We’ve put together a list of some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to assist you with your Grand Turk trip planning. This page includes some answers to questions which are applicable to both visitors flying to Grand Turk and visitors arriving by cruise ship. There are two additional FAQ sections included here, for our on island visitors and our cruise ship guests, which provide information specific to the type of visit you are planning. If you are unable to find the answer to your question, please let us know.
Blue Water Divers is located on the island of Grand Turk, which is one of the Turks Islands. If you are traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands by cruise ship, you will be coming into port on the island of Grand Turk, where we are located. If you are flying into the Turks and Caicos Islands, you might be staying on Grand Turk or on one of the other inhabited islands within the country. The majority of passengers arriving by air into the Turks and Caicos Islands stay on the island of Providenciales (aka Provo), which is one of the Caicos Islands. Before you get too far into your trip planning, knowing exactly which of the Turks and Caicos Islands you will be staying on will help you obtain the best information.
While we hope these links and three FAQ sections are valuable in your Grand Turk trip planning, we are always available to answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to send us an email if you have any questions about Blue Water Divers or your Grand Turk trip.
Blue Water Divers is located on the island of Grand Turk. The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is a country consisting of over 40 islands and cays, only 8 of which are inhabited. To determine how far away you will be from us, you will first need to determine the island on which you will be arriving. This may sound a bit silly, but you would be amazed at how often we respond to queries from people who are going to be visiting our country, but will in fact not be near our location.
If you are arriving by plane, your initial entry point into the country will likely be on the most developed island in the TCI, Providenciales (also known as Provo), which is one of the Caicos Islands. We are located on Grand Turk, which is one of the Turks Islands and is the capital of the entire island chain. This small, unique island is located approximately 80 miles from the island of Provo and can be reached by a short 30 minute commuter flight from there. There are no roads, bridges or tunnels connecting the Caicos Islands with the Turks Islands, so driving to our location from another island in the TCI is not an option (try asking Google maps for driving directions!).
Due to the flying after diving restrictions, if you are arriving by plane, your accommodations will need to be on the island of Grand Turk in order to dive with us. If your accommodations are at Beaches, Club Med, or on Grace Bay, you will be staying on the island of Provo. In fact, if you are staying at any resort with more than 40 rooms, your accommodations are most likely NOT on Grand Turk. If you are not staying on the island of Grand Turk, you will want to find a dive operator located on the island where you are staying.
If you are arriving by cruise ship, you will be arriving at the Carnival port located on the south end of Grand Turk. Our office is located in town (Cockburn Town) on the property of the Osprey Beach Hotel, which is a short taxi ride from the cruise ship terminal.
Grand Turk is a small island, 7 miles north to south and 1.5 miles east to west at the widest point. Although the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, it has always been a “sleepy” little island. Most locals and expats who reside on the island are more than willing to offer a friendly smile or hello as you pass in the street.
Most visitors to Grand Turk come here for the diving and the fact that the island is still relatively undeveloped. It is a great place to relax and get away from it all! While there is a cruise ship port at the south end of the island, as yet this has not changed what is special about Grand Turk. Even when there are ships in port, most of the beaches away from the cruise center remain quiet and uncrowded. There are no large resorts or hotels on Grand Turk. Our dive shop is located on the property of the Osprey Beach Hotel which is the largest hotel on the island with a total of less than 40 rooms.
Over the years, as we have seen both more visitors and more residents, there has been an increase in traffic. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t see donkeys, horses and cows wandering along the side of the road. Since the island is so small, it is easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. Taxis are readily available and locals often hitch rides in the back of pickup trucks. You can rent a vehicle, golf cart or scooter, but please keep in mind that we drive on the left side of the road and available maps are not very detailed.
Grand Turk is a friendly, unique island. It does not have something for everyone, but that is part of what makes it so special!
We offer diving and snorkeling year-round, 7 days a week and 365 days per year. Winter months and holidays are our busiest times.
There is no rainy season on Grand Turk, but we do tend to get bit more rain during the winter months (Nov- Apr) than during the summer months. That said, we average only 23 inches of rain annually (with an average of 350 days of sunshine per year). The summertime air temperatures are slightly higher than the winter time temperatures, but the average for both seasons is approximately 80F. Water temperatures in the summer months are usually in the low to mid 80’s, while during the winter months they are in the mid to upper 70’s. Accommodation rates are typically lower during the summer months.
