Boating In Turks and Caicos
One of our favorite things to do in Turks and Caicos is boating. I mean, who wouldn’t like being in Turks and Caicos and out on a boat. The turquoise clear water, the wind in your hair, snorkeling, and tanning are as good as it gets in our opinion.
There are so many different boat charters in Turks and Caicos. You will find a large variety of private boat charters as well as group excursions and tours.
Both private and group are fun. It just depends on what you are looking for. If you are going to Turks and Caicos with a group of people, we recommend going on a private charter. If it is just the two of you, then we recommend a group tour or excursion.
The cost to go on a private charter would be expensive if there were only two people going. We recommend having 5 or six people for a private charter.
Both private and group have positive things about them. Again, it just depends on your situation and who you are traveling with.
We have been on both and had the time of our lives on both. You get different things out of each experience.
Our first boating trip in Turks and Caicos was Caicos Dream Tours. Each day we would watch as this yellow “party boat” picked up guests. They picked people up twice per day and everyone was always so happy. You could hear the music and laughter as the boat came and went. Our curiosity was up so we decided to get some information about this big yellow boat adventure.
Caicos Dream Tours includes several different excursions. They offer a Snorkel and Conch Cruise, Dream Day Getaway, Private Charters, and Fishing Charters. After reviewing the prices and options, we chose the Snorkel and Conch Cruise. We had other people from our resort that decided to do the same.
The Snorkel and Conch cruise offered two excursions every day, seven days per week. Each excursion was 4 hours long. This excursion allows you to cruise along Grace Bay Beach and take in world class views. You also get to snorkel on the third largest reef in the world.
Not only do you snorkel, but you get to go conch diving and enjoy a fresh conch salad during the stop at Half Moon Bay.
What is the Price?
The price of this trip is quite reasonable. We paid $89 per person. This included our snorkeling gear, beer, rum punch, drinks, sandwiches, and conch salad. Children 10 and under are $44.50. We think the price is good considering everything that you get. It is much cheaper than going on a private excursion. Again, private vs not comes down to your budget and what you are looking for. They are both wonderful.
What Should I Take on the Trip?
We suggest taking a beach bag with you on this trip. You will need to take plenty of sunscreen, a towel, flip flops, and a hat or a cap. It gets hot on the boat. Yet, Half Moon Bay seems even hotter. The sun just bears down on you. You would even be safe to take some sort of t-shirt just in case. We were both a little blistered already so our t-shirts came in handy while we were out exploring. Remember, you do not want to ruin the rest of your beach days by getting a bad sunburn.
Where Do I Catch the Boat?
If you are staying in the Grace Bay or Leeward area you will get a complimentary pickup for the tour. We were staying at the Alexandra Resort which was right next to the boat pickup. A group of us just walked out on the beach and hopped on the boat.
We checked in at the hut on the beach and paid for our trip. You can use a credit card to pay for this. Next, they took measurements for your snorkel equipment. This process took around 2o minutes. After we were all aboard, the trip began.
Meeting the Boat Captain
We started the trip by meeting our boat captain and his first mate. We can only remember the first mate’s name “Licky Nicky.” Most of the time, names like that stick. They were engaging and pretty funny. After giving us the boat safety rules, they turned up the music and the party started.
Licky Nicky loaded everyone’s hands with drinks. We cruised down the shore of world famous Grace Bay Beach. We just soaked in the beauty. The captain would be quick to educate everyone on landmarks and celebrity homes etc.
Diving For Conch Shells
Our first stop was for the conch shells. Licky Nicky did some free diving so that every couple could get a conch shell. We were pretty impressed with his abilities. He could free dive 30-40 feet no problem. It was nothing to see him hold his breath over a minute as he was gathering conch shells.
He caught live conchs that were later used for our salads. We got the first conch shell that he brought up. It was a beautiful five and half year old conch which was the exact same amount of time that we had been married. We thought this was pretty cool. That same conch shell is now on our living room table. After everyone had their shell, we moved on to the snorkeling.
The snorkeling was the best part of the adventure to me. After we anchored, we were free to slide off the boat, dive off the boat, or just snorkel. We put our gear on and jumped into the water. It was one of the most magical things to see the amount of colorful fish that we saw.
There were hundreds of fish. It looked like a scene right out of Finding Nemo. The reef was like a little city that the fish were swimming through. We had never seen so many different types of fish.
This was our first time to snorkel and not our last. We were immediately addicted. When you jump in that water and look below it’s like nothing else matters. Time stands still and you get to just take in God’s beauty in the deep blue sea.
Half Moon Bay
Our next stop was at Half Moon Bay. As we were unloading, the boat captain started chanting “duunn, dun, duunn.” We looked at him and he said “shark.” Yes, we were completely freaked out. We sat on the edge of the boat until we could no longer see the shark.
The water was only knee deep in the area. This fellow was just swimming all around the boat and even between some of our fellow boat riders’ legs. The captain said it was just a sand shark and was completely harmless. He said their teeth were like sandpaper. We didn’t hang out in the water long to find out. The captain said this particular shark greets the boat every day. It likes to eat the conch scraps thrown out.
After the Excitement
Once we got over the excitement from the shark, we gathered around for a lesson in removing the conch from the shell. Our group also got an anatomy lesson about the animal. We found out that you must cut the conch’s muscle before you can pull it out of the shell. We also learned that a part of the conch was an aphrodisiac.
Once the conch was out, the captains made conch salad and sandwiches for lunch. Oh, and a bag of chips. The sandwich was nothing special. The conch salad was interesting (it was raw). Overall, the meal was not that impressive, but hey, the experience was worth much more than the meal. You cannot expect a five star dining experience. Again, it was well worth it.
Exploring Half Moon Bay
Once we ate our lunch, we went exploring. We do suggest that you wear or take some shoes. The rocks and cliffs are hot and tough on your feet. Half Moon Bay is a beautiful area. The water here is a deep turquoise. It does not have the same clarity as the water in the Grace Bay area but is still beautiful.
We do suggest you get out and explore. It is very much worth it. If you walk to the other side you will come up on water that is maybe calf deep as far as you can walk. It is pretty cool. The snorkeling was our favorite of this trip and Half Moon Bay was our second best.
The End of a Great Day
After about 30-40 minutes we got back on the boat and headed back to the Alexandra Resort. We went on the morning trip. We liked the morning trip because we got back to the resort in time to spend the rest of the day at the beach.
As we were unloading the boat, we were all still laughing and smiling. We were already reminiscing about the wonderful trip we just had. This is a trip that we still talk about all the time.
If you are going to Turks and Caicos, we recommend you looking into this trip. If you are going during low season, you will have no problem booking the day before or the day of. But, if you are there during the peak season, we recommend you booking early.
Checklist for the Trip
- Beach Bag
- Flip Flops or Sandals
- Hat or Cap
- Beach Towel