Trips for Divers
Oakland, CA 94602
510-638-3448 / 800-345-7159
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Liveabords and Resorts
‘Turks & Caicos Aggressor II'
‘Turks & Caicos Explorer'
Comfort Suites & Dive Provo ◊◊
Miramer & Dive Provo ◊
Ocean Club & Provo Turtle Divers ◊◊
Royal West Indies & Dive Provo ☺◊◊
Sibbone & Dive Provo ◊
Turtle Cove Inn & Provo Turtle Divers ☺
Osprey Beach Hotel & Sea Eye Divers
Salt Raker Inn
Turks Head Mansion ◊◊
Salt Cay Divers
Tradewinds Guest Suites
Legends: ☺kids friendly (kids program or kids rates available); ✩ wheelchair accessible; ◊ internet access (◊◊ free)
|TURKS AND CAICOS
The Turks and Caicos consist of 40 different islands and cays, only 8 of which are inhabited. The islands of the Turks and Caicos are almost as diverse as its people. From the main tourist center of Providenciales to the quiet and tranquil islands of North and Middle Caicos to the historic Capital Island of Grand Turk; each one offers a different experience and a unique character but all offer year round great climate, beaches and underwater activities.
Providenciales is the most well known of the Turks and Caicos Islands and is the center of the tourism industry with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, attractions and facilities.
Grand Turk and Salt Cay offer a glimpse into Caribbean history with great Bermudian architecture and a rustic charm as well as some of the best diving and probably the most "relaxing" time you will ever have. Grand Turk is also home to a brand new cruise ship center.
South Caicos is the center for fishing, with lobster and conch exported from the islands, the historic Cockburn harbor and the natural phenomenon of the boiling hole. This small yet friendly island offers many secluded beaches with awe inspiring views of the turquoise waters and surrounding islands.
Excellent visibility (up to 200 feet), pristine reefs, abundant tropical flora and fauna, fish and other marine life, quality diving services and easy conditions make the Turks and Caicos Islands a world class diving destination. There is exceptional wall diving starting in shallow turquoise water and dropping off into the deep blue giving a real thrill. The reef is relatively close to the beach which makes for accessible beach dives. Shipwrecks, old and new further increase the multiplicity of the islands as an outstanding diving destination.
Under the National Parks Ordinance, vast areas have been set aside as marine park and fisheries reserves, replenishment, and mooring buoys have been established at all dive sites and mooring areas to avoid any possible damage from anchors. As part of the general preservation and protection drive, divers visiting Turks and Caicos are encouraged to observe, respect and enjoy the pristine natural beauty of the marine environment and to leave the reef as healthy as they found it.
Geography and Nature
The islands are arranged around the edges of two large limestone plateaus, the Turks Bank, with deep offshore waters that serve as major transit points for Humpback Whales, spotted Eagle rays, Manta Rays and Turtles. Anglers who are fishing for Tuna, Wahoo and Blue Marlin use these same rich waters. Bordering the edges of the islands are lines of coral reef and some of the most impressive walls of coral in the Caribbean.
In the last decade on Turks and Caicos, divers have begun to discover some of the finest coral reefs and walls in the world. From the legendary walls of Grand Turk, West Caicos and Provo's Northwest Point to the historic wrecks south of Salt Cay, a dozen world-class walls have become Mecca for the serious diver.
From late December through April, the entire Atlantic herd of 2,500 Humpback Whales pass through the shores on their annual migration to the Mouchoir Bank, just 20 - 30 miles southeast. During this period divers can listen to an underwater concert of the whales' songs. During the summer, divers encounter Manta Rays cruising the face of the walls. Encounters with Dolphin are not uncommon.
The salt ponds and inland marshes serve as excellent feeding grounds for resident and migratory birds. Search for Great Blue Herons, Flamingos, Osprey and Pelicans alongside Egrets, Terns, Frigates, Boobies and other water birds. As part of the National Parks system more than twelve small cays have been set aside and protected for breeding grounds.
On some of the less disturbed and smaller islands such as Little Water Cay or Great Sand Cay, it is the Turks island Iguana that dominates the land. The Iguana is endangered and delicate but it thrives on these deserted islands, away from the influence of man. These islands are also protected by the National Parks system.
The National Parks were designed to protect the scenic environment and habitats, to preserve and conserve them for future generations as well as make them available for public recreation.
In 1992 the government set aside 33 specific protected areas, a list that include nature reserves, sanctuaries and historical sites totaling more than 325 square miles. 210 square miles of this total amount are sensitive and ecologically essential wetlands ratified under the international Ramsar Bureau. Other protected areas include marine replenishment areas as well as breeding grounds for turtles, seabirds and other creatures. A marine mooring buoy system is just one of the many projects currently underway.
The average temperature ranges between 85 and 90 degrees (29-32 degrees celsius) from June to October, sometimes reaching the mid 90's (35 degrees celsius), especially in the late summer months. From November to May the average temperature is 80 to 84 degrees (27-29 degrees celsius). Water temperature in the summer is 82 to 84 degrees (28-29 degrees celsius) and in winter about 74 to 78 degrees (23-26 degrees celsius). A constant trade wind keeps the climate at a very comfortable level.
There is an annual rainfall of 21 inches on Grand Turk and South Caicos, but as you go further west the average rainfall could increase to 40 inches. In an average year the Turks and Caicos has 350 days of sunshine.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th.
Require passports, but no visas are necessary except from countries of the former Eastern Bloc. They are advised to contact the nearest British Consulate Office.
All visitors must hold a round trip ticket.
Visitors are allowed to stay for 30 days; this is renewable one time only.
How to get there
Most visitors fly into Providenciales upon entry to the islands and then can easily take a commuter flight to the other islands.
American Airlines for the winter season there are 3 daily flights from Miami, and one a day from New York’s JFK. Direct flights are also available from Boston on Saturdays.
Delta offers 6-times a week service from Atlanta (no Tuesday flight), plus a second flight on Saturdays.
US Airways offers daily flights from Charlotte. Direct flights are also available from Boston and Philadelephia on Saturdays and Sundays.
110 volt/60 cycle, suitable for U.S. appliances.
The US dollar is the official currency of Turks and Caicos. Most hotels, restaurants and taxi services accept traveler’s cheques, which can be cashed at local banks. Most credit cards are accepted and banks offer ATM's as well as cash advances on credit cards.
Malaria risk is low in Turks and Caicos. Visit CDC for more information.