The Turks and Caicos is an amazing destination for outdoor enthusiasts. This itinerary guide packs in a few more sights and activities than our 7-Night Guide for First-Time Visitors, so there’s a bit less relaxing on the beach.
In addition to your accommodation and flights, you may want to make some activity and dining reservations prior to arrival in the Turks and Caicos, as availability of some boat charters, horseback riding, and some fine dining restaurants are likely to be limited, especially during the winter to spring high season.
We advise renting a car for the duration of your stay. On Providenciales, the rate for a compact or economy car typically comes in well under $50 per day. North American drivers will primarily notice that we drive on the left in the Turks and Caicos.
Every visitor to Providenciales should have a checklist of beaches to visit. At a minimum, we recommend Grace Bay, the Stubb’s Point (also known as Pelican Beach or Sunset Beach) and Emerald Point (also known as Leeward Going Through) locations on Leeward Beach, Long Bay Beach, the Bight Beach, Sapodilla Bay, and Taylor Bay.
Restaurants and Dining
If great dining is important, you’ll want to make your restaurant checklist as well. We advise making reservations well in advance for the fine-dining restaurants.
Casual and Lunch Dining
It’s generally a simple and quick process to arrive at Providenciales. Budget 1-2 hours on arrival for clearing immigration and customs, picking up a rental car, and traveling to and checking into your accommodation.
Your arrival afternoon is a great time to stop by a supermarket to pick up some groceries and supplies. If you’d like to buy alcohol, Wine Cellar offers the widest selection, and Turk’s Head Brewery offers the lowest prices for local beer by the case.
Day 1—Explore Our Great Beaches
A great way to spend your first day in the Turks and Caicos is to simply enjoy some of our unparalleled beaches. Providenciales offers a great selection, but most will be happy simply spending most of the day at the world-famous Grace Bay.
Consider visiting one of the shore snorkeling sites as well. Providenciales features two snorkeling reefs that are easy to access. The Bight Reef is the most popular site, is easy to access, and is adjacent to a great beach. Smith’s Reef is nearby, yet it is a little more difficult to find the best reefs. The central outer section at Smith’s Reef is spectacular.
Day 2—Boat Charter to the Caicos Cays
Our top recommended activity is to take a boat cruise or charter that visits the beautiful cays, beaches, and reefs around Providenciales. There’s a wide variety of tour businesses and vessels to choose from, with both shared and private charters available, and most are excellent.
Some of our favorite sights and stops include the iguana sanctuary of Little Water Cay, the beautiful beach at Half Moon Bay, and the secluded cays of Water Cay, Pine Cay, and Fort George Cay. Most cruises stop at snorkeling sites as well, such as the exquisite barrier reef near Leeward.
Although pricey, a private charter is a great experience. You’ll be able to spend the day how you’d like, and avoid the crowds. See Providenciales Boat Charters for information on selecting the right charter.
Day 3—Day Trip to North Caicos and Middle Caicos
A great way to spend a day in the Turks and Caicos is to take a day trip to North Caicos and Middle Caicos. These two sparsely populated islands are connected by a road causeway, and feature a wealth of natural sights and secluded beaches.
To get to North Caicos, take the small passenger ferry from Heaving Down Rock Marina to Sandy Point on North Caicos, which is a fun and scenic ride by itself. You’ll have to rent a car for the day on North Caicos for transport.
The top sights are the majestic Mudjin Harbour, Conch Bar Caves, Bottle Creek, and miles of secluded beach. Minor yet fascinating attractions include the Cottage Pond blue hole, Wade’s Green Plantation, Indian Cave, the Crossing Place Trail, and the several quaint villages found across the two islands.
Day 4—Explore Providenciales by Car
Another great way to spend a day on Providenciales is to explore a bit by car.
Day 5—Snorkeling, Diving, or Eco-adventure
Outdoor and nature lovers should consider a day discovering our incredible marine environment. A dedicated snorkeling safari that visits diverse reef systems is amazing, and usually stops at barrier reef sites, sheltered inshore reefs, and the majestic cliffs and unbelievable blue water of West Caicos.
Certified scuba divers should consider a two-tank dive.
Day 6—More Beaches and Water Sports
Your final full day is perfect to fit in some of the activities that you may not have had the chance to do over the previous days.
Parasailing over Grace Bay is incredible. The quiet ruins of Cheshire Hall Plantation offer an insight into the Loyalist days of the Turks and Caicos. Provo Ponies is very popular and does beach and ocean horseback riding at the turquoise waters of Long Bay Beach.
The queue for airline check-in and security is generally not very long, but they can be long on some days of the week, such as Saturdays. We advise arriving three hours prior to flight departure during the winter and spring months, and two hours prior to departure in the summer and fall months.
Extra Activities and Ideas
If you have a little extra time or want to substitute one of the prior recommendations, explore the following. Providenciales offers some great water sports, and your vacation in the Turks and Caicos can be the perfect time to try one out.
Salt Cay and South Caicos are also great islands to visit on a day trip. The tiny island of Salt Cay offers a laid-back British Bermudian colonial atmosphere and great beaches. South Caicos has rugged landscapes, salinas, and old-world charm.
Jet skis available as rentals by the hour or as guided tours can be quite exciting.