Looking to book a Caribbean trip to Turks and Caicos? We have you covered. Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory, and is in the northern most Caribbean, south of the Bahamas. Turks and Caicos is like no other Caribbean island. Turks and Caicos vacation has many different beaches to visit, each with their own style. Holidays in Turks and Caicos are some of the best because there is so much to do! We have put together a Turks and Caicos travel guide with all you need to know for Turks and Caicos vacations like where to stay, what to do, places to eat, Turks and Caicos weather, Turks and Caicos activities.
About Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of approximately 100 islands, nine of which are populated. It is part of the British territories located a mere 75 miles from Miami. Some historians believe that Turks and Caicos was Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the New World. The islands have an abundance of coves that became a favorite hiding place for pirates.
One of the islands’ original major industries was salt – a valuable commodity in many places during the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of the larger islands have a saltwater lagoon which collects salt with the incoming tide. The salt becomes trapped and builds up. Turks and Caicos has been exporting salt for millennia, and it is rumored that George Washington specifically requested Turks and Caicos salt for its excellent quality. European explorers would also bring the valuable salt back to their country of origin. Tourism has now replaced salt as the country’s primary industry.
The majority of the population of Turks and Caicos resides on the island of Providenciales. Grand Turk supports the second greatest population, as well as the nation’s capital city of Cockburn Town.
Turks and Caicos is made up of tropical forests and some marine wetlands, all surrounded by fabulous beaches. A part of its attraction is its great weather and minimal rainfall. Although Caribbean hurricanes have been known to intrude, it’s a rare occurrence, and the weather is usually very inviting. The islands depend on high-end tourism as their major industry, and visitors are catered to.
The majority of tourists visit the island of Providenciales, where most of the luxury resorts can be found along fabulous Grace Bay Beach, the seven-mile crowning jewel of Turks and Caicos. These resorts eagerly cater to the pleasure of their guests. There are restaurants, exciting cruises, premiere shopping, unparalleled snorkeling, and relaxing spas. The local coral walls are known to be the premier diving sites in the world. Visitors can enjoy golfing as well as explore some historical caves. Everything about the islands has a “feel good” atmosphere that is ideal for your Turks and Caicos Island visit.
Turks and Caicos’ beaches were granted the World Travel Award for being the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination for 2021.
Cockburn Town on Grand Turk Island may be the capital of Turks and Caicos, yet it remains a quaint, small beachfront town sporting colonial architecture, clean sand, and crystal-clear water. Many of the original colonial structures have been converted into charming bed & breakfasts and inns by the water.
It is easy to explore Cockburn Town during your Turks and Caicos visit as it only has three major streets, Queen Street, Duke Street, and Front Street. One of the sights worth exploring is Her Majesty’s Prison, a small prison that used to mainly house pirates. Most of Cockburn’s restaurants are located on Duke Street.
What Is Turks and Caicos Most Known For?
Snorkeling and Diving
Turks and Caicos has some of the most remarkable snorkeling and diving anywhere, and the island of Providenciales has the best of the best. Spend time in the water with the local tropical fish, dolphins, turtles, and other marine life. One of the major attractions is the barrier reef here, which is the third-largest such reef in the world. Not to be missed while on Providenciales is the Molasses Reef Wreck, a shipwreck dating back to the early 1500s. It is the oldest known western European wreck Archeologists are still examining the wreck, so it is forbidden to take any “souvenirs” with you.
Springtime is the best time for whale watching on Turks and Caicos, although sometimes, visitors encounter them through sheer luck. The Humpback whales migrate through the warm waters to mate and give birth. One of the best places to catch sight of them are the islands of Salt Cay and Grand Turk. The number of sightings can vary. However, Turks and Caicos is one of the rare places where one can encounter a humpback while snorkeling. It is not unusual to see Humpback calves, as well. The Big Blue Collective in Providenciales provides for whale watching and dolphin tours.
Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos
Let a cave guides take you through one of the largest caves in the Caribbean. The caves consist of 24 kilometers of lagoons, stalactites, and stalagmites. And there are colonies of bats, which are harmless but interesting.
Two-Hour Champagne Sunset Cruise
Enjoy a two-hour sunset cruise from one of Turks and Caicos’ most fabulous beaches, Grace Bay in Providenciales. See the fabulous Providenciales shore as day turns into night.
PlayLand in Grace Bay is a suitable playground for children two to twelve years old. Parents can wait while their kids romp through the play area, or they can drop them off with the trained staff. Fun for the kids; peace and a drink for the parent
Island Food and Rum
Turk and Caicos visitors will love the local seafood, conch, and lobster. There are so many ways to prepare these delicacies. One of the best seafood restaurants – serving straight from hook to table – is Solana, a beachfront Japanese restaurant at the Ocean Club West Resort in Providenciales.
