Cultural eco-tours & backcountry adventures to the out-islands
Why We Go
The real roots, culture and beauty of the Caicos Islands are found off the beaten path on and around North, Middle, East and South Caicos. Big Blue benefits from over 20 years of exploration and experience conducting cultural and sightseeing eco-tours to these islands and is proud to recommend its most gratifying and interactive ecotourism excursions. This region provides some of the most breathtaking scenery, wildlife and historical heritage found in the Turks and Caicos. Extensive limestone caves, plantation ruins and the beach at Mudjin Harbour are just some of the treats in store. In fact many of the best beaches in the Turks and Caicos Islands are surely found in this area and most are seldom ever visited. The small populations and sleepy natures of North, Middle and South Caicos disguise the fact that they were once areas flourishing in agriculture and industry. The resident Islanders are friendly and very welcoming. Delicious fresh local seafood is served at a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes.
How To Get There
It is a 30 minute boat journey to Sandy Point marina in North Caicos. Transport across North and Middle is provided by our knowledgeable local taxi partners, in their air conditioned vans. East Caicos can be reached and explored via an additional boat excursion from Middle Caicos or by one of our boats leaving Leeward early in the morning. The 50 mile trip to South Caicos is either covered by boat in a quick 2 hours or by air in about 20 minutes.
What we offer
We proudly present a variety of land and water based tours. All of them are excellent alternatives if weather (sea conditions) prevents one from getting on the water for many of our boat based trips. Equally they are all amazing when the weather is ideal.
Like our full day boat private charters, very often we can mix in snorkeling and paddling. Each trip is customizable and tailored for private groups, small (2) or large (8+). Below is our TOP 4 – the ones we love most and the ones our guests keep coming back to.
North & Middle Caicos
Heart of the Islands Eco Tour
This original, award winning cultural and sightseeing eco-tour to North and Middle Caicos is a must do for those who already know Provo, for those who like to explore and for those bad weather days on the water.
It is a full day trip designed to transport you to the major scenic sites across the islands and to introduce you to the amazing history, friendly people and traditional culture and cuisine of the islands. Small group tours (ideal 2- 9) and customized private adventures are available. A typical itinerary is as follows:
– Private boat from the Big Blue to North Caicos. Approx. 30 minutes.
– Visit the Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve (binocular viewing only).
– Explore the extensive limestone cave system at the Conch Bar Caves National Park.
– Learn about local artisans and traditional handcrafts at the Middle Caicos Co-op.
– Walk along the cliffs and swim the beach at Mudjin Harbour.
– Enjoy local seafood and other fare at Blue Horizon.
– With time permitting discover the rich history of colonial loyalists at the ruins of Wade’s Green Plantation.
– *or customize to include the below
Lean on Big Blue’s extensive experience and local knowledge while you enjoy this special day trip. Our guides are mostly local residents from the Caicos Islands keen to introduce you to their islands and to share their stories. Above all soak up the relaxed ambiance and enjoy the hospitality.
Wild Cow Run
The typical itinerary above can be amended to suit your interests and needs. If you want to venture a little further off the beaten path for example, Big Blue can take you to explore the wilder east end of Middle Caicos. Find sleepy villages, abandoned cotton plantations and some incredible beaches. Venture down ‘Wild Cow Run’ beach to the mouth of the Windward Going Through channel. This gorgeous location is sensational for beach combing and swimming. Energetic explorers can even wade or swim across the channel to investigate adjacent cays and beaches. It might be a bit of a trek to this end of the island but it is always a worthwhile and hugely rewarding adventure.
The tidal wetlands, coastal scrub and tropical dry-forests provide ideal habitat for vibrant bird life in the Caicos Islands including Pink Flamingos, numerous Heron, Egret, Sandpipers, Black Necked Stilts, Bananaquits, Gnatcatchers and the rare Antillean Bullfinches and Key West Quail Doves. Birds of prey such as Osprey and American Kestrels are a common sight throughout the archipelago and Brown Pelicans regularly show off their gliding and fishing skills along the coast.
While we enjoy the vibrant bird life on many of our adventures and eco-tours, experienced Big Blue guides can escort dedicated bird watchers to the best locations on Provo, North & Middle Caicos and South Caicos at different times of the day and year. Please contact us for a full list of bird watching options and pricing.
Joe Grant’s Cay & Beyond
Experience even more unspoiled beauty by exploring the uninhabited islands of Joe Grant’s Cay and East Caicos. A boat from Bambara beach takes you on a scenic journey along the deserted coastline to the Windward Going Through where the sand bars and turquoise waters are truly sensational. The area offers excellent snorkel spots and walks along even more pristine beaches as well as short hikes to old ruins and perhaps one of the best vistas in the country. Between a picnic under casuarina trees, exploring long forgotten plantation buildings and even paddling into the creeks, the area between Middle and East is spellbinding. You will return home tired but satiated after this completely unique Big Blue adventure.
We also offer this trip via boat leaving from our base in Leeward, early in the morning. Best accessed during the summer months, as the seas are flatter and the days are longer, going by boat certainly has its advantages. It’s a full day and a real TCI adventure.
Backcountry Safaris – Kayak and / or Paddleboard
The mangroves and intertidal zones make up 1/3 of the Turks and Caicos land mass. This huge uninhabited protected wilderness lies between North, Middle, East and South Caicos. It is a wetland only accessed by boats with a very shallow draft, (usually flats boats for bonefishing) or by our kayaks and paddleboards.
Our backcountry safaris are unique in so many ways. The destination, the journey, the terrain and the experience are like no other in the Islands. Whether sitting in a kayak or standing on a board, paddling the dozens and dozens of different creeks we have explored over the last 20 years is absolutely amazing.
We can offer these trips at almost anytime for couples, for families or for a group of intrepid friends. If you love our Kayak and Stand Up Eco Tours, you will love these trips. Just ask. We would love to take you right off the beaten path.
The Big South Adventure
South Caicos lays 50 miles southeast of Providenciales on the windward side of the Caicos Banks. Big Blue offers the ‘Big South Adventure’ utilizing local air transport to this culturally resonant island. It was once the centre of salt production in the 19th Century but is pretty sleepy today. The township of Cockburn Harbour boasts delightful Bermudian style architecture with picturesque stonewalled streets. A Big Blue guide will escort you on a short historical tour of the island. Look for pink flamingos and other wading birds as you walk around the expansive salt flats and the older parts of town.
Take a journey on a local fishing boat to see the island from the water, explore the beaches of nearby Long Cay National Park and, if conditions allow, snorkel some spectacular reefs around Dove Cay in the mouth of the harbour. The nutrient rich reefs of South Caicos are some of the most vibrant in the whole country. Wash all this down with a fresh seafood lunch on the waterfront at Darrel’s Sunset Café and watch the fishermen bring in their catch of the day.
Rest assured South Caicos has some of the coolest spots in the Islands.