Not every day needs to cost a fortune while on vacation in Turks and Caicos. Consider the options from our list of 22 Free and Cheap Things To Do in Turks and Caicos to help keep your next vacation on budget.
While it's true that Providenciales is an expensive Caribbean Island, there are still plenty of free and cheap things to do in Turks and Caicos. Whether you're looking to soak up some sun, explore the island's rich cultural history, or simply unwind and relax, you're sure to find something that suits your budget and interests.
As Byron and I travel to Turks and Caicos as often as we can, we're always looking for ways to explore without breaking the bank. And from our experience, some of our favorite memories didn't cost a penny. From free beach days and self guided tours to affordable snorkeling trips and local markets. There are plenty of ways to experience the beauty and charm of Providenciales without breaking the bank. So, sit back and let's explore all the amazing free and cheap things to do on the stunning Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales.
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22 Free And Cheap Activities In Turks and Caicos
1. Potcake Place K9 Rescue
Potcake Place K9 Rescue is one of the best free activities in Turks and Caicos. It is a non profit organization located in Providenciales, that focuses on rescuing and re homing stray dogs, referred to as “Potcakes,” from the streets and beaches of the islands.
What makes Potcake Place such a fantastic free activity is their “Puppy Socialization Program.” Tourists have the opportunity to spend time socializing and playing with the rescued puppies! Visitors line up at the rescue in the morning and assigned a puppy and a bag of goodies. Puppy snacks, water and poop bags are all provided by the rescue. You're encouraged to take the puppies for walks on the beach, play in the sand, or just spend time cuddling and giving them love and attention on your beach towel. Do not worry, you are not obligated to adopt and take a puppy home (though many end up doing so), they simply need all the helping hands they can get.
This free activity is a must for those traveling to Turks and Caicos with kids or if you're animal lovers like us. It only takes up a couple of hours in the morning, then it's time for the puppies (and possibly you) to have their bath and afternoon naps. Truly a fantastic way to support a worthy cause while enjoying your free time in Turks and Caicos.
2. The Island Fish Fry
Every Thursday night in Providenciales, tourists and locals alike are invited to immerse themselves in the culture, food and sounds of Turks and Caicos. Local artisans and food vendors set up for a few hours of fun and celebrations. Sample some local eats and drinks and shop the hand made jewellery and other crafts.
Located next to Mr Groupers Restaurant on Princess Drive, guests typically spend a couple of hours enjoying the sights and sounds of The Fish Fry. Parking may be limited along Princess Drive so if you're driving, plan to be there closer to the start time of 5:00/5:30pm. Otherwise for those staying in and around Grace Bay, it's not a long walk. Or should you prefer, a taxi will take you straight to the entrance.
Entrance to the Fish Fry is free, however all food and drink and crafts are separate purchases. Most vendors accept credit cards if you are looking to pick up a few souvenirs, but we'd suggest bringing a little cash just in case. This is a great way to spend a Thursday night if you're looking for a fun bite to eat.
3. Turtle Cove Marina Dock Walks
Being one of the main marinas for tours and excursions in Providenciales, Turtle Cove Marina is always bustling with boats coming in and out with their catch, or private charters taking guests on one of a kind day trips.
Getting up close to the boats and chatting with the Captains and Crew always makes for a fun way to spend an hour or so. They'll share their stories from the day or that one time they caught “the big one”. If you're lucky to catch a crew cleaning their catch on the dock, you just might get to see a sneaky shark taking advantage of an easy snack on the scraps!
4. Bike Ride From Grace Bay To Blue Haven Marina
Most resorts in Turks and Caicos offer their guests the free use of bicycles. Many guests use these to frequent the grocery store or to a nearby coffee shop. But why not take advantage of the free rental and create a fun self guided tour?
Our suggestion would be to take yourself east along Grace Bay Road and into the gated community of Leeward and onward to Blue Haven Marina next to Blue Haven All Inclusive Resort. Depending on the time of year, you will see some serious mega yachts docked here. Always a fun time trying to guess who they belong to! Feel free to stop in for a quick snack or a much needed drink too. Or maybe you brought a picnic to enjoy at the marina. Both are great options for a free and cheap way to spend a few hours in Turks and Caicos.
From Blue Haven Marina, carry on through the neighborhood and stop to view the turquoise channels from the bridges or empty lots. Plenty of sea turtles and occasional sharks are seen spending lazy days in the channels.
