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Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Other Caribbean destinations offer giant water parks, nightlife, casinos, or the extravagant Carnival. Our tourism claim to fame is a bit closer to nature–we have the best beaches in the world. Of course, this is a tremendous assertion, but take a few steps on our powdery sand, and you’ll agree too. The experts concur, as the Turks and Caicos have taken the World Travel Award’s title of Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination for 2021, and Grace Bay has won TripAdvisor’s Best Beach in the World for 2022.
Pristine white sand beaches (often slightly tinted with pink) and crystal-clear ocean water with breathtaking turquoise and blue hues define our coasts. And we don’t just have one or two great beaches. Every main island in the country hides wonderful and secluded beaches. Some of these beaches go months without seeing a single visitor. There are miles of pristine sand and sea to explore and relax at.
The country’s crown jewel, the unrivaled and world-famous Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales has captured countless awards and recognition. Never crowded, Grace Bay is a true paradise, with breathtaking beauty. Choose from a beautiful collection of all-inclusive resorts, luxury hotels, and beach house rentals.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a small tropical archipelago nation found south of the Bahamas. We’re home to spectacular beaches, a pristine marine environment, luxury resorts, friendly people, and fine dining.
There’s so much to do and discover here in paradise. Incredible beaches, crystal clear and warm ocean water, abundant marine life and beautiful tropical wetlands are yours to explore. Quite simply, we’re the best beach vacation destination in the Caribbean.
It’s easy to discover paradise. The TCI welcomes direct flights from many cities in the United States and Canada, London, and many countries in the Caribbean. English is our official language, and we use the US Dollar.
The Turks and Caicos has forty islands and cays, of which nine are inhabited. With an area of 238 mi² (616 km²), the TCI is about double the size of the Florida Keys.
Providenciales, also known locally as Provo, is home to the spectacular Grace Bay Beach, most luxury and all-inclusivehotels and resorts, and is the destination of choice for most of our overnight tourists. It’s also where the majority of our population of 44,543 reside. All international flights to the islands arrive at Providenciales.
Our island of Grand Turk is home to the country’s capital city of Cockburn Town and the only cruise ship port in the islands. Grand Turk has some interesting historical sites and exceptional diving, yet has been overshadowed by Providenciales as the center of activity in the archipelago. Front Street in particular has most of the nation’s oldest buildings, churches and other landmarks.
North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay are our quiet outer islands, and are laid-back and a bit more down-to-earth. These hidden tropical gems are primarily supported by low-key tourism and small-scale fishing and farming.
The Turks and Caicos also features the two large uninhabited islands of East Caicos and West Caicos, and the private boutique islands of Ambergris Cay, Pine Cay, and Parrot Cay.
The country has experienced a fascinating and varied history, with fortuitous connections to several memorable events that took place in the Caribbean and New World.
The Turks and Caicos (TCI) is found halfway between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. It’s a 90-minute trip from Miami, and less than 4 hours from New York and Toronto.
The island of Grand Turk is home to the only cruise ship port in the country and welcomes several vessels per week. All international flights land at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS), on the island of Providenciales.
The Turks and Caicos is part of the Lucayan Archipelago. This island chain includes the TCI, the Bahamas, and the submerged marine plateaus of the Mouchoir Bank, the Silver Bank, and the Navidad Bank.
Domestic flights and passenger ferries connect the inhabited islands in the country.
What good is a top-rated beach without sunny weather and a perfect climate? The Turks and Caicos boast an average of 350 days of sunshine per year. Temperatures are consistently warm, and there’s very little rain to dampen the mood.
Providenciales, the main tourism island, has garnered many awards, including Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award as Best Island, and Grace Bay Beach has won countless global beach awards, including top spots in TripAdvisor’s Best Beach category. Over the last few years, the Turks and Caicos and our resorts have collectively won dozens of categories from the World Travel Awards.
