Get Active on Turks and Caicos

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Get Active on Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos offers plenty of active and exotic adventures, from exploring one of the largest reefs in the world, to kayaking through mangroves, to spelunking limestone caves. For the less active, there is always pirate booty to discover and conch to crack.
Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Department of Tourism
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    Scuba Diving
    Turks and Caicos is surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs in the world, with miles of underwater walls and sea life providing world-class scuba diving opportunities. Along with sightings of reef fish and sea turtles, lucky divers have reported encounters with bull sharks and humpback whales. Tour operators like Blue Whale Excursions and Big Blue Unlimited frequently take guests out to incredible spots, including the Columbus Passage, West Caicos Walls, Columbus Landfall National Marine Park, and the Endymion, a 19th-century British warship located south of Deanne's Dock.
    Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Department of Tourism
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    Conch Tastings
    Whether you like it frittered, fried, cracked, or raw, you’re sure to taste delicious conch no matter where you are on Turks and Caicos. In a place that takes their shellfish so seriously—with conch massages, conch farms, and even conch whisperers—it may seem daunting to find the best catch on the island. Daniel’s Café by the Sea is famed for its conch chowder, and Da Conch Shack (DCS) is an island mainstay. Locals know that although DCS was the original conch shack on the islands, not too long ago the original owner left to open up Bugaloo’s in the Blue Hills neighborhood, where he serves his secret conch salad and cracked conch recipes to a crowd consistently packed with locals in an amazing location.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Kayak Safaris
    Embracing the wild side of the Turks and Caicos Islands is easy, especially with so many eco-conscious tour guides eager to offer up a mix of adventure and insight into the islands' impressive conservation efforts. Big Blue Unlimited is the island’s original eco-friendly tour operator, and offers kayak excursions along the remote marine preserves in Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve—where you can hop off for a tour of Iguana Island—and on the uninhabited islands of Middle and East Caicos. Oasis Divers takes groups out on glass-bottom kayak safaris to explore the sea life directly below your boat in the mangroves surrounding Grand Turk.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Sportfishing Adventures
    Go sportfishing with the right guide in the Turks and Caicos Islands and you can have your first hook just one mile off the marina. While wahoo, mahimahi, and cobia are favorites for big-game fishing, locals know it isn’t just about the size of the fish. Even Belongers rave about the thrill of bonefishing in the tidal flats; check out Bonefish Unlimited to experience one of the most exciting fighters in the sea. Get a true taste of how locals catch their dinner by taking a conch cruise or lobster-spearing excursion on a catamaran (complete with waterslide!) with Blue Whale Excursions. Be sure to keep your catch, as most hotel chefs are more than happy to cook up whatever you bring back.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Haunted Turks and Caicos
    Turks and Caicos was once a favored haunt for pirates, before salt miners came in with slaves in tow. Although both industries have long since dissolved in the region, each left their mark on the islands—and in some cases are still haunting them. A sign out front of the Coverely House on Grand Turk warns of a plump, one-armed apparition who has roamed the halls since the 19th century. Just offshore, the shipwreck of La Famille Express beckons brave snorkelers to swim around the supposedly haunted ship among reef fish, sea turtles, and, perhaps, shipwrecked ghosts.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Board Sports
    It’s easy to get on board—literally—with an active lifestyle while on the Turks and Caicos Islands. The island’s breezy weather and typically calm waters make windsurfing extremely popular with both locals and tourists, and companies like Abuv-It-All (a.k.a. Windsurfing Provo) can teach you all there is to know about navigating the waters atop a board. Kiteboarding is also popular all over the island, and Big Blue Unlimited knows the best spots for each skill level; they offer kiteboarding safaris for the more advanced, as well as calmer paddleboard safaris through the mangroves (day or night) for the wind-shy.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Spelunking in Middle Caicos
    The Turks and Caicos Islands are home to the largest above-water cave system in the Caribbean, the Conch Bar Caves (a national park). The caves are formed through saltwater eroding the limestone formations around the park. You can spend the day spelunking these primitive hollows, and they’re tons of fun to explore. As there aren’t any paths or lighting systems in place, it’s best to book a tour for your first time to the caves. Silver Deep and Big Blue Unlimited offer guided spelunking trips that mix a day of snorkeling in a world of coral and fish with caving in a world of stalactites and stalagmites.
    Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Department of Tourism
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    Release Your Inner Pirate
    Explore the swashbuckling lore of Turks and Caicos by retracing the steps of notorious island pirates like Calico Jack, whose two equally fearsome female lieutenants—Anne Bonny and Mary Read—often disguised themselves as men aboard his ship. Planned excursions, such as Sun Charters' Pirate Cruise and Ocean Outback’s Infamous Pirate Cove Adventure Cruise, will take you to wreck sites and pirate haunts before setting you free along the beach to search for buried treasure. Some say that Captain William Kidd's famed "Two hundred bars of gold / And rix dollars manifold" could be within the Turks and Caicos island chain. Happy hunting!
    Photo by Kristy Alpert