The Turks and Caicos Islands are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tropical archipelagos in the Caribbean and a dream destination for couples, families and groups. With water bluer than you could imagine and golden sandy beaches stretching for miles, Turks and Caicos really will have you thinking you have arrived in paradise.
Already a hit island resort favoured by holidaymakers from the USA, Turks and Caicos is gradually building up a loyal following of visitors from the UK and Europe. They are flying that extra mile to reach these glorious shores and experience the magic of the islands for themselves.
In this post, you can see from my photographs just how beautiful the islands are and find out a little more information about visiting these stunning bucket list Caribbean islands.
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Getting to the Islands of Turks and Caicos
Flights go via Miami to Providenciales from the UK and take around 12 hours. There are no direct flights so bear that in mind if travelling with children. If you want to break up your flight, you could stay a few nights in Miami and experience some of Miami’s top tourist attractions.
Flights from Miami take under two hours door to door, and so the islands are a fabulous place to visit for a short weekend break. Flights from New York take four hours.
If arriving by cruise ship, you will dock by Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk – the only cruise port in Turk and Caicos.
Best Time to Visit Turks and Caicos
February, March, April and May are great months to visit, making it the perfect spring getaway. I travelled in April and found the weather to be perfect.
June to November are hot and tropical, but the risk of hurricanes comes with high temperatures.
November, December and January are fabulous months to visit but busy, especially across the Christmas period.
Turks and Caicos Main Islands
Forty small islands and cays make up Turks and Caicos; however, only eight islands are inhabited. These form two island groups. Grand Turk, the largest of the islands, and Salt Cay are in the East. Providenciales, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay are in the South.
The most popular locations to holiday in are Providenciales, one of the most fun islands in Turks & Caicos and Grand Turk, the site of the capital of the islands, Cockburn Town.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
You will be spoilt for places to stay in Providenciales ranging from luxury resorts to beachside bungalows and apartments.
I stayed with my family on my trip at the all-inclusive Beaches Resort at Grace Bay in Providenciales. We stayed in the Italian Village and loved every minute of our visit.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is part of the Sandals Caribbean Resort Group and is a beautiful beachside resort but very big. It has 20 restaurants & 12 bars, plus a water park & 6 outdoor pools. If you are looking for a quiet stay in Turks and Caicos, this might not be for you.
However, if you are looking for a party atmosphere or have children with you, Beaches will tick all your boxes and then some!
Visitors can find availability and pricing here for a stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos is a Dream Destination
If you have already holidayed in other beautiful Caribbean islands, including Barbados, Jamaica, and Antigua, you may wonder what makes Turks and Caicos so unique.
It could be the underwater life that has divers and snorkelers arriving from around the world to see the wide variety of tropical fish around the islands – after all, this is home to one of the largest and healthiest reef systems in the world!
Or maybe it’s the Caribbean island vibe, where the notion of rushing around is unheard of, and rest and relaxation are prerequisites for spending time on the islands?
Or perhaps it’s the way the island caters for all tastes and budgets, with designer stores and fine dining restaurants catering for visitors looking to splash the cash while beachside food shacks and local artisans give visitors a taste of the “real” Turks and Caicos Islands.
I think it is all of those qualities and more, but the main attraction of Turks and Caicos is the dramatic and often unreal colour of the sea and the white sand that squidges through your toes like talcum powder. Remember those paintings you drew of your ideal beach when you were a child? Well, in Turks and Caicos, it is reality!
Best Beaches in Turks and Caicos
Most travellers book a holiday to Turks and Caicos (and that includes me) because the marketing images of the unbelievably blue water and white beaches have worked their magic. You can take my word for it when I tell you that they are even more breathtakingly beautiful than the images portray.
The world-famous Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales is often ranked as the best beach in the world, so it’s no surprise that it tops this list of best beaches in Turks and Caicos. Words alone can’t describe its allure, but maybe this picture will!