It's a quiet community so there isn't a lot of traffic, but as always, be cautious when riding your bikes.
5. Junkanoo Museum And Sweet T's Fried Chicken
With an admission fee of just $10 per person, The Junkanoo Museum is a great way to support the museum’s continued operations in preserving Turks and Caicos history and Culture. And of course, educating all of us!
If you've been to The Island Fish Fry or Da Conch Shack, you've seen the Junkanoo Band. But do you know what they are or how they came about? The Junkanoo Museum offers visitors the opportunity to experience Junakanoo outside of being observers. Guests will try on costumes, beat the drums and take pictures all while learning about Junkanoos rich history and culture. The Junkanoo Museum is also a fun spot to hit should you have a rainy day in Providenciales.
After you've enjoyed the museum, we'd suggest you hit up Sweet T's Fried Chicken for a cheap lunch or snack. You'll be driving right by Sweet T's on your way back. So, why not enjoy some ofwhat many say, is the best fried chicken on The Island.
Located in a parking lot near the Airport Road round about, Sweet T's is a white and pink octagonal building. You can't miss it. A favorite for locals on the go, you know it's going to be good. Park and order from the window, then take your to-go box of chicken back to the beach for a picnic or a feast in your room.
6. Turks Head Brewery Tour
Rain or shine, a tour of the Turks Head Brewery is always a fun and cheap thing to do in Turks and Caicos. At just $15.00 per person ($5.00 for kids), visitors can enjoy a one hour tour of the Turks Head Brewery. Guests will learn the basics of the brewing process in this modern brewery and take in a birds eye view from the catwalk built especially for visitors to enjoy the tour.
Following the tour, you'll be invited to enjoy samples of Turks and Caicos National Beer. Sidle up to the custom made bar and enjoy the wide variety of exceptional Turks Head Beers. If there's a brewery in your home town, bring a sticker and place it on the Brewery Wall!
Even if you don't want to do a guided tour, you can still walk the catwalk over the production floor enjoy a cold one at the bar. Ordering a sample flight is a fun way to taste some of the amazing brews at Turks Head Brewery. Our personal fave (and a popular choice on The Island) is I-Soon-Reach. A super easy, day at the beach kind of beer.
7. Window Shop In Salt Mills Plaza, Regent Village And Grace Bay Market
Sometimes you just need a little break from the beach. And what better way to do that than to do some window shopping in the Grace Bay area. Now you're likely saying this is hardly a free thing to do in Turks and Caicos because surely you'll end up buying something. But let's try to look at this with good intentions of actually window shopping. Or at the very least, sorting out which souvenirs you'll come back to pick up before you leave.
Most visitors are familiar with the shops at Salt Mills Plaza and Regent Village in the heart of Grace Bay. However, Grace Bay Market is a new plaza that highlights local artisans and eateries in the Grace Bay area. Located across from Graceway Gourmet and just down a little ways from the Seven Stars round about, this centrally located market is another great shopping plaza for visitors to enjoy. There's also a lovely courtyard area to sit and enjoy a snack or listen to music from local artists.
8. Snorkel At Bight Reef, Smith's Reef Or Malcolm's Road Beach
Probably the best free thing to do in Turks and Caicos is snorkeling. Yes, you can snorkel some amazing reefs for FREE. Just steps off the shoreline at Bight Reef Beach, Smith's Reef Beach and Malcolm's Road Beach lies some incredible underwater worlds full of spectacular marine life. These three beaches are also listed on our top 11 beaches in Turks and Caicos.
The most popular free snorkeling reef would be Bight Reef located at Coral Gardens Resort on Grace Bay Beach. This is a protected reef system that is fantastic for families. Little kids can easily snorkel close to the shore and still see some fun fish in the rocks. Others can snorkel all around the red protective buoys to see everything from sea turtles to the occasional Barracuda.
Located near Turtle Cove Marina, Smith's Reef is just a little further west along Grace Bay Beach. Smith's Beach Reef is a shallow reef system that boasts some incredible marine life just steps into the ocean. Several beach access points give visitors plenty of options to set up for a day of snorkeling and beach fun. Bring your beach chairs and umbrellas as there are no amenities on this stretch of beach. But trust us, it's worth a visit.
