The Snorkel Experience

Our snorkel program is a class apart. Big Blue accesses more territory and coral reefs than anyone else in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Snorkeling is an integral part of nearly all our adventures to the cays and islands of the archipelago. Snorkeling and free diving are excellent ways to experience the underwater world and we know where and when to go. 

With the help of our highly experienced in water guides, observe and learn about the different species and habitats. Coral reefs are second only to the tropical rainforest as the most diverse eco-systems on the planet and Turks & Caicos has her own few gems. Whether beginner or advanced visiting these islands is not complete without a proper snorkel experience. 

The Snorkel Eco Tour

This half day eco tour is dedicated to in water time snorkeling our nearby local reefs. The difference: we get in the water with you, to show the cool stuff and you stay in as long as you want. We follow tide to get the best visibility and work hard to stay well away from the crowds. It’s a great trip for water loving families and hugely popular with our guests, who very often then jump on our Edge of the Banks trip looking for even more adventure off the beaten path.

 

Price $165 / $125 under 12’s

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Edge of the Banks

Our full day snorkel adventure is a big favourite of our team and guests, and for good reason. It’s an awesome trip that explores remote reefs, islands or cays on the edge of the Caicos banks. The focus is all about the ocean, snorkeling, freediving, exploring and more. No two trips are the same. During whale season, we look for whales and very often we find dolphins. The magic is anything can happen. We just have to be ready. First in, last out. This is one trip you don’t want to miss. Join us.

 

Price $295 / $245 under 12’s

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Private Charters

Private Charters allow you and us the most options and flexibility to be as versatile and accommodating as possible. When it comes to snorkeling and free diving this means we can stay in one place as long as you want to or move to the next cool spot. Dolphin encounters become personal and in water time is determined by your groups wishes and desires.

 

From $1495

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Small Groups, Better Encounters, Less Environmental Impact

Snorkeling is a major part of the Big Blue Collective eco-adventure program. By keeping our group sizes small and intimate, guides can easily share their knowledge of the marine and coral life on board the boat before, during and after snorkeling. Guides can also provide better snorkel supervision for those who need it and ensure both the safety of the participants and minimal environmental impact.

Small groups, safety and education all go hand in hand and result in a superior guest experience. Big Blue Collective takes a maximum of 8 guests on our 30′ & 32′ vessels. The Edge of the Banks, which is conducted on larger vessels, maxes out at 12-16 snorkelers. In the case of larger groups we divide guides to lead guests in ratios of 1:8. 

Prior Experience & Snorkel Instruction

No prior snorkel experience is required on our 4-hour snorkel eco tour excursions with Big Blue, or any private charter but participants should be comfortable swimmers. Big Blue guides can provide some basic snorkel instruction in the field including advice on use of equipment and body position in the water. Some snorkel experience is preferred for the ‘Edge of the Banks’ snorkel adventure as distance from land or the boat may be increased.

Snorkel lessons are available at Big Blue Collective with experienced scuba instructors. This can start beachside to maximize comfort and progress to deeper water as students improve their skills and confidence.

Snorkelers already comfortable with the sport and able to swim underwater may benefit from learning some basic freediving techniques. All the Big Blue guides can assist with breath holding and duck diving practice but caution must be taken before swimming through any overhead environment.

Sea Conditions

The flow of the tide can make a significant difference to the clarity of the water on certain reefs. Big Blue does its best to coordinate excursion times to coincide with optimal conditions.

Although the Turks and Caicos are blessed with excellent weather and sea conditions the majority of the time, the islands are situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and can experience both large ocean swells and local wind driven waves.

Big Blue Collective will always assess the sea conditions before departing the marina to determine suitability of the snorkel conditions. On occasion conditions might not be what is expected and an excursion may need to be diverted to more protected areas of the reef or rescheduled to ensure a safe and quality experience.

Snorkel Safety

Please listen to the thorough briefing given by your guide or boat captain before entering the water. Big Blue guides will often pair snorkelers into buddy teams who should stay close together (5-10ft) and check on each other regularly.

To maintain the best angle to breathe through your snorkel and keep water out look down at an approximate angle of 45 degrees. Keep your body flat and use power from the upper part of your legs rather than bicycle kicking with your calf muscles which can cause cramp.

We offer provide snorkel flotation belts for those who would a little extra buoyancy.

When you stop to look around above the surface of the water or talk to your snorkel buddy be aware of where your legs are and what is beneath you. It is easy to kick or drift into coral without meaning to. Remember, the fire coral fights back!

 

Snorkel Gear

Big Blue Collective provides high quality and complimentary Cressi Sub snorkel equipment on all its excursions including children’s sizes. Staff will help size and fit equipment correctly.

