What to do in the Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands offer plenty of opportunities for having fun. The main claim to fame for the country is the spectacular beaches, crowned by the award-winning seven mile long Grace Bay beach on Providenciales.

The Turks and Caicos is also world renowned for its exceptional diving and is home to the third largest barrier reef system in the world. The coral walls at Grand Turk, Providenciales and West Caicos, where the depth drops from 30-50 feet to over 7000, are probably the best on the planet. Many old ship wrecks and diverse sea life are also found throughout the islands. Several of the local dive operators offer PADI certified courses, so you can get your dive qualifications while you're on vacation. Snorkeling from the beach is another great way to get a view of the coral and fish. Pristine reefs can be found close to shore near most of the islands here.

Pro Kiteboarder Hope LeVin at Mudjin Harbour, Middle Caicos.

Providenciales is the center for the excellent sport fishing found in the Turks and Caicos. Every year, several tournaments take place, from the international Caicos Classic billfishing event held in Turtle Cove Marina to many smaller reef and bottom fishing contests. The bone fishing found on the Caicos flats near Ambergris Cay, Providenciales and the Caicos Islands is world-class.

The whole gamut of water sports can be found in the Turks and Caicos Islands, including kite surfing, wake boarding, parasailing, wind surfing and Hobie cat sailing. Kayak and paddle-board Eco tours through the mangroves and shallow flats of the nature reserves are excellent ways to get a look at the amazing sea life and birds found in the islands.

Snorkelling at the barrier reef off Grace Bay, Providenciales.

Although the options seem limited when compared to the ocean attractions, The Turks and Caicos offers quite a lot to do on land. The Provo Golf Club on Providenciales is recognized as one of the top ten golf courses in the Caribbean. Several organized sports including football, rugby and cricket are regularly played here, and tennis is offered at most hotels and resorts. Horseback riding along the beach and in the sea at Long Bay on Providenciales is another popular attraction that's gaining attention.

On Salt Cay and Grand Turk, the old-world charm of the classic Turks and Caicos can be experienced though the 200 year old colonial British Bermudian architecture, the free-roaming donkeys, and ruins from the salt producing days. The Turks and Caicos National Museum on Front Street in Grand Turk is another attraction that can't be missed. Amongst the exhibits housed in the museum are thousand year-old Lucayan artifacts and the Molasses Reef Wreck collection, where remains from the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the Western Hemisphere can be seen.

There are many great scenic areas and spots of natural interest around the islands. Middle Caicos probably offers the most to nature lovers with the Mudjin Harbor coastline of two miles of breathtaking cliffs and beaches, and Conch Bar Caves, the largest above-ground cave system in the Bahamas - Turks and Caicos archipelago. An excursion to see the friendly Turks and Caicos Rock Iguanas on Little Water Cay is another great way to spend some time. Bird watchers will enjoy the natural parks and nature reserves found across the country, where flamingos, egrets, herons, ospreys, pelicans and ducks can be regularly seen. Near Salt Cay and Grand Turk, thousands of humpback whales pass through the Turks Island Passage in late winter every year.

Stand up paddle boarding at Chalk Sound, Providenciales.
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