5 reasons the TCI needs to be on your bucket list TODAY

25th February 2019 1:14 pm

Sand, surf, sea… there’s little wonder the Turks and Caicos are one of the ultimate all-time travel destinations in the world. The Big Blue Collective are proud to call this exquisite corner of the world our home- and we know you will love it too. The Turks and Caicos should be on every traveller’s list of can’t-miss destinations- and you’ll feel it call you back time and again. So without further ado, here’s our personal top 5 reasons the TCI needs to be on your bucket list.

  1. The Beaches

How would you like to lounge on one of the world’s best beaches? There’s nothing like soft, pure white sand and warm sun to soak the cares out of your stress-ravaged body and renew your faith in a life worth living. And it’s waiting for you here in the TCI.

While Grace Bay Beach may be the best known of the Turks and Caicos beaches, it’s rolling sands are far from the only ones which will call to you. The TCI is redolent in classic Caribbean beach fronts… but you won’t find yourself fighting the crowds just to enjoy them. Fringed in palms, perfect for sipping cocktails or enjoying the sunset, amazing beaches can be found at every turn- and your chances of being the only ones there to enjoy the view are startlingly high.

Add kicking back with your own (almost) private Caribbean beach unfolding at your feet to your bucket list today- and make the dream a reality in the Turks and Caicos!

2. The Waters

There’s only one thing in the Turks and Caicos that can beat the beaches- and that’s the water. Visitors come back time and again just to enjoy the unbelievable clarity and colour of the sea. Imagine those same powder-soft sands, lightly fringed by palm and slowly dissolving into breathtaking azure waters. Watch marine life flit around you, appearing so close you could touch it, as you slowly paddle your stand up paddle board down the island chain’s backchannels.Then you dip a toe in. It’s the perfect temperature for play- warm and languid year round. One drop and your cares will just melt away.

Whether you’re keen to try your hand at the multitude of watersports, or happy to just splash in the shallow waters near the beaches, the sea in the TCI has to be seen to be believed- and is definitely part of the reason this is an all-time favourite travel destination.

3. The Play

Talking about wind- and water sports, they have to make the list too. There’s few destinations worldwide that offer the depth and breadth of adrenaline-pumping play that the Turks and Caicos does. Did you know this is one of the world’s premier kiteboarding locations? As if the thrill of cresting the waves with only a board and kite as your guides wasn’t enough, there’s also stand up paddle boarding, diving, snorkelling and kayaking to keep your body as fit as your soul will be replenished. Fun in the sun is the name of the day, and you need to come ready to play, play, play! Whether you’re a beginner looking to try their hand at something adventurous, or a seasoned water sports fanatic, you’ll find plenty of active fun waiting for you.

4. The Whales

The unique geographic layout of the Turks and Caicos conspires to make this one of the world’s all-time favourite destinations for whale watching. Forced to funnel through a narrow channel between the islands during their migration season, you’ll be able to enjoy unsurpassed whale watching opportunities in-season. See these wondrous mammals at play, calves frolicking alongside their mothers and males breaching and tail-slapping to impress the ladies. This annual event is one you can’t afford to miss off of your bucket list, for sure! Be part of their amazing 5000km trek across the seas, snap shots your friends at home will never believe, and who knows- you may even get the chance to meet one of these gentle giants up-close-and-personal with an at-sea encounter on one of our whale watching charters!

5. The History and the Wilds

Visit one of the world’s last truly uncharted landscapes on the less-visited back islands. Explore the unique flora and fauna of this gorgeous corner of the world on a special eco-tour that sees you breaching uncharted waters in pursuit of ecological wonders. Be wowed by the panoramic experience of nature, or get brave and spend a little time exploring the unique limestone caves and sinkholes that litter the landscape.

Or strap on your adventuring gear, and dive into the splendid history of the islands. From it’s long history as part of the salt industry to the romantic splendour of its now-forgotten plantations and intriguing remnants of its prehistoric people, the area is redolent with the stories of people long passed. Enjoy strolling in the historic Bermudian architecture, and have fun partying with the locals at favourite hang-outs. Don’t forget to sample the stunning seafood offerings while you’re here!

No matter where you roam in the Turks and Caicos, there’s another adventure waiting just around the corner. From gorgeous spots to relax and rejuvenate to the adrenaline-boosting crash of the waves beneath you and the unspoilt vistas waiting for you to explore them, the experience of a lifetime awaits.

Keen to see what makes the Turks and Caicos one of the all-time best travel destinations in the world? Then get in touch with the Big Blue Collective’s team today, and start planning your trip of a lifetime now. We look forward to meeting you in person soon!


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Where can you learn to kiteboard in the TCI? With the Big Blue Collective, of course!

