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How to Plan a Family-Friendly Trip to Turks & Caicos

Enjoy pristine beaches, luxurious hotels and high values on this low-key chain of islands.

U.S. News & World Report

How to Plan a Family-Friendly Trip to Turks & Caicos

With kid-friendly sands, unspoiled coral reefs, excellent museums and easy accessibility, Turks & Caicos appeals to travelers of all kinds.(Getty Images)

If you're yearning for a Caribbean vacation with the gang, you'll find plenty of enticing accommodation options and age-appropriate activities tailored to younger visitors in Turks & Caicos. Plus, there are plenty of direct flights from many U.S. cities to Providenciales International Airport, making sticking to a budget a cinch for value-minded families. To optimize value and convenience, consider basing yourself on Providenciales (Provo), which covers about 38 miles and offers an abundance of kid-friendly lodging choices. Surrounded by beautiful white-sand beaches, Providenciales is located along the western end of Turks & Caicos, and boasts numerous restaurants, spas, shops and pristine golf courses.

Read on for tips for planning a fun family getaway in Turks & Caicos' picturesque chain of islands.

Pick the Right Resort

An ideal lodging pick for families is Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, where every family member can enjoy the 45,000 square-foot water park, the spacious guest rooms, access to Grace Bay and entertainment at the Xbox Play Lounge 360 Game Garage. What's more, there are 19 specialty dining choices at the resort, including two adults-only venues. Consider splurging for a suite in the property's Italian Village, which is close to the water park and includes concierge service, a separate room for children, an in-room Xbox 360 console, two flat-screen televisions and a marble bath and separate shower.

"Beaches Turks & Caicos has earned a reputation as a leading destination for family fun in the Caribbean, and we continue to meet the demands of our guests by offering the most comprehensive all-inclusive experience for all ages," says Adam Stewart, deputy chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International. "We strive to provide our guests with more than expected. With everything from the Caribbean’s largest water park to supervised Kids Camps, Beaches has something for everyone."

Visit Provo for White-Sand Beaches and Clear Waters

On kid-friendly Provo, near Grace Bay, you'll find beautiful beaches, as well as a long coral reef rich in aquatic life. This main stretch is home to the majority of the island major resorts. Towards the south of the island is Chalk Sound, a large lake. Along the south side of the island, in areas such as Sapodilla Bay, Copper Jack, Discovery Bay, Turtle Tail and Long Bay, there are villas available for rent. On the far western end, you'll find the unspoiled Malcolm’s Road Beach.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities Beyond Your Resort

Grab your gang and venture beyond the pool and beach in Provo. Attend a 'fish fry’ on Thursday evenings – a fun weekly event attended by locals and visitors where guests can enjoy hear local music, eat local food and buy local crafts. Another fun activity: visiting the National Environmental Centre, a science center that features variety of educational displays about the animals and plants found in Turks & Caicos. Children are bound to enjoy the hands-on exhibits. The museum is located next to West Bay Club; admission is free, but donations are always welcome. For more outdoor activity, tour the Caicos Conch Farm. On a 30-minute tour, you can learn about the life cycle of this edible tropical mollusk and visit the baby conch in their watery nursery, where kids are allowed to touch the tiny creatures. The tour concludes with an up-close encounter with Jerry and Sally, the resident conch mascots.

If you're traveling with budding culture and history buffs, brush up on the islands' past at the Turks & Caicos National Museum. The museum's treasures include the anchor, swivel gun parts and other artifacts from a Spanish ship that sank on the Molasses Reef 15 miles south of Providenciales. Afterward, make your way to the Junkanoo Museum, which recently opened on Providenciales. Coordinated by Kitchener Penn, a well-known islander who is head of the We Funk Junkanoo Band, the Junkanoo Museum is a cultural and social hub where visitors and locals are invited to celebrate the traditions of Caicos culture. The Junkanoo Museum features three high-energy shows each day showcasing traditional dance performances and teaches visitors how the unique costumes and instruments are made. Museum guests also get a chance to learn how to play Junkanoo drums.

If you would rather explore underrated underwater gems, consider trying an Undersea Explorer Semi Submarine experience. The adventure starts in the Turtle Cover Marina and continues to Princess Alexandra National Park, where you can take in the area's colorful coral reef systems and enjoy some trivia and a fun and quirky lesson about the area's marine life.

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About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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