Best Regions/Islands to Visit in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos has developed into a luxury beach travel destination, with many Hollywood celebrities eager to enjoy the archipelago’s sheer perfection.
All the beaches are paradise, but each offers its own uniqueness. For the best islands on Turks and Caicos, check out the following prior to your visit:
Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach is located on Providenciales Island. This award-winning beach is the beach by which other beaches are judged. It has been awarded the World’s Leading Beach Destination award and won second place as World’s Best Beaches. It has won these accolades 19 times. In addition to the clear waters, a gorgeous coral reef, and white sand, Grace Bay is lined with the best luxury resorts on Turks and Caicos. There are wonderful places on Grace Bay Beach to view an Instagram-perfect sunset.
For some added excitement, the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Grace Bay Beach has a casino with slots, poker, roulette, and baccarat.
Middle and North Caicos beaches
Middle and North Caicos beaches are quieter and less explored than the beaches on Providenciales Island. This means having miles of sand and azure ocean as your own playground. It is a great place for watersports such as paddleboarding and kayaking. The fishing is great on the Caicos islands, and many of the restaurants will happily prepare your catch for you.
Parrot Cay is one of the more remote islands within the Turks and Caicos chain, It is located half an hour’s boat ride from Providenciales and is a secluded haven of white beaches and lush tropics. The COMO Parrot Cay is the island’s only accommodation and is perfect for anyone seeking tranquility and sheer natural beauty. Many of the COMO Parrot Cay’s villas and suites have three bedrooms, making them ideal for families. These villas come with private pools as well as 24-hour butler service. This is the place to sit back, relax, and simply enjoy your Turks and Caicos Islands visit.
Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach shares Providenciales’ favorite beach status with Grace Bay Beach on the same island, but its location on the southeastern side offers different benefits. The important critical difference are the shallow waters on Long Bay, making them more ideal for children to play in. Long Bay beach is also known for its kite flying. Windy days usually see dozens of kites flying through the air. The villas along the shorefront are the perfect accommodations for families. For couples, there is the amazing Shore Club Resort.
Best Inclusive Resort or Hotel at Turks and Caicos
East Bay Resort on South Caicos
The East Bay Resort on South Caicos has everything you could want or need for your Turks and Caicos Islands visit. Most of the 86 suites have an ocean and beach view with a private balcony, and it is within easy access to fishing boating, snorkeling, swimming, and diving.
The resort has won the Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award as one of the top hotels in the world two years in a row.
The BLU Bar & Grill offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a Caribbean twist. The seafood is freshly caught on the island, and light meals can be enjoyed at the swim-up pool bar. The Admiral Cockburn’s Lounge is the ideal place to enjoy the stunning view.
Spa treatments are available at the resort’s spa or enjoy a couples massage in your own room to the soothing sound of ocean waves.
Best Resort or Hotel for Couples at Turks and Caicos
The Amanyara Resort
The Amanyara Resort on the western end of Providenciales island provides a lush getaway like few others. Accommodations overlook the turquoise waters. The villas come with a private black infinity pool and are serviced by a personal chef
The emphasis at Amanyara is on wellbeing. Guests can immerse themselves in yoga, meditation, and/or Qigong to release all tensions. Tennis enthusiasts can take part in Maria Sharapova’s tennis clinic.
The personal chef will arrange for a private barbecue at the beach or pack a beach picnic.
This Amanyara is a favorite of celebrities, and visitors may run into Will Smith, Brad Britt, Harry Potter’s Helena Bonham Carter, Kim Kardashian, Courteney Cox, and many others.
Best Resort or Hotel for Families at Turks and Caicos
The Sands At Grace Bay at Providenciales
The Sands at Grace Bay is an all-suite resort just a few steps from fabulous Grace Bay beach. Its six buildings are comfortably nestled within a tropical landscape. For adults, there is golf and every type of watersports. In the evening, guests can sit down to a candlelit dinner at the resort’s beachfront restaurant. Parents can take advantage of the hotel’s babysitting services. There are cruises for the entire family.
The kids can enjoy a special kids’ menu at Hemingway’s Restaurant. For dessert, take the youngsters to Giggles Ice Cream & Candy Parlour in Grace Bay for every type of imaginable treat. To keep them entertained when not at the beach, the hotel has a large assortment of board games.
The Spa Tropique offers relaxation, treatments, massages, and facials for all. Mothers and daughters will especially enjoy the “Mommy & Me Little Mermaid Package” that includes a manicure, pedicure and a special hairdo.