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Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
If you’re seeking some of the most exquisite outdoor landscapes, beaches, and coastlines in the Turks and Caicos, look no further. This page highlights 18 truly amazing places we have. All of these sites are perfect for outdoor and travel photography, or simply relaxing at and exploring.
There are some other incredibly scenic locations in the Turks and Caicos, yet they are remote and very difficult to access. Only a few local tour companies have the knowledge, vessels, and wherewithal to get to such locations, so we’ve limited our list to places that are reasonably practical to get to.
Grace Bay Beach is of course the top beach and attraction in the Turks and Caicos, yet as it's world-famous, we’ve decided to limit the collection to destinations tourists may not be aware of. This list is in no particular order!
Mudjin Harbour on the island of Middle Caicos is one of the top beaches and coastal scenes in the Turks and Caicos, and for good reason. This beach is home to the highest ocean cliffs in the country, caves, and the rugged limestone Dragon Cay.
Be sure to follow the path to the top of the cliff that overlooks the beach. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular views. The stone path also continues to a small hidden tunnel and cave that leads to another secluded beach.
Mudjin Harbour is the must-see attraction on any day trip to North Caicos and Middle Caicos, and the place you’ll probably want to spend the most time. It’s best to plan your visit in advance so as to use the day to its best advantage. Consider also stopping at Conch Bar Caves, Bambarra Beach, and Wade’s Green Plantation.
Half Moon Bay is a beach and shallow lagoon that borders an extensive sand bar, which connects the islands of Little Water Cay and Water Cay. Over the last couple decades the Casurina trees, sea oats, and dune vegetation has grown quite a bit, so it’s not quite so apparent today that a channel between the islands once existed at the site as it was in the past.
The north side beach is wide, with soft white sand and turquoise water. This area is popular with charter and tour boats, yet there’s always space to be found. The southern side of Half Moon Bay is the sandy lagoon, which has very shallow and warm water.
The area is great for seeing wildlife too. Our endangered Turks and Caicos Islands rock iguana can be seen in the dunes, baby lemon sharks are often found in the shallows in the lagoon, and bird life abounds.
The unique Chalk Sound National Park on Providenciales offers a beautiful perspective, with a shallow lagoon with glowing turquoise water and hundreds of small limestone islands.
Chalk Sound is simply beautiful to see from shore, but it’s also great for kayaking, paddle boarding, and touring by pontoon boat. Many of the cays in the lagoon are home to iguanas, and there’s even a mother and baby dolphin that live in the beautiful national park.
The southern edge of Chalk Sound is lined with rental vacation homes, so it’s possible to stay directly on the turquoise waters!
Leeward Beach, which continues to the east from where Grace Bay Beach ends, is probably the second best beach on Providenciales, albeit with greater seclusion than Grace Bay. The coast varies a bit, yet is consistently excellent. Starting from the east Leeward Beach offers a wide swath of white sand and perfect water, the central region has a few low limestone outcroppings that provide a bit of privacy, and the eastern-most Emerald Point area is simply breath-taking.
Water Cay is one of the many scenic cays that are found between Providenciales and North Caicos. The island’s main claim to fame is the exceptional 2 mile (3.2km) beach that lines its north coast. Low dune cliffs line the beach and provide a bit of isolation. The ocean is an appealing turquoise, and there’s even a small shipwreck to explore.
Another spectacular location in the Turks and Caicos is the West Caicos Marine National Park. This area typically offers sheltered and calm water, with some of the most unbelievable shades of blue. Low limestone cliffs line the coast here, and there are snorkeling spots, caves, and great cliff jumping spots.
The interesting Yankee Town historical site is also in the area. See an old steam traction engine, a primitive kerosene engine, machinery, and some ruined buildings.
The Princess Alexandra National Park is an extensive and important protected area in the Turks and Caicos that includes attractions such as Grace Bay Beach, the Bight Beach, the Bight Reef (also known as Coral Gardens), Smith’s Reef, Leeward Beach, Mangrove Cay, and Little Water Cay.
Also inside the national park is the barrier reef that protects Grace Bay, which features beautiful snorkeling and scuba diving locations. One of the top things to do when on vacation in the Turks and Caicos is to snorkel on this amazing barrier reef.
Leeward Reef, a section of the barrier reef near Leeward Cut off the north-eastern side of Providenciales, is one of the most popular spots to visit.
Sandy Point Beach is located on the north-western end of North Caicos, and is a shallow inlet system with sand bars at the mouth of Parrot Cay Channel, which is the waterway that separates North Caicos from Parrot Cay.
The shallows and sand bars almost connect North Caicos to Parrot Cay, and the ocean at Sandy Point Beach close to North Caicos is typically quite calm as it’s sheltered from the usual eastern trade winds by tall Casuarina trees.
Some boat charters and excursions from Providenciales visit the area, but it’s also possible to take a day trip to North Caicos and Middle Caicos and explore on your own.
