It’s no secret that Turks and Caicos has become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. From A Class celebs, to those simply looking for that perfect tropical escape, Turks and Caicos has something for everyone. Let us help you plan your next trip with our Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide.
With endless miles of breathtaking turquoise water and powdery soft, white sandy beaches it's only natural that Turks and Caicos be at the top of your travel list. But it's not just amazing beaches that make this chain of Islands so spectacular. From cuisine to culture and everything in between. The Turks and Caicos Islands will leave you longing for more the minute you step onto those glorious shores. Dive into our Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide and start planning your next adventure!
ABOUT THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a glorious piece of Caribbean paradise southeast of Miami (575 miles to be exact) and north of Haiti and The Dominican Republic. Being so close to the Southern US States, it’s easy to see how Turks and Caicos, and more specifically, Providenciales, has become one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for travelers looking for a quick, yet out of this world escape.
Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of approximately 40 islands. Consisting of eight larger islands and many small cays. This British Overseas Territory sits alongside the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
In this Turks and Caicos Travel Guide, we’ll be guiding you through the Island of Providenciales. Providenciales is approximately 38 square miles, roughly 23 miles long and about 4 miles wide. “Provo,” as the locals like to call it, is the most inhabited of this archipelago and also where we spend most of our time.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN TURKS AND CAICOS
Language – English is the official language throughout Turks and Caicos. However, with most immigrants being from Haiti and The Dominican Republic, you’re likely to hear some Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Timezone – The Turks and Caicos Islands are on Eastern Standard Time
Currency – The USD is the main currency in Turks and Caicos.
Are there ATM machines on The Island? Yes, there are plenty of ATM’s around the Island accepting all the usual forms of debit/credit cards.
Are Credit Cards Accepted? Credit Cards are accepted at all major establishments in Turks and Caicos. You WILL need cash for taxis, some tips and other smaller businesses.
Do I need an adapter for my electronics? If you're traveling from Canada, The United States or Mexico, you won't need an adapter as outlets are 110 volt/60 cycle. If you're traveling from countries outside of these, best to bring an adapter with you.
Is Turks and Caicos Safe? TCI is known as one of the safest Islands in the Caribbean. However, like anywhere, you're best to use regular safety precautions and common sense when exploring. For example, stick to the tourist areas at night and don't travel alone to more remote areas. The same as you would traveling to any destination. And don't leave any valuables in your car. We have never felt unsafe in Providenciales.
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TRAVELING TO TURKS AND CAICOS
Which Airport Do You Fly Into?
When flying into The Turks and Caicos Islands, you’ll fly to the International Airport of Providenciales – PLS. There are smaller inter island airports that accommodate smaller Caribbean airlines, however PLS on the Island of Providenciales, is the main entry point for all major airlines.
Although most flight routes involve one connection to reach Turks and Caicos, there are direct flights available from several cities in the Eastern and Southern USA. New York, Boston, Atlanta and Miami to name a few. And from Canada, Toronto and Montreal. A quick search on Skyscanner will give you a list of multiple routes from your area. You can also utilize their flight cost tracking feature to ensure you get the best deals.
Passports and Visas
All visitors traveling to The Turks and Caicos Islands must have a valid passport to enter. Your passport should be valid for a MINIMUM of six months from the date of entry into Turks and Caicos.
Travelers are usually given permission to stay UP TO 90 days in Turks and Caicos, provided you show proof of your return ticket. We mention this as we’re quite certain you won’t want to leave once you see all Turks and Caicos has to offer!
If there's only one thing you take away from this Turks and Caicos Travel Guide, please let it be this. Make sure your passport is up to date.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR PASSPORT IS UP TO DATE. We have had friends denied boarding in Canada because their passport was expiring in 4 months. Regardless that their trip was only for one week, they were still denied boarding. No one wants this disappointment to ruin their travel plans.
Current Covid Protocols
Effective 1st April 2023 All visitors travelling to the Turks and Caicos Islands will NOT BE REQUIRED to show proof of the Covid-19 Vaccine.
Effective May 1, 2022. Visitors are NO LONGER REQUIRED to take a COVID-19 test before arrival or upload information to the TCI Assured Portal. Face masks are no longer mandatory on the Islands, however some businesses may ask you to do so.
Do You Need Travel Insurance?
You no longer need to show proof of insurance to enter The Turks and Caicos Islands, however, with the current state of air travel… Not only can flights get canceled leaving you out of pocket should you have to book an extra nights hotel, but also, accidents happen.
