Turks and Caicos Vacations
Turks and Caicos is an archipelago in the Caribbean south of the Bahamas, and north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This delightful British Overseas Territory boasts the third-largest coral reefs in the world surrounded by translucent turquoise seas and powdery, white-sand beaches.
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Turks and Caicos offers great snorkeling and scuba-diving opportunities for your Caribbean vacation. Its best-known beach is Grace Bay Beach on the main island of Providenciales, referred to as Provo by the locals. More than 170 species of birds build their nests here, amid plentiful salt ponds and marshes.
Surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands, the sparkling turquoise waters beckon. Explore beautiful wetlands and exquisite tropical beaches on your vacation. Grand Turk, which is also home to the country’s capital of Cockburn Town, offers endless pursuits such as snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and whale watching in season. It also houses the National Museum of Turks and Caicos.
Round out your holiday experience with an indulgent stay at one of the island’s beachfront resorts, many of which are all-inclusive.
What To Do
Swim, sunbathe or stroll on one of the world’s loveliest beaches, the 12-mile-long Grace Bay Beach. Located on the stunning northeast coast, its warm turquoise waters and soft powdery sand provide the quintessential Caribbean beach-going experience.
Feed all your senses at Provo’s Thursday fish fry, a lively local event with music, food vendors and local artists.
Go deep-sea fishing or take a scenic Provo Adventure Cruise along this exquisite coastline to Little Water Cay for a peek at the area’s curious local inhabitants, the endangered rock iguanas. There’s plenty of time to swim and snorkel along the way.
Take a walk through the amazing Conch Bar Caves, the largest above ground cave system in the entire region, on Middle Caicos.
What To See
Rent a scooter and explore Grand Turk island sites such as the National Museum, Lighthouse and the Salt House in Town Salina. Walk along the salt canals to see a working replica of a windmill and museum, peppered with information on the island’s salty past.
Tour the Blue Hills, the oldest settlement on Providenciales, before visiting the Caicos Conch Farm, the only farm in the world that raises queen conches.
Sail into the sunset on a catamaran cruise off Providenciales, while a DJ serenades you with sizzling tropical island sounds.
Most Turks and Caicos shopping and restaurants including Saltmills Plaza, Regent Village, Caicos Café Plaza are concentrated in the lovely Grace Bay neighborhood on the island of Providenciales.
Internet Casino gambling was born on Turks and Caicos in 1995, although it no longer exists here. Today, Providenciales is the only island with a full casino, located in the Grace Bay area.
Some of the larger resorts offer nighttime entertainment. There is also a music festival in the summer bringing well-known artists to the islands’ sandy shores.
Turks & Caicos with Kids
Send your kids on a Spotlight Tweens and Teens Catamaran, or a Sesame Sail Away Catamaran for the younger ones, aboard the ”Kitty Katt” catamaran snorkeling cruise, while you embark on a romantic sunset sail of your own.
Explore a Caribbean queen conch farm and the Blue Hills, for an authentic view of village life. Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef offer ideal snorkeling locales for you and your kids. Their colorful reefs, teeming with marine life, lie close to shore and will the entire family for hours.
Off the Beaten Path
Explore the stunning waters of the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve surrounding Little Water Cay. Paddle amid lush red and black mangroves, while local sea turtles and small lemon sharks swim beneath your kayak.
Back on land, check out the islands’ national bird, the Brown Pelican, and visit the Rock Iguana Sanctuary. Or visit Chalk Sound National Park, a natural lagoon boasting hundreds of rocky islands southwest of Providenciales. Keep an eye out for the local Turks and Caicos rock iguanas, barracudas and lemon sharks.
Food and Drink
Turks and Caicos is home to the world’s only conch farm. Sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s lobster,” this meaty staple is a mainstay of the islands’ menus. There is even a festival in its honor each November on Providenciales.
Try this local delicacy fried in conch fritters, mixed into a hearty conch stew, or sliced raw in a conch salad, where the acids from lime juice essentially “cook” the delicious meat.
Other dishes combine fresh seafood, such as lobster and fish, local greens and produce, including maize, okra, beans, squash, papaya, and plantains, with imported rice and grains.
Spicy Jamaican jerk is also quite popular. Taste the tantalizing Caribbean BBQ, which originated nearby in the northern Caribbean and island of Hispaniola. There is also an annual international Caribbean Food and Wine Festival offering a gourmet glimpse of the island’s best-loved restaurants.