27th February 2019 1:12 pm

Are you keen to learn to kiteboard? We don’t blame you. One of the most satisfying wind sports around, kiteboarding has fast attracted a passionate core of devotees- and we’re proud to be in their number here at the Big Blue Collective. So if you’re wondering where to learn to kiteboard during your time on the islands, you’ve come to the right place- we are here to help!

Why should I learn to kiteboard?

Kiteboarding, also called kitesurfing, is an exciting way to amp your adrenaline and see the world. It’s the ultimate blend of wakeboarding, surfing, paragliding, sailing and skateboarding-on-water… and it’s great fun too! Imagine yourself, balanced effortlessly on a smaller surfboard, flying across the waves under the wind-power of a small kite. What better way to have a fabulous time, see the gorgeous scenery, and keep fit all in one?

Now add the spectacular surroundings of the Turks and Caicos- soft beaches free of the Caribbean crowds, warm waters in a blinding blue hue, and a pristine natural environment encompassing everything from playful marine wildlife to achingly beautiful untouched islands? And it’s all only 90 minutes flight away from the US mainland.

Where can I learn to kiteboard in the Turks and Caicos?

If you want to know where to learn to kiteboard in Provo, look no further than the Big Blue Collective! With over 3 decades experience in the kitesurfing sport and many instructors who call the islands home all year round rather than just during peak seasons, there’s no better way to learn.

Every Big Blue Collective instructor are PASA and IKO certified, so you know you are in safe hands. Individuality has always been a key part of the learning experience here at the Collective, so we pride ourselves on tailoring offered instruction to meet your needs- whether you’re a genuine first-timer or someone with experience looking to hone their skills.

What is kiteboarding instruction like with the Big Blue Collective?

Don’t worry if you’re new to the sport and don’t have the gear- we offer equipment rentals from the world-class Cabrinha line, so can provide all the gear you need. We use all the latest switchblades, boards and Neil Pryde harnesses, and your gear will be included as part of your lesson.

If you’re keen to use your own equipment, however, we recommend your board, a larger twin tip, and 12M kites for men (ladies, aim for a 9m or 10m kite). You can size these up or down depending on the wind predictions for your time here. Wind conditions in the TCI are generally excellent, averaging out at 12-25 knots (15-17 knots being typical), and we’re always happy to talk shop so don’t hesitate to ask us what’s going on on the islands currently.

You’ll want to aim for water sport-friendly clothing you’re happy wearing in and out of the water- and your spirit of adventure is mandatory, of course! Don’t forget your sense of humour, either! We can organise pick-up at your hotel, or feel free to meet us at our beach headquarters on Leeward Provo.

We understand that everyone learns to kiteboard differently so the exact lesson flow will depend on your existing skills, learning style and confidence. Our primary focus is shaping you into a safe, savvy kiteboarder. You’ll leave the lesson able to asses the weather, make sound decisions about wind and your skills, and knowing how to gauge your launch and landing areas whether alone or surrounded by other water users. A typical beginners lesson will take around 6 hours, and many feel able to ride afterwards. Even if you need a little extra help to get your confidence up, you’ll know exactly how to head out into the water safely.

We also offer an extended course that takes you beyond simply learning to kiteboard, and focuses on safety systems, troubleshooting your way out of snags, and self-rescue. This additional focus is perfect for those who find that the sport has bitten them, who will want to take their kiteboarding skills into a new hobby.

Can I learn to kiteboard by myself?

It’s highly recommended to take instruction rather than trying to learn the sport yourself. There’ are a few good reasons for this:

  • Safety: Under the eagle-eyes of a trained and certified instructor, you can learn in full confidence, without worrying about your personal safety or that of fellow water users. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the process, instead, confident that years of knowledge are guiding you- and that a backup team is in place if you do need help.
  • You’ll learn faster (and without mistakes): Safety aside, you’ll be able to grasp the basics with expert tutelage, rather than fumbling your way through by trial and error. This means you won’t learn bad habits, and you’ll be able to grasp the basics quicker- and get to exploring the world from your board confident in your skills
  • You can experience world-class equipment: With our school’s equipment at your disposal, you’ll have access to the very best without having to lay out money on your own equipment.

If you’re keen to get started and simply wondering where to learn to kiteboard in the TCI, then look no further than the Big Blue Collective. With our expert instructors on your team, you’ll soon be enjoying the very best the Caribbean has to offer with confidence, the wind strong in your sails and your adrenaline pumping. Keen to know more about learning to kiteboard? The team is waiting to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch today.


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Kiteboarding Holidays in Paradise: make your December holiday one to remember forever!

25th February 2019 1:12 pm

What could be better than a kiteboarding holiday? Experience the thrills of this fun-tastic sport up close and personal in your very own corner of paradise! The Big Blue Collective is here to help you make your dreams a reality with this handy guide to kiteboarding in Provo, and making the windsurfing holiday of your dreams a solid reality in 2019.

