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Turks and Caicos lodging and diving suggestions

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by Keitha, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Keitha

    Keitha Garibaldi

    I'm trying to decide where to stay in Turks and Caicos in June. Is it better to stay on Providenciales or Grand Turks? We hope to do a couple of boat dives a day, staying above 70ft. because of my 13-year-old son who will be diving with us. I'd love suggestions for the best part of the islands to stay (not resort, more air b&b). Our vacations are all about diving. We usually dive on small boats with 8 or less divers, buy our food at grocery stores, and spend as many days as possible under water.
  2. cruisekingkris

    cruisekingkris Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    Hello @Keitha my family and I go to Turks “Provo” every year. We like to rent a villa or a condo (depending how many people are coming with us). We will also rent a car and do our food shopping for breakfast, light lunches and snacks (we go out to eat every night). The food scene on the island is at its best right now.

    We used to dive with AquaTCI. They are a husband and wife team with a 8 pack boat and have great banana bread (Home made). I have been diving with flamingo divers for the past 3 years. They are another husband and wife team with a 8 pack boat (Mickey and Jayne). Both companies are great but I clicked better with Flamingo on a personal level so I continue to use them. The ride from the dock (all the dive companies leave from the same dock) to dive site is roughly 45 minutes but it’s smooth and fast. Dives are along a wall with the top of the wall being around 45’ and you can control your preference on depth as you swim along the wall. I normally stay around 65’-70’. Everyone once in a while I will dip down to 90’ but just to check something out.

    You swim along the wall at depth and half way through you turn around and swim back on the top of the wall. Very very easy diving and very enjoyable. Dives are roughly 45-60 minutes long with an hour surface interval in between the two dives. Both companies will pick you up from your hotel along Grace Bay beach. Flamingo divers have a electric gondola type boat that we go on sunset cruise with. Mickey and Jayne are amazing and do a great job with both boats that they own.

    Depending on the time of year you are going, prices will vary. The island is priced on the higher side but being from NYC it doesn’t seem as steep to us. Use VRBO and the villa sites along with looking direct into the hotels availability. Most condos are set up like multiple bedroom apartments. The kitchens will have pots and pans and you basic accoutrements in the kitchen. Hotels go from bite reef and extend through Grace Bay beach. They all have different pricing from not cheap to super expensive haha. If we aren’t renting a villa on long bay beach we normally stay at The Sands. Great beach/pool and all around condos.

    If you have more particular questions, ask away. I will answer as best I can.
    Redfoot likes this.
  3. Keitha

    Keitha Garibaldi

    Nice pics! Thanks for the advice. We love diving with little mom & pop dive companies, especially with a young diver. I'll look into AquaTCI and Flamingo. Our last trip was mostly shore diving in Bonaire. I'm looking forward to the wall diving in Turks and Caicos. We have stayed in VRBOs in our trips to the Florida Keys, Belize, Bonaire, and St. Thomas. I prefer them to resort stays.Thanks for taking the time to respond!
  4. Redfoot

    Redfoot Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    Grad Turk is an additional plane ride from Providenciales (PLS), it is a much quieter area than Provo, I am not sure about Airbnb locations but there are several low-key resorts that might fit your bill, i.e Bohio Dive Resort. Grand Turk is also a major cruise ship port, so that can affect island population significantly when a ship is at the terminal. The main wall starts fairly close to shore, and they have a Stingray City type spot for diving/snorkeling.

    Provo will definitely have more topside attractions for non-diving activities. Grace Bay Beach is absolutely beautiful, all public, and there are some nice snorkeling spots as well as lots of shallow sandy areas for swimming. There are some very nice grocery stores and if you have a place with a kitchen you will have no problem cooking for yourself. High end shopping, boat tours, eco tours, kayaking and even a dog rescue where you can "adopt" a dog for a day and take it to the beach!

    I have been to T & C both land based and on the Aggressor, I loved the diving and the area itself.
    Keitha likes this.
  5. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    @Keitha you will love TCI whether you ultimately stay in Provo or on Grand Turk. I have done both (as well as the Turks & Caicos Explorer) and both are great. I know you would prefer an Air BnB, but I can't offer any experience with that. I can however offer my recommendations on two of the places I have stayed.

