Turks and Caicos April 2011
Just show me the Best Pictures The Best
Pictures and Descriptions. (Scroll Down)
I want to take this trip, what details should I know? Details and Trip Planning
A week in the “Turks and Caicos” islands. If you don’t know where they are, think South Eastern Bahamas. Turquoise water, conch fritters, and the famous Grace Bay Beach round out the most know items. Of course, we had to do things a little different. We did a split trip this time with 3 nights at Ocean Club West on the main island of Provo (highly developed) and 3 nights at the Blue Horizon Resort on Middle Caicos (non developed). It made for a great study in contrast with a little of everything. Once again we went to the Caribbean with Jill, and everyone seemed to have a fine time of it.
Ocean Club West
A very pretty resort. A little quite for my taste, and I wish there would have been a couple more people at the bar/restaurant in the evenings, but everything is well kept up and we had no issues. It is also probably the best deal for your money on Grace Bay.
The world famous Grace Bay and Beach. Definitely a site to see. The variety in the shades of blue are amazing from the light Turquoise to deep blue it’s a pleasure just to sit on the beach and relax. The island is roughly shaped like a crescent and the bay that is formed is immense. What is interesting is the coral reef about 2 miles in the distance. You can sit on the beach and see the waves break way out in the distance. The beach is also deceptively large from the map. Don’t let the local maps fool you. The only 2 maps we found were both ‘tourist maps’ which means a private company makes the map and then charges the hotels to be listed. If you are a really big hotel or landmark you will get put on the map no matter what, but lots of the smaller hotels simply get left off. So when you are trying to see how far something is and think to yourself that it’s only 4 or 5 resorts away,, think again.
1. Yes this really is the water color
2. We had a couple light showers roll in but they were gone in 20 minutes
3. The Beach directly in front of the Ocean Club Resort
Snorkeling was one of the major draws for this trip and we took full advantage of it. We snorkeled right off of the beach at Coral Gardens on Grace Bay, took a Boat trip to the offshore reef, and even rented a car to drive to a beach on middle. The only place we did not get a chance to snorkel was at the New Horizon Resort itself as the surf was just to rough. My new toy for this trip was a cannon D10 waterproof camera. Given the poor performance of the last disposable camera I purchased and the cost of the water proof cases I figured it was just better to get a new one. All and all it’s a great camera for snorkeling. The underwater panoramic were more difficult than expected due to the current but I guess that just comes with the territory.
2. No I don’t know who she is, but she makes a nice picture :)
3. A Parrot Fish and a Puffer Fish.
5. This Guy was incredible. I see him swimming near the bottom and never see him come back up.
He must have been down 2 min.
8. An underwater pano. Harder than I thought with the current moving you around.
9. From the surface you don’t see much. This was on the boat trip out to the reef.
You can just make out Grace Bay Beach in the distance.
Places to Eat
The order of my priorities when looking for somewhere to eat in the Caribbean is the view, the food, the price, the service. Given this I was pretty happy with the following places. After you have gone anywhere in the Caribbean the phrase “island time” will make more sense. It’s actually memorable if you do get quick service. That being said, the restaurant at the Ocean Club, had a good view and good food. Not a lot of options but what they had was tasty with breakfast being there best. The Bay Bistro was an incredible view and great food. Hemmingway’s view depended on where you were sitting. In area around the pool where we were it was nice, but on the raised wooden deck it would have been outstanding. On the plus side, there service and food were excellent. And as a wrap up, the Somewhere Café was perfect for lunch. The Best views are from the upper seating area and the food while bar food was great.
1. Ocean Club West Restaurant/Bar
2. Bay Bistro at the Sibonne Beach Hotel
3. Hemmingway’s at the Sands Hotel
4. Somewhere Café at Coral Gardens Hotel
A horseback ride in the surf with Provo Ponies. Louise and Jill both love critters, so a horseback ride in the surf was an easy choice. The unique experience is actually riding your horse in the water. Depending on the size of your horse, you may get drenched, or just get your feet wet. Either way, it’s better than any of the nose to tail rides I’ve been on before.
So you want to go to Middle Caicos huh? First you fly to Provo, then take a taxi to the ferry, then a 40 min ride to the island of North, and then a 40 min taxi to a half washed out causeway and over to Middle. For all of this work what you get is a Caribbean island that almost seems deserted. With an area of 50 square miles and a population of about 400 people it’s not exactly crowded. If you are looking to get away from it all, this is your place. We stayed at the Blue Horizon Resort which I can’t recommend enough. Not a ‘resort’ in the traditional sense, it’s a collection of 8 small cottages on the hillside. Each have full Electric and Water. Think of a small self contained efficiency apartment. There is no restaurant, no bar, and no grocery store. Your choices are either to bring your own or have the caretaker purchase food for you in advance. Bringing my own food and cooking are not normally on my list of things I want to do on vacation, but the effort is worth it when you sit on your deck and see miles and miles of landscape. A truly unique experience.
2. Breakfast of Champions. Coffee with Bailyes and a Pop Tart.
3-5 From the Blue Horizon, looking North. Nothing as far as the eye can see
6. From the “Louise on Cliff Edges” collection of photos I keep
7. Louise at the bottom of the Cliff
Crossing Point Trail
The crossing point trail is loosely based off of the old trail and road connecting Middle and North Caicos. It seems that during a tourism push by the last government 3-5 years ago they were working on defining this trail and promoting it as an attraction. With the governments financial problems this was never completed and the trail is more of a bushwhack in places. Expect to lose the trail often, but its never much of an issue because it follows the shoreline and you can always find it again and in truth the “trail” seems more of a suggestion in many places anyway. It’s a great little adventure but with spectacular view, and with some maintenance this could be such much more. Hopefully someone will ‘adopt’ this in the future. For reference the trail has 5 major sections.
Blue Horizon Resort Going North
A Seashore Cliffs
Blue Horizon South
C Highway section and Indian Caves detour around the Blue Horizon Resort
D Overgrown section South of the Blue Horizon Resort
E Dirt Road section starting at Daniel’s Cafe going south
1. Section A - This is about were the rough “iron shore” section stops just out of view of the resort
2. Section A
3. Section A – They do have trail markers, it just need some tlc
4. Section B
5. Section B
6. Section B – This is actually off the trail
7. Section B – WAY off the trail
8. Section D – I think this is off the trail but in this area the trail is not well defined
9. Section C – It looks like when the trail was being built the owners of the resort wanted to keep crowds
&nbps  from crossing the property so they diverted the trail around the resort. This is the section
&nbps  that is parralled to the cliff section that was diverted. It leads to the highway and the
&nbps  Indian caves area (kinda neat) and then after the resort it connects up again.