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Turks and Caicos Islands

Long bay Turks and Caicos kitesurf spot

Long bay Turks and Caicos kitesurf spot

Turks and caicos Islands

Gem of the Caribbean

Of the Caribbean Sea most of us associate to the Dominican Republic, Cuba or the Bahamas. We never heard of them before our trip, but the Turks and Caicos Islands are also located in this region and they are very popular destinations of american and english tourists. Just like the Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos is part of the brit colony. Direct flights are going there from London every week, and from New York daily. In 2015 Tripadvisor chose Turks and Caicos the #1 island on the World. Your stay on the islands can not be longer than one month without having a Visa, and officers often check your return tickets on arrival. Be prepared that you might have to prove not only the date of your return, but also the place you’re going to stay at, so have your hotel reservation with you at the airport.

Turks & Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos islands consist of several coral islands, among which 6 are inhabited: Providenciales, Grand Turk, Salt Cay, North, South and Middle Caicos. During our 6 months stay, we lived on the most populated one, Providenciales, or Provo for short. When we had some free time, we had te opportunity to visit the quieter North and Middle Caicos too. Luckily some of our local friends had boats so we could enjoy ’island hopping’ and admire the beautiful view wherever they took us. We had the coolest team-buliding experience too, spending a day on our boss’s motorboat cruising around with the kite instructor team. All the islands are fascinating, but it’s not really an exaggeration to say if you’ve seen one, you saw them all. Incredibly blue water, tropical vegetation, average temperature of 28 Celsius all year around and the highest point is Blue Hill with its 50 meters peak. The rainy season is between September and November, the islands are very lush in this period, but because of the lack of nutritions in the soil, Turks And Caicos is not very rich in food. 

prices

They have palm trees and they produce some beans and corns for internal cunsumption but they mostly rely on import from the USA. That explains why the prices are so high in supermarkets and restaurants. IGA is the biggest store in Providenciales, that’s where we did our weekly shopping. The most surprising things for us were the fruits sold by pieces not by kilogramms. One apple was for instance 1 USD, but for the more exotic  mango or avocado usually we paid 3 USD/piece. The selection of bread and pastry were below our expectations and their price was also high compared to the quality. A proper bread started from 6 USD/ half kilo. We rarely went to restaurants after seeing the prices, but on special occasions we tried a good burger or fresh seafood. Their speciality is conch and they preapre it in any form imaginable. There are different restaurants from low key bungalow style ones to proper fine dining places. The minimum you have to count with is about 30 USD/person for a main course with a drink.

Island Car on Turks and caicos

info

They drive on the left side, the currency is american dollar, the official language is english, but most locals speak spanish and creol too. Their ancestors were brought here from Jamaica, Cuba and other neighbour islands as slaves back in the day. Regarding tourism, Providenciales is the main holiday destination among the islands. Thanks to the investments in hotels, casinos and golf courts and of course thanks to Grace Bay, the most beautiful beach of all, tourism is booming in Provo. Similar to the Caiman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands also have a handsome profit from offshore businesses.

Conch festival Turks and caicos

Provo is definitely a luxury destination.

We’ve never seen so many guests arriving on private jets and yachts like here. Therefore the cost of living and the accomodations are very expensive compared to Europe, especially to our home country, Hungary. I’d say the cheapest option you can find on airbnb is around 100-150 dollar/night and regarding the hotel rooms and suits the sky is the limit.

It’s not easy to spare money

 on your sleep nor on the food here, so we’d suggest to spend as much time as possible in nature, admiring the view, lying on the beach, soaking some sun is. It costs nothing, but it gives a lot to your soul. The World’s most beautiful beaches are waiting for you to discover here, you won’t believe how many shades of blue exist beyond the ones you’ve seen so far. The sea has different colors when the sun shines, after and before a storm and during sunsets. ’Beautiful by nature’ is the phase they use to discribe Turks and Caicos, it also appears on their cool licence plates (accompanied by a pink flamingo and a conch shell as I remember). 

Watersports lovers will especially love this place.

There’s usually enough wind to sail between the islands, you can rent hobby cats, boats and jetskis. One of the World’s largest natural coral reefs is here and the water is cristal clear so divers can have a great time. Unlike in any other places we’ve been before, in Providenciales there’s a shipwreck that’s completely visible thanks to the shallow sea level. La Famille Express is located about 3 km from Long Bay Beach on the Southeast side of the island. Its story is rather surprising. During Hurricane Frances in 2004 the ship dragged its anchor for 19km from the dock to the shallow water where it finally got stopped in the sand bank. The anchor is still in the water near the ship. You can visit the shipwreck by boat or jetksi. Even though it looks like its close to the shore, don’t try to swim there, you can however kite there!

 

Emeral Point, Grace Bay

If there is no wind you can easily go to Grace Bay to relax, or rent some S.U.P boards and go around the mangroves. Also, Smith Reef is a place that you definitely have to visit!

But be ready for the small sharks who can appear around you.  

Sharks at Emeral point

Kitesurfing on Turks and Caicos Islands

Long Bay is actually the main kitesurfing zone in Provo. The water here is flat and shallow until the eye can see, the beach has fine, white sand, so it deserves the kitesurfers paradise title for sure. The windy season is quite long, we stayed from October until the end of April. During these months the average wind speed was between 10 and 20 knots, so even the wind conditions are perfect for beginners and safe learning. Most of the times it was onshore or side onshore wind, only the offshore North winds are bad for kiting. There are not many buildings, in most places you have even 10 meters wide beach for setting up the equipment. The tide is changing every day approximately with 1 hour, but the water level almost never goes higher than your neck nor lower than your knees. 

 

Mobile Kite Schools

Every kiteschool is mobile in Long Bay, they pack the gear out in the morning and take everything back in the evening, therefore there are no showers and toilets. When we were on the island in 2015/16 there was only one hotel on Long Bay Beach, the Shore Club. Looking at the other side of Provo which is full of resorts and restaurants, we think it’s only a matter of time, until the kite area will be buzzing as well. It’s not that people seem to miss anything right now. The conditions are perfect for kitesurfing and tourists are willing to pay huge amount of money to learn the sport here. 

Kite schools

  • 1 private lesson was 170 USD/hour,  +12% tax.
  • 3 hour group lesson was 350 USD/person +12% tax.

Come and join us in Sicily

Sicily is one of the best spots in Europe to start kitesurfing.
Thanks to the flat shallow water it is easy to progress super fast.
We use Radio helmets and new equipment to provide the best kitesurfing experience

Read more about our spot here