    If you opt for Provo, I would recommend staying at the Ports of Call (formerly a Best Western) and diving with Dive Provo. The dive shop is literally across the parking lot so it is hard to beat the convenience. You will get into a van at the dive shop and they will take you to the habour where you will get on the boat. From there, it is a fairly long (about 45 minutes) boat ride to the dive sites. I was on a package that included breakfast and (I think) lunch, but not supper. This was not a problem since there was a grocery store with a full service hot & cold deli where we could get everything from a sandwich to pasta to a pizza at a very reasonable price. On those days when you feel like something a little nicer, the restaurants on and near the beach are also only a few minutes walk away.

    As for Grand Turk, as others have mentioned, it is another airplane ride (a "bug smasher") once you get to Provo. IIRC, the flight to Grand Turk is about 20 minutes. I stayed at a resort called Bohio, and I highly recommend it. It is run by Tom and Ginnie, a couple of Canadian expats and their family and that is exactly how you will be treated - as family. It is not a cold corporate style resort by any means. Once you check in, you can expect to be greeted by name and a warm smile (and maybe even a hug) when they see you each day. The boat ride out to the dive sites is only a couple minutes, so the surface interval is done back at the hotel. This gives a bit more room on the boat since it will only have one tank per person and the boat crew/dive masters will swap out tanks while you are doing your surface interval. A "typical day" at Bohio will go something like this:
    Get up & go for breakfast
    Go back to the room and put on your bathing suit then head to the dive lockers and get ready (get into your wetsuit now because you won't have time on the boat)
    Hop on the boat and do the 1st dive
    After everybody is back on the boat, head back to Bohio for your surface interval and while there, place your lunch order
    As your surface interval is coming to an end, get back on the boat
    Do your 2nd dive
    When everyone is back on the boat, head back to Bohio
    Grab the gear that you need to take up to the dive lockers and head up. The crew will bring up (and rinse) your BCD & Regs. Your weights will stay on the boat.
    Go to your room shower & change and head to the cafe where your lunch (which you ordered on your surface interval) will be out in a minute or two.
    The afternoons are yours to fill as you see fit.
    Dinners are not included and while they might seem expensive, I found that they were either big enough to share or to take leftovers home to put in the fridge in the room. (I would order a meal, bring home the left overs and then the next night, I'd bring the leftovers back & they would reheat them for me.)

    As for the diving, it will be pretty similar whether you are diving in Provo or in Grand Turk. It will be walls starting at between 40 and 70 feet for the most part and do not be surprised if it is relatively "sharky", although I found diving near Provo to have more sharks than Grand Turk (Grand Turk, however had more turtles than I have ever seen!).

    I'm not sure where you live, but if you are near the GTA, I would STRONGLY recommend going to the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show later this month. I know that Dive Provo will have a booth there and Bohio usually does as well. If you do live near the GTA, both Air Canada and WestJet offer non-stop flights from YYZ to PLS.

    TL;DR: I loved Provo, but I would go back to Bohio in a heartbeat.
    Keitha and Redfoot like this.
  6. Keitha

    Keitha Garibaldi

    Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty sure we are staying on Provo. We will have to check out Grace Bay Beach.
  7. Keitha

    Keitha Garibaldi

    I'm in Texas, but my husband is Canadian. Thanks for the advice.
  8. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    I loved our dive trips to Provo. The only thing I would add having a family of divers and having taken family trips with our kids when they were 12 and 15, I think I shore diving destination such as Bonaire, Curacao and even Grand Cayman would be a better option for being able to get dives in for young divers in an easy safe shallower environment where they can work on there skills and develop confidence in the sport. I did not take my oldest, my daughter to Provo until she was 17. She loved it. Did her advance and nitrox with Dive Provo (who are great) and we did the long 3 tank safari out to French Caye and trip out to West Caicos. The diving in Provo is great. Grace Bay is manageable for younger or less experienced divers but you do jump off near walls and the diving is typically along walls. Just my two cents.
    Redfoot likes this.

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