Kiteboarding in Provo: perfect fun for the whole family

What do you get when you combine your family, your holidays and the super-experienced Big Blue Collective? A holiday you’ll remember for years to come, that’s what! Kiteboarding (sometimes called kite surfing) has rocketed to prominence among water sports recently, and there’s certainly good reason.

Kiteboarding is one of the most exhilarating water sports there is. There’s no steep learning curve- you’ll be confidently flying your way through the mangrove back channels of the islands in no time. It’s also something the whole family can enjoy, needing only a basic level of fitness and concentration, yet has all the thrills and fun of harnessing the wind to your whims. Add the TCI’s perfect weather; Big Blue’s 3 decades of expert instruction; near empty, powder-soft beaches, warm seas and shallow waters and you have a glorious mix that’s perfect for the holiday season.

Picture yourself flying over the water in some of the world’s most spectacular unspoilt scenery. Play for a day in the cradling waters of one of the world’s best beaches, or head off-the-beaten-track to nose around the unspoilt wilds of the outer islands. Grab the chance to experience a perfect downwinder in a truly unique location, or make it into a veritable water-borne safari. With the Big Blue team at your side, you’re free to play your way, all the way.

Learn the basics with our totally beginner-friendly instruction, and you’ll soon be confident in directing your kite, reading the wind and launching like a pro. Harness the tricks of the deep-water start, or polish your existing skills with our expert instructors. Kiteboarding holidays are some of the best there is, so you’re going to want to jump on this unique chance to live the holiday of your dreams.

How do I shape the perfect itinerary for my kiteboarding holiday?

Firstly, forget the stress- the Big Blue Collective offers world-class Cabrinha equipment rentals, so you can have all the equipment you need for the kiteboarding holiday of your dreams ready and waiting for you, with no need to fight your way through airport security, worry about your gear or pay extra luggage fees to get it here. All you need to bring is your spirit of adventure!

Through our partnership with VELA KiteSurf resorts, we’re the partner of choice for kiteboarding in Provo, meaning planning the kiteboarding holiday of your dreams has never been simpler. Whether you need to ease into the sport with some beginner-friendly instruction and a few easy trips, or are ready to plan the kite surfing safari of your dreams in the wild island outback, the Big Blue Collective have the knowledge and experience you need to make the perfect kiteboarding itinerary. Leave the planning to us, while you enjoy the most memorable holiday you’ve ever had, problem-free.

Worried you’ll hit a snag with the weather? The Turks and Caicos weather is generally very amenable to wind sports, with the regular cooling trade winds making calm days a rarity. Don’t worry, however- as we say in the Collective, ‘no wind, no problem’! We offer a host of other exciting water sports like stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, diving and much more to fill in any still sports in the weather. Plus you are going to want to spend at least a day or two basking on the glorious beaches of Provo, enjoying the unspoilt vista and lack of crowds in this beautiful corner of the Caribbean

How do I get to the Turks and Caicos?

Don’t worry- you won’t need most of your holiday recovering from planning the trip just to kiteboard in Provo, either. The Turks and Caicos have their own airport and are serviced by a wide variety of airlines from the US mainland. We’ve seen an uptick in flights to the island lately, and even some smaller mainland airports offer direct flights into the local airport- Fort Lauderdale is always worthy of consideration if you want to escape the crush at large airports. Find the perfect package deal through online booking sites (and snag a great discount while you’re there), or spend your traveller’s miles through your favourite airline. Flexible travel dates will always help you get an extra discount, too. Remember that the December 2019 holidays will be classed as peak season, so be sure to get your bookings confirmed early so you aren’t disappointed.

Should I book my kiteboarding holiday with the Big Blue Collective in advance?

The December holiday season is always popular in the Turks and Caicos, and 2019 will be no different. So it’s time to get planning your kiteboarding holiday right now. What better way to add a little colour to the dreary ends of winter, anyway, then dreaming of the fun in the sun you’ll be having come year-end?

The Big Blue Collective believe in quality, personalised instruction, so we restrict our kiteboarding instruction groups to small sizes. Fortunately, beginning the booking process with us couldn’t be simpler. Drop us a line on the contact details here, and you’ll be well on your way to making your dreams of kiteboarding in Provo a solid reality.

There’s nothing better than a kiteboarding holiday to make memories, have fun and learn more about one of the world’s most favourite water sports. Make your December 2019 holidays the very best ever, and let the Big Blue Collective help you shape your dreams of kiteboarding in Provo and make them a reality. Our team is always pleased to hear from visitors, whether you’re a familiar face or a new friend, so don’t hesitate to get in touch today.


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Learn to dive today with the Big Blue Collective

1:11 pm

Are you keen to learn to dive? There’s nothing better than the diving experience in the TCI! Diving in Caribbean waters means warm water, gorgeous wildlife and soft sand to relax on afterwards. With the Big Blue Collective looking after you every step of the way, you’ll soon be diving like a pro, with a suitcase packed full of memories and an exciting new hobby under your belt!