Snorkel belts are available.

Experience | Instruction | Guides

Prior Experience & Snorkel Instruction

No prior snorkel experience is required on our 4-hour snorkel eco tour excursions with Big Blue, or any private charter but participants should be comfortable swimmers. Big Blue guides can provide some basic snorkel instruction in the field including advice on use of equipment and body position in the water. Some snorkel experience is preferred for the ‘Edge of the Banks’ snorkel adventure as distance from land or the boat may be increased.

Snorkel lessons are available at Big Blue Collective with experienced scuba instructors. This can start beachside to maximize comfort and progress to deeper water as students improve their skills and confidence.

Snorkelers already comfortable with the sport and able to swim underwater may benefit from learning some basic freediving techniques. All the Big Blue guides can assist with breath holding and duck diving practice but caution must be taken before swimming through any overhead environment.

Conditions

Sea Conditions

The flow of the tide can make a significant difference to the clarity of the water on certain reefs. Big Blue does its best to coordinate excursion times to coincide with optimal conditions.

Although the Turks and Caicos are blessed with excellent weather and sea conditions the majority of the time, the islands are situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and can experience both large ocean swells and local wind driven waves.

Big Blue Collective will always assess the sea conditions before departing the marina to determine suitability of the snorkel conditions. On occasion conditions might not be what is expected and an excursion may need to be diverted to more protected areas of the reef or rescheduled to ensure a safe and quality experience.

Safety

Snorkel Safety

Please listen to the thorough briefing given by your guide or boat captain before entering the water. Big Blue guides will often pair snorkelers into buddy teams who should stay close together (5-10ft) and check on each other regularly.

To maintain the best angle to breathe through your snorkel and keep water out look down at an approximate angle of 45 degrees. Keep your body flat and use power from the upper part of your legs rather than bicycle kicking with your calf muscles which can cause cramp.

We offer provide snorkel flotation belts for those who would a little extra buoyancy.

When you stop to look around above the surface of the water or talk to your snorkel buddy be aware of where your legs are and what is beneath you. It is easy to kick or drift into coral without meaning to. Remember, the fire coral fights back!

 

Gear

Snorkel Gear

Big Blue Collective provides high quality and complimentary Cressi Sub snorkel equipment on all its excursions including children’s sizes. Staff will help size and fit equipment correctly.

Snorkel belts are available.

Destinations

The North Shore.

The North Shore is a 8-12 mile stretch of barrier reef that starts near Turtle Cove by Provo and runs north east towards Parrot Cay and North Caicos. We snorkel all along this reef choosing the best location depending primarily on tide (high), surface conditions and where we can be away from other operators during our half day / 4hr snorkel eco tours.

There are perhaps 6-8 areas we frequent, the two most popular being Leeward Reef, about 5 mins from our dock and Ft. George, about 20 mins from our dock. 

West Caicos.

West Caicos is a guest and team favorite for many many reasons. This uninhabited 7 mile long island is about 50-60 minute journey away from our base in Leeward but as is so often the case getting there is just as much fun and being there. Usually we take the ‘outside’ the reef route to get there. Open ocean dolphin encounters are common and when we can we get in. 

West Caicos itself is lined with a stunning iron shore coastline, with few beaches, save for the north end. As such the visibility and the calmer surface make snorkeling conditions here incredible. 

With the 6000′ drop off right behind the boat the colours here are simply spectacular and this is where we often go during our Edge of the Banks snorkel safari and full day private charters.

French Cay.

French Cay, once home to pirates, this tiny bird sanctuary is nestled on the edge of the Caicos Bank, directly due south 45-50 minutes from our base is unique. The journey there crosses turquoise water no deeper than 10′-12′. The sandy bottom gives way to seagrass beds (a vital marine habitat) as one approaches this Cay that is about as big as a football stadium.

Surrounded by reefs on one side as well as the drop off, French Cay has always been a fishing mecca for islanders and for us snorkelers that means lots of life.

Eagle Rays, schools of fish and beautiful corals surround French Cay which is equally for the diver and snorkeler alike.

We often come out here during the Edge of The Banks snorkel safaris and full day private charters on our way to other outer reefs.

South Caicos.

AKA The Big South has a special place in our hearts. It’s unique on every level. A real step back in time. The traditional fishing capitol of the country, South Caicos’ location, 40 miles south west of our office, sits on the eastern edge of the banks and as such receives all the deep water nutrient up welling from the 6000′ deep Turks Passage.

Tides and currents, waves and winds have shaped these cays in the most stunning of ways. The crystal clear seas are perhaps only rivaled by the remote beauty.

