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Over the last two decades I’ve been a frequent traveller to the Caribbean Islands – somehow Turks and Caicos never appeared on my radar. On my recent visit, I saw how much this popular destination has evolved, so much more than my expectation of an underpopulated series of Islands.

Turks and Caicos consists of seven main islands, 40 smaller uninhabited islands and cays and eight inhabited. This tropical paradise is a British Territory, located in the West Indies just south of the Bahamas.

These islands are known for legendary diving, snorkeling, fishing and the “Best Beach in the World” as well as luxurious hotels, spas and restaurants.

After spending a few days wrapped in the unique serenity of Turks and Caicos, I’ve outlined 5 reasons which stand out in my mind as to why you should visit this paradise in the Atlantic.

Ocean Club Resort East

The Beaches Are Heavenly

There’s absolutely no doubt that Turks and Caicos feature some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean.  Its here you’ll find powdery sand beaches, surrounded by the world’s largest coral reef in the most ethereal turquoise seas of the world. One of the best is Grace Bay, 12 miles of pale sand, named the World’s Leading Beach for several years at the World travel Awards. As beautiful as Grace Bay is, you can’t overlook the rest of the sandy havens, some of which are – Long Bay, a quiet beach with calm, shallow waters – perfect for young children (you can even ride the Provo Ponies on the beach). On Pelican Point Beach (North Caicos) you can find conch shells of every size and secluded Horsestable Beach is a prime bird-watching spot. Grand Turk’s most celebrated beach, Governor’s Beach, has great snorkeling and picnic spots, whereas the Beaches of Salt Cay have some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Half Moon Cay

Not just the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Caribbean, these beaches are also peaceful and uncrowded – perfect for family fun and relaxation.

Fabulous Accommodations       

Ocean Club Resorts sit directly on the powdery white sands of Grace Bay Beach (world renowned, Provo Golf Club is across the road). This impressive resort has received numerous accolades including being named ‘a world’s best’ by Travel and Leisure magazine. The resort has two freshwater pools, the Spa Tropique, and impeccably maintained grounds; accommodations vary from a 400 sq.ft. room to over 2,100 sq.ft. 3-bedroom condo-styled suites with all the creature comforts.

When envisioning a relaxing Caribbean vacation, the Ocean Club Resorts fits the bill. Fully equipped suites are individually decorated with modern amenities including TV, kitchenettes, air conditioning and comfortable beds topped with luxury bedding and l’Occitaine toiletries.

The best part of staying at Ocean Club Resorts is that you stay at one resort and have access to two.  You can take advantage of all amenities at both Ocean Club East and West, a shuttle navigates between the resorts, optionally – it’s a 15-minute walk along the beach.

Additional Places to Stay:

  • Blue Haven Resort – all inclusive, suitable for families. An added bonus of having access to two other resorts on the island namely Alexandra and the Beach house.
  • Beaches Turks and Caicos – all-inclusive and perfect for family getaways.
  • Gansevoort Turks and Caicos – one of the trendiest hotels on the island and for those who like to socialize with other hipsters.
  • Grace Bay Club – Luxurious resort made up of suites and private beach cabanas.

Excellent Snorkeling and Diving

There are plenty of other watersports available, including snorkeling, kite boarding and surfing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, kitesurfing (the ultimate action-adventure sport) and whale watching.

Turks and Caicos Snorkeling

The vibrant colors of the thriving coral reef ecosystem are a diver’s dream. It would be a shame to visit Turks and Caicos without a snorkeling or diving excursion. A large portion of the coast is protected by the National Parks Ordinance, which results in pristine dive sites with abundant colorful marine life. As an example, Salt Cay is a top spot for viewing migratory humpback wales, exploring the wreck of a British warship or caverns with incredible walls.

If diving is not your thing then explore the sea-world through a snorkeling or kayaking adventure.  When snorkeling expect to see one the world’s third largest coral reef system with plenty of sharks, parrotfish, and stingrays.

Total Adventure Co. provides guided kayak tours through the mangroves along the Leeward Channel and Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve. At the reserve expect to see wildlife and marine animals.

Island Vibes Tours offers half or full day snorkeling tours and visits to uninhabited islands. All equipment is provided along with snacks, fresh conch ceviche and drinks.

Dining Choices Abound       

If you don’t feel like preparing your own meals at the Ocean Club Resort there enough choices on site or in Providenciales to suit every taste.

Turks and Caicos Fruit Breakfast

For breakfast, there’s the Cabana Bar and Grille, an island-style restaurant serving a host of staples like pancakes, Belgian waffles and custom-made omelets.

For an upscale dinner try the sophisticated Opus Wine Bar and Grill, where fine dining is served in a stunning garden lounge and an extensive wine list available. Opus is known for its fresh caught seafood from local fishermen like Snapper, Grouper, Conch, and Lobster. If seafood isn’t your preference, there’s also an impressive choice of meats, pasta, and curries. 

Turks and Caicos Opus rest

No visit would be complete without a stop at the casual Da Conch Shack, a beachside restaurant favored by locals and visitors, known as one of the best beach bars in the world. Order Conch soup, fritters and seafood sandwiches. 

Turks and Caicos Da Conch Shack
The Da Conch Shack
Turks and Caicos Da Conch Shack

For a change of pace and real casual dining Cocovan Food Truck offers the best of the Island along with delicious margaritas and mojitos. Order your food from the airstream kitchen and eat at communal tables under a blanket of palms.

Enjoy Peace and Quiet

Although not known as a primary destination for nightlife – there’s plenty to be found. Spend your days enjoying everything the Island has to offer from sea, sand, and land. The beaches are uncrowded and its not that difficult to get a reservation at a local restaurant.  If you go shopping in downtown Providenciales you will find plenty of local craft stores and designer boutiques but no crowds.

Turks and Caicos at a Glance 

  • Off-season (June–October) travel will give you access to incredible lodging deals. Prices skyrocket during the high season from December to April.
  • The average temperature – 85 and 95 degrees in summer, falling to 80 degrees in winter.  
  • Location: In the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas
  • Capital: Cockburn Town on Grand Turk
  • Official language: English  
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Tipping: 15-20% is the general guideline

Air Travel – Providenciales is the main airport to the Turks and Caicos.  Its easy to reach the island from the East Coast of North America. There are many direct flights from major airport hubs.

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  • Bring bug spray as sometimes of the year “Nauseam’s” and mosquitos can be a nuisance if you are susceptible.
  • Dining out can get quite expensive if you are watching your budget, you may want to explore self-catering options.

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Interested in additional Caribbean destinations read my posts for:

Vacationing like a celebrity at Half Moon Resort, Jamaica 
Experience Total R&R at These 5 Small Luxury Resorts 
8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bonaire In 2018

Note: I was a guest of Ocean Club Resort but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.