Turks and Caicos Travel Guide
Turks and Caicos visitors choose this destination because of the numerous places to dive and snorkel among the colorful fish and coral reefs, shipwrecks and underwater caves. It is not as touristy as some of the other Caribbean islands, preferring to offer the vacationer miles of beaches, stunning clear waters and a laid back attitude that allows you to really get away from it all while having fun in the sun.
If you are visiting the Turks and Caicos via cruise ship, you will disembark on Grand Turk, the capital of the islands and the place where there is a state of the art cruise ship center for passengers to enjoy located just steps from the docked ship. Grand Turk tourism depends heavily on cruise passengers, as can be evidenced from the vast array of attractions that can be accessed right from the cruise port.
Passengers can experience Gibbs Cay which includes a boat ride to the cay and a few hours spent exploring the coral reef, swimming with stingrays and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Visitors can also take a dune buggy safari tour that takes them through salinas, Cockburn Town, and North Wells as well as looking for flamingoes and seeing the Grand Turk lighthouse. Those tourists to Grand Turk who love horses will embrace the chance to swim with them in the ocean as part of a beach/ocean ride, and for those who have always wanted to practice their surf form, there is the FlowRider, right at the cruise port that allows you to perfect that ride in style.
Grand Turk tourists can check out historic homes and more on a tour that includes the Turks and Caicos Museum, Victoria Library and Front and Duke Streets which are steeped in history. Power snorkeling, boat rides, kayaking and catamaran tours can also be had on excursions booked through the ship or when you arrive on the island.
Tourists to Grand Turk can also just kick back and relax in a poolside cabana, enjoy the ocean and beach, the Caribbean’s largest pool or check out the biggest Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville also located right at the cruise port.
Salt Cay is located south of Grand Turk and offers travelers a quiet simplicity away from the crowds. Just a short boat ride gets you to the island where you can snorkel right off the beach in a healthy reef that is teeming with marine life. The island also boasts beaches where you can just relax and soak up the rays.
For those travelers not arriving in the Turks and Caicos via a cruise, there are many other island destinations to explore that are not limited to the time constraints of a cruise stop. About 70 miles from Grand Turk is Providenciales or Provo as it is more commonly called. Provo offers tourists many lovely beaches including Grace Beach, Taylor Beach and Sapodilla Bay, and Chalk Sound a lagoon with brilliant hues of turquoise and blues in contrast to the warm white sand beaches that surround it. There are also many opportunities for boat tours, fishing, scuba diving and horse rides on the beach in and around Provo.
Middle Caicos and North Caicos Islands offer vacationers lush woodlands and caves and the opportunity to see foliage and birds. On North Caicos, be sure to see Three Mary’s Cays whose calm waters make it another great place to snorkel. South Caicos is a mecca for fishing and offers secluded beaches, a local flavor, old colonial houses and all the culture of the islands without all the tourist attractions and crowded streets. Cockburn Harbor is a lovely attraction in itself as it is loaded with old buildings, gates, the famous boiling hole, old salt warehouses and colorful boats bobbing on the tide.
West Caicos excels at offering the Turks and Caicos traveler the opportunity for reef diving in the many diving spots off of the coast.
If snorkeling right off the beach is your idea of heaven, Smith’s Reef is the place to be. As one of the best places to snorkel, the area is rife with marine life like turtles, rays and fish not to mention the corals and sea fans that are in abundance in the healthy ecosystem, easily accessible right from the sand.
Visitors to the Turks and Caicos have it all right in the palm of their hand. If you want a busy bustling area it delivers with the Grand Turk Cruise Center and if you prefer a quiet and get-away-from-it-all type of adventure being at one with nature and the environment, then the Turks and Caicos can deliver that as well. For one of the world’s best places for snorkeling and diving, grab the swim fins, and enjoy all that the Turks and Caicos offer.