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Which Days Are Best To Travel?
Saturdays and Sundays are typically the busiest days to travel to Turks and Caicos. If at all possible, look at booking mid week to lessen your time in the customs line and also your departure check in lines. While it may not always be possible, be prepared, there will be longer lines and wait times than what you’re used to in larger, international airports.
The Providenciales airport is small, and understandably on these busier days of the week, lines can get quite long. We’ve arrived on both Saturdays and Wednesdays, and we haven't had to wait more than 45 minutes to at most, an hour and a half for customs, luggage and car rental pick up on the busy days. Of course, this all depends on how many other flights are arriving at the same time.
Some travelers like to purchase a “Fast Pass” ticket for $75.00 – $100.00 in an effort to avoid these line ups. While we personally feel this money could be put to better use on our holidays, we fully understand why some travelers may prefer to avoid the longer wait time and pay for this faster service. You might still have to wait a little bit, but definitely not as long as you would in the general line up.
On busy departure days, head to the second floor and enjoy a drink on the outside deck while watching the planes come and go. Makes for a much better departure experience than being crowded on the main level.
Refer to our Day Of Arrival Checklist to get the most out of your first day in Turks and Caicos.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT TURKS AND CAICOS
The average temperatures on the Island of Providenciales range between 74° to 84°F (23°- 29°C) from November to May. December is typically the “coldest” month averaging around the 74°F. And, from June to October, 85° and 90°F (29°- 32°C). From our experience, we have felt the temperature reach the mid 90's (35°C), especially in the late summer months.
The water temperatures are glorious year round. In the summer, 82° to 86°F (28°- 30°C) and in winter about 74° to 78°F (23°- 26°C). If you think those winter water temperatures are inviting you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven in the summer!
High Season and Low Season
Just like any other destination, there is always a high season (busy season) and a low season (slow season). How this affects your travel will depend on you as an individual and what your travel needs are.
High season in Turks and Caicos, typically runs from December through to April (Spring Break/Easter Break). And low season from the end of June/July through October.
For more information about when to visit based on our own personal travels, read our full article on the Best Time To Visit Turks and Caicos.
From The PLS Airport To Your Accommodations
Upon arrival, you'll typically have three options to get from the airport to your accommodations.
- Resort Shuttle Bus
- Rental Car
Access to all these options are directly outside the main exit of the airport. You will immediately see airport staff directing people towards taxi pick ups, resort shuttles, car rental pick ups and off site car rental shuttles.
Taxis from the airport are usually shared passenger vans. Average cost from the Airport to most Grace Bay Resorts is approximately $28.00 – $35.00 based on two travelers. Expect to pay more if you're traveling further east or south on the Island.
Should you be taking a resort shuttle or rental car shuttle, try to keep a couple dollars handy for a tip. They do a lot of heavy lifting in the day and they do appreciate your tips and thank yous.
During Your Stay
The two easiest ways to get around are by taxi or by renting a car. We always opt to rent a car and here’s why. Taxis charge per person/per trip AND distance. Taxis are not metered like they are in North America. They charge anywhere from $10 – $20+ per person, one way, for most trips. You can see how this quickly adds a huge expense to your travel budget if you plan on doing some exploring throughout the Island.
We realize you may not have any plans to head far and therefore, a taxi is likely your best option. You can always ask your resort staff or villa host for names and numbers of reputable, trustworthy taxi services who offer short trip and tour guide services. Always negotiate and agree to a rate before accepting your ride and whether or not they will return for pick up.
If you are planning on exploring, even for a couple of days, or simply looking to visit a few different restaurants away from Grace Bay, consider the costs of taxis vs renting a car. Traveling as a small group of four or six vs traveling as a couple can certainly make a difference in your transportation budget. If you have your rough itinerary laid out for your stay, be sure to do the math if you’re looking to save a few dollars on your travels.
One thing to note about renting a car, you do drive on the left side of the road. Don’t let this stop you! The island is easy to navigate. Both Byron and I have no problem driving in Turks and Caicos. The locals are used to us tourists and they just go around us when need be.
Just remember, the left lane is the slow lane when driving in Turks and Caicos. We have a lighthearted (and somewhat comical) article about Driving in Turks and Caicos. You might be interested in checking out.
Oh! And one more thing. There is no transit system on The Island, though you will see bus shelters. No buses are coming for you, so don’t stand waiting for one!
WHAT TO PACK FOR TURKS AND CAICOS
When it comes to your wardrobe, Providenciales is your typical, “laid back vibe” kind of Island.
