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Turks and Caicos

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean and Bermuda' started by SOFME, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    10,167
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    @SOFME

    Where are you coming from?
     
  2. SOFME

    SOFME Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Anywhere I'm sent
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    We have not researched to be honest. We decided to book a trip somewhat on a whim. It seems I absolutely do have a misunderstanding of the sharks in Provo. That said, any assumptions I made had no intention of being disrespectful to eco system or common curtesy to the ocean life.
     
  3. SOFME

    SOFME Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Anywhere I'm sent
    19
    0
    1
    Coming from the states. We picked Turks largely for its lack of a tourist/resort vibe from the research/word of mouth. We purposefully try to avoid that in favor of mom and pop operations which are proponents of respect first safety second dive third.
     
  4. Rick1956

    Rick1956 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Cod, MA
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    Been to TC several times. I’ve always gone with DiveProvo, friendly, well run. The boat rides are not short but you’re on vacation. The water is typically very clear. I agree with other posts, you’ll probably see reef sharks on every dive. French cay and the wall at West Caicos are my favorites. If you’re looking for touristy night life it’s not the place to go. Very relaxing . I’m going early June myself, off season and it’s even quieter and lower room rates.
     
    SOFME likes this.
  5. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    When people post about 'Turks & Caicos,' it's been my impression they're usually talking about Provo. Which from what I've run across researching it as a destination is expensive and touristy. 'Turks' has me thinking of Grand Turk, and if you read reports on Grand Turk, I think you'll find a much different situation in some respects.

    Maybe your research didn't inadvertently mix info. on the 2 different places, but reading your post, I thought it was worth pointing out.

    Richard.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,512
    2,491
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    Provo in the T&Cs is a resort/tourist/restaurant/dive destination and probably not the vibe you are looking for.

    There are some "off the beaten path" non-touristy vacation destinations with shark diving - like Riding Rock Inn on San Salvador, Bahamas; but since you are only looking for a weekend trip you should look for some place that is easily accessible. So probably not some tiny Out-Island with limited flights like San Salvador. (BTW, when you are planning a short trip it is easy to forget the "wait to fly" rule so keep it in mind.)

    I agree with @tkaelin's suggestion of Nassau, it's easy to get there from many US airports. If you like non-touristy places then you could stay at the Orange Hill Inn, it is away from the busy and developed parts of the island and it is a very funky, small, no frills, family-owned inn.

    It's very British and a bit like Fawlty Towers! They serve food with names like "Johnny Cakes" and "Bangers". They also have an "Honour Bar". The bartender is only on duty in the evening so during the day the guests just help themselves and write what they take on a tablet. Now that's really a Mom & Pop operation!

    They offer dive packages with Stuart Cove's Dive Center. The dive shop van picks you up at the hotel and takes you to the boat - and the Stuart Cove's dive op is very big on shark diving.

    I think that @Hoag has stayed there more recently and may be better able to advise you. It was getting kind of old and tired back when we stayed there and that was quite awhile ago. If Orange Hill sounds a little "too plain and simple" for you, then check out the Stuart Cove web site because they have packages with several other hotels, see the links below. Nassau is a pricey destination, but so are the T&Cs and the Caymans.

    https://orangehill.com/

    https://stuartcove.com/shark-diving/

    Hotel Packages - Stuart Cove's
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    Hoag and SOFME like this.
  7. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    For Provo:

    I think it is like many of the islands in the Caribbean, it all depends on where and how you stay. You can arrange a quiet relatively inexpensive stay that is not "touristy" or you can stay at a big expensive resort full of people that will have a more touristy feel. It is no more expensive than GC and can be just as or less touristy again depending on where you stay.

    The diving is expensive, much more so than say a Bon or Cur but comparable to say a GC. The diving is excellent.

    There are no cruise ships visiting Provo which is a plus if you are looking to assess a "touristy" index.
     
    KathyV and drrich2 like this.
  8. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    4,512
    2,491
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    Very true, we like Grand Cayman but we stay in a more residential and less touristy area and not on Seven Mile Beach or George Town - and we avoid the most popular attractions during peak days/times for cruise ship visitors.

    You have to be willing to rent a car and do some driving on the left side of the road if you stay "off the beaten path" on many British islands but there is a lot more traffic on GC then on Provo in the developed areas - and traffic on Nassau, too.

    One of the reasons we like Turtle Nest Inn on GC is because a rental car is included in the price and it is centrally located so we have access to various districts on the island and if you go toward the East End there is isn't much traffic - but again - it isn't the best choice for a heavily dive-focused vacation - or even a short, weekend getaway - I think Sunset House would be a better choice for a weekend trip to Grand Cayman. OP, you may see some Reef and Nurse Sharks around GC, but you are more likely to encounter sharks around Provo and Nassau (and parts of Florida).

    Both Provo and GC have beautiful beaches, but I think that Grace Bay Beach on Provo is the widest and prettiest of the 2 beaches and the color of the water is astonishing! Keep in mind that Provo and the T&Cs suffered extensive hurricane damage last year, but reports indicate that the rebuilding is going well.

    I don't know if this situation has gotten better or worse lately, but there were some rather alarming reports of robberies and even violence against tourists on Provo last year before the hurricanes - so if you stay in a remote area, be sure that it has good security systems and be careful venturing out at night; see below. You can be a victim of crime any place in the world, including your own neighborhood, it is just something to keep in mind. Of the 3 choices mentioned (Provo, Nassau, and Grand Cayman) I think that GC is the safest destination - but none of them are really bad.

    Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Turks & Caicos, Violent Armed Robberies in Providenciales

    Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Turks & Caicos, Violent Armed Robberies in Providenciales
    Burglary; Assault
    Western Hemisphere > Bahamas
    7/31/2017

    The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens residing in and traveling to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, to be aware of their surroundings and remain on heightened alert to avoid being a victim of crime. An increase in armed robbery, including violence against victims, remains a threat facing U.S. citizens in the Turks and Caicos. In the past year, a number of U.S. citizens have fallen victim to armed home invasions while in hotel rooms and private homes, as well as armed robbery while walking after dark. Two U.S. citizen victims were shot and seriously injured.

    Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including while attending local events; avoid walking on roads and beaches after dark and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

    Due to the surgical limitations of hospitals in Turks and Caicos, emergency care frequently requires medical evacuation to the United States. Check in advance with your insurance company that your health insurance covers the cost of medical evacuation to the United States, or obtain traveler’s insurance that offers such coverage.

    If you are the victim of a crime abroad (including the loss or theft of a U.S. passport), you should immediately contact the local police (dial “911” or “999”) and obtain a police report. Contact with the Embassy should be made as soon as possible thereafter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  9. mbs

    mbs Regular of the Pub

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    KathyV likes this.
  10. cruisekingkris

    cruisekingkris Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
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    I will be down in Provo in the middle of May as well. I always use www.aquatci.com when in Provo. Bill and Stephanie are a Husband and wife owner operator company. The boat takes 6-8 divers and are super easy to dive with. Stephanie even supplies some yummy banana bread and fruit for in between dives. Reef sharks will be swimming around you at any time. I appreciate the smaller more personal boats. Most boats in Provo pack them in. Small boats with less people mean less time standing around and more time relaxing and diving.
     
    KathyV likes this.

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