One of the best adventures in Turks and Caicos is clear kayaking! I’m here to share my firsthand experience and tell you what to expect. I can’t recommend paddling to Iguana Island in Turks and Caicos enough—it will undoubtedly be a highlight.
But you’ll want to know a few things before heading out!
Clear Kayaking in Turks and Caicos: Iguana Island and Beyond
You’re in for a treat when you’re clear kayaking in Turks and Caicos! Not only will you get to spot animals, but you’ll also get beautiful beaches and great views.
When going on a tour (the best way to do it, more on this in a sec), you’ll head to Mangrove Cay and Iguana Island to check out two beautiful spots in one!
First, you’ll paddle around Mangrove Cay in transparent kayaks, offering a unique view of marine life below, from turtles and stingrays to small sharks. On top of that, you’ll have the chance to meet some of the natives, like rock iguanas and a variety of birds, when you go by Iguana Island.
This area is renowned for its serene and sheltered waters, thanks to the vast mangrove estuaries, and you’ll get front-row seats by clear kayaking!
The moment we kayaked to Iguana Island, we were greeted by one curious iguana—the island’s resident model, it seemed, as it was more than happy to pose for photos. We heard more in the bushes as we wandered the island and basked on the tiny beach here!
The bonus was spotting turtles and a shark on our paddle back! The mangrove’s edge is a popular hangout for nurse sharks, making the experience even more exciting, but we wouldn’t have spotted it without the guide, that’s for sure!
How to Get to Mangrove Cay and Iguana Island Turks and Caicos
Now, let’s talk logistics. Booking ahead of time is a must since they aren’t just waiting around for you. Booking online is not only convenient but also ensures you secure your spot. They book out the day before!
Take it from my experience – planning ahead is essential rather than just showing up! The kayaking operation is set up to accommodate scheduled tours and bookings. When I arrived, I thought I could rent a kayak and head out alone. However, that’s not the case. Their focus is guided tours, and they allocate the kayaks accordingly.
We ended up with a “quick half tour” because we showed up without a reservation, and it was the best they could do for us, which was really nice of them! We learned that they don’t usually have extra kayaks available for rental, and we had to get back in a hurry before the next tour started.
So, here’s my advice: save yourself the trouble and sign up for the tour from the get-go. We ended up paying nearly the same amount as we would have for the entire tour, and looking back; it would have been a much wiser decision. Don’t miss out on the whole experience like we did!
What to Pack for Clear Kayaking in Turks and Caicos
- Dry Bag: A waterproof dry bag is essential to keep your belongings safe and dry during the trip. I don’t travel anywhere without one.
- Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial—bring a reusable water bottle!
- Hat: A wide-brimmed hat or a cap will help shield you from the sun and keep you cool while paddling.
- Sunscreen: Don’t forget to pack a high-SPF sunscreen for the Caribbean’s intense sun.
- Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses with UV protection are a must.
- Swimsuit: You’ll need one of these!
- Quick-dry clothing: Maybe a top shirt layer for extra sun protection if you’re sensitive. You’ll be straight under the sun for about 3 hours.
- Water shoes or flip flops: It will get wet! And you might want to wander the island too.
- Sarong or Towel: Something to dry off with, sit on at the beach, or cover up with.
- Insect repellent: You’ll want this depending on the season and location.
- Snacks: You’ll be gone for about 3 hours, so you decide if you want to bring snacks, but there’s nothing around here to buy, so keep that in mind.
- Waterproof camera or smartphone case: If you plan to take photos, ensure your camera or smartphone is protected from splashes and water. A GoPro is a sure shot.
- Spare change of clothes: You might want to change after your kayaking adventure!
- Muscle: No, seriously, pack some muscle because if there’s some wind like when I was here, you’ll need a lot of it to return to the beach! This is a bit of a workout!
Clear Kayaking to Mangrove Cay and Iguana Island in Turks and Caicos was so much fun! I hope this helped you plan your trip!
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!