Why I Love December in Turks and Caicos
The Trade-winds are back
Sunset over Grace Bay beach
Anyone who has lived in the Equatorial zone, or has traveled to the Caribbean/S. America over the years during Christmas season, will be familiar with the Trade-winds. The Trade-winds, dominate most of the tropics and subtropics throughout the world and are a nearly constant (they only drop away during end of September and October) northeasterly wind in our hemisphere, that starts to blow in November of every year. By the time December rolls around we experience whether akin to Aspen, Colorado. Think bright blue skies with the sun beating down, but a cool chill in the air. Substitute snow-capped mountains for swaying palm trees and sandy beaches and you begin to get a feel for the special draw of Turks and Caicos (‘T&C’) during the holiday Christmas period.
Coral is beautiful to look at, but we don’t allow it to be taken out of the sea 🙂
Every December 26th since I was a child, we have enjoyed a Boxing Day boat trip on the Atabeyra. For those with British heritage you’re familiar with the joys of Boxing Day, which for all intents and purposes, is a much less chaotic day than its forefathers Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Irish call it Wren Day, other countries call it St Stephen’s Day, but for all who celebrate it, in practicality it has become a day to relax and unwind after the stress of the holiday season is over, and gather with friends and family to enjoy a final day of good food and great company. If you can enjoy this holiday, or any other day in December on a boat, you’re quids in! Boating is a year-round event in T&C, and it doesn’t stop during Christmas. The weather is beautiful, the sun is shining and we’re still swimming in the ocean. Granted the sea may be a little colder than we locals like it, but there’s no better way to wash off the cobwebs than taking a Boxing Day plunge, and let’s face it, anyone from the Northeastern seaboard or Europe would laugh if they heard us admitting we find it a little cold! The temperature is akin to taking a dip in the Mediterranean during Summer time, refreshingly cool, enough to enliven your skin and leave you feeling renewed and energized.
Inter-island travel is open again
Mudjin Harbour, Middle Caicos
If you, like many, have been confined to your homes/apartments since the outbreak of COVID-19, self-isolating, locked-down and going through the rigmarole of at home schooling like the saint that you are, imagine jumping on a ferry with your family (face mask on of course) and making your way over to North Caicos (population approx. 1,500). From North Caicos, you can rent a car and head over to Middle Caicos on the causeway to explore the caves and bluffs with virtually no one else in sight. Fresh air, clean breezes, big ocean and natural adventures abound in North and Middle Caicos, and are just what the doctor ordered after months and months of quarantine. Sure, you can stay cooped up in your apartment until the frost from winter thaws, or you can safely enjoy all that T&C’s sister islands have to offer, and give your family the gift of a memory they may not have otherwise had.
Tip of the Tail Villa
With the end of the dreaded hurricane season in November, December’s climate is well known as the most hospitable environment for international travelers. We’ve talked about boating and beaching, but there is no end of outdoor activities to take advantage of. With highs in the low 80’s and lows in the high 70’s, December is a perfect time to get on that kayak or paddle-board and explore miles and miles of unspoiled natural environment. Mangroves, the same ecosystem that protects our shorelines during hurricanes, are peaceful and rife with small marine life, turtles and bird watching for the nature lovers out there. There are many places where you can enjoy these activities conveniently just by stepping out of your private villa’s backyard, like Tip of the Tail Villa. Otherwise you can join one of the many operators on a guided tour of these precious ecosystems. I especially like Big Blue Collective who have long been ahead of the game in focusing on small private groups and preservation of the flora and fauna of T&C.
The Seven Stars Xmas tree
Shot by Kaieri Media
Call me crazy, but without the usual queues of the seasons you receive when you live in the Temperate zone, its tough to know when Xmas is on its way. We tend to live in a perpetual endless summer in T&C, but there are a few key indicators that the Christmas season is well under way. The first of these signs is the lighting of the giant Christmas tree that has long been an annual tradition. In years gone by the space that Seven Stars now occupies, used to be home to one of the first resorts in T&C, the Ramada, and after that it changed hands to the Allegro. Those times are a distant memory now, and it’s hard to imagine a time when Seven Stars wasn’t Seven Stars. The resorts on this prime beachfront land are so varied in aesthetics, but the one common feature, other than the land they’ve occupied, is the lighting of the Xmas tree. That’s the thing about traditions, they stand the test of time.
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