Malcolm's Road Beach
Malcolm's Road Beach is a secluded beach located on the west side of Providenciales. One of the unique features of Malcolm's Road Beach is the presence of a artificial reef balls that can be explored by snorkelers and divers. Limestone rocks jet out from the waters edge acting as tables to sit on while soaking in all the beautiful surroundings. Malcolm's Road Beach is a very remote beach that we'd only advise going to if you've rented a jeep or suv. The small island cars would not make the pot holed obstacle course that leads to this beach. We also suggest you travel in a group so that if you do get stuck, you aren't alone.
Please remember that while these free snorkeling areas are open to tourists year round, it's important that we do our part to respect these beautiful underwater worlds and help preserve them for years to come. Please do not stand on the coral, touch the coral, break the coral or take the coral. And of course, please take all your garbage away with you.
9. Learn To Paddle Board
If you've ever wanted to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Turks and Caicos is the place to try it. With nearly all the resorts along Grace Bay Beach offering guests the use of non motorized water sports equipment there's no reason why this free thing to do in Turks and Caicos shouldn't be on the top of your list. Even many VRBO rentals offer the use of paddle boards to their guests so now's the perfect time to learn.
Watch for those calm days on Grace Bay Beach and get some basic instruction from a beach attendant. Or, just get in there and give it your best shot. Shallow water and soft sandy ocean floors makes learning to paddle board a whole lot of fun in Turks and Caicos.
10. Kayak Grace Bay Beach
As mentioned above, many of the resorts offer guests free use of their non motorized water sports equipment. Grab a life vest and your oars and set off along the shores of Grace Bay Beach to take in some incredible sights. Kayak all along Grace Bay Beach and take in the beautiful resort fronts and breathtaking luxury villas. You might even catch a glimpse of Jojo The Dolphin.
This is such a wonderful way to spend a morning on Grace Bay. Should you have access to the free use of a kayak, we highly recommend you give it a try. If you're unsure, a beach attendant will help you get started. Be mindful of swimmers in the area. And of course, keep watch for larger boats coming in and out of resorts to pick up tour guests.
11. Half Day Sail And Snorkel Tour
Ok, we know this is not a free or cheap thing to do in Turks and Caicos but let us explain. In a previous article, we have laid out why we think a Half Day Sail and Snorkel is the best bang for your buck while on vacation in Turks and Caicos. Yes, it's still a paid excursion. But we can assure you, if there's only one tour that you choose to do in Turks and Caicos, let it be this one. You will not only snorkel, you will island hop, see iguanas, walk sandbars, beach comb and so much more.
Should your budget allow just one excursion in Turks and Caicos, let it be the half day sail and snorkel tour.
Free And Cheap Sightseeing In Turks and Caicos
All of the items on this section of our free and cheap things to do in Turks and Caicos list can easily be completed in one day. Assuming you're renting a car to cut back on taxi costs, you can plan an entire days itinerary using any or all of these options.
12. Drive Around Chalk Sound
Driving around the Chalk Sound area is a must do for anyone visiting Providenciales. This stunning natural lagoon is located on the southwestern side of the island and is home to some of the most breathtaking views on the island.
As you drive around the Chalk Sound area, you'll be treated to spectacular views of “Gatorade Blue” turquoise waters, vibrant green mangroves, and tiny cays dotted throughout the lagoon. The vivid color of the water and surrounding landscapes make for an incredibly scenic drive that you won't forget.
Driving around the Chalk Sound area is completely free, making it an ideal budget friendly activity for visitors. So, if you're looking for a cheap way to take in the beauty of Providenciales, be sure to add a scenic drive around Chalk Sound to your list of free things to do in Turks and Caicos.
13. The Hole
The Hole is a unique geological formation located in the Long Bay Hills area of Providenciales. This natural wonder is essentially a deep, circular sinkhole. It's about 40 feet wide and over 100 feet deep, with steep walls that drop straight down into the ground.
The Hole is believed to have been created thousands of years ago by a process of erosion and collapse. Its unique features make it a fun and fascinating sightseeing spot in Turks and Caicos. The water in the sinkhole is a bright, aquamarine blue/green color. However, we don't recommend you chance your odds trying to get close enough for a perfect photo.
PLEASE BE AWARE: There are no safety railings or safety guide staff at The Hole. Visitors are advised to use extreme caution (and may we add, common sense) when visiting The Hole. While it is a fun spot to see in Providenciales, the ground surrounding the edge of The Hole may prove to be unstable. Please use caution when visiting this quirky little spot in Turks and Caicos and keep your little ‘uns close.
