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 across a wide variety of vessels, from tranquil sailing catamarans, to luxurious yachts.
Boat excursion destinations, sights and activities vary greatly. Tours often bring a little of everything, including snorkelling, stops on some of the best beaches in the world, 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!
If you’re looking for a tranquil private cruise, one of our boutique charter excursions will be a perfect choice. You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful sun, sand and ocean waters of the Turks and Caicos exactly how you’d like.
The Turks and Caicos doesn’t see as many visitors as some other popular Caribbean destinations do, and tour adventures visit our countless uninhabited cays and islands. You’ll typically have miles of secluded pristine beach paradise to explore.
The larger and more luxurious charter vessels are suitable for more than simply landing at a great beach. There’s custom scuba diving, deep sea fishing, and cruises past the exclusive home and resorts of Parrot Cay, Pine Cay and North Caicos.
Another spectacular site is the shallow Caicos Banks off of Middle Caicos and East Caicos. The ocean floor here is perfect white sand in many places, and when combined with our signature crystal turquoise water and the shining sun, the Caicos Banks appears like the world’s largest swimming pool. This region is a bit more remote than other sites, so it’s typically only visited on custom boat charters. Another unique sight in the region is the Middle Caicos Ocean Hole, which is the widest blue hole in the world.
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.
You can book your boat trip adventure directly with the local charter company, through local and international reservation businesses, and in the case of cruise visitors to Grand Turk, as a shore excursion with your cruise line.
In most cases, reserving directly with the tour business with get you the best rates and is generally our recommended booking method, and it may be possible to obtain discounts for a family or large groups as well.
Boat charters in Turks and Caicos generally range from half day to full day adventures. Half day boat charters can be a great choice if you’re looking for a slow-paced day, yet full day trips allow the time to travel to some of the more remote and exquisite sites such as West Caicos, West Harbour Bluff, or in the case of charters departing from the island of Grand Turk, the incredible Big Sand Cay.
Pickup will typically be included with most tours, so you’ll won’t have to drive or pay for a taxi. For guests staying at a Grace Bay resort on the island of Provo, your boat will often meet you directly on the beach outside your accommodation.
The majority of cruise ship shore excursions at Grand Turk depart from the Grand Turk Cruise Center, so transport is unnecessary for cruise ship guests. A few SCUBA diving trips depart from the nearby Cockburn Town, however, complimentary pick up and drop off is typically included.
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, there are custom adventure charters that explore our natural environment and historical sites.
One option for those with an avid interest in marine life is turtle tagging. The Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) works with business partners to tag and track green turtles and hawksbill turtles. Much of this takes place on the turquoise Caicos Banks, where turtles are caught by hand, tagged, and fitted with a GPS tracker, after which its local and regional migration is monitored.
A kayaking or paddle board safari into the remote Caicos mangrove creeks are another great adventure. Extensive red mangrove lined tidal waterways lead for miles on the southern coasts of North Caicos, Middle Caicos and East Caicos. These channels are difficult for typical vessels to approach due to the surrounding shallow water and shoals, so the wilderness is completely undisturbed. These tours usually depart from Providenciales, where the kayaks and paddle boards are loaded on a small boat, then there’s the journey across the crystal-clear and shallow water of the Caicos Banks to where the channels begin.