Turks and Caicos (synonymous with Turks Caicos, T&C, or Caicos Islands Turks) is a gorgeous destination that doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves. To learn more about these islands, read on, and we bet you won’t get to the end before you’re booking a flight!
A Bit Of General Turks and Caicos Knowledge
Home to beautiful beaches, Turks and Caicos is the more sparsely populated of the two nations, along with Barbados, that comprise the Lucayan Archipelago. Turks Caicos is not an island but a group of islands consisting of eight main islands that are larger, and a network of approximately one hundred smaller islands and cays (a low bank or reef) in the Atlantic Ocean.
Did You Know?
Generally considered one of the Caribbean islands, Turks and Caicos is actually a British overseas territory and uses U.S. Dollars as the national currency. The Caicos Islands portion of Turks and Caicos has the lion's share of the land and is home to most of the population. If you visit the Turks Islands, you'll see the part that boasts the capital city, Cockburn Town.
Getting On and Around the Island
The islands have three airports: Grand Turk, South Caicos and Providenciales International airports. Most international flights to the Turks and Caicos Islands are direct flights that leave daily and come through Providenciales International Airport.
In terms of cruise ships to the islands, there are several marinas that serve as ports-of-entry on Providenciales and Grand Turk, and one each on North Caicos and South Caicos. Getting around on the island chain for small, or larger groups as well, is easy with the hire of car rental or taxis and local charters, respectively. Most flights to a neighboring island leave daily.
The World's Best Beach
Turks and Caicos Islands boast pristine beaches. Most of the islands' luxury all-inclusive resorts are in Providenciales. 'Provo', as it is called by locals, is also home to the beautiful beach of Taylor Bay, the natural wonder that is Sapodilla Bay, and quite a few national parks such as Chalk Sound National Park.
Off the coast of Grace Bay Beach is the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve. On the other side of Grace Bay is Long Bay Beach, internationally known for its epic shipwreck scuba dive. The South part of Caicos is an area known for colorful coral reefs, breathtaking scuba diving, and excellent fishing. A magnificent family-friendly Turks and Caicos Islands Resort that delivers a 'white-glove' service is Kokomo Botanical Resort (https://www.kokomobotanicalresort.com/).
If scuba diving is not high on your agenda and you consider yourself more of a foodie, Turks, and Caicos Islands have become one of the hottest culinary travel destinations. Caribbean Food & Wine Festival's mix of fine dining with sea-to-table fare put Turks and Caicos on the epicurean map and has introduced some of the best restaurants of the islands.
Dig into fresh-from-the-sea dishes such as conch fritters, also known as cracked conch, or conch salad from such restaurants as Da Conch Shack. If you can't get enough conch, venture to Middle Caicos and visit the Conch Bar Caves.
To escape the sun and surf, these islands have exceptional options. Enjoy the vibrance of live music that the Caribbean is known for! If the incredible sun and surf inspire you to paint - or maybe just admire someone else’s masterpiece - there are many incredible art galleries.
A Destination For All Budgets
Some travel elements are only affordable for the super elite; A stay at one of the private islands of Turks and Caicos like Parrot Cay, Pine Cay and Ambergris Cay, being one of them. These inhabited islands are so exclusive that you may mistake them for West Caicos and East Caicos, which are uninhabited. Each private island is considered an ultra-luxurious, exclusive boutique, and the ultimate in Turks Caicos travel inspiration decadence.
For those who don’t have the budget for a private island, there is still so much to see and do in your price range. And if you really don’t want to break the bank, consider visiting from June 1st to November 30th. Each year this is the Atlantic hurricane season, and you can expect lower rates.
Uniquely Turks and Caicos
We’re sure that by now you’ve made up your mind that you simply have to visit Turks and Caicos. One last word of advice before you start packing - watch out for wild donkeys! Starting sometime in the 17th century with the salt trade, donkeys were brought to pull loaded carts from the salterns. During the off-season, the donkeys were allowed to roam free, and mate without restriction. And now you know the story of the wild donkeys. Happy travels!