Found to the north of Cockburn Town, Pillory Beach is a quiet and sheltered coastline.
The beach here varies a bit. Some patches, such as the section fronting the Bohio Dive Resort, are excellent with a clean sandy bottom. Other areas tend to be a bit rockier. Casuarina trees provide shade at a few spots.
Some historians believe that Christopher Columbus made landfall on Grand Turk, and not San Salvador in the Bahamas. This beach is the probable landfall spot (if he did arrive on Grand Turk). Along with all the other west coast beaches on Grand Turk, Pillory Beach is part of the Columbus Landfall National Park
Although the name largely didn’t catch on, in 1992, Pillory Beach was renamed Guanahani Beach by the Turks and Caicos government in honour of the indigenous Taino’s name for the island of Columbus’s first land fall in the New World.
As is the case with Cockburn Town Beach, Pillory Beach doesn’t offer excellent snorkelling. Rock shelves and gullies, formed from ancient reefs, can be found off the beach in many places.
These conditions support small amounts of reef fish, along with the occasional coral head or sea fan. This terrain is interesting to explore, but there’s little in the way of large marine life.
It’s easy to visit Pillory Beach if you have a rental vehicle. There’s ample (and free) parking. Simply follow Front Street in Cockburn Town to its conclusion to the north. You'll find a small unpaved parking area. See our Grand Turk maps for details.