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Turks and Caicos Itinerary: All You Need to Know Before You Go

Turks and Caicos Itinerary: All You Need to Know Before You Go

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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Turquoise blue sea in Turks and Caicos

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.

Flowers inTurks 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!

Italian village bedroom at Beaches Turks and Caicos
Angie sitting on a seat in Beaches resort, Turks and Caicos

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?

Children fishing off the dock in Turks and Caicos

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!

Angie in a green dress standing on the beach with white sand and turquoise sea.

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.

Grace Bay

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.

Turtle swimming in Turks and Caicos

Many authorised diving schools in Turks and Caicos offer excellent opportunities to see the sealife.

Turtle swimming in Turks and Caicos

Boat Trips

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!

boat on the sea in Turks
Storm at sea in turks and Caicos

Until then, the tour boat took us to the Barrier Reef to snorkel, where we saw tropical fish, including lionfish, turtles and stingrays.

Angie snorkelling in Turks and Caicos
fish in Turks and Caicos

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.

Starfish beneath the water in Turks and Caicos

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!

A luxury white mansion in Turks and Caicos

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.

Island Tours

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!

Conch Shells in Turks and Caicos

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.

A couple standing on the dowck with the sunset in the background in Turks and Caicos

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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Linda (LD Holland)

Saturday 11th of June 2022

We have visited a lot of Caribbean Islands but have missed Turks and Caicos. But it has been on our list for scuba diving. That unreal colour of the water is definitely a great draw for us. And we would certainly head out on a boat trip for an island tour. 

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 11th of June 2022

The scuba diving and snorkelling are fantastic. I hope you make it there soon!

Sue

Saturday 11th of June 2022

That takes me back! Turks & Caicos is gorgeous & as a beach lover, it is a great set of islands to visit. Glad you enjoyed this little slice of paradise.

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 11th of June 2022

We certainly did, it was one of our favourite Caribbean islands.

Laureen Lund

Saturday 11th of June 2022

As you know my post last week was about Turks and Caicos. We really enjoyed it...so beautiful. We did not snorkel and your photos look like we should have made more of an effort to. Fabulous! Glad you enjoyed it and I think more Europeans are starting to discover it.

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 11th of June 2022

Yes despite the flight length it is becoming more and more popular in the UK.

Renee

Saturday 11th of June 2022

Of all the Caribbean destinations, Turks & Caicos is simply the best. You said it, it's for the luxury accommodations and incredible beaches. It's an easy escape for us Canadians in the wintertime, but the trek from the UK at 12 hours is quite the journey! I hadn't realized that T & C is only inhabited 8 out of the 40 islands. The sunset catamaran cruise is a must to catch those dreamy and romantic sunsets. A day of shopping at the Saltmills Plaza would be a great change of scenery and a break from the sun. Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 11th of June 2022

Slightly jealous that you have such a short flight to take to paradise but feel lucky I have visited at least once in my lifetime. It really is such a beautiful place with the bluest water ever.

Susan Pazera

Friday 10th of June 2022

Lovely post! Oh my, those beaches - the colors. And I loved your underwater sea life photos. I think a trip to the Turks and Caicos is in our future!

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 11th of June 2022

I hope you get to see those blue waters for yourself, they really are amazing!