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Turks and Caicos Visitor’s Guide

How to Get There, Things to Do & More

Updated November 2021

Welcome to Turks and Caicos

Turquoise water… white sand beaches… perfect weather. These are just a few of the reasons anyone would want to escape to the Turks and Caicos. A collection of beautiful Caribbean islands, each has something unique to offer its visitors. Yet no matter which island you decide on, you’ll be welcomed with inviting beaches, luxurious stays, world-class spas, and amazing food. Come and enjoy all the culture and traditions that the Turks and Caicos have to offer!

Turquoise water… white sand beaches… perfect weather. These are just a few of the reasons anyone would want to escape to the Turks and Caicos. A collection of beautiful Caribbean islands, each has something unique to offer its visitors. Yet no matter which island you decide on, you’ll be welcomed with inviting beaches, luxurious stays, world-class spas, and amazing food. Come and enjoy all the culture and traditions that the Turks and Caicos have to offer!

Turks & Caicos Map

Turks and Caicos Map

Contents

Turks and Caicos At Sunset
Turks & Caicos Mobile

A Bit Of History

Turks and Caicos has a long history that goes back hundreds of years with its native people the Lucayans inhabiting the islands. Later, the Spanish would discover the islands and many of the Lucayan people started rapidly disappearing either from Spanish slavery or from diseases that were brought to the island. The islands remained inhabited until about the 1600s when pirates started to frequent the islands to hideout from passing ships. Since then, the islands have been controlled by many different European countries, eventually being colonized by Great Britain.

Turks and Caicos Today

Today, Turks and Caicos has transformed into a huge tourist destination. Visitors can easily escape to the islands from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and luxurious amenities have people flocking to the islands for a relaxing vacation. With exciting nightlife, casinos, waters sports, and performing arts, Turks and Caicos has something for everyone in the family.

Where Is Turks and Caicos?

click map to enlarge

Turks and Caicos is a British territory that lies just southeast of the Bahamas and northeast of Cuba. The country consists of the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, and includes eight large keys and many smaller keys consisting of reefs, rocks and banks. The most popular islands are South Caicos, Providenciales (also called Provo), and Grand Turk.

Mudjin Cliffs - Middle Caicos
Mudjin Cliffs - Middle Caicos

When To Visit Turks and Caicos

While many destinations have certain time windows for the perfect weather, Turks and Caicos has a beautiful climate year-round, ranging from 75° to 95°F, with the average being 85°F. The water’s temperature ranges from 75° to 85°F year-round. These temperatures make the islands an amazing vacation spot to visit most of the year. However, there are times in the year to be aware of.

December-January

December to January is peak tourists season, as many visitors are escaping colder weather for the warmer climates of Turks and Caicos. During these months the islands will be crowded with visitors from all over the world. Prices are typically higher for accommodations and plane tickets. In addition, hotels and activities can have limited availability due to the higher volume of people.

March-April

Much like the December and January holidays, many people visit during Spring Break and Easter holidays as well. Be aware of larger crowds and reduced availability during these months.

May-August

May to August may be the best time to visit Turks and Caicos as the weather is gorgeous, and the crowds are not as bad as the holiday seasons. Flights and accommodations are usually reasonable, and activities can be booked without any issues.

September-October

September to October are the only two months you may want to avoid altogether. These months are the height of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. While the chance of a major storm is low, it can still be quite annoying to have to cut your vacation short if a storm does hit. Keep track of weather forecasts leading up to your trip. If you do travel during this time, it is important to get travel insurance, just in case.

A Sunny Day In North Caicos
A Sunny Day In North Caicos

Getting There & Around

The two main ways to get to Turks and Caicos are by air and cruise. However, once on the island, there are a few options to get around.

Flight

By Air

All international flights land at Providenciales International Airport. You will need a passport and a return flight booked, and once at the airport you will go through customs. From this airport, you can take domestic flights to other islands.

Turks And Caicos Visitors Guide. Things To Do In Turks And Caicos.

By Cruise

There are many different cruise companies that offer stops in Turks and Caicos, such as Carnival, Princess Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise.

View Carnival Cruises

View Princess Cruises

View Norwegian Cruises

Turks And Caicos Visitors Guide. Things To Do In Turks And Caicos.

By Taxis

Once on the island, you can easily get around by taxis. Conch Cab is like Uber or Lyft, and can easily be hailed by an app. However, they are currently unable to transport from the airport. A private car service is the luxurious way to get around and some have more upscale vehicles. Larger groups may benefit from private airport transfer service, which usually are paid by car instead of by person. Finally, there are normal taxis, which charge by person. Most of the time these are large passenger vans and can cost anywhere from $16 to $86 a person.

Car Rental

Car Rental

Renting a car is another way to get around the island. Just be mindful that only two of the islands are connected by a road: North Caicos and Middle Caicos. If you plan to go to other islands, you will have to find another means of transportation. In Turks and Caicos traffic drives on the LEFT side of the road so please prepare in advance and check out the rules of the road prior to driving. Find the best prices on car rentals here.