For the most part, your daytime attire will consist of swimsuits and cover-ups for the ladies and trunks and t-shirts for the fellas. Heading out for dinner, you’ll find most establishments cater to a smart “island casual” style. Ladies in sun dresses or shorts and cute tops, men in nice shorts and a short sleeve button up. Similar to what you'd wear to a dressier summer BBQ.
However, there are some great opportunities to get out the glad rags and take those Instagram worthy photos to show off your epic vacation to your friends. Places like The Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club, Indigo at Wymara Resort and The Shore Club. These are among some of the most photographed spots in Turks and Caicos.
Read our full article on what to pack to help keep those suitcases light and hassle free. We’ve even included a suggested packing list to help you on your way!
Here are a few of our favorite packing essentials that you may also want to consider adding to your suitcase.
It's no secret that air travel is a nightmare at the moment. In the event you need to check a bag, purchase an Apple Airtag. These have given us such peace of mind over the last few months of traveling. They're a little hard to find these days, so if they're available (either through this link or in your local Apple Store) pick one or two up when you find them.
It is so important that we do all we can to protect our reef systems around the globe. While you might feel you are only one person, you are still one person who isn't contributing to the harsh chemicals polluting these magnificent Turks and Caicos waters. Look for sunscreens that do not contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, but instead, contains only mineral UV-blocking ingredients. Products like Blue Lizard or Think Sport and Stream2Sea are much less harmful than other popular supermarket brands.
This one is a no brainer! There's no doubt you are going to be splish splashing your days away in the fabulous turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos. And, there's no doubt you're going to want to capture as many moments as you can. These lightweight and easy to pack waterproof covers are ideal for all your water sport adventures.
IS TURKS AND CAICOS EXPENSIVE?
In a nutshell, yes. But it’s important to understand that absolutely everything must be imported into The Turks and Caicos Islands. These Islands don't produce anything in great quantities in terms of goods and foods so it’s only natural that some items will be much higher in price than what you’re used to seeing at other popular Caribbean destinations.
We feel it's important to share this information in our Turks and Caicos Travel Guide so travelers, like yourself, are fully aware of what you'll encounter while visiting Providenciales. Some items can be jaw dropping for first time travelers, therefore, we feel it's best you're prepared before hand. So with that, here's a brief overview on prices you're most likely to encounter during your stay.
You will notice some sky high prices in grocery items than what your are used to. Here are some examples as of January 2023.
Fruit and vegetables are among some of the most expensive, and organic, even more so.
Pictured: Romaine Lettuce $9.45, Organic Romaine Lettuce $18.50, Apples $12.30
Eggs, Butter, Yoghurt and milk are other essentials that you may get a shock from .
Pictured: 12 Eggs $10.40, 6 Eggs FR $5.55, Butter $8.30, Yoghurt $14.50, Almond Milk $10.55, 1GL Milk $6.75
It is shocking at first, but don’t worry, there are some items still around the average price you’d pay in an expensive city in the US and Canada. Things like soups and mac and cheese for the kiddos are usually much more reasonable. Still higher than what you’d pay at home but not too crazy considering the items are imported.
Pictured: Campbells Soup $3.75, 6 Servings Mac and Cheese $6.45, Shredded Cheese $3.90
Meat is also very expensive. We usually opt to eat out for dinner rather than cooking at our resort or villa as it usually ends up being about the same price if not more, had we just gone out to eat. And besides, if you’re paying for it anyways, wouldn’t you rather watch the sunset than worry about doing the clean up?
A lot of travelers will bring some staples from home such as granola bars, cereal and peanut butter to cut down on some costs. Pringles and other salty snacks are always easily packed and help keep costs down if you like to indulge in a few nibbles beach side.
Pictured: Doritos $6.10, Flavored Cheerios $10.50, Pringles $3.75
Alcohol also comes with a higher price tag. As Canadians, we’re used to heftier prices in this department. We don't have access to bargain liquor stores like many of you have in the US. For us this isn’t such a big surprise, but it might be a shocker for our US friends traveling to Turks and Caicos for the first time.
Alcohol can be purchased at the local grocery store and other stand alone liquor stores. You are not allowed to purchase alcohol on Sundays. You may still order drinks from the bar on Sundays, just not your own bottles from the shops. Keep this in mind if you're arriving on a Sunday. You may want to bring a Duty Free bottle with you.
