Home Travel Central America & Caribbean Turks and Caicos Islands

Kitesurfing - Turks and Caicos Islands

THE LURE

These islands are a kiter's paradise with uncrowded, pristine, powder soft beaches, warm turqoise seas and perfect freeriding terrain. Excellent for beginners, the conditions are also awesome for advanced riders and you'll find a great supply of good waves as well as flat water, too. You'll find it all on the Turks and Caicos islands.


THE SET-UP

Most beaches are easy for launching and landing. On the east end of Provo, Long Bay is shallow for miles, has a sandy bottom and loads of space, so is ideal for learning. The wind is cross-on 90% of the time and always stronger than at most other spots and there is endless space to practice and ride here. Grace Bay is on the opposite western side. Two to four foot waves break along the cuts of the barrier reef as well as on sand bars. Tides are big and the reef is quite exposed at low tide, while the lagoon often gets more rough as the tide comes in. Ride with a buddy here, or let someone know you're going out as the wave riding is 100% offshore.

Leeward is a trickier spot as the current can be fierce with the tides, but the rewards are huge. A great spot to start downwinders, it's also the gateway to some secret stashes and kite safaris, but a boat will be required - speak to Big Blue Unlimited. Blue hills in the northwest is the mirror opposite of Long Bay; cross-on conditions and miles of open lagoon and beach all to yourself.  As it drains the water often gets irresistibly flat. You'll need all your skills to boost in 12 inches of water, but it's a lot of fun. As the reefs become more exposed the wave build, but as the tide fills in the ride-able terrain can double. Tides do affect most spots (there are  many more spots - speak to Big Blue).


WIND WATER AND WEATHER

Northeast trades prevail in winter and east-southeasters in summer, averaging 10-25 knots, but there are great learning conditions year-round. Best winds usually January, February and March, although July can also be brilliant. August - October is very unreliable (hurricane season) but can throw up amazing swell and wind days. Best wind and waves: February and March. Average kite sizes: 10 - 12 metres. Handy hint: some of the best sessions are caught at sunset - brilliant wind and sun has lost its strength! Lowest temp ever recorded was 18°C / 64°F! Usually between 24 - 30°C / 75 - 86°F. Water temps average 25 - 29°C/ 77 - 84°F. Sun cream and long sleeve rash guards are a must, particularly in summer.

Photo of Turks and Caicos Islands  Photo of Turks and Caicos Islands  Photo of Turks and Caicos Islands 


GET AROUND

A rental car is advised but leave your car open/windows down as it will prevent any annoying theft. Taxis can charge a lot and, though Providenciales is very small (2 x 20 miles), sidewalks are inadequate and there's little public transport. The hot weather also makes it uncomfortable to travel far on foot. The main kite spots are five minutes by car from all the hotels in Grace Bay. Don't leave any valuables in your car, use common sense and take caution in remote areas after dark.

Currency: US Dollar ($): £1 = $1.6 / €1 = $1.4 Credit Cards are widely accepted on Providenciales, but cash only on less inhabited islands.

ACCOMMODATION

All-inclusive resorts like Beaches (great for kids) and Club Med (no kids) to the 5 and 6 star resorts of Parrot Cay and Amanyara. The hotels are all on the beach and minutes from the action in Grace Bay. Self-catered house rentals are popular and spread throughout the islands, some on the beach front so you can ride out front. No 'low end' accommodation really, but the high end is simply top class.


FOOD AND DRINK

Grab a 'Where When How' magazine and a Dining Guide at the airport or supermarkets. Beautiful restaurants serve Japanese, Italian, Mexican, American and European cuisine. There's even an Irish pub and Jimmy's Dive bar in Ports of Call serves burger and fries for $12. Don't miss Da Conch Shack for local seafood plucked from the sea right before your eyes. Expect spend $50 per day on food.

NO WIND

The islands are a watersport paradise. Try standup paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, diving, snorkelling etc. Exploration of Providenciales and driving to all beaches takes about a day, visit the world's only Conch Farm, shop at the local cultural market and sample island cuisine. Visiting the islands of North, Middle and South Caicos is a must.

AIRPORT

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS) is the international airport. Grand Turk (GDT) is connected via inter-island air services (25 mins). Grace Bay is then 20 minutes away. Hiring a car is recommended, but many visitors rely on free shuttles. BA fly directly from Heathrow to Providenciales every Sunday. Daily flights from Miami and other US cities.


Added: 2011-10-13

Region: Central America & Caribbean

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