14. Cheshire Hall Plantation
Cheshire Hall Plantation is a historic site offers visitors a glimpse into the island's rich cultural history. An entrance fee of $15.00 per adult (free for kids under three) is paid at the door. Bring cash as there are no options for credit card payments. The plantation is open from 9:00 – 4:00 Monday through Saturday with guided tours operating from 9:00am – 11:30am and 2:30pm – 4:00pm.
The plantation was originally built in the late 1700s and was once a working cotton plantation. Today, the site is a preserved ruin giving visitors a chance to explore the past and learn about the island's colonial history. Visitors to Cheshire Hall Plantation can enjoy a guided tour that lasts about a half hour. The tour winds through the ruins of the plantation's great house, kitchen, and other outbuildings.
If you're a history buff or simply interested in learning more about the island's past, a visit to Cheshire Hall Plantation is a worthwhile and educational experience. It's a small plantation of ruins so you will still have plenty of time to enjoy many other activities in the day.
15. Pirate Carvings On Sapodilla Hill
The pirate carvings on Sapodilla Hill are a fascinating piece of Providenciales' history that are shrouded in mystery and legend. These particular carvings are located on a rocky outcropping at the top of Sapodilla Hill. You can access the hill from Sapodilla Bay Beach by heading towards the pier and up the embankment.
The Pirate Carvings are believed to have been made by the pirates who used the hill as a lookout point in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The carvings include a variety of names, images and other symbols of ships and out buildings. While the origins of the carvings are somewhat a mystery, they are widely regarded as an important part of Turks and Caicos history.
While visitors can hike up to the top of Sapodilla Hill to see the carvings for themselves and take in the stunning views, it's important to note that the area can be a little difficult to access. Take runners or water shoes to climb the small embankment. It might not seem too rough to look at but the rocks are sharp and there is a lot of broken glass and wood.
PLEASE DO NOT WALK ON, STEP ON OR VANDALIZE THE ROCK CARVINGS – These carvings are an important part of Island history and while it's fascinating to see them in real life, it's our job out of respect and human decency to keep these carvings in the best shape possible.
16. Turks And Caicos Mural Map
The Turks and Caicos Mural Map is a colorful display located in Ports of Call Plaza in Providenciales. This wall map is a large scale painting that depicts the islands of Turks and Caicos. Those staying in Grace Bay, won't need a car for this photo worthy spot.
One of the best things about the Turks and Caicos Mural Map is that it's completely free to visit, making it a great option for budget conscious travelers. Whether you're looking for a quick photo op or an Instagram worthy reel, the Turks and Caicos Mural Map is a fun and and free stop in Turks and Caicos. This is a great spot for capturing memories of your time on The Island.
17. The (former) Prince Estate
The former Prince Estate was once owned by the late musician Prince. Prince fell in love with the island during a visit in the 1990s and purchased the property as a vacation home.
Today, the former Prince Estate is a sought after luxury vacation villa known as Emara. With lush gardens and breathtaking views, the estate is home to a variety of high end luxury amenities.
While the estate is now privately owned and not open to the public, visitors can still catch a glimpse of its luxurious exterior including the well preserved “Purple Driveway”. If you're headed out for a drive along Turtle Tail, be sure to get a sneaky glimpse of the driveway.
Free And Cheap Beachy Things To Do In Turks and Caicos
18. Relax On Grace Bay Beach
Ok, this one might seem like a no brainer. But here's why we mention it on our list of free things to do in Turks and Caicos.
Many visitors to Turks and Caicos aren't staying along Grace Bay Beach. Villa rentals along Long Bay Beach and Chalk Sound are very popular areas for visitors. With that, many tend to stick to the beaches that are closest and easiest to access from their accommodations.
Let us remind you that Grace Bay Beach has been voted the Number 1 beach in The Caribbean and The World! Surely that's reason enough to pack up your beach bag and head for an out of this world beach day on Grace Bay Beach. You'll find many beach access points to Grace Bay Beach along Grace Bay Road. Just look for the Princess Alexandra Beach Access signs. There are a few areas along the beach that will rent sunbeds and umbrellas. Otherwise, your vacation rental will likely have beach chairs available for guests to pack up and take to the beach.
Grace bay Beach is the reason many flock to Turks and Caicos. Be sure to lap up all its beautiful turquoise glory.
19. Sunset Picnic On Pelican Beach
We can't lie, this is probably our favorite free and cheap thing to do in Turks and Caicos. I'd say we do this at least three times every visit. Sometimes you just want to chill after a fun day at the beach and in the sun. The thought of getting organized to head out for dinner can just feel exhausting.
