually the largest, although not the most populated, island in the chain, lying only 90 minutes by air from Miami. Cockburn town is a draw for anyone visiting Turks and Caicos for its stunning Bermudian architecture dating from the 1700s and 1800s. Imagine a landscape of narrow streets, quaint wrought iron street lamps and beautiful facades to the buildings. It’s been the seat of the TCI government since 1766, and was founded by those in the salt trade who made their base here. Local legend claims Cockburn Town occupies the exact spot where Juan Ponce de Leon first landed on the island. Slow paced, relaxed and gorgeous, the whole Grand Turk Island is a must-see for any visitor. Make a day trip to the area with a flight or ferry ride, and spend a fun-filled day exploring her quaint alleys and beautiful beaches for yourself.

 

As with all the islands in the TCI, Cockburn Town and Grand Turk have a warm, beach-friendly climate that’s hot all year around and sees very little rainfall, so you’re guaranteed powder-soft white beaches, crystal-clear waters and the occasional trade wind to help you cool off.

What do I need to know before I visit Grand Turk?

Cockburn Town makes an ideal visit from the Americas, speaking English as the predominant local language and using the US dollar as her currency despite being part of the British Overseas territories. There is a small airport on the island, although most international flights typically head into Provo’s international airport for convenience.

 

If you’re considering a private charter to visit the island, be aware the only convenient anchorage for Cockburn Town is Hawk’s Nest Anchorage as the town sits smack-bang in the middle of the island. It’s advised that you only enter here in good light, as the same reefs which lend the ocean here her idiosyncratic beauty can be a headache otherwise.

Cockburn Town attractions you can’t miss

While the entire area makes a beautiful, restful exploration for visitors, there’s a few sights you should make sure to take in. Here’s our list of Cockburn Town’s top attractions.

The National Museum

Swing by this colonial-era mansion on Front Street, supposedly built from the scraps of shipwrecks in the area, to learn more about the unique history of man’s visits to the Turks and Caicos. There’s even a collection of shipwrecks, including the 1505 ‘Molasses Reef Wreck’, the oldest known shipwreck in the Americas. You can also take a walk through the ‘Message in a Bottle’ collection, spanning 4 decades of messages that have washed up on the island. Learn about everything from the salt and slave trades to the TCI’s part in the Space Race before taking a stroll through her beautiful gardens to round out the trip.

The Prison

The formidable TCI prison on Pond Street dates from the early 1800’s, operating right through to the last decade of the 20th century. Her bell tower makes for an iconic photographic shot for visitors, while a tour of the facilities offers a sobering look into the history of misbehaviour in the area. Don’t forget to round the trip off with a visit to the monument marking the first spot that Christopher Columbus set foot on the island on April 12, 1492!

Other sights

Be sure to visit the iconic Lighthouse which has been guarding the town for centuries, as well as the historic homes of Duke Street such as Freeman House and the Turk’s Head inn. There’s also the Caicos Conch Farm for you to explore.

Other places to visit on Grand Turk

With tons of sunshine and hot temperatures throughout the year with little rainfall, you’ll probably want to schedule a little time to cool off at nearby Governor’s beach when you visit the Turks and Caicos. It’s a great spot for snorkeling as well as sunbathing, and the water is calm and friendly for sunbathing. The beautiful coral reefs just offshore are perfect for exploration! There’s also Gibb’s Cay to explore, and another shining coral reef. Snorkelers will find much to enjoy, and you can even meet the local stingray population up close and personal!

Do remember that the entire Turks and Caicos territories are a haven for those who love water sports. From diving, snorkelling and swimming right through to stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing and kayaking, there’s tons to keep your adrenaline pumping. There’s even the chance to spot whales and dolphins at play in the turquoise waters from the deck of a private charter or dive tour. Experience one of the friendliest, calmest and spectacularly beautiful areas of the Caribbean, and head off the beaten track in the TCI.

 

Cockburn Town is just one of the spectacular destinations waiting for you when you visit the Turks and Caicos. Speak to Big Blue Collective today to secure yourself your dream Caribbean experience, and tailor every aspect of the trip to suit you.


Filed under: Activities, Tourism

5 must-see animals of the Turks and Caicos

21st May 2018 10:16 am

Whether you’re on the hunt for whale watching in the Turks and Caicos, keen to hop on a dolphin tour, want to know what exciting things to see and do there are in TCI, or are just fascinated by the wildlife of the unique Turks and Caicos territory, you’re in the right place! Today, Big Blue Collective walks you through 5 spectacular animals you can visit during your stay, and the best ways to enjoy them with us.

Whale and dolphin watching in beautiful seas

Where else could you have a front row ticket to the annual humpback whale migration, hassle free? These towering mammals come to the warmer, safe waters near TCI to give birth, mate and cavort with their young, allowing visitors an unparalleled chance to spot them at play. The channel between the Turks islands and the Caicos islands naturally funnels these magnificent beasts through the area, making a sighting close to guaranteed. This is the undoubted highlight of the Turks and Caicos wildlife calendar, and one of the things to see and do on Turks and Caicos that no one can miss. The whaling season opens in November, with most early sightings happening in late December and peeking through the next 3 months. Whale watching in the Turks and Caicos is immensely rewarding- every year we see guests mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty of these unique mammals.

 

Whale watching in the Turks and Caicos isn’t the only spectacle you can expect, though. We also offer our dolphin tours, allowing you to meet one of the most playful members of the wildlife of the TCI up close and personal. Be entertained by the antics of the friendly local pods, and take home memories you will treasure forever. Our dolphin tours allow you to learn more about these truly unique animals, the local legends and the famous ‘faces’ you’ll find in the pods.

Glow in the dark with glow worms

One of the very-best kept secrets of the islands, the nearby waters are home to glittering swarms of glow worms. This is a truly unique way to experience the wildlife of TCI, and a must on any list of things to see and do on the Turks and Caicos. Properly known as Odontosyllis Enopla, these tiny worms typically put on their most spectacular display 3-6 days after a full moon. The best spots to enjoy the show do vary, so be sure to check with us for where they are showing off at the time of your trip. Why not opt for a private charter- or add the trip to a personally-crafted dive charter itinerary- to make something truly special of the occasion and see these little critters up close? It’s a mesmerising and fascinating sight, and the perfect touch for any romantic trip to the islands.