As for diving conditions, while the island can certainly offer “summer like” conditions even during the winter months, it is more likely to have a cold front or other adverse weather during the winter months. This may include higher winds, rougher seas, and potentially reduced visibility. We have the big advantage of short boat rides to dive sites, so the time spent bouncing around on a small boat is greatly reduced.
While it is understood that any conditions are possible (any time of year), during the winter months when there are potentially adverse conditions, we still go diving regularly. Our divemasters evaluate dive site conditions every day to determine the most favorable sites for that time. This may simply mean that it is a bit windier and rougher at the surface, and if visibility is reduced, it means that instead of the average 80-100′ visibility that we normally enjoy, it could be reduced to perhaps 40-50 feet, which is still very enjoyable diving!
The majority of the diving on Grand Turk is one the west side of the island along the famous Grand Turk wall. There are approximately 40 different dive sites located within the Columbus National Marine Park. Diving these sites offers three main attractions:
1) All sites are less than 1/2 mile offshore, so boat rides are often only 10-15 minutes.
2) The famous Grand Turk “wall” starts at depths of only 25-30 feet and drops off to ever 7,000 feet, with the most active reef zones approx 30-60 feet, allowing for longer bottom times while still diving very conservative profiles
3) The Columbus National Marine park is located on the leeward side of the island providing calm protected waters from the prevailing easterly winds that keep us cool on-shore.
Our trip offerings vary for our different guests, due to their unique scheduling and logistics requirements. If you are coming by cruise ship and will only be in port for less than a day, we know your ship schedule is critical. If you will be staying on the island for a few days, we expect you will be on “island time” and have trips which will work with your holiday schedule as well. Please refer to the information for our cruise ship guests or our on island guests for more details.
Our boats are 24′-28′ Carolina Skiffs (flat-bottomed boats) and you can see more information about them on our Boats and Gear page. As there are no marinas on Grand Turk and the distances to the dive sites are not far, all of the dive operators on the island use skiffs.
We do not have an online reservations calendar or booking form. This is because our reservations process is personalized. We are a very small business with a limited number of boats and staff. Therefore, we are not able to offer all of our trips on every day. We allocate our boats and staff to trips based on a first-booked, first-served basis. If you would like to make a reservation, please contact us with the type of trip you are interested in booking, as well as your date(s) of stay and your accommodation or cruise ship name, and we’d be happy to check availability for you!
We use a local Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) bank which does not presently offer the ability for us to securely accept payments online. We are looking at other online payment options, but at present, even Paypal does not provide the option to deposit funds directly into our local TCI bank. We do hope that either our local bank or Paypal (ideally, both!) will provide us with online payment options in the near future. In the meantime, we can accept payment by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) via phone, email or fax.
Grand Turk is a very small island and does not have street addresses. The TCI government is planning to change this in the future, but for now most folks rely on landmarks when providing directions. Please be aware that sometimes landmarks are referred to by their original name or their original building color, as opposed to their current occupancy or appearance.
If you make a reservation with us, in our booking confirmation email we will send you details on how to find us once you reach Grand Turk.
We do permit children to go on our snorkeling trips and do not have a minimum age, but there is no price difference for children and adults as we are saving a seat on the boat for each person and have a limited number of spaces available.
For safety reasons, any children weighing less than 40 lbs. must bring their own floatation device to be allowed to board the boat. All children under the age of 18 must have the signature of their parent/guardian on the appropriate administrative forms. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
For diving, we follow PADI standards regarding age and depth limits. The minimum age for a Discover Scuba Diving trip or a PADI Open Water certification is 10.
The grocery stores are spread out over town. It’s hard to describe where exactly they are without you being here, as the local maps/signage can be limited, but you can see some of them (look for the little grocery cart icon!) on our Points of Interest map and we’d also be happy to give you directions once you are on island. Please note that as of this writing, there are no street addresses on Grand Turk (it is a really small island!).
The island is small and most places within town can be walked to within 15 minutes. Some people like to extend their range by renting bicycles. Vehicles and golf carts can also be rented (but please remember that we drive on the left side of the road!). Taxis are also available and most taxi drivers also offer local tours.