The Turks and Caicos are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of islands. The smaller islands are the Turks Islands and the larger islands are the Caicos Islands. They're located southeast of the Bahamas and northwest of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. The main islands are Providenciales, Grand Turk, West Caicos, North and Middle Caicos, South Caicos, Salt Cay.
What to Do
It is all about the amazing beaches on Turks and Caicos. Grace Bay's 5 miles of gorgeous white sand beach and crystal clear turquoise water is the #1 beach on Providenciales island, often referred to as "Provo", in the Caicos island. Most of the luxurious resorts are located along this stretch of beach. Because the beach is so wide and none of the hotels are really huge, it doesn't feel crowded. Providenciales International Airport is located here with several of the major airlines flying direct from U.S. east coast cities. Also on Providenciales, Taylor Bay Beach, Leeward Beach and Chalk Sound are beaches that top the list of calm, warm, shallow water beaches with no crowds. These beaches are perfect for wading into swimming pool-like warm water, however they are not ideal for snorkeling. There are so many beautiful beaches here, that the best site to read about the unique beauty of each of them is to look at the official tourism site, Visit Turks & Caicos Islands. The website is simply gorgeous and full of information about TCI.
Photo by Kelly
Photo by Kelly
Photo by Kelly
Having the third largest coral reef system in the world and crystal clear water, TCI has some of the worlds best scuba diving and snorkeling. Vibrant coral and tons of reef fish, sharks too, make for an unforgettable diving experience. In addition to diving, Big Blue Unlimited offers every type of water sport activity possible, including kayaking, kiteboarding, snorkelling as well as whale and dolphin excursions.
Sea Turtle/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
Coral Reef Diving/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and parasailing are very popular activities here. Parasailing is only available on Providenciales, but what a perspective you will get from floating high above the water as you look down at the clear turquoise sea. This is one of the best places for parasailing but make sure to book your trip when the weather conditions are expected to be sunny with light winds. A typical flight is about 15-20 minutes and no experience is necessary to ride.
Photo by Kelly
Parasailing/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
Deep sea fishing is very popular on these islands. With the barrier reef nearby with its great depths, it doesn't take long to reach deep waters for some excellent fishing.
Deep Sea Fishing/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
Horseback riding on the beautiful Providenciales and Grand Turk beaches is a popular activity. What a unique and exhilarating experience to be splashing and clopping along on horseback in such a scenic setting.
Horseback Riding/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
Boat tours are a great way to do some island hopping and enjoy some snorkeling, parasailing, beach BBQs, conch delights and rum punch. In many cases, the boats will pick you up right at your resort, particularly if you're staying at a resort on Grace Bay. Caicos Dream Tours is the top rated boat tour company in TCI offering a wide variety of half and full-day cruise excursions to suit your interests.
What and Where to Eat
Conch is the most popular thing to eat here, and they serve it in every fashion imaginable - conch fritters, conch salad, conch chowder, conch ceviche and more. Every November they have an annual conch festival where local chefs compete to create the most delicious conch recipes.
For a fine dining experience, Coco Bistro is ranked #1 for its perfect combination of excellent food in an upscale yet unpretentious setting in an outdoor tropical garden under the stars and palms swaying for a magical atmosphere. The chef and owner, Stuart Gray, prepares his specialties using fresh local ingredients and adding a Caribbean twist to his creations.
Local Delicacies/Visit Turks & Caicos Islands
For some classic island fare in a more casual setting, da Conch Shack & RumBar serves up none other than conch in every possible way - conch salad, fritters, chowder, curry, stew, stir fry, and all harvested right there. They also serve other fresh local catch such as grouper, snapper and lobster, as well as fish tacos. Island Jerk chicken and vegetarian items are also available. Located right on the beach with great views, they also have live music and DJs for a fun party atmosphere, and since they are a rum bar, they have a menu devoted to rum drinks.
Where to Stay
Depending on which island you want to stay, there are a multitude of options, the most popular island on which to stay is Providenciales where there are numerous hotels, resorts, all-inclusives and villas gracing the long stretch of Grace Bay beach. The Venetian on Grace Bay is one of the highest rated resorts on the island located on a quiet end of the beach with beautiful accommodations and top-notch service. For a smaller boutique type hotel, Beach House Turks and Caicos is highly rated for its superb service, gorgeous and immaculate rooms and beautiful quiet beach.
Whether its the impossibly beautiful beaches, the incredible diving and snorkeling, or the myriad of other activities, the Turks and Caicos has everything you'd want in a tropical island getaway.
Photo by Kelly
Tip: Make sure you bring plenty of mosquito repellent as with any tropical paradise, there are areas fraught with mosquitos. Also, these island destinations are rarely inexpensive, so make sure you come with a fat wallet.
Video presented by Turks and Caicos Tourist Board