If you're a beer drinker, the local beer from Turks head Brewery is EXCELLENT and comes with a much lower price tag than popular brands like Guinness or Corona, which can be purchased at around $55.00 – $79.99 a case! You’ll definitely find something suitable at a much lower price with Turks Head Brewery at the local grocery store. I-Soon-Reach is my beer of choice on The Island.
Wine lovers are looking at approximately $16.00 and up for a bottle (Prosecco around $21.99 and up). We tend to purchase from Wine Establishment or The Wine Cellar. These locations usually offer discounts for half or full case purchases. Be sure to ask when you enter the shop. Typically prices in these shops are a little less than at the grocery store. However, the convenience of purchasing a the grocery store sometimes out weighs the slightly lower prices.
Spirits can also be purchased at the grocery stores in Turks and Caicos. Again, higher than what you'll find at home. Byron is a Gin guy so he picks up a bottle at duty free to keep costs down.
As expected, you are going to pay more for meals than you would in some other Caribbean destinations. However, the food is so, so worth it.
Typically a dinner entree averages around $40.00 per person mark. Obviously expect to pay more if you're going high end and a little less if going more casual. Lunch we'd say would average around $20.00 – $25.00 if you're sticking to lunch menu options, not main dinner items.
Again, with everything being imported into Turks and Caicos, it makes for higher prices than what you may be used to.
To help us keep dining costs down, we buy a few groceries for in room breakfast and one or two lunch items for the beach. Then we usually head out and enjoy a nice meal for dinner.
Be sure to check out our Budget Friendly Restaurants List if you're looking for a few less expensive options.
RESTAURANTS IN TURKS AND CAICOS
When you visit Turks and Caicos be prepared for some incredible and memorable meals. The cuisine is second to none if you ask us. From your favorite exotic Caribbean flavors to your simple home cooking, you’ll find something to tantalize every taste bud in Turks and Caicos.
What To Eat in Turks and Caicos
We can't call this a Turks and Caicos Travel Guide without mentioning Conch! Conch (pronounced “Kong – K”, not “Kon – CH”) is the local staple in Turks and Caicos. This mild flavored mollusk is a mix of salty and sweet with a somewhat chewier than calamari texture. Conch can be prepared in a multitude of ways. We encourage you to try as many as you can, it's delicious.
Some of the most popular dishes are:
- Conch Salad
- Conch Fritters
- Cracked Conch
- Conch Chowder
- Curry Conch
From our experience, there appears to be some massive bragging rights for who boasts the best conch fritters on The Island. Each restaurant will tell you they own that coveted title. So it’s best you do your due diligence and to try as many as you can in Turks and Caicos.
Da Conch Shack – We can’t mention conch and not talk about Da Conch Shack. Located in the Blue Hills area (you will need a car or taxi if you’re staying in Grace Bay), Da Conch Shack is a one of a kind beach bar and restaurant serving all your favorite conch dishes and other exquisite island favorites. From Cracked Conch, to Mahi Mahi with tropical salsa, be sure to add this to your list of must visit restaurants in Turks and Caicos. Wednesday nights are popular, hosting live music and entertainers. You can shop souvenirs, hot sauce and apparel at Da Conch Shack. This is also a fun location for some great photo opportunities. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as it fills up fast.
Where To Eat In Turks and Caicos
With an endless list of incredible dining options in Providenciales, we fully understand that choosing the best suited restaurants for you and your group may be a little overwhelming. We’re happy to share a few suggestions in our Turks and Caicos Travel Guide to help you make your selections. This is a small sampling of some of our favorites in Providenciales.
Indigo at Wymara – What happens when you combine one of Turks and Caicos chicest resorts with one of Turks and Caicos most extraordinary culinary establishments? An unforgettable Five Star dining experience that will elevate your restaurant game for life. Indigo is a high end restaurant without the pretentious atmosphere. You will feel welcomed and you will enjoy a hearty and spectacular meal. We can not say enough about the exceptional food and service at Indigo.
Coco Bistro – Make a reservation before you leave home! You will dine in the middle of a palm tree grove lit up with millions of twinkle lights. It's location is impossible to miss along Grace Bay Road as it’s painted the most vibrant, happy shade of bright coral. Arrive early and have a cocktail at the bar before being seated. Then feast the night away on some spectacular island cuisine. If you can't get a reservation visit their airstream food truck, Coco Van, located to the right of the parking lot. Coco Van takes your food truck faves to a whole new level.