Head to the Middle Caicos Crab Festival

Why not add a little spice to your life? The iconic Middle Caicos Crab festival is one of the most exciting things to see and do on Turks and Caicos, and it typically hits the sands at the end of June every year. Celebrate the community and culture of Middle Caicos [and its twinned North Caicos] with delectable cooking, while you learn more about the cultural heritage of crab catching, the local dishes and the people who shape them. The land crabs which call this area home emerge from deep burrows when the limited spring rains hit, typically from the end of May. The empty beaches of Middle Caicos call to them, so the area is usually their island of choice. The Great Blue land crab is the most common crab species in the Turks and Caicos, hatching in something of an ‘invasion’ their numbers are so high. Inhabitants face a few weeks of damaged gardens and upended pot plants when the crab season peaks!

 

Of course, delectable eating isn’t all the festival offers. Have fun in the water, sip drinks on the beach, and enjoy the local entertainment while soaking in the vibe around you. Come say hi to the Big Blue Collective team while you’re there- we’re always around to help celebrate, entertain and keep the crowd safe.

Be entranced by Iguana Island

The Turks and Caicos rock iguana is a native of the area, and you’ll find a huge population on the tiny island of Little Water Cay, also known as Iguana Island. Lying only a short distance from Provo, a visit can easily be incorporated into a quick day trip or even a kayaking water tour of the area. You’ll also have a chance to explore the saline wetlands of the island, and get up close and personal with the unique wildlife of TCI.

Swim with stingrays

The pristine, uninhabited shores of Gibbs Cay hide a snorkeler’s paradise, complete with a friendly and gentle local population of stingrays. While the spectacular colours of the coral reef fish swirl around you, you’ll have a chance to see these beautiful animals up close in the shallow water of the area. These fascinating creatures can sometimes be seen in the sand along the many beautiful Turks and Caicos beaches, or visible in the crystal-clear waters of the TCI, but will typically flee if you try to come too close. While the population surrounding Gibbs Cay may be the most people-friendly in the islands, these fascinating creatures can be found throughout the island waters, and make a spectacular addition to your dive charter adventure, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled so you get your bragging rights!

 

No matter what you want from your trip, we highly recommended availing yourself of one of our spectacular dive charters. Whether you opt to take one of our dolphin tours, head out specifically for whale watching in the Turks and Caicos territory, or want to combine everything into a longer dive package that takes in the many spectacular walls, holes and reefs in the area, our guaranteed small diving groups offer you an unparalleled chance to get to know the marine wildlife of the TCI, under the careful eye of our experienced instructors and with the full knowledge of our dedicated dive team helping you create the best dive experience moment by moment.

 

The list of things to see and do on Turks and Caicos grows and grows, and the spectacular diversity of marine and land wildlife the island chain boasts is a huge part of that. Let Big Blue Collective help you craft the perfect wildlife adventure today!


Filed under: Tourism

Easy, simple, perfect: day excursions around Turks and Caicos

30th April 2018 9:57 am

Are you heading to the Turks and Caicos? Be sure to add a few day [or even longer] excursions to your itinerary to ensure you experience everything this beautiful island chain has to offer. Big Blue Collective offers you the perfect plan, no matter where you want to head

Explore the fun and vibrancy of Provo or Grand Turks, or get to the heart of the Turks and Caicos with unique explorations to North, South, Middle and Eastern Caicos. Discover sleepy Caribbean towns steeped in history and rich with natural beauty and diversity. Discover the fish industry at Southern Caicos, or explore the wilds of Middle and Eastern Caicos. Big Blue Collective has bases on all the islands, and close to two decades of experience to guide you to experiences that you’ll remember forever

Fun and frolic at play

Providenciales

Provo, the most populous island in the chain, makes for a perfect Turks and Caicos excursion in itself. Rich with beautiful beaches, roaming wildlife and sites to explore, you can easily content yourself getting to know this corner of the TCI. Visit the only conch farm in the world, and learn more about the giant sea snail so vital to the culture of the island. West Harbour Bluff and the Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve offers spectacular natural sights, while those with a historic bent can visit the remains of Cheshire Hall Plantation and learn more about it’s fascinating history. There’s even ‘The Hole’, a massive sinkhole with diving potential for those who love water sports.

Be sure to stop at Little Water Cay while you’re here. It’s an unmissable part of any Turks and Caicos excursion. Populated by the unique TCI iguanas, you’ll find them everywhere on their small island home. It’s the perfect stop for a kayaking tour, complete with the smaller iguanas on the lesser islands dotted through the area. Schedule 2 or 3 hours for this unique little slice of the TCI pie!

Grand Turk

Grand Turk makes a perfect day excursion in the Turks and Caicos chain. There’s sports, activities, attractions and sights galore. You’ll have to fly over from Provo, but it’s a quick hop. Gibbs Cay, a small yet remarkable island, offers you the unsurpassable chance to see wild stingrays at play. Protecting the coastline since 1852, there’s also the looming Grand Turk lighthouse to explore. Perched on the northern end of the island, this is also some of the best scenery Grand Turk offers. Explore the beautiful colonial architecture of the area- be sure to stop in at St Mary’s Anglican Church, a local beauty spot. There’s also the Turks and Caicos National Museum to entertain you.

The best of the best of wild Turks and Caicos excursions

Venture out a little further, and let the true beauty of the Turks and Caicos area seep into your soul. Big Blue Collective’s unique eco-tours will leave you refreshed, entertained and enraptured by this singular corner of the world.

North, East and Middle Caicos

With a fun ferry trip to set the mood, and the option to watch a spectacular sunset or sunrise from the deck, this is a Turks and Caicos excursion not to be missed. Middle Caicos brings you the joys of Mudjin Harbour, surrounded with towering limestone cliffs and home to quaint rocky islands and breathtaking caves. The Conch Bar caves are the biggest non-submerged caves in the Bahama-TCI archipelago, utterly untamed by tourism, or head to the Indian Cave and experience its open galleries and skylights for yourself.

Two spectacular plantations offer you the chance to explore their historical ruins, hidden cays dot her shores, and Cottage Pond is offers a sharp blue open strip of water in the centre of North Caicos, home to species seen nowhere else in the world. And of course, there is the beautiful, beautiful beaches at every turn.

Let Big Blue Collective’s experience help you plan the perfect TCI excursion to the North and Middle Islands. Opt for a tour with our talented and knowledgeable guides, or tailor the ‘Heart of the Island’s Eco-tour’ to your specific needs. Keen to try something off the beaten track? Explore the wilder east end of Middle Caicos, with the exquisite Windward-Going-Through channel and Wild Cow Run beach as your final destinations. Plan a picnic on the beach and let us handle the details…you can’t go wrong with this beautiful destination.

