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The incredible Governor's Beach on Grand Turk.
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Beaches of Grand Turk

The water off of Duke Street in Cockburn Town.

Grand Turk is home to several incredible beaches on its western coast.

The first sight greeting cruise ship guests, the Cruise Center Beach just off the ship is excellent. The section nearest the pier tends to have a rocky bottom, but improves rapidly a bit to the north.

Governor's Beach, located a short distance from the Grand Turk Cruise Center, is by far the finest beach on the island. Here you’ll find unbelievably crystal water and white sand.

Continuing north of Governor's Beach is English Point Beach. The beach and ocean here tends to be a bit rockier, but the site is nevertheless great and doesn’t see much in the way of crowds.

Cockburn Town Beach and Pillory Beach front the country’s capital of Cockburn Town. The beautiful and sheltered beaches are only broken up by the occasional jetty or seawall.

Much of the east coast of Grand Turk consists of beach, however, due to being exposed to the constant eastern trade winds, large amounts of seaweed and flotsam typically cover the sand. The beaches on this side of the island is fun to explore and beachcomb, but are poor for swimming.

All Beaches in the Turks and Caicos Are Public and Free

Casuarinas line the beach and provide shade at Governor's Beach.

Contrary to what some tour or shore excursion packages offered to cruise ship guests might suggest, all of the beaches to the high tide mark in the Turks and Caicos are public with no entrance fee. There are no “private beaches”. An all-inclusive “private” beach package can be a good option if you want to have access to umbrellas, loungers, a bar service and other amenities, but these sites are neither private nor located on the best beach.

If you simply want to have as much sand and ocean to yourself as possible, we recommend either renting a vehicle or taking a taxi to the spectacular Governor’s Beach (just walk north up the beach a bit if the main access is crowded), English Point Beach or Pillory Beach.

Grand Turk has many small supermarkets and shops. It’s easy to find cold drinks and snacks if you so desire.

Snorkelling from the Beach

The popular beaches on Grand Turk do not offer great snorkelling sites. Ancient coral shelves (largely devoid of live coral) and collapsed rock jetties shelter some colourful reef fish and are found at Governor's Beach, Cockburn Town Beach and English Point. These locations can be fun to explore, but really do not compare to the actual vibrant reefs found throughout the Turks and Caicos.

The only easily assessable actual shore reef on the island is the difficult-to-find Boaby Rock Point reef. If you don’t mind the seaweed and flotsam on the beach, it’s a great snorkelling site during calm ocean conditions.

More about Beaches in the Turks and Caicos

You may also be interested in Beaches of the Turks and Caicos and Why the Turks and Caicos Islands have the Best Beaches in the World.

Key Points

  • Some boat operators are extremely reckless which has resulted in tourists being killed. You should be extremely careful of boat traffic in your area and watch your children. This is especially common with banana boat and other wake ride operators, some of which are unlicenced and uninsured. Being hit by a boat will most likely kill you.
  • All accesses to the beach are free.
  • All beaches are public, including beaches in front of resorts and private residences.
  • Fishing without a licence or in National Parks is illegal and carries significant fines and possible jail time. This includes collecting conch and lobster.
  • Secluded beaches carry an increased risk of crime, both to person and property. Don't leave valuables in your car or on the beach unattended. Read our Safety and Crime section for more information.
  • Some beaches are very remote and there may not be any other people around to provide assistance in an emergency. Exercise caution and be aware of currents, surf conditions and hidden hazards.
Cockburn Town Beach
This is the beach right in front of Cockburn Town. The beach can be narrow in several areas depending on tides. Snorkelling spots are located along this beach and there are several jetties and sea walls to sit and enjoy the view. Within easy walking distance are several restaurants and many street vendors. Many of Grand Turk’s villas are located on this beach and nearby.
Governor's Beach
The residence of the Turks and Caicos’s Governor is located directly on this spectacular beach. The beach is within walking distance from the Cruise Centre, and on days when cruise ships are in port, you can find many passengers swimming and snorkelling here. Beach vendors sell souvenirs and cold drinks and bathroom facilities are available at this beach.
Cruise Center Beach
Actually a continuation of Governor's Beach, the beach in front of the Cruise Center is excellent, although it can get a bit crowded when a cruise ship is in.
Pillory Beach
Found to the north of Cockburn Town, Pillory Beach continues up the coast two miles (3.2km) towards the Lighthouse and North Reef. The water here tends to be shallow and not great for swimming, but it’s one of the better spots for snorkeling from shore on Grand Turk.
English Point
English Point is situated between Governor’s Beach and Cockburn Town. This beach is a mixture of low lying rocks and sand and depending on the weather can have some surf.
White Sands Beach
White Sands Beach is a secluded 1.5 mile (2.4km) stretch of coast on the southeast of Grand Turk. The water here is very shallow with large amounts of seaweed, so it’s a poor location for swimming or snorkeling. For cruise ship visitors looking to explore on their own, it’s a one to two mile (1.5-3km) walk down the beach from the Cruise Center.
Boaby Rock Point
Boaby Rock Point is the southernmost point of Grand Turk. This secluded area has patches of beach between small rocky sections, and Casuarina trees line the coast. Swimming here isn’t quite as nice as at the Cruise Center and Governor’s beaches, but the beachcombing is far superior due to wave patterns and the fewer visitors. The point is a third of a mile (.5km) walk from the Cruise Center.
East Side Beach
Located on the eastern coast of Grand Turk, this long sandy beach extends for several miles. There is very little development on this beach. Seaweed and wood frequently wash up on this beach, making it an excellent spot for beach combers.