What is diving in the TCI really like?

Many describe learning to dive as a life-changing experience. Not only is it a new skill, but it’s a profound glimpse into a world many never see. You’ll experience the exceptional transition of your gear- which probably felt bulky and awkward above the water- becoming a weightless part of your being. You’ll experience your very first breath underwater as amazement, adrenaline, nerves and wonderment all meld into one unforgettable memory. You’ll be surrounded by light and sound that’s eerily similar to what you know, yet utterly different at the same time. Best of all, you’ll do it surrounded by an exceptional marine landscape populated by some of the world’s most glorious animals.

Your first dive won’t be your most skilful, but it will surely be one of your most memorable- and the Big Blue Collective are here to help you make it happen.

Why learn to dive with the Big Blue Collective?

The Big Blue Collective have been diving the TCI right from our inception in 1997. Our secret lies in keeping our diving tuition to small groups- we take a maximum of 4-9 divers at a time- which leaves us flexible, prevents the need to limit dive time, and enables our eagle-eyed instructors to focus on the overall experience for each diver.

Our dive team live on the islands full-time, many diving these very waters since the ‘80s, so their knowledge of the dive sites, reefs and water conditions is encyclopedic. We’re also proud to offer all 5 of the major TCI dive sites, including Pine Cay, North West Point, Grace Bay, French Cay and off-the-beaten-track West Caicos. We’re also not afraid to venture further in pursuit of the perfect experience!

Add to that our incomparable dive fleet. Fast and comfortable, they are the perfect way to explore the sea and get where you need to be. They’re also fully equipped with O2 kits and hold TCI marine certification. Remember, too, that we offer full equipment rental from the superb Cressi, Aqualung, Sherwood and O’Neill lines, meaning you don’t have to figure out the complicated logistics of bringing your own gear with you on your journey if you’re looking to travel light. All our equipment is thoroughly maintained and upgraded often, so you’ll never have to fight with sub-par scuba gear… all you need to do is come and enjoy.

The Big Blue Collective have our main base Leeward, offering superlative opportunities to asses the dive conditions and ensure you receive the very best experience. With our always-in-the-loop communications system ensuring all our teams can communicate easily, we’re able to scope out the best sites for the day, keep on top of dolphin, whale shark and whale sightings, and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time, all the time!

Learning to dive in the TCI with our well-rounded, experienced dive team means you have instant access to instructors with a combined scuba-history spanning over 2 centuries!

What dive certification do you offer?

We’re proud to be part of PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors), so we are able to offer you almost any of their approved diving courses. From taking your first breaths underwater with their Discover Scuba tuition right through to the ultimate Divemaster course, we’ll help you make your diving dreams come true. Paired with some of the very best scuba equipment available worldwide, you’ll be able to learn and enjoy with full peace of mind, knowing you have the backing of rigorous professional standards and amazing equipment to make the experience a positive one.

PADI offer international recognition, rigorous safety standards, the world’s best dive safety record, and remain one of the world’s most sought-after diving institutions- and we’re proud to be part of the family. PADI training isn’t just about learning to dive, it’s about optimising your capabilities as a diver and ensuring, through continuous education opportunities, you can enjoy the very best the ‘underworld’ has to offer.

What is different about diving in the Caribbean?

Aside from the diving basics, diving in the TCI offers some truly unique experiences. Take your private party on a night dive, and watch the reefs come to life with millions of buzzing plankton and luminous coral clusters to explore. Enjoy obstruction-free, warm waters that range from shallow to deep, allowing you to enjoy the experience without worry or hassle. Or experience the ultimate in diving luxury with a private charter. No schedules, no strangers and the very best dive boats in the TCI are beckoning you to come play! Go where you want, learn in privacy away from watching eyes, and experience the very best of the TCI as your personal playground.

Diving in the TCI offers a truly world-changing experience. Whether you’re taking your first shaky steps into the underwater world, or are an experienced diver looking to tick ‘diving in the Caribbean’ off of your bucket list, the huge range of tailored offerings the Big Blue Collective have for you to explore are sure to make memories you’ll never forget. Why not get started, and make a booking with our friendly team? We always look forward to hearing from you!

Learn to dive with the Big Blue Collective today- you’ll never want to come out of the water!


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Everything you ever wanted to know about kite boarding

30th January 2019 8:30 am

Everything you ever wanted to know about kite boarding

It’s no secret that the Big Blue Collective are in love with the fascinating sport of kitesurfing- but you may not know too much about it. Today we’re taking a closer look at all things kiteboarding… and we’re sure you will fall in love with this magnificent sport too. Better yet, come try it ‘in the flesh’ here in the TCI, and we’re confident you’ll never look back.

Where did kiteboarding come from?