Throughout the year, our ocean water temperature maintains a pleasantly-warm and serene average in the mid-80°F range (29°C).
There’s always something fun to do on or in the ocean while on holiday.
An expansive barrier reef, one of the largest in the world, protects our coasts. It’s also home to vibrant coral, dolphins, turtles, stingrays and colorful fish. Little shore reefs and the sheer wall sites, (where the coral shelf drops abruptly from 50 feet into the thousands), create the perfect diving and snorkeling playground.
The sheltered and winding mangrove channels of the Turks and Caicos wetlands are prime spots for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. You’ll see conch, turtles, stingrays, baby sharks, and bird life the way they are meant to be seen: in their natural environment.
Our incredible coral reefs and stunning beaches aren’t the only attractions. We have a small yet select museum that features Turks and Caicos artifacts spanning over 700 years of history and culture, art galleries, and the unique and friendly Potcake dog, which is the best island pet around!
Want to get your heart racing? Take in the view from above with parasailing over Grace Bay, go horseback riding on the beach, or cruise the unbelievably-turquoise Caicos Banks on a jet ski. Wakeboarding and tubing are also great, with incredible flat water spots hidden between our pristine cays and beaches. For anglers, a fishing charter can be a perfect way to spend a day on the water.
On the breezier days, the kiteboarding and windsurfing conditions are excellent. The shallow turquoise waters and clean sandy bottom of Long Bay Beach on Providenciales is increasingly becoming recognized for what it is: one of the finest kite spots in the region.
Exciting activities and attractions are found on land as well. Caves, historical ruins, national parks, and nature reserves await. For those with relaxation in mind, one of our luxurious spas is the perfect place to escape it all. We also have the award-winning Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club.
The choice of luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and vacation rental villas in the islands is extensive.
The island of Providenciales hosts all of the expansive resorts in the country. Choose from beachfront suites on the award-winning Grace Bay, comfortable luxury villas overlooking the brilliant waters of Chalk Sound Lagoon, Turtle Tail and Long Bay, or the exclusive resorts of the rugged and wild west coast.
Many of our luxury resorts have received international acclaim, including the Grace Bay Club, Amanyara, Wymara Resort, The Shore Club, West Bay Club, The Palms, and Seven Stars Resort.
Providenciales is also home to several all-inclusive resorts, including family oriented Beaches Turks and Caicos (part of the Sandals group), Alexandra Resort, Blue Haven Resort, and the adult-only Club Med Turkoise.
Although they lack large-scale luxury hotels and resorts, the smaller islands offer tranquil accommodations. Small and romantic vacation rentals, often located on secluded beaches, take the place of the more extensive accommodations, making them a perfect fit for singles or couples to enjoy an intimate experience.
Many of our resorts boast an impressive range of amenities and services, including boutique spas and exquisite in-house dining. In addition, concierge services at your hotel can arrange everything from private boat cruises to a morning round of golf.
Vacation rental villas can be an excellent choice for larger groups. There’s a wide selection of lodgings in the villa category, including everything from a single room to an expansive beachfront mansion. Amenities may include a pool, complimentary use of a car, free airport pick up, visits to the spa, gourmet chef services, and water sports equipment. Great locations for villa rentals in Providenciales include Leeward, Long Bay, Turtle Cove, Sapodilla Bay, Chalk Sound, Taylor Bay, and Turtle Tail.
Whether you’re looking for an extravagant all-inclusive resort or a quiet and secluded lodging, the perfect accommodation for your holiday is waiting.
The Turks and Caicos is fortunate to be home to a remarkable reef system. A vibrant barrier reef surrounds the Turks Islands and Caicos Islands archipelagos Many of the region’s top scuba diving sites are found here.
Providenciales and Grand Turk offer a wide range of professional dive shops. These regularly visit hundreds of vibrant dive sites across the country. Popular sites include French Cay, West Caicos, the Caicos Barrier Reef, and Northwest Point.
