When winter arrives in Turks and Caicos, we welcome an annual migration of winter weary visitors from northern destinations to our sunny islands. And there is another migration that we welcome in Turks and Caicos – the magnificent North Atlantic humpback whales.
Every year at this time these magnificent animals travel through the Columbus Passage from as far away as Iceland and Greenland to give birth on the Silver Banks southeast of TCI and north of the Dominican Republic. This trip occurs from late January until early April.
If you want to embark on a whale-watching excursion, it’s best to plan a day trip to Grand Turk and Salt Cay. Local airlines offer daily flights (about 25 minutes one way) and once there, you can take a trip with a local excursions operator. You can even go snorkeling or scuba diving to see the whales!
On a Turks and Caicos whale-watching trip it is common to see two or three whales travelling together. If you visit toward the latter part of the whale watching season you may even be treated to the sight of a mother with her calf as she returns home with her newborn.
These social animals are known for “putting on a show” and devoting time to play as they make the long trip from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean. Some lucky whale watchers will witness a spectacular show of whales frolicking in their natural habitat, literally just feet away from their boat or the shore.
The humpback whales are easy to spot in part because of their sheer size (they can grow up to 50 feet) and also because their bodies are distinguished by long flippers and black and white tails.
In addition to the ease of seeing the whales make their passage through the Turks and Caicos Islands, they are easy to hear! The whales make loud calls that are reportedly heard as far away as Providenciales. It is suggested that the sounds are used for mating purposes and also to assist with navigation. Some people describe the sounds as musical.
Our resort concierge would be happy to help you plan a Turks and Caicos whale watching trip. Contact him for details!