Best Things To Do in Turks & Caicos
Visitors are drawn to Turks & Caicos' promise of sun, sand and an extremely relaxing atmosphere, especially on Providenciales (more than a few travelers described Grace Bay as the "world's best beach"). But thrill-seekers can also find some great diving sites, such as Salt Cay or Smith's Reef. Sightseeing is also pretty good on Grand Turk: Recent visitors suggested the Turks & Caicos National Museum for any culture hounds or history buffs interested in learning more about the islands' past (Cheshire Hall is another must-see site). But the nightlife is scarce; besides the odd dance club here and the random beach bonfire there, choices are limited.
Updated December 28, 2018
- #1View all Photos#1 in Turks & CaicosBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Vacationers are almost always pleased with Grace Bay in Provo, raving about its soft sand and turquoise water, with some even dubbing it the "world's best beach." The beach's breathtaking surf and sand, plus its proximity to a golf course and plenty of shops and restaurants, leave most guests pleasantly satisfied.
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If you tend to interpret "taking a dip" literally, then you'll love the hundreds of yards of shallow water that make Taylor Bay perfect for getting your feet wet. With no steep drop-offs to fear, parents can relax while children play in knee-high waters. And the aesthetic of seemingly never-ending rippling sand makes Taylor Bay especially tranquil.
- #3View all PhotosfreeBight Reef#3 in Turks & CaicosBeaches, Swimming/Pools, Zoos and Aquariums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Swimming/Pools, Zoos and Aquariums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
On Grace Bay in Providenciales, you'll find a footpath just offshore near the Coral Gardens resort. Follow that path to floating buoys that will guide you on your Bight Reef snorkel. A series of signs will help you identify the different species that you find along the way. One TripAdvisor reviewer also offered the following advice: "Be sure to snorkel out to the buoys on the outer edges as those areas seemed to attract different fish."
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Hopes of landing a hole-in-one amid palm trees and jutting limestone bring travelers to the fairways of the Provo Golf Club, the only 18-hole course on Turks & Caicos. The near-perfect weather of Providenciales makes it easy for golfers to spend the day outside mastering this lush, 20-year-old course. Turks & Caicos' indigenous plants surround the fairways and pink flamingos can be spotted near the greens.
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"Iguana Island" may sound like a scary place, but in Turks & Caicos, the moniker fondly refers to Little Water Cay, home to the islands' remaining endangered population of rock iguanas. The Turks and Caicos National Trust leads efforts to protect the habitat, which is just a short trip by boat from Providenciales' Leeward Marina. Many local companies like Big Blue Collective offer excursions to the island or incorporate the preservation site in other sailing or snorkeling outings. You can also discover Little Water Cay's islets by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. If you try your hand at a stand-up paddleboard or kayak trip through the nearby mangroves, you might catch sight of sea turtles and baby sharks.
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Governor's Beach is another great option for a little light snorkeling. It's located off the southwestern coast of Grand Turk not far from the harbor, and therefore sees a lot of activity on cruise ship days. At other times, this beach is a laid-back respite with an outstanding view. The stately Governor's residence is in plain view, and in spring and summer you may spot the odd flamingo. That's what's going on above the surface; under the sea there are some spectacular tropical fish and coral. Popular dive companies on Grand Turk like Blue Water Divers and Oasis Divers will help you arrange a snorkel or dive trip of the area.
- #7View all PhotosfreeSmith's Reef#7 in Turks & CaicosNatural Wonders, Zoos and Aquariums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Zoos and Aquariums, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Packed with sea life, Smith's Reef on Providenciales appeals to snorkelers at all levels. Stingrays, turtles, lobsters and lots of brightly colored fish will likely swim by during your dive near this underwater sanctuary. You can enter the reef area at three different points: north, east and central access. Recent travelers recommend finding a sandy pathway near the small parking area that will guide you into the water – rocky areas can be slippery and more dangerous (as such, many advise that you wear water shoes).
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Salt Cay isn't the primary destination for most who visit Turks and Caicos, but it does make a mellow daytrip for those wanting to escape Provo's hustle and bustle or the cruise ship clusters along Grand Turk. It's a small island (less than 3 square miles) that beckons to low-key vacationers; top activities range from lounging to beach bumming to whale watching, and of course, scuba diving and snorkeling.
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If you're looking for a unique way to experience the white sand beaches of TCI, consider a scenic horseback ride. Suitable for beginners and seasoned equestrians, horseback riding is a popular activity for TCI visitors (past travelers raved about their experiences). One highly recommended company is Provo Ponies, which offers horseback riding excursions both on land and partially submerged in the sea.
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If you're in need of a rainy day activity, or are just interested in learning more about the history and culture of the islands, plan a stop at the Turks & Caicos National Museum. The museum's exhibits range from showcasing the island's natural history to chronicling the lives of its former slaves to displaying information about local shipwrecks. It's located in a historic (though some say run-down) building in Cockburn Town on Grand Turk.
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If you need a break from the beach, past travelers say you should put a visit to Cheshire Hall at the top of your list. Originally owned by a British loyalist, this 18th-century cotton plantation is now mostly in ruins. But its proximity to downtown Provo makes Cheshire Hall one of the most popular historic sites in Turks & Caicos. Sparse signs on the property tell the plantation's story as visitors wind through trails of Provo history. The plantation's most notable spot, the Great House, sits atop a hill and provides sweeping views of the island.
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Dive companies will no doubt try to sell you on a snorkeling excursion off the shores of Pillory Beach on Grand Turk's northwest coast. By all means, let them. Recent travelers advocate for the excellent swimming conditions and bevy of stingrays, spotted drums and eagle ray fish visible just about 300 to 400 yards from the beach. What's more, the beach sits within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
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