For those who’d rather stay a little closer to the ocean surface, a snorkeling boat tour is a great way to experience our underwater environment. Excursions stop at many locations across our barrier reefs, shallow bays, and uninhabited coastlines.
There are always fascinating marine animals to spot. In addition to colorful reef fish, turtles, conch, and stingrays are common. You may even see Jojo, our unique and friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphin!
Providenciales offers quite a few reefs close to shore. You’ll see exquisite coral and reef fish right off the beach at Smith’s Reef and the Bight Reef. Several reefs are in shallow water and are perfect for children and snorkeling.
Grace Bay and Providenciales are not the only destinations to experience luxury in the Turks and Caicos. Our archipelago is home to several spectacular and remarkable boutique islands. These feature exclusive resorts and unique real estate developments. There are many amazing Caribbean islands, yet we’re home to some breathtaking gems, that are off the beaten track.
Sailrock on the northern peninsula of South Caicos is one of the largest resort and upscale development projects in the Turks and Caicos, featuring a luxury villa resort enclave and residential real estate parcels. The northern peninsula of South Caicos is incredibly scenic, with panoramic views of the deep blue waters of the Columbus Passage and the turquoise hues of the Bell Sound National Park.
Middle Caicos features the Dragon Cay Resort and several villas and bed and breakfasts, many of which are at picturesque Mudjin Harbour.
Ambergris Cay, located on the remote south-eastern edge of the Caicos Banks, is a private island retreat with breathtaking vistas, low-density development, and a spectacular ecosystem. The pristine nature reserve island of Little Ambergris Cay is the counterpart to Big Ambergris Cay, boasting some of the finest beaches in the country.
The COMO Parrot Cay Resort on Parrot Cay and the Meridian Club on Pine Cay are two smaller yet equally spectacular destinations. These cays are located between Provo and North Caicos. They are home to incredible beaches and a luxurious, laid-back tourism experience.
As a British Overseas Territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands is a stable democracy with English as the official language. You’ll see the Union Jack along and our crest on our national flag. We have a locally elected government headed by a premier and an appointed governor. Due to the country's small size, we don’t issue our own money and instead use the US Dollar as the accepted currency in the islands.
Browse our travel guides for hints, tips and local business information. A little research will help you get the most out of your Turks and Caicos vacation experience, as it’s helpful to be aware of the hurricane season, where and when mosquitos may be intense, and seasonal weather.
The islands have become a popular destination for beach destination weddings and honeymoons,with many local resorts offering specialized packages. There are even award-winning wedding photographers located on Providenciales to memorialize your day.
The archipelago is also a tropical getaway for the rich and famous. Countless celebrities have taken vacations to our secluded islands. Here, you can find tranquility and breathtaking beaches—far from the bustle of life in the city.
Offering a diversity of cuisines and local food, Providenciales has become an exceptional destination for gourmet dining. Freshly caught seafood, including conch, spiny lobster, and fish, factor into many dishes. However, international twists and fusions are what makes the country’s restaurants so delicious. Many of our popular establishments offer a menu combining the top tastes from our islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, America, and Europe.
If you’d prefer something a bit more authentic, pan-poached grouper and lobster, cracked conch, and fish stews have been favorite local foods for generations. If you’re looking for a complete cultural experience, try one of our local restaurants featuring live music, including the local ripsaw musical style. On Providenciales, the most popular local cuisine restaurants are in the settlements of Blue Hills and Five Cays. These settlements are home to popular establishments such as the Da Conch Shack, Mangrove Bay, Omar’s Restaurant, and Bugaloo’s. Enjoy conch fritters, conch salad, grilled lobster tail, blackened or pan-fried fish, and the ubiquitous peas n’ rice. Conch is the defining seafood in the Turks and Caicos, and we once even had a conch farm!
We also have great places to dine and watch the sunset, including Flamingo Café, The Deck at Seven Stars resort, and Magnolia, which overlooks Turtle Cove.
