Turks and Caicos is renowned as an excellent kiteboarding destination because the conditions are ideal for all levels of kiters. Beginners will find plenty of kiteboarding schools with certified instructors who can teach you the basics, while more experienced riders can seek out bigger waves and more challenging conditions. If you’re planning on doing some kiteboarding (also called Kitesurfing) in Turks and Caicos, this is everything you need to know.
What is Kiteboarding?
Kiteboarding as we know it today began when the French Legaignoux brothers patented an inflatable kite design in 1984. The sport exploded in popularity after that, and in 2001 the International Kiteboarding Organization was founded. Kiteboarding typically involves using a board with foot straps and a kite with a control bar and a harness attached to your waist. Top kiteboarding spots include Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Spain, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding
There are quite a few places you can kiteboard in Turks and Caicos. Long Bay Beach on Providenciales is by far the most popular and one of the easiest to access. Most kitesurfing schools conduct lessons in the waters off Long Bay Beach. Other kiteboarding spots can be found off Middle Caicos, North Caicos, and South Caicos.
What to Expect From Kiteboarding Lessons
A reputable kitesurfing school like Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding (TCK) will have instructors certified by the International Kiteboarding Organization. They can set you up with the proper equipment and teach you about setting up, safety and wind theory before getting you up in the water for your first ride. TCK also offers jet ski services to take you away from the crowds and help you out if you kite too far off course.
Kiteboarding vs Kitesurfing
Kiteboarding and kitesurfing are just two terms for the same sport. However, some people consider kitesurfing to be riding larger waves as opposed to gliding across flat water.
Basic kiteboarding gear includes a board, a kite with a control bar, and a harness. The most common type of boards are twin tip boards, which can go in either direction, and the most common type of kites are Leading Edge Inflatable (LEI) kites. Most control bars have four lines and are attached to a harness that goes around your waist.
The Best Turks and Caicos Kiteboarding Spots
Providenciales is where you will find the best kiteboarding spots in Turks and Caicos, particularly at Long Bay Beach. Leeward Going Through and The Bight Beach are also decent kiteboarding spots, but better for experienced kiters because of the currents and boat traffic. Many people also take kiteboarding day trips to Bambarra Beach, Wild Cow Run, and Cedar Point on Middle Caicos.
The Tides in Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands have consistent tide and wind conditions nearly all year long, so from November to August you can expect breezy days with little to no ocean swells in locations around Providenciales.
The Benefits of Kitesurfing
Kiteboarding offers a great workout because it activates all parts of the body including the core, arms, and legs. Over time it can help improve your balance, flexibility, and coordination. It can also be very therapeutic to be out on the water and taking in amazing scenery. Many people find that kiteboarding helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Why is Long Bay Beach Great for Kiteboarding?
Long Bay Beach gets consistent southeast winds most of the year and the water is calm and shallow with a sandy bottom, which is great for beginners. For experienced kiters, you can step out of the front door and be launching your kite seconds later. However, there is no lifeguard in front of the villa, so we highly encourage beginners and less experienced kiters to have an instructor from TCK come to help launch the kite and follow along with a jet ski in case pick-up is needed.
Snorkeling in Turks and Caicos
The waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands are exceptionally clear, which makes the archipelago a sublime snorkeling destination. Don a mask and a snorkel and you can see colorful coral gardens, crustaceans, tropical fish, and larger sea creatures like sharks and whales. Whether you’re snorkeling just off the beach in front of your villa or at the reefs and walls farther out, snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is always an eye-opening experience.
Best Snorkeling Spots in Turks and Caicos
Providenciales is one of the best places in Turks and Caicos for snorkeling because there are numerous shore reefs that you can access from the beach, as well as multiple tour companies that can take you to fascinating sites just a short boat ride away. These are a few of the best snorkeling spots that are easily reached from Providenciales:
The Bight Reef
The Bight Reef is a popular snorkeling spot because you can access it directly from the beach close to Grace Bay. Also called Coral Gardens, the reef extends about 350 feet (107m) and is home to soft and hard corals and an array of marine life. You might catch glimpses of green turtles, stingrays, parrotfish, barracuda, moray eels, nurse sharks, and more.
Just off the beach in Turtle Cove, Smith’s Reef is actually a network of reefs that are quite different in terms of coral formations and sea creatures. Depending on which access point you choose, you could be snorkeling with eagle rays, angelfish, slipper lobsters, or southern brown stingrays. Come back at night to see nocturnal marine life like sea snails, squid, and shrimp.
Malcolm’s Road Beach
Malcolm’s Road Beach is part of the Northwest Point Marine National Park that stretches from the beach all the way out to the barrier reef. On calm days the visibility here is spectacular, which makes it excellent for snorkeling and diving. The coral shelves are home to a myriad of sights including sea urchins, sharks, and sea fans.
Water Conditions for Snorkeling
The water conditions vary depending on where you are snorkeling. In general, The Bight Reef is very calm and good for all skill levels and ages. Smith’s Reef has a slight current, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Malcolm’s Road is stunning on calm days, but it can also experience offshore winds and the occasional waves and currents along the coast. Be sure to check the wind and water conditions before you head out.
What Type of Marine Life Exists in Turks & Caicos?
Turks and Caicos have some of the most abundant marine life in the Caribbean. This means that you’re guaranteed to see something stirring under the water during a snorkeling session. Common sightings include turtles, lobsters, parrotfish, angelfish, and stingrays. Rarer sightings include nurse sharks, whales, dolphins, octopi, and red lionfish.
What Gear do You Need to Snorkel?
The great thing about snorkeling in Turks and Caicos is that you need very little gear. A mask and a snorkel are really all you need, especially if you are snorkeling at the reefs close to shore. Of course, fins are good to have too, as they help you glide quickly from spot to spot.
Can You Snorkel at Triton Villa?
Triton Luxury Villa’s beachfront location makes it an excellent spot to set out for a snorkeling session because the ocean is just steps away and Triton has snorkel gear available for guests to use during their stay, so there is no need to track down a tour operator. Of course, should you decide you want to take a boat charter trip, the staff at Triton can arrange snorkeling trips with reputable tour providers.