Turks and Caicos —
Turks and Caicos are a group of tropical islands in the Caribbean consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands. The two primary tourist destinations are Providenciales Island in the Caicos and Grand Turk Island in the Turks.
What to Do in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos activities pretty much center on the beach because that’s what most people visit there for. Popular beach activities include the usual: sunbathing, reading, swimming, eating, drinking, etc. Because it’s surrounded by the world’s third largest coral reef, the Mesoamerican Reef, (the first is the Great Barrier Reef and the second is Apo Reef) Turks and Caicos’ snorkeling and diving are exceptional.
Things to Do in Providenciales
Providenciales things to do are…
Go to the beach. Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales is the Turks and Caicos best known beach and is such a fabulous beach it was named the “World’s Leading Beach” for several years running at the World Travel Awards.
Get physical in and on the water. You can snorkel, dive, kiteboard, windsurf, paddle board, kayak, sail, fish, parasail, jet ski and more.
Take a guided tour on land or sea. While there are many options when it comes to guided tours, Visit Turks & Caicos Islands particularly recommends taking a boat cruise to the Cays east of Providenciales, and visiting North and Middle Caicos for a day.
Visit a cultural and/or historical landmark. Cheshire Hall Plantation, Sapodilla Bay Hill Rock Carvings, and Caicos Conch Farm – the world’s only commercial conch farm — are all interesting examples of Providenciales’ history and culture.
Visit a National Park and/or Nature Reserve. Chalk Sound National Park; North West Point Marine National Park; Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park; North West Point Pond Nature Reserve; Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve; and Pigeon Pond and Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve are located on Providenciales.
Play on land. Although its beaches are the big draw, there are also plenty of things for people to do who enjoy their sports on dry land. You can golf, play tennis, go horseback riding, go cycling, bird watch, get a massage, take a fitness class, and shop. Not all at one time, or even in one day, though.
Enjoy the nightlife. In addition to the multitude of daytime activities, there are a myriad of things to do at night. You can eat, drink, gamble, see a live show, and listen to live music.
Things to Do in Grand Turk
Are you wondering what to do in Grand Turk? Grand Turk things to do are often the same, yet slightly different, than Providenciales. For example, Grand Turk has more to do of a historical nature, but fewer beach activities and less nightlife. You may also want to keep in mind that Grand Turk is a major cruise destination, so when cruise ships are in port the island will be packed and many guided activities and tours will likely be sold out.
Go to the beach. Grand Turk doesn’t have a beach as nice as Grace Bay, but its beaches are still lovely. Governor’s Beach is considered the best beach on Grand Turk.
Get physical in and on the water. You can snorkel, dive, SNUBA, paddle board, kayak, and fish on Grand Turk although, with the exception of paddle boarding and kayaking, your options directly from the beach are limited. One of the top things to do on Grand Turk is to go diving off the famous Grand Turk Wall, but you need a boat to get there.
Take a guided tour. A favorite tour is the trip to Gibbs Cay, a small island off the east coast of Grand Turk, where you can interact with the friendly stingrays that swim up to meet visitors. Other popular tours include whale watching during the winter months; fishing for large sport fish, bottom reef fish and bone fish; Segway, ATV, and dune buggy tours of Grand Turk; and snorkeling and diving boat tours to offshore reefs.
Visit a historic landmark. Grand Turk has more attractions of historical interest than other Turks and Caicos Islands. One such landmark is Grand Turk Lighthouse. It was built in 1852 and is the only lighthouse in the Turks and Caicos. Another is Cockburn Town, which is the oldest permanent settlement in the Turks and Caicos. Cockburn Town’s main points of interest include:
- Turks and Caicos National Museum, which houses many fascinating displays on the history of the Turks and Caicos as well as neighboring islands.
- Her Majesty’s Prison, a good example of the island’s classical Bahamian architecture.
- St. Mary’s Anglican Church, a particularly scenic church with its bright red trim and oceanfront location.
- Grand Turk Salinas where you can learn about the centuries old sea salt industry.
Visit a National Park. Columbus Landfall National Park is located on Grand Turk.
Play on land. Although its beaches are the big draw, there are also things to do off the beach. You can go horseback riding, cycling and bird watching; get a massage; and shop. There’s also a FlowRider, an artificial body boarding and surfing attraction, at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
Enjoy the nightlife. There’s less nightlife on Grand Turk than on Providenciales, but there are still excellent places to eat, drink, and enjoy live music.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin