The single most popular activity for visitors in the country, boat cruises and tours are an unrivalled way to experience our scenic islands.
There’s a large number of businesses offering excursions in the Turks and Caicos, and there's a huge variety of vessel sizes and types to choose from.
Boat excursion destinations, sights and activities vary greatly. Tours often bring a little of everything, including snorkelling, stops on secluded beaches, a beach BBQ, and visits to iguana and stingray sanctuaries.
As to be expected for a tropical island destination, snorkelling is a key activity. Excellent reefs and vibrant coral can be found by boat throughout the country.
The barrier reef surrounding the Caicos Islands is particularly impressive. Coral gullies, arches and overhangs are common, and colourful reef fish abound.
There are large creatures as well. Majestic eagle rays, green turtles and nurse sharks can be seen, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot JoJo the Dolphin, our unique Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
A dedicated snorkelling cruise (especially one offered by one of the dive companies) can be amazing and typically offers a superior underwater experience than a combination beach snorkelling cruise.
Two special and uninhabited cays in the Turks and Caicos are particularly popular boat cruise destinations.
Little Water Cay is found close to Providenciales. This little nature reserve island is the finest site in the country to see the Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana. A very friendly and approachable animal and indigenous only to our islands, the iguanas are the centre of attention on this cay. How often do you get the opportunity to see a critically-endangered animal in its natural habitat?
Found off of Grand Turk, the rather small Gibbs Cay is another great site for nature lovers. The shallow water off the west beach on Gibb’s Cay is an amazing spot to see the Southern brown stingray. The stingrays flock to any visiting boats, so you’ll be able to get a close up view of these interesting marine animals.
Want to delicious lunch on a secluded beach? A beach BBQ excursion is perfect.
You also may be able to dive for your own conch. The catch is often prepared by the crew into conch salad. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!
For a few days near to the full moon, glow worms bring another fascinating sight. For about 20 minutes on only a couple days per month, these microscopic bioluminescent marine worms put on a dazzling display.
The availability and selection of boat excursions vary greatly by island in the Turks and Caicos.
On Providenciales and Grand Turk, there’s a wide array of regularly- scheduled trips to choose from, including tours dedicated to specific activities such as snorkelling or partying. Tours on Providenciales, and to a lesser degree Grand Turk, feature a tremendous selection of vessels. Choose from private luxury yachts to tranquil sailing catamarans, and everything in-between.
On our smaller islands of North and Middle Caicos, South Caicos, and Salt Cay, the options are a bit more limited. In many cases, there isn’t sufficient tourism to support full-time cruises, so excursions are piloted by generational fishermen – captains who have an unparalleled knowledge of the local water and sights.
The tour boats on our less-populated islands may not have the amenities or be quite as luxurious as those on Providenciales, however you’ll get to visit cays and reefs that very few get to experience.
See island-specific boat cruise information below.