Salt Cay

Salt Cay offers something truly unique- an unspoilt Caribbean island far removed from the usual tourist trappings. It’s the destination of choice for divers everywhere, but the uniquely historical salt salinas, rejuvenating atmosphere and beautiful coastal views make it a must-see no matter what you feel like doing. Where else can you stand on a Caribbean beach with the whole area to yourself?

South Caicos

South Caicos showcases the spectacular natural landscape of the TCI, and any Turks and Caicos excursion simply has to include a stop at this unique habitat. Why not try one of our unique eco-tours to the island? Once pivotal in the salt trade, it’s now the home of fishing, kayaking and watersports. There’s simply so much for you to take in, you’ll want to come back and back again. The friendly vibes of Cockburn Harbour set the tone for a walking tour of the historic sites on the island, while flamingos frolic around you. Get to know the fishing trade up close and personal, and round it off with a delectable seafood lunch on the waterfront. Or take to the back trails on our mountain bike fleet, allowing you to explore the area for yourself. Keen and experience kayakers will find spectacular channels, vibrant wetlands and hidden cays waiting for them.

No matter where you venture, any Turks and Caicos excursion will leave you stimulated, enraptured and in love with this unbeatable corner of the world.


Filed under: Private charters, Tourism

Welcome to Provo: the experience of a lifetime awaits

29th March 2018 9:30 am

Spectacular beaches, luxury holiday destinations and some of the best food in the world…Providenciales offers it all. As the most developed hub island in the stomping grounds of Big Blue Collective, today we’re going to guide you through everything you need to know about this arresting corner of Turks and Caicos- though we still say it’s time to come and see Providenciales for yourself!

Sunny beaches in Turks and Caicos

Chances are you’ll land any trip to the Turks and Caicos on Providenciales, as almost all international flights come into this island. Fortunately, it’s also home to some of the top beaches in the area so if a day of surf and sun sounds like the perfect vacation for you, you know where to head. Leeward, Bight, Taylor Bay and Grace Bay beaches are all breathtaking in their natural beauty and perfect for soaking up the sun. Needless to say, the area is jam packed with adrenaline- pumping water sports, diving, snorkeling and adventures as well, so it’s perfect for an active holiday that will get your blood pumping. Be sure to drink in the beauty of the reefs in the area while you enjoy. Take a relaxing time out and sip cocktails on the beautiful Providenciales beaches to round out a day of fun in the sun.

What can I do in Turks and Caicos?

Sun and surf isn’t all Turks and Caicos offers, however- imagine a ‘necklace’ of delicate limestone islands nestled in a crystal-clear, turquoise lagoon, and you have an idea of the natural marvels awaiting you at Chalk Sound National Park. Take to a personally chartered boat to see the area from a different angle, and truly drink in the depth and beauty of this pristine, secluded island area. Or head out to the sheltered wetlands to get in some paddle boarding and kayaking while baby sharks, turtles and starfish play around you.

Avid golfer? Don’t worry, you can still practice your swing. Provo Golf Course actually rates as one of the best in the Caribbean with a scenic par 72 course waiting for you to tee off. Turks and Caicos island tours– including Big Blue Collective’s eco-tours– can easily be booked [why not let us help with your watersports in Providenciales too?]. There’s also quad tours, cycle tours and even horseback riding through the area. Bird watching and hiking this spectacular are both incredibly rewarding.

Alongside the beaches, natural beauty and watersports, there’s ample opportunity to explore the arts and handicrafts the island is becoming famous for. Jewelry and fashion is also a surprising niche, with silk scarves, stunning silver jewellery and their own fashion brand becoming the flavour of the day. Gourmet coffee, seashell crafts and so much more will call to your pocketbook- don’t be afraid to splurge a little.

Indulge in some spa time if you’re staying at one of the larger resorts, or have fun on the [often complimentary] non-powered water equipment. It’s worth noting that almost all resorts on Providenciales are family friendly, which is rare for the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a little more privacy, consider renting a villa for your stay. The area’s nightlife isn’t the best, but you’ll be too tired from a day of adventure to care.

Provo is packed with things to do, from sampling craft beers to exploring the conch industry, visiting the historical sights of the island, meeting the local ocean wildlife and exploring her beauty spots so come prepared to enjoy- you may need to come back again and again to fit it all in!

Why visit Providenciales?

Besides the splendid scenery, beautiful beaches, heart-racing water sports and unparalleled experience of the world, you mean? Don’t worry, there really is more! The ancient home of the Taino aboriginal peoples, historical Provo was home only to a handful of intrepid sea salt ‘miners’. With the rise of the 1700’s, this largest of the Turks and Caicos islands saw cotton and sisal plantations spring up, but they were short lived. Emerging from a dark period, the island surprisingly made a resurgence as a destination for sponge farming, only to again fade away until the 1980s, where it’s most natural industry- tourism- has helped power development in the area. Basking in warm sunshine, surrounded by beautiful ocean, it’s surprising it didn’t become a destination sooner given the tasty food, awe inspiring natural beauty, achingly beautiful ocean and pleasant climate.

There’s a considerable upside to this for you, though. The area’s infrastructure is all modern and welcoming, and the locals are friendly  and used to tourists, so your trip to Providenciales is guaranteed to be wonderful.

How do I get to Providenciales?

Getting to Provo couldn’t be simpler- you fly in to the island’s international airport. Domestic flights to two of the other Turks and Caicos islands, as well as provision for private planes, are also offered here. You likely won’t need a visa, although it’s always best to check with your local authorities. The area isn’t blessed with a public transport network, but you can easily hire a car or take a resort-linked taxi [avoid the illegal local ‘jitneys’] wherever you want to go. Local drivers are slightly better than found in the rest of the Caribbean, but don’t expect model behaviour, and US visitors to Turks and Caicos do note- they drive on the left, like in the UK, despite many US vehicles, so it can get a little muddled! Signage can be limited in some areas, too, so be sure to snag a free map at the airport or opt for a guided tour of Providenciales and surrounding islands instead. If you happen to want to cruise in on a yacht, go ahead- stays longer than a week to need a crusie permit, but many marinas are open to you.

What is there to eat on Provo?

