Crystal-clear Water and White Sand
Grand Turk is home to several incredible beaches on its western coast, crowned by the beautiful Governor's Beach.
The first sight greeting cruise ship guests is the excellent Cruise Center Beach, which is just off the ship. The section of this coast nearest the cruise ship pier tends to have a rocky bottom, yet 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 tend 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 are fun to explore and beachcomb, yet are poor for swimming.
Which Grand Turk Beach is Best for You?
Governor’s Beach and the Cruise Center Beach are excellent for exquisite sand and water. English Point and Pillory Beach offer a more secluded setting. White Sands Beach and East Side Beach are the best for beachcombing.
All Beaches in the Turks and Caicos Are Public and Free
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, bar service, and other amenities, yet these sites are neither private nor located on the island's 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.
Snorkeling from the Beach
The popular beaches on Grand Turk do not offer great snorkeling sites. Ancient coral shelves (largely devoid of live coral) and collapsed rock jetties shelter some colorful 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-accessible 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 snorkeling 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.
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 unlicensed and uninsured. Being hit by a boat will most likely kill you.
All beaches in the Turks and Caicos up to the high tide mark are public and free-to-access. Cabanas, beach loungers, and waiter services may not be complimentary.
Many of the beaches on Grand Turk are within the Columbus Landfall National Park. It is illegal to fish, collect, harm, or harass any wildlife, including coral and shells, within this protected area.
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.
Many coasts, particularly those found on the entire north, east, and south sides of Grand Turk, are isolated. There will likely be no other people around to provide assistance if you encounter an emergency. Exercise caution and be aware of currents, surf conditions, and hidden hazards.