Smart Casual Dining
Bay Bistro – A beach front restaurant located directly on Grace Bay Beach at the Sibonne Beach Hotel. Book a table in the sand or on a romantic corner on the deck. This delightful spot will not disappoint if you’re headed out for a special occasion. The food is incredible (not to mention the view). From Seared Yellow Fin Tuna to Conch Wontons, this little gem will be the perfect setting for a night to remember under the stars.
Mango Reef – A large open space restaurant located at the Turtle Cove Marina, Mango Reef is ideal for large groups and romantic date nights. Watch boats come in after a day at sea and dine on some of our favorite dishes on The Island. After dinner, stroll around the marina and chat to the boat Captains cleaning up their catch. You might even see a sneaky shark or two enjoying the catch of the day too!
Turks Kebab – If you’re looking for a healthy, hearty and delicious meal that doesn’t break the budget, then look no further than Turks Kebab. Turks Kebab is a casual outdoor dining restaurant that, although is not waterfront, still boasts plenty of island charm and breezy, beachy vibes. Open air seating under a bright and light pergola sets the perfect stage for your equally bright and full of flavor meal.
Hemingways – Tucked just off the beach at The Sands Resort, Hemingways boasts delicious, hearty food with plenty of affordable options. An ideal spot for families to satisfy the whole gangs appetite or for any sports fan looking to watch the big game at the bar. Keep your eyes open for Jojo The Dolphin in the water and ring the bell when you see him! Oh, and they also make a mean Mango Daiquiri.
Tribe – Thriving on healthy, organic and home made everything, do not let this “good for you” spot fool you into thinking it's only for the health conscious. From baked fresh breads and pastries to “Sunday Roast” specials, Tribe is a gem of a quick and easy, full of flavor restaurant located on the upper floor at Ports of Call Plaza. Also, if you call them the day before you're leaving The Island, they'll make you an “Airport To Go Box” that you can take through security and eat while you're waiting for your flight.
Thursday Night Fish Fry
Should you feel like something a little more local and “outdoor market like”, head to The Island Fishfry located next to Mr. Groupers. Every Thursday night, food vendors and local artisans set up their goods to be sampled and celebrated along side musical guests and fun. While most vendors accept credit cards, take some cash just in case.
For more restaurant reads and write ups, head to these great articles.
- 13 Must Try Restaurants For First Time Visitors
- 14 Romantic Restaurants
- 10 Great Restaurants Away From Grace Bay
- Date Night Restaurants
- Budget Friendly Restaurants
Probably one of the hardest tasks in planning your trip to Turks and Caicos is deciding where to stay. Our aim in this Turks and Caicos Travel Guide is to offer a few suggestions to help narrow down your options.
The main hotel and resort area in Turks and Caicos is located along Grace Bay Beach. This is where you’ll find the majority of resort style accommodations on The Island. This is most likely where you’ll be looking to stay for your first visit.
As we're sure you're aware by now, prices for rooms in Turks and Caicos are usually quite high. Our advice would be to use websites such as TripAdvisor to keep an eye out for promotional and seasonal deals. Tripadvisor lists multiple booking sites and various pricing options for each of those specific sites. Booking.com is also a great site with its vast array of filters you can select for your search. Also, Booking.com only allows people to review properties if they’ve actually stayed there.
Here’s a small sampling of select beachfront hotels at varying price ranges to give you an idea of what you’re looking at when booking. These popular options are all located directly on Grace Bay Beach.
Lower Price Range:
Mid Price Range:
High End Price Range:
All Inclusive Resorts
There are four main All Inclusive Resorts in Turks and Caicos. The Alexandra Resort (Grace Bay), Blue Haven Resort (Leeward), Club Med (Grace Bay) and of course, the world renowned, Beaches Resort (Grace Bay).
The Alexandra Resort and Blue Haven Resort are sister resorts and you can shuttle between the two. While The Alexandra is located directly on Grace Bay Beach, Blue Haven Resort is located at The Blue Haven Marina in the Leeward neighborhood.
We stayed at The Alexandra Resort several times before it became an All Inclusive and loved it. We haven’t stayed as an all inclusive for no other reason than we like to explore and try all our new and old favorite restaurants around Providenciales. If you’re a couple looking for an All Inclusive, we’d suggest The Alexandra because of its location in central Grace Bay, then pop over to Blue Haven to check out the food at Fire and Ice or Salt. Enjoy the view of the marina and The Leeward Channel while picking out your favorite yacht.
Club Med is always a popular choice for singles and/or fun loving couples and small groups. While some say it's decor is a little dated, their overall experience has always been positive. There are multitude of on site activities along with water sports and excursions available to guests.
