A catamaran, fresh conch, snorkeling, and unlimited rum punch and adult beverages… What more could a girl ask for?
Enter Caicos Dreams Tours. I cannot tell you how long I had yearned to be on a boat in my flippy floppies. So when I got the opportunity to take the Snorkel and Conch cruise, I jumped at the chance. When they say “dream tour,” they mean it.
Caicos Dream Tours picks you right up on the beach at your hotel. The catamaran is massive, fitting probably 40 people with great options for shade and for sunlight. We were provided with flippers and a snorkeling mask, along with a life jacket for the ride.
Diving for Conch
Our first stop after picking everyone up was diving for conch. After navigating to the middle of nowhere ocean, two members of the crew dove in, snagging fresh conch from the sea floor. They dove down (with no air tanks) over and over until they had gathered about seven to 10 conch, plenty of fresh conch for the cruise.
You have probably seen beautiful conch shells and didn’t realize what they were. Admittedly, before I ventured to Turks and Caicos, I wasn’t very impressed with conch. But I quickly realized that was because I had not been eating it fresh. But we will get to that.
Next Stop: Snorkeling
After grabbing up some conch, we jetted out to the deep ocean, dropped anchor, and prepared to snorkel. Out we went, some by slide, some just down the ladder. I opted for the ladder. Because, clearly, if you have met me, you know I am super clumsy and my underwater camera would have been just that…Underwater on the ocean floor.
The water was pretty darn warm in Turks and Caicos. I did some light snorkeling and tried to take some pics. I am not great with my underwater camera and I need to work on that a bit. But whew chile, that water SALT-Y. Like legit the most salty ocean water I have ever experience. Come to later find out, that I guess that Turks harvests salt or something. Either way, it was a high concentration.
After some time in the water, and a quickly-fixed wardrobe malfunction, it was time to board the boat and have some drinks. Rum punch flowed along with some Caribbean soca and sun. It was absolutely lovely. The crew was super fun and laid back.
Cleaning Conch and Yummy Lunch
At the next island, we got the opportunity to play in the water, relax on the beach, and learn how to kill and clean conch with a demonstration. We got to chill on the beach and take in the sun while lunch was prepared.
Oh man. I have been eating conch wrong all my life. Between this and the Taste of TCI Food Tour (post coming on Friday), I have realized my love for fresh conch. FRESH conch. Oftentimes, I had gotten a gummy type of texture, which is clearly not appealing. I learned on Provo, which has one o the largest conch farms in the world), that when conch is gummy, it has been previously frozen and is not fresh. Gummy conch= no bueno.
But this conch salad that the captain made consisted of fresh conch, tomato, green pepper, onion, and seasonings. He chopped the items up himself while people chilled on the beach. When they returned, we had sandwiches, fresh conch salad, drinks and chips. I am a huge fan of Doritos, not to mention a huge hot sauce fan (I got hot sauce in my bag #Swag). But when the crew recommended eating the conch salad with hot sauce and Doritos, I have to admit I gave a little bit of a side eye. But hey, they are the locals. I figured they would know best.
Mind. Blown. It was such an amazing combo, everyone on the boat started scooping their conch salad up with Doritos and going to town. Meanwhile, rum punch and beer are flowing. I probably had three cups of the conch salad, something I had previously despised before I got to the island. Now I was hot saucing and scooping it up with my most favorite chip ever. Thank you, Turks and Caicos.
After chowing down and drinking up, we made our way to the last stop: Iguana Island.
Here’s a Tyra Fun Fact: Tyra doesn’t like lizards. In fact, Tyra doesn’t like any type of reptile, amphibian, insect, and not too many birds or mammals. Being amongst critters is just not my thing. I love to photograph it, but being near the lizards is probably one of the things that scares me most. In fact, my Godsis Nealy, who accompanied me on this trip, would constantly walk in front of me at the resort to make sure no lizards were in my path. But, I digress.
So you can imagine my extreme levels of skepticism (and fear and stress and general “nuh uh, not happening”) that occurred on the way to Iguana Island.
When we arrived, I did step onto the island. And walked a few feet until we were confronted with iguanas. I snapped a few photos. Nealy said she wanted to go over the island and see the other side (which is what everyone was doing). But the way my general dislike of all classifications of animals is set up, I opted out of that little excursion. Back to the boat and the rum punch for me.
Caicos Dream Tours
One of the most stunning sites was the ocean and shoreline from the boat. I was absolutely magical. Caicos Dream Tours highly exceeded my expectations. The crew was fantastic and the music was fun and lively. The sites were great and the views were super memorable. It is definitely an activity I recommend on the island.
*A special discount for media was received for this activity, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.