The Turks and Caicos Islands are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tropical archipelagos in the West Indies 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 will make you think you have arrived in paradise.
Already a hit island resort favoured by holidaymakers from the United States, Turks and Caicos is gradually building up a loyal following of visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe. They are flying that extra mile to reach these glorious shores and experience the magic of the tropical islands for themselves.
In this guide, you will learn things about these stunning Caribbean islands with travel tips to help you plan the perfect visit to Turks and Caicos.
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Frequently asked questions about Turks and Caicos
How do you get to the islands of Turks and Caicos?
To travel to Turks and Caicos, flights from Miami take under two hours, door to door, so the islands are a fabulous place to visit for a short weekend break. Flights from New York take four hours.
Flights from the United Kingdom go via Miami to Providenciales international airport and take around 12 hours. There are no direct flights from the UK, 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.
If arriving by cruise ship, you will dock by Governor’s Beach on Grand Turk island – the only cruise port in Turk and Caicos.
When is the 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.
While the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a British Overseas Territory, the weather couldn’t be further removed from the UK’s grey skies and low temperatures!
What are the Turks and Caicos Islands?
Forty small islands and cays comprise Turks and Caicos; however, only eight are inhabited.
These form two island groups. Providenciales, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay are in the South. Grand Turk, the largest of the islands, and Salt Cay are in the East.
One of the bucket list islands in the Caribbean to holiday on is Providenciales, known locally as Provo, and a fun-packed island in Turks & Caicos.
The other place is Grand Turk, the site of the capital of the islands, Cockburn Town. This is where you will find the Turks and Caicos National Museum, where visitors can discover the culture and history of the islands.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
You will be spoilt for places to stay in Providenciales, from inclusive resorts and boutique hotels to luxury beachside bungalows and apartments.
One of the most popular places to stay in Grace Bay is the Seven Stars Resort and Spa. This fabulous beachside property is a premium Turks and Caicos island resort with first-class service.
And if you have the funds to splash the cash, then there is no better place to stay than on Ambergris Cay private island.
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. This might not be for you if you want a quiet stay in Turks and Caicos islands.
However, if you are looking for a party atmosphere or have children with you, Beaches will tick all your boxes and then some!
What makes Turks and Caicos 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 unique.
It could be the underwater life that attracts divers and snorkelers from around the world to see the wide variety of tropical fish around the islands. After all, this is home to one of the world’s largest and healthiest reef systems.
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 how the island caters to all tastes and budgets, with designer stores and fine dining restaurants catering for visitors looking to splash the cash. At the same time, beachside food shacks and local artisans give visitors a taste of the “real” Turks and Caicos Islands.
I think it is all those qualities and more, but Turks and Caicos’ main attraction is the sea’s dramatic and often unreal colour and the white sand that squidges through your toes like talcum powder.
Remember those paintings you drew of your ideal beach as a child? Well, in Turks and Caicos, it is reality!
Where are the Best Beaches in Turks and Caicos?
Most travellers book a holiday to Turks and Caicos (including 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 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!
Leeward and Bight Beach
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 – a 10-minute walk along the beach from Beaches Resort.
Half Moon Bay and Governor’s Beach
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.
What are the best activities to experience in Turks and Caicos?
If you are wondering what to do in Turks and Caicos, there are plenty of water- and land-based things to experience.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
The Turks and Caicos’ most popular activities include scuba 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.
Many authorised diving schools in Turks and Caicos offer 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, incorporating snorkelling on the largest barrier reef. We enjoyed 4 hours out on the water – until a storm came in, and we had to head back to the resort!
Until then, 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 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 saw 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 to see this endangered species.
Notice the beads through the iguana’s frill? This tagging system is used on each iguana to follow its life span, including fertility rates and feeding patterns.
You will also see luxury beachside mansions from the water during the cruise. Expect to pay in the region of $10m for one of these prestigious properties!
Chalk Sound National Park
Another great place to visit is Chalk Sound National Park. It is a network of winding waterways with a beautiful shallow turquoise lagoon. Visitors can rent a small boat and meander along the channels or use a SUP or kayak for sightseeing.
When you take to the water, expect to see spot iguanas, small sharks, stingrays, and barracuda.
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 Providenciales 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, including 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.
Angie’s Travel Tips: 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 yucky, but it 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!
We finished our day by looking around a few artisan shops in Saltmills Plaza in Grace Bay.
It was nice to step away from the hustle and bustle of Beaches Resort for a few hours, but equally as wonderful getting back to the beach and ocean.
Turks Head Brewery Tour
Beer lovers might find joining the best brewery tour in the Caribbean interesting. 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.
Beaches Turks & Caicos guests can go on a reef fishing charter and have a chef at one of the resort restaurants prepare their day’s catch. It is 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.
Check out a selection of the best Turks and Caicos Islands Tours
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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