Beaches Resort is part of Sandals Resort family and as you'd expect, no details are left out at this resort. Very popular for families with all the events and activities catered to the kids. Beaches sits on a massive stretch of Grace Bay Beach and is conveniently located to most amenities should you feel the need to leave the resort.
As we like to travel down to Turks and Caicos multiple times throughout the year, we usually opt for a vacation rental through VRBO. This allows us to keep our accommodation costs a little lower each visit. We know our way around The Island, so being a few minutes from the beach isn’t a deal breaker for us. There aren’t many areas that are far from any beach, so should you choose this option, know that you’re only a few minutes away from your nearest beach access point.
Since the pandemic a few of our favorite “go to” guest house rentals have unfortunately become long term rentals and no longer available to rent short term. This is a little disappointing as we'd hoped to review them on this website, but sadly, not to be. We do look forward to exploring new rentals and sharing those thoughts with you on our accommodation reviews page. We’ll do our best to build this list back up again, but it will take time so please be patient with us.
Luxury Vacation Rentals
Now, we can't talk about Turks and Caicos accommodations and not talk about luxury vacation rentals. There's a reason Turks and Caicos is high on the list of celebrity travel plans. We're not saying you have to be a celebrity to enjoy these immaculate rentals, we're just saying, that Turks and Caicos is equipped with some of the most spectacular luxury villas around.
For those who much prefer a luxury lifestyle of travel, we suggest you take a look at some of the sensational properties from Top Villas.
The majority of these high end vacation rentals can be found along the incredible shorelines of Grace Bay Beach, Leeward Beach and Long Bay Beach. And for those who prefer a little more seclusion, you'll find just what you're looking for in and around the Chalk Sound area.
THINGS TO DO IN TURKS AND CAICOS
Now to the best part of our Turks and Caicos Travel Guide! The fun and adventure that awaits you in these glorious Islands! There is something for everyone in Turks and Caicos. Whether you're interested in floating your days away in the beautiful water or cliff jumping with a private boat charter, Turks and Caicos has it all! Be sure to add some of these activities to your One Week Turks and Caicos Itinerary.
Let’s face it. This is why you’re coming to Turks and Caicos isn’t it? And who can blame you?! Not us! Home to some of the most incredible beaches and clearest, turquoise water you’ll see on this side of the hemisphere, Turks and Caicos does not disappoint when it comes to beaches.
From the vast and magnificent, world renowned Grace Bay Beach to the untouched seclusion of Taylor Bay, we’re sure you’ll find your own perfect piece of Paradise.
If this is your first trip to Turks and Caicos, be sure to check out our full beach write ups by popping over to our Best Beaches and More Best Beaches articles. For now, you can start planning your beach day adventures by adding these popular suggestions below.
Grace Bay Beach
The heart of it all, GBB is situated between Leeward Beach to the east and Bight Beach to the west. Plenty of room for everyone on Grace Bay.
Sapodilla Bay is a beautiful stretch of glorious white sand and clear, calm water. Quite popular now but still a great spot for a beach day.
The world's third largest barrier reef rests just a mile off shore creating the most magical underwater escape for snorkelers. As you know, Turks and Caicos is home to some of the clearest, crystal blue water there is, and you can rest assured, that makes for an incredible snorkeling adventures. From tropical fish in every size and color, coral flowing in the current and endless caves and caverns, you name it, you'll see it in Turks and Caicos.
If you've read our #1 Best Turks and Caicos Snorkeling Tour, you'll know we are huge fans of the half day snorkel excursion offered by several tour companies in Providenciales. For both value and fun, we had to include this in our Turks and Caicos Travel Guide. This public tour is high on our must do list for first time and repeat visitors.
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Whether you choose a public or private tour, these excursions offer so much more than just snorkeling. You will learn a lot about the history in Turks and Caicos and visit other areas you wouldn't otherwise have a chance to see if traveling by yourself.
If our mention of cliff jumping at the intro of this section got your blood pumping, then we recommend you take a private charter. Our friends at Silly Creek Watersports and Ocean Frontiers TCI know just the spots!
Probably one of the most romantic things to do in Turks and Caicos is head out on a sunset sail off Grace Bay Beach. There are many tour companies offering this experience, including the ones we have listed above in the snorkel section.
However, if you're interested in something a little more upscale for that special night out, then we highly recommend the Lady Grace Sunset Sail which operates out of The Ritz Carlton Resort. Step aboard this luxury catamaran and enjoy an open bar and hors d’oeuvres, while taking in the spectacular views and breath taking sunset.