Kiteboarding has deeper origins then you may expect. Even in the 19th century, enterprising folk used sails to propel both land- and water-driven conveyances using the 4-line system fans are so familiar with today. The English Channel was even crossed in 1903 using a canvas boat and a kite! However, it wasn’t until Kevlar and Spectra came onto the market in the 1970s that the sport truly took off. October 1977 saw the first true KiteSurfing patent granted. Sadly there was no commercial interest, but it sparked the interest of some devotees.

Decades of innovation followed. Kite buggying had a hey-day in the 1990s, using a three-wheel buggy/cart with a parafoil-like sail. A few names stand out in kitesurfing history, however. The Roeselers of the U.S and the Legaignoux of France, who both pioneered similar innovations separately. Bill and Cory Roeseler, with ties to Boeing, patented the ‘KiteSki’ system. While it was a far cry from modern boards, it could launch upwind and had water launch capabilities. By the late 90s, it was already a single board not unlike a surfboard.

The Legaignoux brothers were the minds behind the ‘Wipika’ kite, meanwhile. This innovation would later help the development of the bow kite so familiar to many designers. By 1999, kiteboarding could finally claim to be a mainstream sport.

The noughties only saw this fantastic sport grow and grow. We’ve seen the rise of the bi-directional board, kite surfing become a course race, and much more- and now the sport’s eyes are set on inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. It’s already a key part of the Youth Olympics after 2018.

So, what’s the difference between kitesurfing and kiteboarding?

Unless you are a connoisseur, there really isn’t one! You’ll find the two terms user pretty interchangeably among many people- even among ourselves if we are honest! For devotees of the sport, however, there is actually a small difference- kiteboards are strictly ‘twin tip’ boards, a little more like a wakeboard in design, and offer similar performance no matter whether ridden with the left or right tip forward. This ‘technically correct kiteboard’ is also the easiest style to master, and performs brilliantly for cruising, jumping and doing tricks.

Equally strictly speaking, kitesurfing uses a directional board that can only be used with the nose forward. It’s a style specialised for conquering the waves, and is adapted for the extra stress of this activity.

If there is a difference, however small, then why did the two terms come to be used so freely for the same sport? It’s easy- the strictly proper kiteboard is where everyone starts, no matter what their ultimate ambitions may be. Directional boards need you to master your abilities- you need to stay upwind, be able to transition and tackle medium waves, make small jumps, and control your kite instinctively. This makes them the preserve of the intermediate and advanced kite boarder with a good year or more experience under their belt. There’s also a lot more decision making by the time the strict kitesurfing stage has been reached, as this is where you decide if you will be using straps or not.

So, in the end, and if you’re getting technical, all kitesurfers are kiteboarders, but not all kite boarders are kitesurfers. In day-to-day chatter, however, the terms pretty much universally refer to the same exciting sport.

How do I start kiteboarding?

As fully accredited instructors, we recommend starting your kite surfing journey with someone who has already mastered the sport. This not only gives you the benefit of their years of knowledge, but you have a calm, clear head available to you if you get in a pickle while learning- which we all do. A master boarder has had the time (and the amateur upsets of their own) to develop automatic reflexes for the sport, and having one guiding you as you take your first steps will help you get comfortable with your board and learn to enjoy the sport the right way.

If you’re a baby beginner, you’ll typically start out with flat water boarding first. We’ll guide you through the basics, and help you to learn your transitions as well as get comfortable with moving around the board. Over time, you’ll be more and more confident with greater surf. A key issue to watch for is overconfidence… the power provided from the kite can be a little hypnotic, and you don’t want to end up in water you aren’t comfortable with! Every boarder in the world- even the greats- has spent a lot of time swimming, especially as they learned, so always make sure that you are working in water you’d be happy to take a dive into if you get something wrong.

Don’t overthink the process, however, even if you are aiming to become quite competitive in the sport. The Big Blue Collective believes in safe, steady instruction that helps you explore and progress gently and safely, so we’ll help you on the way to mastery of the sport while you enjoy the learning experience.

Kite surfing has a long and fascinating history- and you simply need to be part of it, too. While we hope this informative little article has whet your appetite for the facts, you won’t know how truly spectacular the sport really is until you try it for yourself- so come join the fun in the Turks and Caicos sun with the Big Blue Collective today!


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

18th November 2018 9:42 am

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

Meet the island of Grace Bay Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

15th November 2018 9:41 am

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

Twenty years of passion, pride and fun

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

The spirit to build insider knowledge

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

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

Enjoy your vacation your way

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

Growing together into the future

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

Join the collective today

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

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

 


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Early Bird Discount – Fall 2018

19th September 2018 4:24 pm

Thanksgiving is just over 10 weeks away and summer has only just finished! We are already booking super fast through the Christmas and New Years’ holidays with spaces and boats already limited. 

You’ll guarantee your spot and a big SAVE 15% across our entire 2018/19 adventure line by booking early, before 31st October, 2018, using our EARLYBIRD18 code.
NOW you can also book accommodations through us and you’ll save even more.

