x Orca tail shutterstock 42788449 opt

pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ... Focus on Whales

The sheer immensity of these animals creates a palpitating heartbeat.   Their intriguing behavior patterns, the eerie sound of their singing, the outrageous photo ops   ...  & the fact that most of the trips are for divers & non-divers alike  ...  translated to aquatic opportunities not to be missed !

Salt Cay Humpbacks 2020

Tonga humpback calf surface shutterstock 549495370 Copy optAwesome in-water whale encounters
Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos February 2020
led by photo pro Christopher Bartlett

Salt Cay is a sparsely populated island in the Turks and Caicos, an Atlantic archipelago. Humpback whales, on their migration, are naturally funnelled through the channel separating the Turks & the Caicos.  The resulting density of whales makes Salt Cay & Grand Turk unrivalled sites for snorkelling with these colossol mammals.

Humpback whales snorkelling
land-based at Salt Cay,
Turks and Caicos
February 8 to 15, 2020
from $2590
Salt Cay

This tiny islet in the Caribbean is a classic example of an 'island time forgot'.   Donkeys, the ancestors of which used to pull carts, now roam freely all over the island.  There are no paved roads and very few cars.  Remnants of the former salt industry (salt salinas) and windmill foundations remain.

Imagine 5,000 humpback whales

So, if you're already a humpback whale fan, you are proabably aware that very year, after spending the winter gorging in the plankton-rich waters in the northern Atlantic and Arctic waters, a horde of pregnant female humpback whales migrate to the warm, shallow waters of the Silver Banks in the Dominican Republic and Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos to give birth and teach their calves to breathe and swim.

The females and their calves, and male escorts, can be found very close to the tiny island of Salt Cay where this adventure is based.

An estimated 3,000–5,000 humpback whales pass through these waters, making it the largest breeding and calving grounds in the world.   And, no, you won't see 5,000 whales on your adventure ... but the sheer magnitude of whales in the area should ensure that you see as many as you can handle!

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Follow that whale .....

Your trip leader, Christopher Bartlett, reports that on his last trip he & his guests enjoyed up to four whales at a time, generally a mother, calf, and two escorts.  He uses a knowledgeable guide on three to six-hour searches.  When a pod of relaxed whales is found, you'll gently slip into the clear, warm water and observe them for as long as they are comfortable. In-water encounters can last from two minutes to an hour, depending on the whales’ behaviour. Once one encounter is over, it's on to look for the next one!

Pick up some photo tips

Christopher will also be the photo pro on this trip.   His work has been published round the world, and over the last decade he has had more than 100 articles published on a range of diving and marine conservation subjects, and to date has a dozen dive magazine cover shots to his name. He is always at hand and happy to provide helpful hints to aid you in getting the best possible shot of the behemoths in the water.

Itinerary & land accommodation

This enticing humpback photo expedition is a 7-night itinerary which land accommodation options for on delightful Salt Cay ...   read more

February 8 - 15, 2019    

February 8: Fly from Providenciales to Salt Cay  (8:30am or 3:30pm)
February 9: 6-hour whale snorkelling trip
February 10: 6-hour whale snorkelling trip
February 11: 2 x 3-hour whale snorkelling trips
February 12: 2 x 3-hour whale snorkelling trips
February 13: 6-hour whale snorkelling trip
February 14: Spare day / rest day
February 15: Fly to Providenciales (9:15am)

 Land accommodation

At Salt Cay, we're suggesting a range of accommodation options.  Availability is limited, so we also suggest that you book as soon as possible. 

  • Charming House
  • Last Resort
  • Third Estate
  • Seaside Cottages
  • The Cabanas
  • ​Tradewinds Guest Suites
  • Vistas upstairs

Charming House: a five-minute bike ride (bikes provided) from the dive centre, restaurant and beaches,   This accommodation has three double bedrooms, one of which is taken by your tour leaders. The two available bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. There is also a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, lounge and garden.