A spectacular hidden gem in the Turks and Caicos is the nature reserve island of Little Ambergris Cay. Located adjacent to its more substantial private island counterpart of Ambergris Cay, this uninhabited island is found on the remote edge of the Caicos Banks.
Little Ambergris Cay offers crystal-clear ocean water, an unrivaled and pristine sand bar systems, and amazing beaches that can go months without seeing a single visitor.
Due to Little Ambergris Cay’s isolated location, the only way to visit the cay is via private boat charter.
Long Cay near South Caicos is a truly beautiful location. As its name suggests, this island is very narrow and long. On its eastern side is are rugged cliffs and the deep blue of the Columbus Passage that separates the Turks Islands from the Caicos Islands, which is often a bit choppy. On the western side of the cay are small beaches, the shallow Caicos Banks, and some of the clearest ocean water found at any beach in the country. The views from the top of the ridge that runs the length of the island offers some of the finest views in the Turks and Caicos.
Long Cay is a protected area and part of the Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park, and is also home to populations of our indigenous rock iguana. Stingrays, manta rays, eagle rays, lemon sharks, hammerhead sharks, and nurse sharks can be seen in the waters surrounding the cay.
Due to the remote location of Long Cay, tours typically don’t visit the area from Providenciales, and a private charter will likely be necessary.
Bottle Creek is a shallow lagoon that’s located between North Caicos and Middle Caicos, and competing with Chalk Sound National Park on Providenciales, the area typically has some of the most vibrant turquoise water hues in the Turks and Caicos.
The East Bay Islands National Park borders the northern side of the lagoon. Here, Bay Cay and East Bay Cay are home to a wide array of wide life, from birds of many different varieties, to sea life and rock iguanas.
North Bay Beach on Salt Cay is one of the finest beaches in the Turks and Caicos, yet rarely sees any visitors. This coast offers exquisite soft white sand, clear water, seclusion, and small snorkeling reefs.
Salt Cay is a great place stay for a few nights, or visit on a day trip. Discover a laid-back island that still retains an Old Caribbean atmosphere. There are the remnants of the sea salt industry, historical sites, interesting coastlines, and friendly donkeys!
One of the most amazing views in the Turks and Caicos is found one at the far northern point of South Caicos, past the abandoned 1950s U.S. Coast Guard LORAN Station. Here, on the top of the bluff, a collection of channels and cays paint an image that has to be seen to believe. Plandon Cay, Middle Creek Cay, McCartney Cay, Big Cay, and Sand Bore Cay provide contrast against the blues, topazes, and turquoises of the lagoon.
South Caicos is home to several luxury resorts, but it’s also possible to visit the island on a day trip from Providenciales.
Taylor Bay Beach is a secluded and sheltered beach on Providenciales that’s located in the Chalk Sound region of the island. The beach offers a quiet atmosphere, shallow, warm water, and very calm ocean conditions.
Taylor Bay is a great stop when exploring the Chalk Sound area of the island, and adds another attraction in addition to the scenic national park and Sapodilla Bay Beach.
Fort George Cay is a popular boating destination from Providenciales due to a scenic system of sand bars that lead off the western side of the cay. Here, the shallows, patches of sand, and turquoise water paint an incredible picture.
When visiting the cay, ask your captain to point out the cannons. As the island’s name suggests, a small fort once stood in the area. Fort Saint George was built in the late 1700s, primarily for defense against pirates. Seven cannons can still be seen in the shallow water off the cay, including two large 32 pounders.
West Harbour Bluff is known by many names, including Split Rock, Southwest Bluff, and Pirate’s Cove. Regardless of what you call it, this coastal area is exquisite, and a great place to spend an afternoon or a few hours.
West Harbour Bluff is located in the extensive Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve on the remote south-western end of Providenciales. At this area you’ll find the tallest ocean cliffs on Providenciales, a sheltered and calm beach, a small cave, historical rock inscriptions, and fascinating wildlife.
A very long and unpaved road leads out to this part of the island, but it’s easiest to visit with a guide. Several boat and jet ski tour companies offer excursions.
As a predominantly limestone foundation island chain, the Turks and Caicos in fact has many Karst Process cave systems and features, including Conch Bar Caves, the largest dry cave system in the Lucayan Archipelago, and the Middle Caicos Ocean Hole, which may be the widest blue hole on earth.
Conch Bar Caves is extensive, and home to several types of bats. To reduce disturbance of wildlife and damage to the cave features, all tours are guided.
The Crossing Place Trail offers some of the most impressive vistas of any coastline in the Turks and Caicos. Located on the island of Middle Caicos, this trail navigates the historical route that was used to travel between Middle Caicos and North Caicos. The path leads from the settlement of Conch Bar, to the Mudjin Harbour area, then to Juniper Hole, then to Well Cay, Conch Cay, and then North Caicos.
The Crossing Place Trail currently leads along high limestone cliffs with interspersed beaches. There’s wildlife to spot, interesting flotsam and beachcombing, the Blowing Hole feature, and much more.