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Turks and Caicos ½ Day Caicos Dream Tours Group Charter

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It has been years since we last visited the Turks and Caicos, and the one thing we remembered from our last visit was the epic trip we went on with Caicos Dream Tours. Back in 2008, the company was just starting, and the tours included much more than they do today. Upon arriving in the Turks and Caicos, we visited the concierge to book our trip for the following day on the Caicos Dream Tour Boat to relive the memories again with our children.

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When we talked to the concierge, we advised him that we wanted to do a conch dive and visit “Sand Dollar Island.” After we had arrived back at our room, there was a message from the concierge advising us to be on the beach to catch our boat a 8:30am. Like clockwork, the boat came right up on the shore to pick-up our family, and made a couple of stops along the way to pick-up other families.

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Once all the families had been picked up from their resorts, they opened a recycled milk jug full of rum punch (aka. Caribbean moonshine) and started pouring cocktails for the adults and water for the children.

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“That’s what I’m talking about.” 

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We started the tour at the reef that can be seen from the coastline of Providenciales (where there are waves crashing in the middle of the ocean). They strapped yellow flotation devices around the waists of our family members and encouraged us to jump into the middle of the ocean to explore “under the sea.” While I always get nervous, my husband and kids jumped right into the middle of the ocean, and I couldn’t do anything but follow behind.

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My odds were better with 30 people floating in the water than just my five family members to get eaten by sharks..right?!?

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Once I relaxed, and placed my mask into the sea, I saw what I loved so much about the ocean…the world that lives within it. I have lived no more than a mile or two from the ocean my entire life. I love it. I live it. It is my life…and yet I fear it.

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The staff from Caicos Dream Tours helped me to get over the fears that I’ve had for all of these years. They even encouraged me to swim further along the reef to discover a shark (yes, a shark….a giant one) a barracuda, corral, eels, and more.

Barracuda

Barracuda

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What to expect during snorkeling
The waves are strong along the reef (and you are in the middle of the ocean jumping off the boat) no joke. You might be scared, but safety is Caicos Dream Tours #1 concern. There is always a staff member on the boat, and at least two in the water (one for those who just want to snorkel near the boat, and those who want to be a little adventurous).

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Are my Kids old enough?
I recommend the trip for parents who have children over the age of five years, and that are comfortable being left with strangers. The staff member on the boat is happy to watch your younger children on the boat while the rest of your family snorkels, but you want to ensure that your kids are comfortable with that. My daughter, Ella, was only five years when she did her first conch dive (along with a barracuda). She loves the ocean now (more than me) and I think it is because we started her young. The younger, the better…kids don’t have the same fears as us.

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The Conch Dive
When our family visited last, the island was small, very small. There were only a couple of resorts, and now there are many. The last time we did a group tour, we were all allowed to dive for our own conch. My husband dove deep for conch, while other visitors were too fearful because of the strong currents. While on the group tour, the staff jumped into the waters and collected the conch for our tour, not allowing anyone in the water. My husband, my kids, and I were disappointed since we were expecting to deep dive for our conch again like we did before.

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Leland Point
After snorkeling and the staff collects enough conch shells for lunch, they will bring you to Leland Point. This point will only be here for a limited time since they are already in the process of building a resort on this untouched part of the island – so book your trip now to the Turks and Caicos.

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While your family explores the point, you’ll find amazing shells (until it becomes a resort). These shells are limited, so please talk to your tour guide as to how many you can bring back. What I did was allow my kids to collect as many shells as they could carry..bring them back to the hotel..and while they were sleeping….tossed the shells back into their home (the ocean).

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The staff will show your kids how to clean a conch shell, hammer out the animal for lunch, and walk your family through the entire process. Since we had a younger child who was upset about seeing an animal killed for lunch, we took him searching for shells while the other guests cleaned (and killed) their conch. (That we would all eat later for lunch)

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Lunch
After your family is done exploring Leland Point, you’ll board the boat where the staff has prepared a freshly made conch salad (you’ll never have anything better than it in your life) along with sandwiches for the kids.

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Iguana Island
After lunch, you’ll visit Iguana Island (the biggest tourist destination for visitors of the Turks and Caicos). While exploring the island, shoes are a must due to the pokers that will cause severe foot pain.

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I recommend walking across the island (about 50 feet) to half-moon bay where your family will discover the most beautiful beach in your lifetime. While the waters are not as calm as they are on the Iguana Island side, half-moon bay is one my favorite beaches to swim in the world. It is unforgettable.

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Then your family will board the boat for some more ‘rum punch’ as the captain drops all the guests off at their resorts.

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When our family arrived back at our resort, we knew that we wanted the experience we had back in 2008, so we called the owner of the company, and booked a private charter for the following day. We wanted to have the unique experiences we remembered from our last visit, especially the trip to Fort St. George Island (Fort George Cay) “sand dollar island.”

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When to arrive

The waters are always rougher in the afternoon, so I recommend planning a 1/2 charter in the early morning to get the most of your experience. You can make arrangements for them to pick your family up at your resort or meet your boat captain at the Alexandra Resort.

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Cost

$89 for adults and $44.50 for children under the age of 10.
They have two 1/2 day charters: 9am-1pm or 1:30-5:30pm (I recommend the morning charter)

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All of the charters include drinks and freshly made conch salad.

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It was a blast having all the fun in one day!

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  1. Turks and Caicos Dream Tours Private Charter | OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] spending the day doing a Turks and Caicos Dream Tours 1/2 day group charter, we found that the experience…
  2. Fort St. George’s Island (Fort George Cay) Turks and Caicos | OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] to the Turks and Caicos this past week. The first thing we did upon arrival was attempt to book…

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