EARLY BIRD 18 terms and conditions

  • Must use or mention the code EARLYBIRD18
  • Bookings must be complete by 31st October, 2018
  • Offer expires midnight 31/10/18
  • Discount Not applicable to additional trips booked after 31/10/18
  • Offer good for trips booked through 30th August, 2019
  • BLACK OUT DATES: 22/12/18 – 04/01/2019 (22nd December, 2018 – 4th Janurary, 2019)
  • Standard cancellation policies apply

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High-Resolution 3D Multibeam Survey of the Caicos Platform Margin November 2017

8th January 2018 10:22 am

Introduction

A prestigious team of Geo-scientists from the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas has been studying the shape, geometry, and variability of the Caicos platform. Of particular interest is the shelf margin that has been modified by sea-level changes which have occurred over the past 400,000 years. During glacial maximums (times of global sea level lows), it is believed that significant wave cut notches developed along the shelf margin at depths of -80 and -125 meters below current day sea level. These notches may be linked to the collapse of large reef blocks that can be observed at recreational dive sites along the leeward margin of the Caicos platform (e.g., Coral Stairway west of Amanyara).

 

In November 2017 they collaborated with us at Big Blue to conduct a multibeam survey from the north-west point of Provo along the western edge of the banks down to West Caicos and then along the southern edge of the banks to French Cay and onto West Sand Spit. An amazing amount of high resolution data was collected over this 70 mile stretch.

 

The objectives of the study included:

  1. Creation a high-resolution 3D bathymetry of the steep-walled rim along an approximately 70 km long survey from North West point to West-End Spit;
  2. Integrate the shelf margin with the platform that was mapped by the previously acquired airborne Topo-bathymetric survey by the University of Texas at Austin;
  3. Enable detailed characterization of the upper 400 m of the slope and steep-walled reef margin within the survey area;
  4. Improve the understanding of the dynamic between shelf margin geometry and sea-level changes.

 

The Equipment

Multibeam echosounder surveys utilize the same technology as commercial fish finders, but the instruments used by the research team, the Reson model T-50 multibeam echosounder and Edgetech Sidescan sonar, sent a wider signal to enable surveying a swath of the seafloor in 3D down to 400 meters. Our dive vessel Live and Direct was rigged with the echosounder on a fixed arm that transmitted and received data while traveling 4-7 knots along the edge of the shelf boundary. It took 6-days to cover the distance and collect the data. We were blessed with some favourable weather and the data collected was exceptional.     

 

The Results

Post-processing of the date was conducted at the University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Drs. Chris Zahm and John Goff. The dataset was combined in a 3D triangulated surface to enable detailed mapping characterization of the shape and geometry of the shelf margin. Here are some of the initial bathymetric maps of West Caicos, Sandbore Channel and the North-West Point areas. There are dynamic ranges of topography on West Caicos (0 to 18 m above sea level), and bathymetry on the shelf (0 to -25 m below sea level), the wall (-25 to -150 m) and slope (-150 m to -350 m). What is very interesting to note is how deep the vertical walls go.  These maps show that the vertical walls descends to almost 400ft/120m which supports data on the extent of the sea-level fall during glaciation. The preliminary map of West Caicos is obtained from the raw data of an individual sounding from the multibeam and includes horizontal contours placed at 120ft/36m. It shows us that as recreational divers we are really only seeing the very top of the wall. Subsequent maps combine data from different runs to provide a more accurate image and we’re grateful for a better understanding of our famous walls. Does this get you excited for your next dive in the Turks and Caicos?


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Turks and Caicos Weather in December

19th December 2017 9:08 am

Turks and Caicos weather in December offers some of the best conditions you will ever have in the Caribbean. December is well into the “dry” season, and it is the time when the Turks and Caicos truly claims its top spot of being one of the world’s best paradises.

Turks and Caicos Weather in December

While localized weather patterns can’t be predicted long term with accuracy, the Turks and Caicos temperatures in December tends to average between 24°C and 28°C (or 82°F and 75°F respectively).

November 30 is the official end of the hurricane season (that officially began June 1) so December has historically been a hurricane-free month. In fact, it’s unlikely that there will be much rainfall during December.

Turks and Caicos in December

The Turks and Caicos is a year round destination, but December is peak travelling time. This means the Turks and Caicos will be at its busiest with tourism prices being at their highest. However, this also means the tourism sector will be in full swing, and you expect every touring operation to do everything they can to exceed your expectations.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos will be less of a nuisance in December than in most months. While the Turks and Caicos are in the natural habitable range of mosquitos, they only become a nuisance when there is flooding, which is unlikely in December.

Also, trade winds tend to pick up during December, which can greatly reduce a mosquito’s ability to fly. Tourist areas like Providenciales will practically be mosquito free.