Sip champagne, toast a loved one and take in some of the most spectacular sunsets Turks and Caicos has to offer.
Lady Grace also offers a Half Day Reef Snorkel.
From those looking to learn to dive and get open water certified, to those interested in week long dive excursions, Turks and Caicos offers a wide variety of diving options at all levels of expertise.
As you'd expect with such clarity in the water, The Turks and Caicos Islands make for some out of this world diving conditions. With nearly 70 miles of reef and a wall which in some areas is a sheer vertical face, there's no denying that Turks and Caicos boasts some incredible diving opportunities.
According to The Museum of Turks and Caicos, it is estimated that over 1000 shipwrecks have met their fate in the waters surrounding Turks and Caicos. While only two in the area have been properly documented (Molasses Reef Shipwreck and HMS Endymion), this certainly leaves a lot of exploring and discovery open to those with a thirst for adventure.
Be sure to plan ahead and book in advance to ensure availability on the days you're traveling. Reach out to your hotel or vacation rental for their suggestions. Diving companies may offer their in water training and refresher courses in your resort or one close by, should they not have facilities on site.
Kayaks and Paddle Boarding
Take advantage of the calm waters in Turks and Caicos by heading out on a kayak or paddle board. Most, if not all the resorts, offer free non-motorized water sports. If it's your first time trying these activities the beach attendants will help you get started. And if you're a more advanced adventurer, be sure you're familiar with the safety guidelines regarding incoming and passing boats in your area.
If you're not staying in a resort and wish to try this, there are a few companies that offer kayak and paddle board rentals who will meet you at their recommended location to drop off and pick up the equipment.
Big Blue Collective is a very reputable tour company which offers a variety of paddle board and kayak tours including the ever popular, Eco Kayak Tour of the shallow mangroves across the Leeward Channel. Baby turtles and baby sharks… (you're singing the song now aren't you!) are among the many, many incredible sights and marine life you will see and discover on this tour.
They also offer rentals for paddle boards and kayaks on a first come first serve basis.
If it's a thrill and an epic view of Turks and Caicos you're after, then definitely book a parasail tour!
Myself being afraid of heights and not a good swimmer, you can imagine how anxious I was to do this excursion for the first time. Byron, of course, raring to go! I can honestly say, without a doubt, it's an incredible feeling being high in the sky overlooking all the turquoise hues and seeing dolphins playing near the reef! We've since “flown” more than once and we'll keep doing it each visit!
We've had fantastic experiences with the crew from Key To The Sea Parasailing. You can book a public tour, where they'll pick you up on the beach, or private tours, should you wish to head off with your group of friends.
You can access them through these links or keep your eyes out for the crew along Grace Bay Beach. They are easily spotted in their florescent t shirts branded with the company name.
Horseback Riding In The Ocean
If it's a Bucket List Excursion in Turks and Caicos you're after, then this is definitely for you. Provo Ponies is a must if you're looking for that perfect setting of white sandy beaches and magnificent horses splashing through turquoise water. Head off on a morning or afternoon ride and create amazing memories to last a lifetime.
We absolutely love heading out with Provo Ponies! It's truly a wonderful excursion and even more so if you're an animal lover like we are.
Each horse has it's own silly and fun loving personality (you can read their bios here). You'll be introduced to your suitable match and learn the basics before heading to the beach. If you're lucky, you'll get to ride Turtle, the most gorgeous gentle giant of them all (well, they're all gorgeous, but he's just out of this world gorgeous). That's him in the far right of the photo attached.
If you plan on adding this to your list of things to do in Turks and Caicos, be sure to book well in advance. They fill up fast, so better to book sooner than later. Book directly on their site at Provo Ponies.
Provo Ponies is a horse rescue operation who care for these horses as though they are their own children. Provo Ponies require guests weight upon booking to suitably match their horses with riders. Horse welfare comes before anything else with this company. From safety for riders AND the horses, Provo Ponies is hands down, our number one choice in Providenciales.
If you're looking to explore Providenciales and enjoy a little extreme fun at the same time, take advantage of an ATV or The Love Buggy Tour around The Island. It's always such a hoot seeing the little red buggies out and about!
You'll hit some gorgeous, remote places you might not otherwise find if you were touring by yourself. The Love Buggy Tour stops for lunch and and a few refreshments along the way.
There are multiple ATV excursions available in Providenciales. Always do your research and book with a certified company to ensure you're in the safest hands. All safety equipment is provided. These tours travel as a group around Providenciales, on main roads to more remote gravel roads. For your safety, you will be with a guide at all times.
