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Experience Turks and Caicos

What brings visitors to Turks and Caicos?

The luxurious Turks and Caicos Islands are a sought after destination for couples, families, and celebrities seeking seclusion and relaxation. The tropical archipelago of 40 islands stretching for 37 miles through the tranquil Caribbean are trademarked by their pristine, inviting beaches and crystalline turquoise waters. Each island is a destination in its own right, the two main islands are Providenciales, and Grand Turks, both invite guests to live a life of luxury in deluxe accommodations, world-renowned spas, rich dining, rest, and relaxation in paradise. The largest coral reef system in the world encompasses the islands, leading to premier dive sites. The miles of abandoned shoreline and verdant foliage on the islands offer abundant waters sports, hidden underground caves, scenic nature trails, flora, and fauna.

What are the outdoor activities to do in Turks and Caicos?

The dazzling islands are home to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, but that is not all that the islands have to offer. Sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, parasailing, spas, salons, golfing, shopping, and gambling are among a few of the activities to choose from. The Princess Alexandra Marine Park is part of Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales where snorkelers can see rich marine life found at The Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef at this spectacular underwater park. Both sites can be accessed from the shore and the bay here is “JoJo’s” playground, a bottlenose dolphin, who loves interacting with humans.

Columbus Passage is a 22-mile wide pass located east of Grand Turks Island that separates the Turks from the Caicos. There are many marine animals in the past and divers might get the opportunity to see dolphins, whales, rays, and turtles depending on the time of year.

The coastal path of Crossing Place Trail is a National Trust Heritage Site dating back to the 18th century, established by settlers and slaves. Today the path offers 5 miles of hiking and biking trails that stretch from the village of Lorimers to the place where islanders crossed the sandbars to trade with the inhabitants of North Caicos. Walk or bike along the coastal headlands here passing hidden, secluded beaches, caves, and inland bush while absorbing some of the best views.

The Grand Turk Lighthouse dates back to 1852 and stands 60 feet tall at the highest point of the island. It was inspired by President Fred Forth after several shipwrecks occurred offshore due to poor lighting. It protects the northern tip of the island and is an important landmark with an interesting history. The lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s house are both historic sites by the National Trust.

Conch Bar Caves are one of the biggest caves systems in the Caribbean, found close to the Conch Bar village on Middle Caicos Island. The cave system spans for 1.5 miles and can be accessed through the National Trust, with 20-30 minute guided tours offered. The caves are home to stalactites, stalagmites, lagoons, and colonies of bats.

What are the beaches like in Turks and Caicos?

The Turks and Caicos beaches are world-famous with the phenomenal shores of Grace Bay are one of the most famed, stretching for 5 miles in Providenciales, and home to some of the most luxurious resorts. This beach is fantastic and one of the best in the entire Caribbean, with powdery soft white sands and sparkling turquoise waters with coral reefs shimmering just offshore. Grace Bay Beach is part of the Princess Alexandra Marine Park filled with rich marine life, it is also a well-known spot for bird watching and whale migration past Salt Cay.

Leeward Beach is located to the east of Grace Bay, a perfect white sand beach with incredible turquoise waters, a great beach for combing for seashells.

The small yet stunning Sapodilla Bay is nestled on the ocean side of Chalk Sound on Providenciales, a secluded strip of sand with some of the calmest waters on any of the islands. The water is shallow so it's great for swimming and snorkeling. The historic Sapodilla Hill overlooks the bay and is a great viewing point over the coast and for sunsets where centuries-old rock inscriptions can be seen.

Sun Ray Beach on Providenciales just a short walk from the cruise port is a popular beach with day-trippers and excursions. The beach is backed by some great shopping opportunities including souvenir shops and the craft market.

The beautiful Governor’s Beach is close to the cruise ship port on Grand Turk, so it can be busy when ships are in port. Other times the beach is quiet and secluded with lots of shade from the trees lining the beach, great for a picnic on the sand. The waters here are some of the clearest in the country and perfect for snorkeling.

Bambarra Beach and Reef are on Middle Caicos, off the beaten track bringing peace and seclusion to beachgoers. Spending a day here is simply wonderful with great waters for snorkeling, you can walk out to the nearby Pelican Cay when the waters are shallow.

What are the nightlife offerings in Turks and Caicos?

The Turks and Caicos Islands are not renowned for their nightlife, many visitors choose to relax and enjoy the spectacular sunsets while sipping cocktails on the beach or poolside. Many of the resorts and hotels offer great evening entertainment with dinners, drinks, live music, and dancing.

Grace Bay on Providenciales does have a casino which is a popular place in the evening, many resorts offer complimentary shuttle rides to the casino. The casino offers 85c slot machines, live gaming tables including blackjack and roulette. There are a bar and lounge area to chill out and have drinks.

The Spirit of the Turks and Caicos, Bambarra Rum is an alcoholic beverage sold in many of the bars. It is the national drink and used in rum punches and Mojitos, also sold are Bambarra Black, Bambarra Coconut Rum, and Bambarra two-year-old Silver Rum.

Happy Hours is a popular pass time on the islands, settling back in a bar stool or on the beach for sunset and cocktails. Pelican Restaurant offers a great happy hour, at the bar next to the pool, open to the public with two for one drink daily from 5 - 7 pm.

Where should I eat in Turks and Caicos?

The Turks and Caicos Islands boast 81 restaurants, many located on Providenciales featuring fine and imaginative cuisine from world-class chefs. The islands heavily rely on imported food products, so the food can be expensive, but there is a lot of variety with Asian, Caribbean, Mexican, Italian, and of course plenty of fresh fish and seafood. Some favorites on the island include conch, served up in several different ways including conch fritters and creamy conch chowder.

There is a weekly fish fry at Bight Park, a unique way to absorb the culture of the island, something every visitor should experience. Sample delicious fresh fish, seafood, and conch meals with sides such as mac and cheese and crab rice, prepared by excellent chefs from all over the island. There is live music to keep you entertained and nearby shops to pick up unique authentic souvenirs.

What are some historical sites in Turks and Caicos?

The Salt House Museum located in Grand Turk is a must-see! The salt industry was very important in the Turks and Caicos back in the 1900s when the islands were exporting as much as 140 million pounds of sea salt. Extracted from Salt Cay in the South Caicos, the remnants can be seen at this museum.

The Turks and Caicos National Museum is housed in one of the oldest buildings on the island and chronicles the history of the country. The museum touches base on topics such as slavery, the salt industry, and the island's natural environment. An interesting exhibit shows a collection of messages in bottles that have been retrieved from the shores all over the island.

Cheshire Hall, on Providenciales, was used as a plantation on the islands in the 1800s, Europeans invested in the 5,000-acre piece of land where hundreds of slaves worked on the grounds. There is a cotton press on display as well as the slave quarters and a derelict hall, visitors can take a tour of the 200-year-old grounds and ruins.

What is the culture like in Turks and Caicos?

The Turks and Caicos are governed by Great Britain, the island is a mixture of cultures from all over the world including African descendants dating back to the days of slavery. These residents are known as “Belonger” and the island nation is one of the best tax havens in the world, attracting a wealthy population of ex-pats.

The Tainos are the indigenous people of the Turks and Caicos who migrated to the Caribbean Islands somewhere around 700AD. Tainos are known to live a simple life and survive by farming, fishing, hunting, and gathering. Historians believe Christopher Columbus made landfall on Grand Turk in the New World in 1492, others say Juan Ponce de Leon founded the archipelago in 1512.

Parrot Cay was once the site of a pirate base, today it boasts luxurious resorts with star-studded visitors. The name of the island was changed from Pirate Cay to