Provo is the home of fine dining, so come ready to enjoy! A mouth watering cafe, bistro or restaurant always lies just around the corner for you to explore. You’ll find an abundance of Mediterranean, French, Italian and Contemporary Fusion cuisines alongside Indian, Japanese, Chinese and even Thai offerings, although [naturally] Caribbean fusion is also very much on offer. You simply have to sample a proper Caribbean BBQ to complete your Turks and Caicos dining experience! The only thing you won’t find is chain restaurants- so come prepared to experiment, your tastebuds will love you for it.

race Bay is packed with top-notch restaurants linked to the luxury resorts in the area, but be sure to reserve a spot so you aren’t disappointed. Take a tip from us- don’t fill up on your main course if you have any kind of sweet tooth! The islands is well known for its delectable focus on dessert, and you’re sure to enjoy sampling the decadent wonders available to you.

Fishermen, opt for a deep sea fishing adventure and have the restaurant cook your catch for you- what’s better then succulent, fresh caught tuna or mahi-mahi? One you caught yourself, of course! Naturally, there’s a focus on tasty fresh seafood in the islands, but if you want a taste of Provo, opt for a prepared Queen Conch snail stewed, in a salad, or even as a fritter. If you truly want to taste authentic Turks and Caicos cuisine in its totality, however, head out to the North and Middle Caicos as well.

Let Big Blue Collective help you plan the ultimate water sport and island hopping adventure in the exquisite Turks and Caicos and, of course, Providenciales itself- it’s an experience you’ll remember forever!

 


Filed under: Tourism, Travel

A lifetime of Turks and Caicos awaits you

2nd April 2018 10:05 am

The astounding beauty of the Turks and Caicos calls to you- and one trip will never be enough. There’s simply too much to see, do and experience to cram it into a few days and weeks. Today, Big Blue Collective looks at the many exciting experiences available to you- and how best to see them all.

It will take at least 3 trips to the islands before you can claim to have properly sampled the diverse blend of eco-tourism, water sports, action adventure and beach holiday that TCI offers you- and believe us, you will want to come back and back once you’ve sampled the jovial island sport and unique wildlife of the area. Why three trips, you ask? All will be revealed.

Year one in Turks and Caicos: Finding your feet

Your very first trip to the TCI simply has to be to Providenciales, the most urban of the islands in the area. Not only is it home to the international airport servicing the area, but it’s the most populated spot for a wobbly-legged urbanite to begin exploring. It also provides the best shopping opportunities for gathering souvenirs for the folks back home. The island boasts some very unique craft items, from silver jewelry to the famous conch shells, so be sure to take some time to find that perfect something.

Make your homebase on the island for this trip and get ready to head to the beach to unwind! Provo is known for its beautiful beaches [Grace Bay is a must-see, although Taylor Bay and Bight come close too] and you’re going to need to relax, unwind and flush the stresses of home from your body. You may opt to stay at one of the all-in resorts the island offers, some of which have spa facilities attached. If you’re up to a little time in nature, the area is also home to magnificent national park areas that are ripe for exploration, as well as the fathomless blue ocean around you. No trip would be complete without an eco-tour, in fact, so consider hiring a kayak to drink in the sights of the islands. Remember that the Turks and Caicos area plays a critical part of the annual humpback whale migration- time your trip right, and you may just get lucky enough to experience these magnificent beasts for yourself.

Since you’re on Provo, you of course have to round out the trip sampling the delectable cuisine the island offers- don’t forget to try a conch dish to get a taste for island cuisine….but don’t worry, you’re not quite there yet! North and Middle Caicos awaits.

Year Two: The year of exploration

South Caicos awaits! You will, of course, still fly into the international airport on Provo, but hop straight on a local connecting flight for the South island. Your Big Blue Collective guide will be waiting for you on arrival. The island of South Caicos is bathed in history, once a thriving harbour and pillar of the salt trade. You’ll have a chance to soak in the unique Bermudian architecture and picturesque sights of the town among her friendly people.

Flamingos flock to the salt flats here, and you’ll have a chance not only to hop on a fishing boat to see the island’s secrets from the water, but to sample the delectable fresh-caught seafood too. Take to a mountain bike to explore the salt ponds and beaches- beware the wild donkeys! This is also a great base to explore East Caicos and Joe Grant’s Cay. Deserted beaches make the perfect cast-off point for snorkelling, bringing you pristine ocean and reefs to explore, or keep kayaking to tour the twisted waterways around the Cays.

Make it a kayaking holiday, and take the time to explore the spectacular beaches and small islands of the area- you can even head to the old plantation settlement of Jacksonville. Start your tour on the middle island, and maybe even take a few days here before heading back to Provo.Why not come explore Big Blue Collective’s home turf this time? Leeward is calling to you. Try your hand at kiteboarding [though it’s best if you have a little experience]. Kayak through the Caicos Cays to get a true sense for the area [and see some truly beautiful territory]. Paddle through mangroves, beaches and reefs, and test your skills against the tide. Or pack a kayak sail and take it easy! Round off the trip with Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve. This remote southwest corner of Provo is deeply removed from the influence of man, supporting the nearby reefs and home to a bustling diversity of marine life and tropical birds. Enjoy a picnic on the spectacular coastline, and sample the fresh seafood for a perfect end to the holiday.

Year Three: It’s like coming home

You’re a Turks and Caicos native now [well, almost]! That means it’s time to get to the true heart of the islands. Yes, we’re going to North and Middle Caicos… the true home of TCI cuisine, too, so come hungry and ready to experiment. Whisk across the major scenic sites of the area, visit Flamingo Pond nature reserve, explore the limestone caves of the area and  learn about the handicrafts of the native islanders. Here you’ll find the spectacular Mudjin harbour, perhaps the most impressive shoreline in the TCI, and also Daniel’s Cafe and the best seafood around [we told you to come hungry]. Delve into the sometimes turbulent history of the area at Wade’s Green Plantation, then grab your paddle board and head out to explore the mangrove labyrinths of the protected wetland area. There’s also the backcountry downwinder kiteboarding route for the truly adventurous. THere’s stunning snorkeling to be had in the area, as well as custom eco-tours to help you create the perfect experience.

Three years won’t be enough- you’ll be longing to come back as soon as you leave. The rich diversity of the Turks and Caicos will wrap you in it’s grasp,  calling you back time and again- and Big Blue Collective will be waiting to welcome you home!


Filed under: Tourism, Travel

Turks and Caicos Health and Medical Travel Information

7th March 2018 9:25 am

Since Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, many travellers seeking a Caribbean escape are are more considerate of the safety of their travels. Fortunately, the Turks and Caicos is well on its way to recovery and has already opened its doors to thousands of tourists.

However, extreme situations like 2017’s hurricanes have always served as a good reminder to do everything you can to know how to travel safely and responsibly.

Here are some details related to health safety when you are travelling to the Turks and Caicos*.