Other beautiful beaches in Turks and Caicos include Leeward Beach to the east of Grace Bay and Bight Beach to the west. Bight Beach has a fabulous house reef which I snorkelled each day – it is a short 10-minute walk along the beach from Beaches resort.
Half Moon Bay is stunningly beautiful and accessible on boat trips or by kayak from Providenciales, as is Governor’s Beach on Grand Turk, whose crystal-clear waters are the clearest in the country.
No matter which island you visit, you can be assured that the beaches will blow your mind.
Best Activities To Experience in Turks and Caicos
Diving and Snorkelling
The Turks and Caicos’ most popular activities include diving and snorkelling, and during my trip, I snorkelled and saw the most incredible array of underwater life.
My son is a PADI scuba diver and could reach places I couldn’t. He was impressed with how much he saw and said it was one of the most biodiverse waters he had dived in the Caribbean.
You will find many authorised diving schools in Turks and Caicos, offering excellent opportunities to see the sealife.
Taking a boat trip is a must while holidaying on the islands. We booked a trip with Caicos Dreams that incorporated snorkelling on the Barrier Reef. We enjoyed 4 hours out on the water – until a storm came in, and we had to head back to the resort!
Up until that point, the tour boat took us to the Barrier Reef to snorkel, where we saw tropical fish, including lionfish, turtles and stingrays.
And we then headed to Half Moon Bay, a picturesque beach located between the islands of Little Water Cay and Water Cay, to spend time on the picture book beach with its translucent waters.
Afterwards, our boat took us to Little Water Cay Nature Reserve, also known as ‘Iguana Island’, where we got to see the Turks and Caicos Rock Iguanas. Little Water Cay is one of the Turks & Caicos Islands’ must-see places to visit as it is one of the only places in the world you can see this endangered species.
Notice the beads through the iguana’s frill? These are a tagging system used on each iguana to follow its life span, including fertility rates and feeding patterns.
During the cruise, you will also see some of the luxury beachside mansions from the water. Expect to pay in the region of $10m for one of these prestigious properties!
We hired a car during our say to see what delights we could discover around the island. We managed to return it within four hours as we had seen everything!
The reason is that the island is so small and to be honest the main thing to see is the beach and the reef, so it probably isn’t worth getting a hire car. You are better off asking the concierge to book you on a mini-tour of the island that includes some of the places we visited.
However, we did make it to Da Conch Shack and rum bar for lunch and to buy a couple of shells to bring home as souvenirs.
Top Tip: You can take three shells home in your hold luggage but check your final destination will allow them into the country.
Conch, pronounced ‘konk,’ is local seafood meat from an oversized sea snail. It might sound a bit yukky but is, in fact, delicious and served all over the island. Especially good when accompanied by local island rum!
We then drove along the coast and took snaps of anything that caught our eye – including the evidence that hurricanes hit the islands. We even went to see The Hole – a 40-ft. natural limestone sinkhole that claims to be one of the island’s best attractions. Sadly I would have to disagree!
And we finished off having a look around a few artisan shops in Saltmills Plaza in Grace Bay. It was nice to step away from the hustle and bustle of Beaches for a few hours but equally as wonderful getting back to the beach and ocean.
Turks Head Brewery Tour
Beer lovers might find it interesting to join the best brewery tour in the Caribbean. Discover the local secrets to creating the island’s four delicious beers with time to taste each of them on your way around.
Deep-Sea Fishing Tours
There are numerous deep-sea fishing tours to book during your stay on the islands. Guests of Beaches Turks & Caicos can go on a reef fishing charter and have a chef at one of the resort restaurants prepare their day’s catch. One of the unique experiences to have in Turks and Caicos.
Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Set sail for a sensational evening catamaran cruise to see one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. Enjoy bubbles and canopies on board before returning to the dock for that romantic sunset photograph to remind you of a magical holiday in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
I hope this post has given you an insight into visiting the beautiful islands of Turks and Caicos. I would love to hear from you in the comments box below!
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