Activities

Turks and Caicos in December is great if you love hanging out in or on the water. The ocean is frequently described to be at a comfortable, “bathtub warm” temperature with mostly calm conditions.

The ocean water is at a very comfortable 82°F, or 28°C.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The waters around Turks and Caicos are warm year round and can be exceptionally calm on the shallow beaches at this time. Even if the ocean gets a bit choppy from the higher winds, the natural reefs form a shelter that protects the beaches from high surf. This makes stand up paddleboarding a great activity for families, kids, or people who want a more relaxed activity.

Some special tours using paddleboards include eco-tours you can take to see delicate ecosystems supporting nesting birds. Or, you can skim over clear waters near reefs and see vibrantly colored marine life right beneath your board.

Kayaking

Kayaking is great to explore beaches, shallow channels, tidal creeks, and around the cays. It’s a quiet and non-intrusive way to get close up pictures of wildlife like iguanas and birds.

Like paddleboarding, you can embark on kayak eco-tours that let you explore the Turks and Caicos’ natural beauty.

Snorkeling and Diving

Snorkeling and diving are great activities to do when you’re in the Turks and Caicos during December. The waters are mostly calm and visibility should be crystal clear.

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

If you’re more comfortable with deep waters, diving is an excellent December activity. You can descend and scale walls that are dozens of feet to over 100 feet that are overflowing with life.

However, you should consider booking your snorkeling and diving trips early, as there are limited spots.

Events

Christmas

Christmas is a quiet time, and many locals spend the day with their families.

Maskanoo Parade

Winter celebrations kick off with the Maskanoo parade on December 26 in the Bight Settlement, close to Grace Bay.

Maskanoo is based on the rituals of the Africans brought to the Turks and Caicos islands two hundred years ago to work on salt plantations throughout our islands. Today, the post-Christmas Maskanoo masquerade is a reminder of the country’s rich history, unique culture and friendly, lively locals.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve starts off with an island tradition called Old Year’s Night. Residents of Turks and Caicos attend church services until late on New Year’s Eve. After church service ends, bells ring out into the night to bring good luck into the New Year.

Expect to see a fireworks show on Grace Bay Beach to help bring in the new year.

Book Early for Your Turks and Caicos December Vacation

December is one of Turks and Caicos’ busiest months in terms of tourism. It’s important that you book early—not only for your hotel and flights, but also for any activities you want to do.

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.


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Overcoming Nature’s Release

11th October 2017 10:33 am

During the second week of September the power of Hurricane Irma was felt far and wide across the northern Caribbean and Turks and Caicos Islands. The eye passed mere miles south of Provo and the winds lashed hard against homes, businesses and the islands. We were very grateful not to experience the anticipated 15ft sea surge, and with the exception of a handful of boats and dock systems, it was the wind that did the damage over the land.

A solid preparation plan secured the Big Blue vessels to underground concrete blocks and the water sports gear was stored safely indoors. These all weathered the storm admirably. The elevated Big Blue base, one of only four of the original iconic Leeward buildings still in existence, took a beating and the wooden front section and balcony were ripped away. It is testament to the builders that the majority of the original roof and walls stayed intact and the stone foundations held fast. Despite what seemed like a large amount of debris and rain damage our beloved adventure base will live to fight another day.

While we bare witness to the devastating power of a hurricane and sympathize enormously with those who lost of lot more and remain temporarily homeless, we have taken the opportunity for a spring clean and an office revamp. The onset of another large hurricane named Maria hastened our clean-up operation and the staff rallied around to prepare. With great relief she passed by Provo with barely a scratch so under blazing sun and through days of windless and relenting heat most of the hard work was painfully completed. The kayaks and paddleboards returned to their racks by the waterfront and the resumption of power fired up the dive compressor. The boats, new fleet and old favourites, made their way back to the Big Blue dock ready for action. Our office has been relocated to the former dive maintenance room and the effervescent Sherline is standing by to answer calls and reply to messages.  We are grateful that the cooler weather of autumn is just around the corner.

The beaches survived and the mangrove wetlands have stood up to nature’s ultimate test. The sand, churned up by the wind and waves, continues to settle and the vivid colours we all love so much are becoming evident once again. Even the wind is blowing out of the east as it should. The whole island is rallying around and while there is still much to be done we are all keen to return to our respective passions. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the magical playground of the Turks and Caicos.


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TCI Wetland Program Continues

22nd March 2017 1:11 pm

The joint expedition to assess the wetland areas of the Turks and Caicos continued through the week with visits to North Caicos, Middle Caicos and Grand Turk. Mark Parrish of Big Blue caught up with the team to help lead a trip to the vital wetland areas between South Caicos and East Caicos. Initial findings and observations were then presented to an open meeting of stakeholders and interested parties at the National Environmental Centre. Aspects of the proposal that will be submitted to the Darwin Initiative later in the year were discussed including the designation of particular wetlands as new RAMSAR sites, the ‘wise use’ of these areas, and available international cooperation for RAMSAR sites. Ralph Higgs of the TCI Tourist Board invited Wesley Clerveaux, Director of the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources (DECR) to a joint meeting with the TCI National Trust to assess cross department cooperation and use of resources. Dr. David Stroud suggested that the TCI might be the first country in the world to have a network of managed RAMSAR sites and explained how RAMSAR protection can be applied to mangroves, coral reefs, sea-grass beds and Karst or underground wetlands. This is set to be an ongoing project of significant importance to the environmental health of the Turks and Caicos Islands.