Walk Puppies On The Beach
Yes, you read that right! You can take puppies for walks on the beach!
Potcake Place K-9 Rescue is a non profit rescue organization operated solely by volunteers. The volunteers rescue numerous stray puppies and kitties throughout The Island and give them a chance at a forever home. They %100 rely on tourists to help socialize these little bundles of fun!
Potcake Place is located in The Salt Mills Plaza in central Grace Bay. You line up in the morning (we recommend you go much earlier than when the rescue opens for a better chance of getting a puppy) you get assigned a puppy along with a beach bag of treats, toys, poop bags, water and a bowl. Then you get to take the puppy to the beach!!!
They’ll play with you in the water, nap with you on your beach towel, nip at your feet and all the other great things puppies do! They are the most popular kids on the beach, quite the attention grabbers! It’s honestly one of our favorite things to do on The Island and why we needed to include in in our Turks and Caicos travel guide.
After a few hours they’re tired out and it’s time to go back to the rescue for baths and naps. It’s such a wonderful activity partake in. If you’re an animal lover, this is a must do adventure.
SHOPPING IN TURKS AND CAICOS
Souvenirs and Trinkets
While you won't find any mega shopping malls in Turks and Caicos, you will find some extraordinary boutiques and local artisan shops offering exquisite island jewellery, trinkets and other fashionable wares.
Most of the boutiques are located in the main Grace Bay Area. We suggest you check out these areas if you're looking to do a little shopping for friends and loved ones. Click the links to view on google maps.
Salt Mills Plaza and Regent Village are the most centrally located shopping areas in the heart of Grace Bay. They host a variety of upscale shopping and dining establishments and a few popular souvenir shops.
Ports of Call Plaza is conveniently located on the corner of Grace Bay Road and Allegro Road. A few shops and restaurants fill the plaza making it a great little spot to meander through while walking along Grace Bay Road. The infamous “Turks and Caicos Mural” can be found on the side wall inside the plaza. A great spot for photos!
Grace Bay Market is new to the scene and located along Allegro Road, just behind Turks Kebab. A central market area for local artisans to show off their skills along with other small eats and treats.
There are two main grocery stores for those staying in and around the Grace bay area.
Graceway Gourmet is located in the heart of Grace Bay. This smaller, full service grocery store will likely be your “go to” during your stay in Grace Bay. It's convenient and stocked with all the essentials you'll need for your trip. From salty snacks to Prosecco, you'll find what you need.
They also have a wonderful deli section offering up delicious ready cooked hot and cold meals. We personally love stopping in for some inexpensive lunch options (especially the fried chicken and side of coleslaw from the cooler).
Being so convenient for tourists, you may see slightly higher prices at this location that you will at our second grocery store suggestion.
The Graceway IGA located along Leeward Highway is a larger grocery store filled with all your usual grocery store items making this an easy choice if you plan to do a “big shop”.
If you've rented a car, this is a great location to stop at on your way from the airport as it's right off the main highway that takes you to Grace Bay.
We must also mention that Turks and Caicos is a “Plastic Bag Free Zone!” While you can still purchase a paper bag in the grocery stores, you may want to bring one of your recycle bags from home. Of course, you can always pick one up in the shop if need be.
EXPLORE OTHER TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
As we mentioned at the beginning, we would be focusing on Providenciales for this Turks and Caicos travel guide. But should your vacation allow you the time to explore some of the other Islands, we definitely encourage you to do so.
To get to North Caicos and Middle Caicos, there's a ferry that runs several times a day from The Leeward Marina. You'll need to rent a car or book a taxi tour on the other side as the ferry is a passenger only vessel. You can also book a private boat charter to take you on a day of exploring the Cays and the must see spots of North and Middle Caicos.
To get to Grand Turk, South Caicos or Salt Cay, you will need to take an inter island flight out of PLS. There are many flights operating per day should you want to take a day trip jump across or a quick overnight stay.
West Caicos is an uninhabited island and only accessible by boat. If you're booking a private boat charter, you may want to consider popping over to West Caicos for some incredible untouched beauty. West Caicos is a popular stop for dive tours also.
And that's a wrap on our Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide.
If You've Made It This Far, THANK YOU!
We hope this Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide has given you some useful and insightful information to help plan your next trip. We will continue to update and add to this guide each time we visit “The Beautiful By Nature, Turks and Caicos Islands”.
If you have any suggestions for our Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide, please leave us a comment or send us an email at email@example.com