Before You Go

Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends visiting your doctor 4-6 weeks before you travel to ANY destination. Even if you’ve been to the Turks and Caicos before, pathogens are constantly moving around and changing. By visiting your doctor before you travel, you will be able to stay updated on your vaccinations.

All travelers going to ANY destination

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Routine childhood vaccines include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • DTaP
  • Hib
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Flu
  • MMR
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningococcal
  • HPV

Adult routine vaccines include

  • Flu
  • Td (Tetanus, Diphtheria)
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
  • HPV
  • Shingles
  • Pneumococcal
  • Meningococcal
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

Most travellers going to Turks and Caicos

  • Hepatitis A. CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in the Turks and Caicos Islands, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
  • Typhoid. You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in the Turks and Caicos Islands. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Some travellers going to Turks and Caicos

 

  • Hepatitis B. You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
  • Rabies. Rabies is present in bats in the Turks and Caicos Islands. However, it is not a major risk to most travelers. CDC recommends rabies vaccine for only these groups:
  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
  • People who will be working with or around bats (such as wildlife professionals and researchers).

 

Bring medication

Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call the Turks and Caicos Islands’ embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.

Get Health Insurance

Regular travel and health insurance should be sufficient coverage for TCI. Consult your insurer if you’re unsure.

Some activities such as diving and kiteboarding can be considered “extreme sports,” which won’t be covered under most plans. Again, consult your insurer and read the fine print of your policy to be certain.

On Turks and Caicos

Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in the Turks and Caicos Islands, so your behavior is important. While Turks and Caicos has a strong infrastructure and strict health regulations, especially in the tourist sector, you can still minimize personal risk such as avoiding uncooked food.

Insects

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Fortunately, many of these diseases can be prevented with a vaccine or medicine, but you can further reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

UK health authorities have classified Turks and Caicos Islands as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in the Turks and Caicos Islands. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

To prevent insect bites, you can:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

When using insect repellent, always use as directed.

  • Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Products with one of the following active ingredients can also help prevent mosquito bites. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.
    • DEET
    • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD
    • IR3535

When you’re doing water activities like kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, you may have to reapply sooner as water can wash off the insect repellent.

Tap Water

While tap water is safe to drink on Providenciales, the other lands have variable quality—especially those that are less developed.

Hospitals

There are hospital facilities on Providenciales and Grand Turk, both operated by Interhealth Canada. They provide a range of services including diagnostic services, primary care and outpatient specialty clinics, emergency services and inpatient care. Serious cases are still referred overseas, usually to Miami or Nassau.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Most Importantly? Have A Great Time!

The Turks and Caicos is still one of the safest places to travel even if you decide to take up some water sports, enjoy the depths of the sea, or sample the local cuisine. Many tours are led by capable guides, and the more adventurous activities are taught by certified instructors.

Beyond the preventative care or precautions you would normally do anyway for any trip, the Turks and Caicos has a strong and modern infrastructure to handle most emergencies.

Contact Big Blue Collective to learn more about how you can safely participate in activities while you’re in the Turks and Caicos or go ahead and book your adventures today!

 

*Information is accurate at the time of this writing. Please revisit this guide and the linked resources to stay updated on any future changes.


Filed under: Tourism

What Are the Climate Change Impacts on the Turks and Caicos Islands?

27th February 2018 9:58 am

The Turks and Caicos is an archipelago nation in the Caribbean and is especially susceptible to climate change and all that comes with it. This was especially noticeable in 2017, when Hurricane Irma—the first hurricane to make landfall on the TCIs in decades—devastated the Turks and Caicos and was quickly followed by Hurricanes Maria and Katia (when it was a tropical depression), both of which came uncomfortably close.

While category 5 hurricanes are attention-grabbing events, there are actually several more gradual or less obvious ways climate change is impacting the Turks and Caicos and your future trip to this Caribbean paradise.

Higher Sea Levels

Two main mechanisms contribute to observed sea level rise:

  1. Thermal expansion: Many things expand when warmed, and ocean water is no different. As the ocean heat content increases, sea level rises.
  2. Melting of major stores of land ice like ice sheets and glaciers: Ice melt flows off of mountains and land and into the ocean, adding to the ocean volume.

Based on a study published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 68% of recent sea level rise between 1993–2008 has been attributed by melting ice, and roughly one third has come from thermal expansion

Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, could contribute 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise.

What Does Higher Sea Levels Mean for TCI?

Beaches are shrinking—and not just because the sea level is inching higher. Beaches are already shrinking due to beach erosion, which is a naturally occurring event as the lapping of the waves disrupt the coastline and pull sand deeper into the water. With the added rise of sea levels, more of the Turks and Caicos beaches are exposed to water movement.

Man-made techniques such as beach nourishment—whereby sand is dredged from off-shore sources and deposited along otherwise vanishing beaches—may slow the process, but nothing short of global cooling or some other major geomorphic change will stop beach erosion. If this does happen, you can expect the overall costs of visiting the Turks and Caicos to go up.

Warmer Waters

The ocean heat content is increasing. Unfortunately, warmer water is precisely what births the humongous and ferocious hurricanes that we are seeing with increasing frequency each year. In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, hurricane season is defined from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September.

Warmer water in the region means hurricanes can form sooner, with more frequency, and with greater intensity.

What Does Warmer Waters Mean for TCI?

Hurricanes

Your first thought is that jumping into warmer waters if great! Unfortunately, you might not get the chance if poor weather disrupts your travel plans. Travellers were stranded all across the Caribbean islands after a hurricane swept through. Scores of flights were cancelled and delayed and cruise boats were diverted.

When the vast majority of Caribbean trips are planned and booked months in advance, hurricanes are a huge unknown. Hurricane season has several months that coincides with vacation season and a trip that you’ve been looking forward to can be easily disrupted.

In September 2017, the United States National Hurricane Center reported that the North Atlantic basin was highly active because four tropical storms formed and they all became hurricanes. They report a higher than average record on the number of tropical storms that developed into hurricanes this year. Two of these four hurricanes, Irma and Maria, hit the islands in the Caribbean.

Once at the Caribbean, both Irma and Maria became Category 5 hurricanes. NASA reported that the temperature of the sea surface in the Caribbean when Irma became a hurricane was 30 °C (86 °F). The required temperature for the development of a major storm is suggested to be higher than 27 °C (80 °F).

Coral bleaching

A defined hurricane season doesn’t mean the Turks and Caicos are off limits, so you’ll still be able to make it to the islands where you can enjoy spectacular diving and snorkeling—in places where coral still survive.

Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that normally live inside their tissues. As the algae provide the coral with up to 90% of its energy, coral will starve after expelling the algae. Above-average sea water temperatures caused by global warming have been identified as a leading cause for coral bleaching worldwide.

In a 2005 study, a rise in the sea surface temperature is thought to have caused widespread coral bleaching in the Caribbean. In this study, researchers evaluate if this increase in sea surface temperature was due to natural climate variability or human activity. They concluded that it would be very unlikely that natural climate variability alone could account for this event.

Climate Change Impact on Turks and Caicos

The climate change impact on the Turks and Caicos will be severe. On September 8, Minister of Infrastructure Goldray Ewing confirmed that damage to Providenciales was extensive, with the northwestern neighborhood of Blue Hill being “gone”. The hospital in the capital, Cockburn Town, was damaged. On South Caicos, 75% of roofs were lost. Total damage is still being evaluated, but believed to exceed the $231 million toll of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

According to socio-economic experts, vanishing reefs can spark hunger, poverty and political instability to regions dependent on revenue generated from their coasts. Since countless sea life depend on the reefs for shelter and protection from predators, the extinction of the reefs would ultimately create a domino effect that would trickle down to the many human societies that depend on those fish for food, tourism, and livelihood.

The coral reefs along the Turks and Caicos’ coasts draw scuba divers, snorkelers and other tourists to seaside resorts and help maintain some of the world’s finest sandy beaches by absorbing energy from waves. Without the reefs, hotels, restaurants and other businesses that cater to tourists could suffer financially.

Many Caribbean countries, including nearby Turks and Caicos, get nearly half their gross national product from visitors seeking tropical underwater experiences.

What Can You Do to Help?

In the foreseeable future, the Turks and Caicos will continue to be a popular destination despite the ongoing changes brought on by climate change, and there are plenty of ways to be a positive influence on the environment, including supporting organizations focused on sustainability.

At Big Blue Collective, we are committed to providing you the best adventures with the least environmental impact possible. We keep our adventure groups small to ensure minimal impact while maximizing your experiences on the reef, in the mangroves, or in the ocean.

Year after year, we find new ways to discover the Turks and Caicos and better ways to do so. Our vision is constantly being refined and redefined to ensure a sustainable approach within a viable business framework.

Contact Big Blue Collective to learn more about what eco-friendly activities you can do while you’re in the Turks and Caicos or go ahead and book your adventures today.



The Legend of Joe Grant The Frisky Dolphin

18th January 2018 6:48 pm

With over 2.3 million views on you tube over the last nine years, Frisky Dolphin   has garnered a lot of interest. With the surge of Instagram and Facebook it seems this video goes viral more and more frequently across many of the different platforms.

 

Most of the time the 2-minute long video excerpt is taken out of context but also wrongly attributed while commonly played back and recycled at a higher frame rate distorting the reality. At the same time it’s sister video EAST CAICOS DOLPHIN  has all but been entirely ignored with only 10k views in the same time period.

 

Setting the record straight.

The event in question took place in May 2008 during a Big Blue Collective team day out. The weather that day was amazingly flat and allowed us to head out to the very far northeastern side of the Islands along the north shore of East Caicos.

We pulled into Big Cut off Middle Caicos mid morning, around 9 am after an early start and were pleasantly surprise to find a companion effortlessly riding our bow wave and wake as we cruised the length of Wild Cow Run beach to then anchor right off the beach of Joe Grant’s Cay, easily one of the most beautiful locations in the entire archipelago. As soon as we dropped in, the girls jumped in to join the dolphin while the guys who scrambled the Cay joined them shortly. As seasoned divers, freedivers and snorkelers with countless wild dolphin encounters between us some of were perhaps a little blasé until we realized this dolphin was not leaving us in a rush.

Little did we know that this young male had, in all likelihood, already heard us partying long before we saw him and simply wanted to join us in our fun. In water no deeper than perhaps 8-10 feet this dolphin gave every impression he had no intention of leaving and quickly became the center of our attention, a role he obviously reveled in.

For well over an hour both dolphin and swimmers entertained and excited each other. The close proximity and uniqueness of this lone encounter was very similar to the ones with JoJo during his own youthful heyday. To put it plain and simple – THIS was awesome! The longer it went on the better it got.

What became apparent as many of us left the water, cold and prune fingered, to those of us left in the sea, was how frisky and over excited this young male was becoming. The permanent smile and playful nature of these mammals often belies the fact that they are in fact highly successful powerful apex predators.

At some point the dolphin began taking a real shining to one of our female guides. The ironic role reversal was completed, as she became the center of his excited testosterone fueled attention.  What was initially amusing started to become more and more bizarre and uncomfortable as the dolphin’s determination, agility and focus to seemingly want to “mate” with our guide made intervention harder and harder. Bottom line – he wanted his girl. JoJo used to do the very same thing to female guests staying at Club Med back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

While this dolphin was not becoming aggressive, he was becoming more forceful and eager. As much as it amused us, to those of us still in the water freediving, watching and filming it gradually became obvious that our dolphin’s “crush” should get out of the water. Her exit coincided with an almost immediate calming down. One by one we all got out, tired, amused and exhilarated. Obvious questions and jokes of pregnancy were bandied about but the simple fact was this dolphin boy simply fancied a girl. The raging hormones of adolescence had simply got the better of him. While for us this day would never be forgotten.

We named the young dolphin Joe Grant, after the Cay and the encounter and thus the Legend of Joe Grant was born. We often wonder where he is now. Truth is nine years later he could be anywhere. We just hope he is safe and sound. 

Team BB


Filed under: Beaches, Eco adventure, Tourism

When is Hurricane Season in Turks & Caicos?

15th January 2018 11:47 am

Due to the nature of archipelago islands and Turks and Caicos’ position within the tropical Atlantic, the islands are at risk of tropical cyclones during the hurricane season. Although they are relatively uncommon, hurricanes have been known to affect the island and are something that travelers should bear in mind when arranging their trip to the area.

Most recently, Turks and Caicos was hit by the two extremely powerful category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, within a number of days of each other in September 2017. In this month the whole Caribbean suffered devastating effects of one of the worst hurricane seasons on record. It is understandable that for this reason, travelers to the region are taking measures to learn more about the hurricane season and how it could affect them in the future.

It is important to note that despite 2017’s events, hurricanes are still relatively uncommon in Turks and Caicos. On average, the islands are directly hit by one hurricane every seven years, and one passes nearby around every two years. When the islands are affected by tropical storms, recovery is undertaken quickly and infrastructure repairs, where needed, progress rapidly to restore the islands to normal working order.

