There are many beautiful vacation spots in the Caribbean. One of the most picturesque locations is Turks and Caicos.
The first inhabitants of the islands were Arawakan-speaking Taíno people, who crossed over from Hispaniola sometime from AD 500 to 800. However, Turks and Caicos residents often talk about a shipwreck that had a huge impact on the island’s development. In 1837, a ship that was transporting African slaves wrecked off the coast of East Caicos. Africans from this ship were among the 189 liberated Africans whom the British colonists settled in the Turks and Caicos from 1833 to 1840. Many current residents proudly trace their lineage to these early African settlers.
Over the years, Turks and Caicos has taken elements of their African, Spanish, French, and British heritage and incorporated them into a unique blend of island culture that features a laid-back lifestyle, delicious food, expressive art, and lively music. In addition to its rich history and culture, the island nation is home to crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, and stunning sunsets. Travelers can also experience a variety of world-class attractions and restaurants.
But those attributes are not the only ones that contribute to the island’s allure. From peaceful environments to friendly residents and beautiful landscapes, the charms of Turks and Caicos are numerous. What follows are 7 reasons to visit.
Easily Accessible from Major Cities
Although Turks and Caicos is a small nation, it boasts an international airport that welcomes direct flights from major cities like New York, Newark, Boston, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal, Nassau, and London. The islands are also regular port-of-call for cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Princess.
Ranked “Best Beach” by Conde Nast Traveler and by the World Travel Awards for several years, Grace Bay Beach has 12 miles of gorgeous, powdery white-sand shoreline. Vacationers can go swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, sailing, kiteboarding or simply relax on a lounge chair.
Amazing Diving and Snorkeling
Warm, calm and amazingly clear waters provide the perfect conditions for diving and snorkeling. The country has the third-largest reef system in the world, and its impressive array of marine life is healthy and flourishing. Divers rave about the exceptional levels of visibility they experience while they are submerged alongside dramatic vertical walls and when they are exploring sunken canyons and shipwrecks.
Family-friendly Environment and Activities
Family vacations in Turks and Caicos are popular because the environment is family-friendly and the activities are fun and exciting. Options include water sports, nature and wildlife expeditions, sunset cruises, adopting a puppy for the day, horseback riding, and day trips to various locations around the country.
Great Food and Drinks
Whether you prefer upscale and gourmet or beachfront and basic, the food and beverage options in Turks and Caicos are numerous. No visit to the island is complete without a trip to Da Conch Shack to sample freshly harvested conch and drink the local beer, Turks Head. Other top-rated restaurants include Porter’s Island Thyme, Coco Bistro, Kalooki’s, Ristorante Via Veneto, The Landing, Turks Kebab, and Mudjin Bar & Grill. After a long, exhilarating day, you can enjoy some wine over dinner at Opus Wine Bar Grill, which boasts the island’s largest cellar and is Fodor’s pick for one of the best places to drink wine in Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos has many luxury resorts, but one of the best is the Ocean Club Resorts. Named among Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Best Hotels in the World, Ocean Club Resorts is comprised of two all-suite properties, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West, located just one mile apart and facing Grace Bay Beach. Spacious rooms, excellent dining, and other amenities make Ocean Club Resorts a top destination. Guests can indulge in spa treatments, go sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, parasailing or play golf. Of course, there is always the option of just relaxing under one of Ocean Club’s signature pink beach umbrellas with a good book.
Four nights with air and accommodations start around $1000. You can also book cruises around this price that make stops in Turks and Caicos.