The food and drink choices are also varied for those staying on an all-inclusive holiday, with each all-inclusive resort being home to a wide array of restaurants and cuisines.
The island of Providenciales is the home of gourmet dining in the islands, and there’s a wealth of exceptional restaurants to sample! For those wanting to dine in at their vacation villa, there’s also a wide selection of professional private chefs, representing a full range of cuisines.
Grace Bay and the several other beaches on Providenciales are home to beachfront restaurants and bars, which are perfect places to grab a drink and watch the sunset. An evening sunset cruise or glowworm excursion is another entertainment option, and one of our top recommended activities.
A day trip to one of our smaller and less-inhabited cays is recommended. The country is home to many beautiful vistas, and planning your own adventure is easy.
When in season, humpback whale watching can be a truly incredible experience. You may even get the chance to swim with these gentle giants.
An island-hopping boat cruise is the perfect family trip. Along with the stunning beaches and ocean, some of our uninhabited cays are home to a unique and friendly animal—the Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana. These giant lizards are approachable and offer an all-too-rare chance to see a critically endangered animal in its natural environment. Boat cruises often include a little of everything: snorkeling, sightseeing, tube wake riding and a beach barbecue.
There are a countless array of spectacular places to explore in our island chain. Our destination guides cover everything you need to know about booking your excursion.
It’s easy to get to the Turks and Caicos. Direct flights from major US airlines connect Providenciales to New York, Miami, Boston, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and other cities in the United States. Canada is also within easy reach, with direct flights from Toronto and Montreal. There are even flights from London as well. In addition, regional airlines connect the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean destinations.
Convenience is key. Once your plane touches down, you can be relaxing on Grace Bay Beach in an hour or two. You won’t have to spend hours traveling by bus, car, or train to get to your accommodation.
It's easy for those that want to rent a car. Our road system is decent, and speeds are limited to 40 mph (64 km/h). We do drive on the left, though! If you’d prefer not to drive while on vacation, it’s easy to find a taxi or arrange a private car service.
The time zone observed in the Turks and Caicos is Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT-5). We’re in the same time zone as the major US east coast cities, which is very convenient.
As a British Overseas Territory, the Turks and Caicos bases its entry requirements and visa policies off of the practices of the United Kingdom. No visa is necessary for those with a passport or valid resident or tourist visa from the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada.
The only cruise ship port in the Turks and Caicos is on the island of Grand Turk. You’ll find great beaches, historical sites from the sea salt industry, and the country’s only lighthouse. Gibbs Cay offers visitors the chance to encounter wild stingrays and is a popular activity with cruise visitors.
Browse our travel guides and budget vacation page for essential information and hints and tips on getting the best prices on accommodations, flights, and transportation. It’s possible to book directly with many local accommodations and save.
Grand Turk was a witness to several historic events in human history. The little island may have been Columbus’ first landfall in the New World. France and Britain wrestled for control of our archipelago in the late 1700s. Horatio Nelson suffered one of his few defeats (albeit minor!) here. John Glenn’s first step back on dry land after orbiting the earth in 1962 was on Grand Turk. A great place to discover how the country factored into world events is at the National Museum in Cockburn Town.
One of the best ways cruise visitors to Grand Turk can spend their stay is to simply explore. The island is very small, safe, and easy to navigate. Just arrange your car rental, and you’re off!
The Turks and Caicos experiences natural changes in tourist arrivals throughout the year. The winter months are the “high season”, and the quieter autumn months are referred to as the “low season”. Hotels, water sports businesses, and spas often offer discounts and travel agent specials during the low season. Room rates may be as much as half the high-season price.
Cruises typically depart from east coast American cities, such as Miami, Orlando, and New York, and then follow a counter-clockwise loop through the upper Caribbean. As such, the extraordinary and tranquil beaches of Grand Turk will typically be the cruise journey's first or last shore stop.