The small island of Grand Turk offers a different atmosphere to Providenciales, and combines historical elements with laid-back Caribbean charm. As Grand Turk is home to the nation’s capital of Cockburn Town, there are some great historical sights and attractions.
It’s easy to visit Grand Turk on a day trip from Providenciales, and there’s plenty to occupy a full day. There are several flights each day from the Providenciales International Airport. It’s typically best to take an early departure and late return so as to allow the most time to explore.
There are no ferries between Providenciales and Grand Turk. It’s only possible to reach Grand Turk via domestic flight.
How to Book Your Day Trip (From Providenciales)
- Reserve your domestic flights from the Providenciales International Airport to the Grand Turk International Airport. Rates are about $150 per person, round trip. Two local airlines fly this route: Caicos Express Airways and interCaribbean. Small twin turboprop aircraft are used for these flights. These flights are often full (especially the first and last flights), so book in advance.
- Reserve your rental vehicle in advance. The choices range from scooters and 4x4 buggies, to conventional cars and jeeps with air conditioning. Be sure to state that you’ll be arriving at the airport (and not the Cruise Center), and the time. It’s often possible to make the reservation, and simply pay with cash on pick up.
- Decide how you want to spend the day. See Things to Do on Grand Turk for insights. We advise printing our Grand Turk Map in the event that your rental does not have one.
- We advise arriving at the airports (Providenciales and Grand Turk) a minimum of 45 minutes prior to domestic flight departures. You do not need to arrive a full two hours in advance as with international flights.
Getting to Grand Turk
Flights cost around $150 per person round trip. There are several flights per day between Providenciales and Grand Turk. Flight time is around 30 minutes.
There are two local airlines, interCaribbean and Caicos Express Airways, and both have similar schedules and fares. You can book online, via telephone, or at their offices on Providenciales. There’s typically availability for most flights (ignoring special occasions), although it’s recommended to book a few days in advance.
There are no ferry services between Grand Turk and Providenciales.
Getting Around Grand Turk
We recommend you rent a car for transport, as it’s the safest and most convenient way to get around and see everything.
Costs are around $75-95 per day for an economy-class sedan or small SUV (insurance and taxes included, fuel is not). Fuel is expensive at around $7.10/gallon (2023 price), yet due to the island’s small size, you shouldn’t spend more than around $20-30 on fuel for the day.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center offers island tours by bus and open truck, yet these are geared towards cruise ship visitors and only operate when a ship is in. Most taxis also offer tours if you don’t wish to drive.
Planning your Day
Grand Turk has great beaches, sights, and historical attractions, as well as some water sports and activities. If you’re planning on diving, fishing, a boat charter, or another water sport, you’ll want to plan your day considering flight arrivals and departures.
One of the best attractions near Grand Turk is Gibbs Cay. This remarkable and small island attracts many wild stingrays, who freely interact with humans. Depending on your tour provider, your excursion to Gibbs Cay may include diving for conch, a BBQ lunch on the beach, and snorkeling. Tour duration is typically around 4 hours, so you’ll typically have some time to see the other sights on Grand Turk too.
The Grand Turk Lighthouse is the island’s most famous landmark. Built in 1852, this is the only lighthouse in the country and was prefabricated in England. There’s free admission to the grounds. No tours are offered inside the structure. The site is located on the scenic northern end of the island, near the old U.S. Navy NAVFAC 104 Base.
Front Street in Cockburn Town features many rustic colonial-era buildings. Unfortunately, this area isn't maintained very well and some poor-quality tourism structures have been built, which detracts a bit from the original historical feel of the area.
The beautiful St Mary’s Anglican Church is here as well, along with the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the primary museum in the country. The National Museum has an exhibit on the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the western hemisphere.
In the center of the island are remains of the salt days, namely the natural shallow salt salinas. You’ll see remains of the canals, retaining walls, and causeways.
If a cruise ship isn't in (check the port schedule), it can be a bit difficult to find an open restaurant. The Sandbar Restaurant on Duke’s Street is open seven days a week and serves international and American-style dishes such as hamburgers.