Full day snorkel charters & adventures here are really special as snorkeling becomes just one of the many highlights to see and experience.

Perhaps the best part is that no one else comes here from Provo. Which means when we do come, we have the places to ourselves.

If you haven’t joined us on this trip, ask us. You will love it.

 

The Out Islands.

There are dozens of out islands. The ones we love going to are truly off the beaten path. East Caicos, Joe Grant’s Cay, The Ambergris Cays,  The Seal Cays, McCartney Cay, Long Cay….

The list is long and thus the adventures and experiences never end. The options are only limited by time and weather. We have the boats to cover ground quickly and in comfort and we have the knowledge of where and when to go. 

During the whale migration and mating season we often go far and wide to these places to find them. During the summer we have lots of time to explore to your hearts content.

Good weather, full, full days and early starts make these days some of the best days on the water.

North Side

The North Shore.

The North Shore is a 8-12 mile stretch of barrier reef that starts near Turtle Cove by Provo and runs north east towards Parrot Cay and North Caicos. We snorkel all along this reef choosing the best location depending primarily on tide (high), surface conditions and where we can be away from other operators during our half day / 4hr snorkel eco tours.

There are perhaps 6-8 areas we frequent, the two most popular being Leeward Reef, about 5 mins from our dock and Ft. George, about 20 mins from our dock. 

West Caicos

West Caicos.

West Caicos is a guest and team favorite for many many reasons. This uninhabited 7 mile long island is about 50-60 minute journey away from our base in Leeward but as is so often the case getting there is just as much fun and being there. Usually we take the ‘outside’ the reef route to get there. Open ocean dolphin encounters are common and when we can we get in. 

West Caicos itself is lined with a stunning iron shore coastline, with few beaches, save for the north end. As such the visibility and the calmer surface make snorkeling conditions here incredible. 

With the 6000′ drop off right behind the boat the colours here are simply spectacular and this is where we often go during our Edge of the Banks snorkel safari and full day private charters.

French Cay

French Cay.

French Cay, once home to pirates, this tiny bird sanctuary is nestled on the edge of the Caicos Bank, directly due south 45-50 minutes from our base is unique. The journey there crosses turquoise water no deeper than 10′-12′. The sandy bottom gives way to seagrass beds (a vital marine habitat) as one approaches this Cay that is about as big as a football stadium.

Surrounded by reefs on one side as well as the drop off, French Cay has always been a fishing mecca for islanders and for us snorkelers that means lots of life.

Eagle Rays, schools of fish and beautiful corals surround French Cay which is equally for the diver and snorkeler alike.

We often come out here during the Edge of The Banks snorkel safaris and full day private charters on our way to other outer reefs.

South Caicos

South Caicos.

AKA The Big South has a special place in our hearts. It’s unique on every level. A real step back in time. The traditional fishing capitol of the country, South Caicos’ location, 40 miles south west of our office, sits on the eastern edge of the banks and as such receives all the deep water nutrient up welling from the 6000′ deep Turks Passage.

Tides and currents, waves and winds have shaped these cays in the most stunning of ways. The crystal clear seas are perhaps only rivaled by the remote beauty.

Full day snorkel charters & adventures here are really special as snorkeling becomes just one of the many highlights to see and experience.

Perhaps the best part is that no one else comes here from Provo. Which means when we do come, we have the places to ourselves.

If you haven’t joined us on this trip, ask us. You will love it.

 

Out Islands

The Out Islands.

There are dozens of out islands. The ones we love going to are truly off the beaten path. East Caicos, Joe Grant’s Cay, The Ambergris Cays,  The Seal Cays, McCartney Cay, Long Cay….

The list is long and thus the adventures and experiences never end. The options are only limited by time and weather. We have the boats to cover ground quickly and in comfort and we have the knowledge of where and when to go. 

During the whale migration and mating season we often go far and wide to these places to find them. During the summer we have lots of time to explore to your hearts content.

Good weather, full, full days and early starts make these days some of the best days on the water.

What to bring and what to wear

Mask, fins & snorkel

We provide them (cressi), you can always bring your own

Wetsuits

Sometimes a good idea in winter,
we also can offer these
before departure

Rashguards

Excellent sun protection, more reliable than sunscreen as you don’t have to reapply. We sell these

Sun screen

highly recommended but it must be 100% bio degradable. We do sell an excellent variety

Hat

A hat is always a good idea
when on the ocean

Sunglasses

sunglasses are also
very useful in the
tropical glare

Water

Drink lots and stay hydrated.
We provide water

Camera

Is of course a great way to
capture the magic.
Gopros rock!