The Turks and Caicos truly has some of the best beaches in the world.
The brilliant sand that is the norm in the Turks and Caicos is composed almost entirely of broken down shells and coral, resulting in breath-taking white, pink and peach hues.
The geology and location of the Turks and Caicos largely accounts for our spectacular coasts.
Our beaches and signature turquoise water are due to several factors; the white marine limestone foundation of the islands, a healthy barrier reef system, the lack of rivers, streams and any significant runoff, and the lack in the islands of harder rock. Our islands are generally quite small as well, so there’s very little soil sediment to cloud the ocean water.
The Turks and Caicos features beaches features sands from crystal white to pink and peach hues. The beach sand in the Turks and Caicos almost entirely originates from the natural break-down of reefs and coral, largely by the feeding actions of animals such as parrotfish.
Generally, the older the sand is, the whiter it is. Beaches facing the Caicos Banks, such as Long Bay and Sapodilla Bay on Providenciales, have sand that has travelled slowly for fifty miles (80km) across the shallow Caicos Islands underwater plateau and thus the sand is uniform, small-grained, and lacks colour.
On coasts that are constantly replenished from nearby reefs, the peach, pink ivory hues of the shells and coral persists, resulting in more colour. The remote eastern coast of East Caicos is one of the best places in the Turks and Caicos to see this, as the area constantly sees sand accretions by an unusual upwelling from the Columbus Passage that separates the Turks Islands group for the Caicos Islands. On Providenciales, Malcolm's Road Beach likewise exhibits this newer and coarser sand.
It’s a very interesting how these factor come together. See our article on why the Turks and Caicos has the best beaches in the world.
Every main island in the Turks and Caicos is home to at least one incredible beach. Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales is rightfully the best-known due to its sheer size and excellent consistency, yet there are dozens of equally beautiful albeit less extensive beaches throughout the country.
Providenciales offers a wonderful selection of coasts. Grace Bay and Leeward Beach are the finest, yet Taylor Bay, Sapodilla Bay, Long Bay, Malcolm’s Road Beach and the Bight Beach doubtlessly deserve mention.
Governor's Beach on Grand Turk is without doubt the best coast on the island. On a calm day, the clarity of this beach is unreal.
Offering a little of everything, the exquisite North Bay is the best beach on Salt Cay.
Although the sites can be difficult to find depending on the island, there is decent shore snorkelling from all of the main islands in the Turks and Caicos.
Providenciales offers by far the widest selection of beach reefs, including the popular Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef. The remote yet beautiful west coast is home to several amazing sites, but it’s best to visit these locations on a snorkelling cruise.
Grand Turk features one beautiful yet weather-dependent little reef on the south point of the island. The popular west coast beaches off Cockburn Town have ancient coral shelves, however these are rather lacklustre when compared to the majority of reefs in the country.
North and Middle Caicos offer interesting reefs, yet such sites are affected by ocean swell and are not always Salt Cay is home to several excellent snorkelling reefs off of much of the west coast and North Bay Beach.
See Sunrises and Sunsets for information on sun times, locations and hints and tips on capturing the perfect photo.
Generally, it’s easy to get to any beach on the inhabited islands in the Turks and Caicos. If you’re looking for access information, see the specific beach pages for detailed directions, parking and amenity information.
The Providenciales International Airport is the only site in the country where parking fees are applicable. All other beaches, attractions and areas feature free parking.
In most cases, parking spaces will be ample and easy to find.
The Cruise Center Beach on Grand Turk and the Children’s Park access at the Bight Beach offer public restrooms. All other beaches do not have established public restrooms. Many coasts throughout the Turks and Caicos have beachfront resorts and restaurants, and these sites have varying policies on non-customer use.
Generally, any beach lounger or chair on the beach are reserved for the use of guests of the resorts or restaurant that placed them.
An exception to this are this is at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, where anyone is free to use the loungers.
Sapodilla Bay on Providenciales is the only beach where it’s possible to rent chairs or loungers.
Generally, water sports and boat excursions must be booked in advance in the Turks and Caicos, as there are no facilities for walk-in customers on the beach. The exception is parasailing and tubing at Grace Bay, which can sometimes be arranged directly on the beach, and jet ski and paddle board rentals at Sapodilla Bay near Chalk Sound.
On the busier beaches, especially the north coast beaches on Providenciales of Grace Bay, Leeward Beach, and the Bight Beach, reckless power boat use is the greatest danger. Many resorts are marked-off swim zones where vessel use is prohibited, yet captains do at time ignore such zone.
Generally, the main beaches in the Turks and Caicos do not exhibit dangerous currents, under pulls or tides, however unusual conditions and storms may create hazardous conditions.
Due to the natural tides, there may be water movement in the channels between cays, however the intensity of movement quickly fades outside of the channels.
Here are the best beaches in the country. There’s a wide selection waiting to be explored!