As an avid paddler, kayak instructor, and director of an outdoor adventure schoo, I am always keen for an adventure on the water. Having lived in TCI for nearly 30 years, I have come to know some amazing water-based ‘honey holes’ that have remained tucked away among the mangroves with juvenile lemon sharks and checkered puffer fish, only accessible by non-motorised vessels. Canoes, kayaks, and SUP’s (stand up paddleboards) are all amazing ways in which to visit these uninterrupted landscapes, and learn about the coastal habitats along the way (combined with a great workout!). Below is a list of our favourite places to paddle on Provo.
Chalk Sound | Chalk Sound National Park is a shallow lagoon located in the Western end of Providenciales. The Park has several access points and is inland much like a lake, which serves to protect users from wind, currents and reef. This is an ideal place for beginner paddlers as well because the water is never more htan neck deep. Here you can trace the coastlines in search of birds, iguanas, juvenlie fish, and explore small cays and mangrove communities.
Pigeon’s Pond & Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve | Way off the beaten path, and in the western wetlands of Provo, this Nature Reserve is a fascinating place where you are likely to be the only human visitor. In abundance, however, will be aquatic and birdlife. This area is excellent for longer trips, as there are many paths and creeks from which to explore and paddle. Eventually the saltwater pond opens up and connects to the ocean where you can explore an entirely different seascape.
Northwest Point Marine National Park | Located just north of Pigeon Pond Nature Reserve, is the Northwest Point National Park. Here you have a rocky rugged coastline (“iron shore”) and numerous coves that open up at low tide. In calm seas, this area is great for a coastal tour and snorkel adventures along the way. Also stationed here is a reef which can be amazing for those more experienced paddlers looking to do some paddle surfing or surf kayaking in the ocean waves.
Southside ‘secret spot’ Downwinders | Our latest ‘honey hole’ involves an outgoing tide, a northeast wind, and a pick up at the end of the paddle. After passing hundreds of Egrets living in the mangroves, we meander down the creek to the ocean, paddling across the shallow turquoise waters on the southside. We end the adventure with a cold Presidente beer, fresh conch salad from Bugaloo’s, and stories to keep for a lifetime. Can you guess where we’ve been?
Local tip! | Check the tides before getting your boat wet…or you might be high and dry without anywhere to paddle.