If you're looking for a super relaxing, yet amazing location to have dinner, then you need to head to Pelican Beach. Pelican Beach is located in the Leeward Community just at the end of Nightjar Road. If you're staying in the Grace Bay area, it's just a quick five minute drive east, along Grace Bay Road.
Make a pit stop at Graceway Gourmet and head to the deli. Grab some fried chicken (four large pieces usually cost around $10.00), a container of coleslaw and a couple of individual serving cheesecakes and you are fully prepared for the best sunset picnic ever! And if you're like us, you'll have a bottle of wine in tow also!
What more could you want? Sitting along the shoreline of Pelican Beach, watching catamarans chase the sunset while you sip and clink your wine. All while enjoying what's likely the cheapest meal you've had on your trip! You can't put a price on the view at Pelican Beach, so be sure to add this to your list of dinner options in Turks and Caicos!
One of our favorite beach day items is this collapsible picnic table. We take it everywhere! With it's handy carry bag, it folds up small enough to fit in our suitcase. Then we just toss it in the back of our rental car, ready to use when needed. Great for keeping the sand out of your food and drinks. It's a game changer for picnics on the beach!
20. Walk Leeward Beach For Sea Shells And View Ultra Lux Villas
While we used to head to the tip of Emerald Point to access Leeward Beach, we'd suggest you start at Pelican Beach for access. There's a lot of villa construction at Emerald Point now and it's not always an easy pass through.
Starting at Pelican Beach, head along the limestone slab rocks that lead towards the right of the alcove. From there you'll be able to walk all the way along Leeward Beach and to the tip of Emerald Point. Emerald Point is the sandy tip of The Island you see when passing through the Leeward Channel.
This is a lovely walk. Sea shells and small sun bleached conch shells are scattered along the embankments and the shore. Bring a little bag if finding sea shell treasures is your thing. If not, you can take in the sensational views of the mega luxury villas and mansions that sit back from the embankments. You never know who you might run into along this stretch of beach so keep your eyes open!
21. Watch The Kite Surfers At Long Bay Beach
Another picnic worthy mention on our list of free and cheap things to do in Turks and Caicos. Most visitors are drawn to Grace Bay Beach for obvious reasons. But did you know there's a ton of action on Long Bay Beach? Known as Kite Beach, Long Bay Beach is a vibrant and lively beach which boasts a ton of water driven water sports.
Pack your beach chairs, towels and a picnic lunch and set up for a day of people/adventure watching on Long Bay Beach. These shallow waters are ideal for beginner kite surfers and pros alike, so you're sure to enjoy a feast of activity.
Feel like going for a stroll? Walk along to The Shore Club, one of Turks and Caicos luxury resorts. Treat yourself to a tropical cocktail or, if you didn't pack a lunch, a light snack at Almond Tree. Walk the grounds and see one of The Islands “most Instagram-able” resorts.
22. Turtle Tail Beach With A Lazy Charcuterie Picnic
And last but not least, we leave you with a trip to one of our favorite beaches in Providenciales. Turtle Tail Beach, or as we like to call it, “Secret Beach” (shhhh, don't tell anyone), is located on the south side of The Island and about a 20 minute drive from Grace Bay. There are zero amenities so you will need to bring your beach day must haves with you.
Now for the picnic. What is a lazy charcuterie picnic you may ask? It's when you want all the flavors of a proper charcuterie board but can't be bothered to do any of the beautiful arranging or fussing! Again, stop in at Graceway Gourment or Graceway IGA and pick up some crackers, meat slices, cheese slices, grapes and a small Brie. Head to either of the Turtle Tail Beach options we've spoken about in other articles.
Now, get yourself set up on the beach and when it's time for snacks, dig in! Build your own little cracker towers with your delicious meat and cheese bites. But the best part, place your Brie directly in the sun (just fold back the wrapper to act as a plate) and it will melt even better than if you put it in your oven at home! Dip those crackers and enjoy your gourmet Brie and lazy charcuterie on the beach! It's just the perfect picnic! Trust us, this is a good one!
Turks and Caicos is a beautiful destination that offers a wealth of free and cheap activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you're on a tight budget or simply looking to make the most of your vacation dollars, there's something for everyone in Turks and Caicos. Discover all the amazing free and cheap activities that Turks and Caicos has to offer.
We promise you won't be disappointed!
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