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Big Blue Short Film

22nd July 2012 12:51 pm

The Big Blue Expo 2012 was the perfect start to our year. Our event was held at the OPUS bar and grill. The Expo showcasing our team and products and our BIG BLUE SHORT FILM, it was well attended by our friends and partners through the islands and across the tourist sector. Prizes for contributions towards ECOTOURISM were awarded to our unsuspecting partners from the sister islands of North Caicos, Middle Caicos and Parrot Cay. Susan Butterfield, Lawrence “Big Mac” Campbell, Cardinal Arthur, Danny Forbes & Sara Kaufmann (middle co-op), JD Thomson and Parrot Cay resort and spa. Many of you who have been with us know our team up north and their awards were well earned through their hard work and dedication.


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Kayaking with Documentary Film Maker, Ian Cross

22nd March 2010 12:39 pm

Another great day in the mangroves south of Bellefield Landing, North Caicos. The protected RAMSAR wetlands site continues to offer world class kayaking and birdlife. Ian Cross, legendary Australian wildlife documentary filmmaker & owner of Pilot Productions joins Big Blue together with his son for an afternoon of exploration. The lower tides brought hundreds of fish out from their hiding places including small barracudas (10-20cm in length) and an assortment of Mojarras. The reddish egret we had seen the week before continued to resolutely guard her nest and we were careful not to disturb her. The highlight was probably the flock of Sandpipers that scouted the way for us all the way up the mangroves, showing off their beautiful wings and making plenty of noise. To top off the day we even saw a small group of elusive Wimbrals and a spectacular yellow crowned night heron.


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Big Blue Hosts 2013 Kalama Kamp Turks & Caicos

22nd March 2013 11:08 am

After the resounding success of the last 3 years, Big Blue’s season was again kick started by hosting our annual 2013 Turks and Caicos Kalama Kamp. Dave Kalama and John Denney teamed up with Philip, Jason and Wes as eight stand up paddlers converged on the Turks and Caicos Islands to learn the finer points of stand up paddle boarding while getting to a little bit more about the waterman’s lifestyle.

Dena, Mark, Mike, Curt, Larry, James, Joe and Colin woke up early every morning to take part in Dave’s daily beach work out. The all action dawn wake up call highlights the core concepts of why and how Dave stays in shape for not only his big wave surfing but also his grueling long distance paddles.
A hearty breakfast was followed by a trip to Big Blue to strip down the essentials processes that make up a solid and effective paddle stroke. With video, demos and on water critique, Dave, John and Philip help rebuild everyone’s stroke from a solid foundation.

With this in place the Kalama Kampers were treated to amazing down winders, mangrove excursions and reef safaris. When the waves did kick up….well you can guess what happened. Excitement and mayhem. Dave’s outstanding teaching ability and wave riding demos helped one and all catch either their first waves of make the next one better.

Another classic week, where we laughed, played, paddled, learned and surfed a little. Bring on 2014. See you there.


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New Kayak Routes – Turks and Caicos

18th March 2012 1:54 pm

Mark spent a long weekend over in South Caicos exploring new kayaking heaven. Miles and miles of channels and mangroves deep into the heart of East Caicos. Watch this space for more information. Very exciting indeed!

These routes have now been opened out and we offer tours throughout the Turks and Caicos for all levels of Kayaker, from beginner to advanced – come and see what makes our kayak adventures on TCI different. 


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Multiple Whale sightings on Turks and Caicos

11th February 2017 1:51 pm

What a season! February is not even finished and nearly the whole Big Blue team has had multiple whale sightings and encounters! Our Stand Up paddle board guide, Ray was able to get his first in water encounter as well. Needless to say he is jumping for joy. Get down here and give us a call!


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Whale watching by boat in February

16th January 2012 1:24 pm

Mark and Philip took their good friend Andy on a birthday boat ride today to show him some whales. Well February has not disappointed and nor have the whales. Within minutes of leaving the dock we found our whale. True to form, we had to work hard to keep our eyes on him in the swell. We lost him for 30 minutes and picked him up on the way to Parrot Cay. Both Andy and Mark managed to get a full frontal underwater view as he passed by. Not once but 4 times! How many people do you know get to see a for the first time whale on their birthday and then board a flight 90 minutes later? Only at Big Blue……..
We can’t wait for March. See you down here.


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