Something that visitors will notice when traveling to the region, is the level of pride and care that the residents have for their islands, how hard they work to preserve them and nurture them again following adverse weather. The team at Big Blue Collective are no different and we hold the beauty and nature of our islands in the utmost regard. That’s why we arrange eco-friendly trips and activities to help protect our beautiful environment.

When is hurricane season?

Hurricane season occurs in the summer months in Turks and Caicos. Between June and November is typically the rainy season on the islands, and this is also the season which is most at threat of hurricanes. According to historical data, the risk of experiencing a hurricane peaks in September, and three out of four of all hurricanes will occur between August and October.

Tropical storms and hurricanes can affect all countries in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the most powerful hurricanes are known as Cabo Verde hurricanes, as they originate off the coast of Africa and pass westwards across the Atlantic Ocean. Although most eventually disappear over the sea, some reach the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

On average, there are generally around 12 tropical storms each year in the Atlantic region. Of these 12, 6 will evolve into hurricanes and of these, 3 will become major hurricanes. It is important to note that of all the hurricanes experienced during each season, most do not make landfall on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

What classifies as a hurricane?

The term ‘hurricane’ occurs when a tropical cyclone surpasses sustained wind speeds of 73mph. The severity of the hurricane is rated according to the Saffir-Simpson scale as follows:

  • Category One: 74 – 95 mph
  • Category Two: 96 – 110 mph
  • Category Three: 111 – 129 mph
  • Category Four: 130 – 156 mph
  • Category Five: ≤157 mph

Between 39 – 73 mph, cyclones are known as a tropical storm and may further progress into a hurricane. Likewise, hurricanes can downgrade into a tropical storm before they reach land. All tropical cyclones begin as tropical depression, where low pressure areas are accompanied by thunderstorms, and produce a circular wind flow which can turn into a cyclone.

What effect do hurricanes have on Turks and Caicos?

Despite what you may initially think, the most damaging effect of hurricanes on the islands is not the high wind speeds alone, but instead the storm surge which occurs as a result of the tropical weather. Almost half of Turks and Caicos land is low elevation, as the islands are made up of many wetlands and saline flats which are close to sea level. There are no mountainous or high-elevation regions on the islands and as a result, the effects of flooding on Turks and Caicos can be severe.

However, one of the natural forms of protection for Turks and Caicos is the level of the ocean floor surrounding the islands. Sitting on a plateau, they are protected from the occurrence of extreme storm surges, which are more common on other Caribbean islands. This natural barrier means that waves do not reach the huge heights that they may do in other regions and the effects of the weather are reduced.

Should you travel in hurricane season?

Even during hurricane season, the occurrence of this type of weather is still very uncommon and many people still travel to Turks and Caicos within the summer months. This season is also known as the rainy period on the islands; the annual rainfall is around 27 inches which, when compared to over 59 inches in Florida, does not seem that much. Most of this rainfall comes from passing tropical storms, as opposed to standard rainfall that inland territories experience.

During the summer season, temperatures peak at around 95⁰C and 35⁰C. Due to the hotter, damper weather and risk of hurricanes, many tour operators and hotel resorts offer largely discounted rates to tourists in the summer, with prices reduced by up to 40% compared to peak season. Thanks to the cost effective travel options, many travelers still choose this time to explore Turks and Caicos, to beat the crowds of tourists and to enjoy quieter beaches and resorts. At Big Blue Collective, we experience great visitor numbers all year round, and the summer is no exception. We have a number of activities available that can help you enjoy everything the islands have to offer in the summer.

When the islands are at risk of tropical storms, the American Red Cross app is one of the many resources that can be used for advice and it provides storm updates for travelers and residents. Generally, tourists will have at least one week’s advance warning of any storms that are due and air operators will put on additional flights out of the area to return visitors home before the weather affects the airports.

If you have travel insurance, it is worth checking for a ‘cancel for any reason’ (CFAR) clause in your agreement, which could mean that you can rearrange your trip for another time in the year. If you have not yet taken our travel insurance, you may want to consider including this option to be on the safe side.

What else should you know before travelling in hurricane season?

One of the most notable annoyances about travelling in hurricane season is, in fact, the increased level of mosquitos. Due to high level of rainfall and potential flooding, travelers in the summer months will be prone to bites from mosquitos and no-see-ums. It is therefore advisable to bring a strong bug repellent spray, and carry it on you to top up throughout the day.

Furthermore, due to the hotter temperatures experienced during the summer months, travelers should bring high protection sun block and ensure that they spend time in the shade to protect their skin and take a break from the sun’s harsh rays.

Overall, travelers that wish to visit Turks and Caicos during the summer months often have an enjoyable and relatively cheap vacation, away from the crowds and enjoying beautiful weather. It is important to remember that the risk of hurricanes is relatively low, but suitable precautions such as adequate travel insurance should be taken. To find out more about traveling to Turks and Caicos in the summer months and how to make the most of a vacation to these stunning islands, contact the team at Big Blue Collective today.


Filed under: Hurricane, Tourism, Travel

What Makes TCI the Best Place for a Family Vacation?

11th December 2017 11:45 am

Turks and Caicos is often seen as the resort for the rich, the playground for the privileged, the vacation for the very famous. That’s true. There definitely are plenty of private Turks and Caicos villas owned by the rich and powerful. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the best places for a family vacation, because it certainly is.

 

While it might have seemed like an far-off tropical island suitable only to the rich and famous in the past, the Turks and Caicos are quickly becoming a more accessible destination for family travel.

Here’s why the Turks and Caicos are one of the best destinations for a family vacation:

Turks and Caicos Family Resorts and Villas

There are so many Turks and Caicos  resorts and villas that now cater to family getaways that you’ll have plenty of options in choosing a place to stay. Whether you go for the super luxurious resorts or a more budget conscious lodging, there’s a place for you and your family.

You can easily find entire homes for you and your kids. Many private villas offer private pools, balconies, grills, and recreational equipment, including snorkel masks, flippers, and bikes.

Alternatively, you can also stay at an all-inclusive resort, which can greatly simplify your trip, albeit at a cost. As parents, it’s nice to know that your meals area already all planned out and that there are activities at the hotel to engage your active children.

Turks and Caicos Family Activities

While resorts often have dazzling amenities, it’s an absolutely must for you and your family to immerse yourselves in outdoor adventures. There’s a plethora of things to do with your children in the Turks and Caicos.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) is fun for all ages and can be done practically anywhere in Turks and Caicos. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it great for adults and kids alike and can offer a new way to experience the waters.

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.

Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to enjoy the beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays with your family. 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.

Similarly to stand up paddle boarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

Snorkeling

Turks and Caicos generally has calm seas, and the beaches are further protected by natural formations like bays, reefs, and underwater walls. These formations are also brilliant places for kids to explore.

Snorkeling is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. Kids can’t get sick of either—there are just too many things to see underwater to get bored.

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help your family identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

Kiteboarding

For the older kids (especially the ones who have hit the moody age), a little more action is sure to keep them engaged and loving family time. Turks and Caicos is a kiteboarding mecca. It’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience who can train adults and older kids to kiteboard

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.

Eco-Tours and Adventures

There are also special eco-tour your family can enjoy together. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters with a kayak or stand up paddleboard and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your ride.

Parents can choose the best activity for a family-adventure. Their trips are equipped with guides who are informative and certified to ensure that all safety precautions are taken. Guides will point out turtles, sharks, stingrays and any other sea animal that passes by.

Book Your Turks and Caicos Family Vacation Today

Turks and Caicos excursions are very popular and spots fill up fast. It’s important that you book early so your guide can help customize the trips to the age of your kids.

Contact Big Blue Collective to learn more about what eco-friend activities you can do while you’re in Providenciales or go ahead and book your adventures today.


Filed under: Tourism, Travel

What Makes TCI the Best Place for a Family Vacation?

20th November 2017 11:38 am

Turks and Caicos is often seen as the resort for the rich, the playground for the privileged, the vacation for the very famous. That’s true. There definitely are plenty of private Turks and Caicos villas owned by the rich and powerful. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the best places for a family vacation, because it certainly is.

While it might have seemed like an far-off tropical island suitable only to the rich and famous in the past, the Turks and Caicos are quickly becoming a more accessible destination for family travel.

Here’s why the Turks and Caicos are one of the best destinations for a family vacation:

Turks and Caicos Family Resorts and Villas

There are so many Turks and Caicos  resorts and villas that now cater to family getaways that you’ll have plenty of options in choosing a place to stay. Whether you go for the super luxurious resorts or a more budget conscious lodging, there’s a place for you and your family.

You can easily find entire homes for you and your kids. Many private villas offer private pools, balconies, grills, and recreational equipment, including snorkel masks, flippers, and bikes.

Alternatively, you can also stay at an all-inclusive resort, which can greatly simplify your trip, albeit at a cost. As parents, it’s nice to know that your meals area already all planned out and that there are activities at the hotel to engage your active children.

Turks and Caicos Family Activities

While resorts often have dazzling amenities, it’s an absolutely must for you and your family to immerse yourselves in outdoor adventures. There’s a plethora of things to do with your children in the Turks and Caicos.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle board (or SUP) is fun for all ages and can be done practically anywhere in Turks and Caicos. The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches. This makes it great for adults and kids alike and can offer a new way to experience the waters.

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.

Kayaking

Like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking is another popular way to enjoy the beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays with your family. 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.

Similarly to stand up paddle boarding, kayak rentals are reasonable and there are a variety of options.

Snorkeling

Turks and Caicos generally has calm seas, and the beaches are further protected by natural formations like bays, reefs, and underwater walls. These formations are also brilliant places for kids to explore.

Snorkeling is a real treat that you can partake in every single day you’re on the islands. Kids can’t get sick of either—there are just too many things to see underwater to get bored.

In fact, there are snorkeling tours that will take you out to several snorkel sites.  Knowledgeable guides can help your family identify the hundreds of different fish and describe the important coral reef ecology.

Kiteboarding

For the older kids (especially the ones who have hit the moody age), a little more action is sure to keep them engaged and loving family time. Turks and Caicos is a kiteboarding mecca. It’s easy to find PASA and IKO certified kiteboarding instructors with decades of experience who can train adults and older kids to kiteboard

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.

Eco-Tours and Adventures

There are also special eco-tour your family can enjoy together. You get to venture into mangrove channels and national parks to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters with a kayak or stand up paddleboard and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your ride.

Parents can choose the best activity for a family-adventure. Their trips are equipped with guides who are informative and certified to ensure that all safety precautions are taken. Guides will point out turtles, sharks, stingrays and any other sea animal that passes by.

Book Your Turks and Caicos Family Vacation Today

Turks and Caicos excursions are very popular and spots fill up fast. It’s important that you book early so your guide can help customize the trips to the age of your kids.

Contact Big Blue Collective to learn more about what eco-friend activities you can do while you’re in Providenciales or go ahead and book your adventures today.


Filed under: Accommodation, Tourism, Travel
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Turks and Caicos Visa and Entry Requirements

17th October 2017 9:51 am

Many people love visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and often do repeat trips for years to come. Besides being a Caribbean paradise, people love returning to the islands because of how easy it is to visit.

The Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory with a legal system based on English Common Law. This means that for most tourists, the process of visiting is relatively simple and straightforward.

General TCI Entry and Visa Requirements

Passport

All visitors traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands must have a valid passport 6 months from entry date and have at least two blank pages.

Children under 16 years can travel on their parents passports (provided that they are not traveling through the US).

Length of Stay

All visitors must show a valid onward or return trip ticket. In other words, you can’t get into the Turks and Caicos on a one-way ticket.

Visitors are granted entry for 30 days (see Visas for more detail). However, you can apply to extend your stay once. You can extend your stay by visiting one of the Immigration Department offices:

 

  • Providenciales, Downtown
    +1 (649) 941-7792
    +1 (649) 941-7793

  • Grand Turk, Cockburn Town
    +1 (649) 946-2939

Visas

A large list of countries are exempt from getting a visa prior to entering Turks and Caicos when visiting for 30 days or fewer. Some visitors planning to stay beyond 30 days will need to apply for a visa, depending on their country.

You can see the full list of countries here: https://www.gov.tc/bordercontrol/visa

Nationals of countries and territories not listed but are lawful residents of the United Kingdom, United States of America or Canada, or who are holders of a valid visa permitting their travel to any of these three countries, may be granted leave to enter the Islands without a Turks and Caicos Islands visa.

Apply for a Visa

Visitor’s Visas:

 

  • Single entry visitor’s visa: $150
  • One year multiple entry business visa: $500
  • Student visa: $300

 

All applicants must satisfy the Department of Immigration that they are genuine visitors, that they will not engage in an occupation and that they will leave the Islands at the end of the stipulated period.

For complete directions and information on apply for a Turks and Caicos visa, please visit: https://www.gov.tc/how-do-i-apply-for#visa


Filed under: Tourism