When you're looking for things to do in Turks and Caicos you need not look too far, as there is an abundance of activities to partake in and sights to see. One of our favourite ways to experience the islands, however, is via eco-tour (or eco adventure). For those who don't know exactly what that is, ecotourism involves a trek into fragile regions of pristine nature which highlights sustainability through low-impact excursions with the goal of fostering greater awareness and thus appreciation of natural habitats. And there are indeed many fragile and pristine regions to explore with a sense of awe and wonder and reverence.
Turks and Caicos radiates vibrancy at every step, from the world's best Grace Bay Beach to the mangroves and coral reefs; and when you venture deeper into the tropical wilderness it only gets more alluring. Of course there's the luxurious resorts and hotels that line the white sand beaches and the world-class dining opportunities at gorgeous restaurants, yet some folks visit mainly to experience the ecotourism. It's that good. On land or sea, vivid moments await as you embark into the more than 1/3 of the land set aside for preservation efforts. It's nice to know that despite the growth of tourism and fantastic resorts there is still abundance of protected space where newelopment is not allowed. It's nice to the know the wild is still accessible.
Our favourite partner for eco-tours is Big Blue Unlimited. They're one of the best ways to experience the wonders of the islands, offering a vast array of activities and tours guaranteed to make your vacation memorable. Not only do they offer guided lessons in activities like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, diving, and kiteboarding, they also provide the chance to learn about Turks and Caicos while they're at it. Educational and entertaining - our kinda combo.
Heart of the Islands Eco-Tour
Big Blue's signature eco-tour, this excursion embodies all the philosophies of ecotourism in a incredible day of relaxation, exploration and culture. Experience a full day adventure in a small group as you journey by boat and air-conditioned vehicle to some of the most gorgeous spots in the Caribbean. You'll start your trek across the islands with a tour through the historic Wades' Green cotton plantation and home of local matriarch Mrs. Butterfield to sample some of her delicious native cuisine and really fire up your sense memory. Continuing on towards Middle Caicos (which is the largest yet least inhabited island of the Turks and Caicos Islands) you'll take a pitstop at the Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve to marvel at the bright pink flamingos and the beautiful vistas stretching across Bottle Creek. When you reach Middle Caicos you'll head subterranean and into an extensive limestone cave system where yes you'll learn the difference between stalactites and stalagmites and yes you'll see fruit bats but no they won't in your hair. After emerging back into the sunlight you'll drive onwards to the cute little village of Conch Bar for some refreshments and a visit to the handcraft co-op. Grab a few souvenirs and gifts for friends back home and help out the local community while you're at it. Wrap up the excellent day with a swim in the ocean at Mudjin Harbour - what many agree is the single most mind-blowing cliff-and-beach scenery in the entire nation.
Length: 8 hours
Price: Adults $285; Children 12 and under $235
Big South Adventures
Heading into the deep south off the Caicos Banks takes you to South Caicos, a wet world of coral reefs, mangroves wetlands, and vibrant sea-grass beds; a world where onshore ocean currents transport life and nutrients in abundance. This all results in a stunningly gorgeous area that will have your dropped in awe. Here in South Caicos the history is rich and palpable, once a thriving salt and fishing industry and today mostly fishing and tourism, all laid back and friendly and living life with appreciation. The Big South Adventures head out on Fridays and Mondays and feature a guided walk around the historic and quaint streets of Cockburn Harbour; tour around the island in a refreshingly air-conditioned vehicle; and a boat trek along the wilds of the northern cays.
Price: Adults $425