Turks And Caicos Visitors Guide. Things To Do In Turks And Caicos.

By Water

With Turks and Caicos being a chain of islands, there are a huge variety of boat tours and charters that can take you to various islands and reefs. This is a fun and fantastic way to explore.

North Caicos Marina
North Caicos Marina

Things To Do In Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos's Top Highlights

There are activities for everyone in Turks and Caicos! From cultural events to water adventures, it’s easy to make each day in Turks and Caicos a special experience. Here are just a few of the activities you can enjoy!

1
Hit The Beach!
1

1. Hit the Beach!

There are a number of world class beaches in Turks and Caicos. Grace Bay in Providenciales (Provo) is the most famous and widely considered one of the top beaches in the world. Nearby Taylor Bay is great for families with knee high water and glistening sand. Down on Grand Turk, Governors Beach is light on the amenities and heavy on the natural beauty, while Pillory Beach is excellent for swimming and snorkeling.

2
Take A Day Cruise
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2. Take a Day Cruise

If you want more of a relaxing seafaring adventure, book a day cruise or a sunset sail while in Turks & Caicos! Catamaran day trips from Grace bay are a hugely popular choice and typically include snorkeling equipment, a small lunch, beer and cocktails, and beachfront pickup and drop-off. Sunset cruises are also hugely popular and a wonderful (and romantic) way to experience the natural beauty of the islands.

  Check out a number of excellent day cruises and sunset cruises here.

3
Visit Iguana Island
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3. Visit Iguana Island

Little Water Cay has affectionately been nicknamed “Iguana Island’ as it is a natural preserve for the dwindling populations of rock iguanas. The protected habitat is reached from Providenciales via boat tour and is a “wild” way to spend a day checking out some native fauna. Stroll around the island on the planked walkways or explore the mangroves on a kayak or stand up paddleboard. Iguana Island is definitely worth a visit.

  Explore boat tours that visit Little Water Cay aka Iguana Island here!

4
Go Snorkeling
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4. Go Snorkeling

Turks and Caicos has a number of great boat snorkeling experiences and plenty of nice shore snorkeling as well. Bight Reef (Coral Gardens) in Provo is probably the most popular shore snorkeling spot. Visitors have been known to spot stingrays, sea turtles, parrotfish, barracudas, trumpet fish, nurse sharks and more. Other top shore snorkeling spots include Malcolm’s Road Beach in Provo, Boaby Rock Point in Grand Turk and Smiths Reef in Provo. If you feel like taking a boat excursion out to some more impressive and remote locations, check out Dove Cay or Long Cay. January to March is Humpback Whale season and Salt Cay is the top destination for snorkeling with them. Give yourself a few days on the island to try and see them.

  Take a look at top rated boat snorkeling tours here.

5
Eat To Your Hearts Content
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5. Eat To Your Hearts Content.

Seafood is the name of the game in Turks and Caicos and there’s no shortage of outstanding options. There are an incredible variety of great restaurants and snack shops where you can sample local favorites like crab and rice, jerk chicken, conch fritters, hominy grits with shrimp and more. Feel like going deeper into the local cuisine? Check out this Taste of Turks and Caicos 3 Hour Food Tour where guests visit five local restaurants and sample seafood and other delicious local dishes while learning about the indigenous islanders and local life. Tourists will also enjoy the breathtaking views of the beautiful Chalk Sound National Park while they travel from stop to stop.

  Loosen your belt for this wonderful Turks and Caicos food tour!

  ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

When going on vacation in the time of Covid, Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Most of the current policies cover Covid medical issues as well as vacation delays due to Covid. They typically even cover your hotel if you test positive in Mexico and have to extend your trip a few days until you get a negative test. Our visitors almost unanimously choose a Trawick International Safe Travels plan which was a Forbes top-rated travel insurance plan of 2021. Easily compare the different Trawick, Generali and other top travel insurance plans here.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. A great blog post with just enough information to make you feel like you actually know something about Turks & Caicos. Loved the history sections. Thanks for posting, all this info made our trip that much easier. Keep it up!

  2. Really helpful guide. We referred to this (and your other guides) multiple times on our recent trip. Thanks so much.

  3. Thanks for posting this. It was so much more helpful than the other guides I have found online. It made my Turks & Caicos trip so much easier.

  4. Forget trying to navigate TripAdvisor, this guide was exactly the thing we needed to organize our trip. Thank you 😊

  5. What a joy! This guide has taken the search out of my research. You all have saved me so much time. I can’t wait to get there with my family and see all of these places in person.

  6. This was such a great find! Thank you for posting this guide. We used it literally daily to pick what we would do and where we would go.

      1. We are coming Nov13-Nov18 2021. This is our 1st time. Our son will turn 15 while on the cruise and this is his surprise birthday present

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