Last Resort: Opposite Charming House, a couple of minutes from East beach, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom ground floor cottage has a large garden, shaded patio and raised viewing deck with sea views in all directions. It's a 5-minute bike ride to the dive shop and only 2-minute walk from Patrianna's bar and Miss Pat's restaurant. 

Seaside Cottages:  Seaside Cottages sits directly on the ocean and is comprised of a main house and two cottages located on an old estate, built in the 1850s. The property sits facing west and boasts a splendid sunset over the ocean. There is direct beach access and use of two ocean kayaks which can be launched directly from the house beach.   There is snorkeling from the beach off the back of the house. The original outdoor kitchen from the 1850s sits close to the ocean and allows for "al fresco" dining year-round. There is a fireplace, a brick oven, small charcoal grill and a beautiful teak dining table for romantic dinners set to the sound of waves crashing on the beach.   All guests have access to the entire 1/2 acre grounds and the outdoor kitchen/dining area. 

Third Estate: With a king bedroom and bathroom upstairs and a queen bedroom and twin bedroom downstairs, Third Estate also has a good-sized living room and large kitchen/dining area.

Vistas Upstairs:  The Vistas Upstairs has a deck overlooking the ocean and is an open floor plan with fully equipped kitchen, living room bedroom and bath. Television with built in CD player to watch movies or listen to music. It also has an exceptional deck for whale watching, enjoying the sunsets or just relaxing.. Vistas is right on the beach, 3-minute bike ride at from the dive shop and Ocean Air, and only four minutes to Patrianna's and Miss Pat's.

The Cabanas: Located in central Balfour Town and not far from Deane’s Dock, these are one-bedroom cabanas with a pool and Wi-Fi. Each ocean-view room has a queen-sized bed and ceiling fan.

Tradewinds Guest Suites:  Found in Balfour Town and close to Deane’s Dock, the oceanfront Tradewinds offers guest suites with kitchenettes and en-suite bathrooms. The dive centre and restaurant is a short walk away. Bicycles are provided for island exploration.

Salt Cay Villas opt

Getting there ... rates ...  what's included ... what's extra

Flight information for getting to Salt Cay, accommodation rates, meal options and other miscellaneous details about the adventure  ...  read more

Getting there

UK and European clients can catch the direct British Airways flight from Gatwick to Providenciales on the 8th of February and back 18th of February.

Clients coming from the United States can join on Friday 9th February if they land in Providenciales in time to clear customs and board the flight to Salt Cay at 1530.


Prices per person, based on two sharing (single supplements apply).  The total of your trip package depends on the accommodation you choose.   For example, if you stay at Charming House, your package total (without international airfare) will be $2590.  If you Choose Vistas Upstairs, your total will be $3220.

7 nights double occupancy

  • Charming House $2590
  • Last Resort $2620
  • Third Estate $2620
  • Seaside Cottages $2990
  • The Cabanas $3070
  • ​Tradewinds $3090
  • Vistas upstairs $3220


  • 5 days of whale watching and snorkelling (6 hours per day)
  • island tour
  • free daily yoga
  • domestic flights
  • accommodation
  • snorkeling
  • photography tuition
  • breakfast in Providenciales

Does not include:

  • international airfare
  • meals
  • snorkel equipment rental


On Salt Cay there is a good beachfront restaurant next to the dive centre and the houses have fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes.   There are a couple of small grocery stores where basics can be purchased and fish can be bought from the local fishermen.

Photography coaching:

Provided by Indigo Safaris’ founder and underwater photographer Christopher Bartlett. Christopher’s work has been published round the world, and over the last decade he has had more than 100 articles published on a range of diving and marine conservation subjects, and to date has a dozen dive magazine cover shots to his credit.


Daily yoga classes will be taught by Ines Moosmann, Indigo Safaris’ Senior Travel Consultant and creator on Nomad Yoga.


Consider one of our Photo Expeditions ....
special trips with professional photographers to help and guide you to improve your photo quality ....

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