TCI is an outdoorsy sort of place, and diving, snorkeling, sailing and fishing are the most popular pursuits. There's much more on offer though: kitesurfing, paddleboarding, hiking and other diversions are easy to organize.

Fishing

Fishing is the big deal in TCI. With the islands' fringing reefs dropping away spectacularly, from around 30 to 7000 feet, the habitat of wahoo, tuna, mahi-mahi, dorado, sailfish and marlin is within easy striking distance of many of the islands. The hunt for the elusive silver bonefish among the saltwater channels of the Caicos Islands' mangroves is a local specialty. All anglers must hold a current fishing license (per day/month/year US$10/30/60), available from the marina office at Turtle Cove.

Diving & Snorkelling

Diving highlights include Salt Cay, where you can dive with humpback whales during their annual migration; Grand Turk, with its pristine reefs and spectacular wall-diving; and even built-up Provo, where you might get the chance to share the sea with JoJo the dolphin.

In the Caicos Islands a two-tank dive typically costs around US$150 to US$200 and a half-day snorkeling trip is around US$125. Fishing can cost US$400 to US$800 per half-/full day, while windsurfing averages US$30 to US$40 per hour.

A two-tank morning dive in the Turks Islands typically costs around US$115 to US$150 and snorkeling around US$65 per half-day. Fishing is around US$300 to US$400 per half-/full day.

Whale watching

The annual migration of 2500 to 7000 Atlantic humpback whales through the Columbus Passage, the deep-water channel separating the Caicos and Turks islands, is one of the Caribbean's great sights. Moving through the channel (also known as Turks Islands Passage) between January and March, with the most reliable sightings in February and March, the mighty creatures are on their way to their breeding grounds in Silver Bank in the Dominican Republic, and Mouchoir Bank in TCI's southern waters. Scores of local boats take visitors close to the action, and it's even possible to dive or snorkel with the whales. If you prefer terra firma, perhaps with a drink in hand, you can also watch from the shores of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, as they are close to the passage.