There are many beautiful vacation spots in the Caribbean, but one of the most picturesque locations is Turks and Caicos.
This nation is comprised of six major islands – West Caicos, Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, and Grand Turk Island.
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 islands from 1833 to 1840.
Many current residents proudly trace their lineage to these early African settlers.
Over the years, Turks and Caicos have 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, world-class restaurants, expressive art, lively music, and friendly locals.
In addition to its rich history and culture, the island nation is home to crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, gorgeous landscapes, and stunning sunsets.
If you’re planning your next Caribbean vacation, here are seven reasons to visit Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos is 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 (book flights on Booking.com).
The islands are also regular port-of-call for cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Princess (book cruises at CruiseDirect.com)
Turks and Caicos Has the Best Beaches
Ranked “Best Beach” by the World Travel Awards for several years, Grace Bay Beach, located on the northeast coast of the island of Providenciales, is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This pristine beach has 12 miles of gorgeous, powdery white-sand shoreline where you can swim, kayak, paddleboard, windsurf, sailing, kiteboard or simply relax on a lounge chair with your favorite cocktail.
Turks and Caicos is a Diver’s Paradise
Turks and Caicos has the third-largest reef system in the world, and its impressive array of marine life is healthy and flourishing.
Warm, calm and amazingly clear waters provide the perfect conditions for diving and snorkeling.
You can experience exceptional levels of visibility while submerged alongside dramatic vertical walls and when exploring sunken canyons and shipwrecks.
Turks and Caicos Has Many Family-friendly Environment and Activities
Families love to travel to Turks and Caicos because the environment is friendly and the activities are fun and exciting.
Family activities 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.
Turks and Caicos Has Great Food and Drinks
As a tropical archipelago nation, seafood is the center of the cuisine.
You can enjoy a variety of fresh fish that is pan-poached, fried, or made into stews.
No visit to the island is complete without a trip to Da Conch Shack, one of the most popular local seafood restaurants in the country.
Located on the picturesque Blue Hills Beach on the northwestern side of Providenciales, Da Conch Shack of a variety of dishes with freshly harvested conch. You can also enjoy local rum from the bar.
Other popular restaurants include Mangrove Bay Restaurant, Crackpot Kitchen, Bugaloos Conch Crawl, and Opus Wine Bar and Grill, which boasts the island’s largest cellar and is one of the best places to drink wine in Turks and Caicos.
Don’t forget to try the local beer, Turks Head.
Turks and Caicos Has World-Class Accommodations
Turks and Caicos has many luxury resorts, but one of the best is the Ocean Club Resorts.
Comprised of two all-suite properties, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West, are located just one mile apart and facing Grace Bay Beach.
Spacious rooms, excellent dining, and other amenities make Ocean Club Resorts a top destination.
You can indulge in spa treatments, go sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, parasailing or play golf (book your accommodations on Travelocity.com)
Travel to Turks and Caicos is Affordable
Four nights with air and accommodations start around $1,000. Please check COVID-19 travel restrictions before planning your trip (book your trip to Turks and Caicos on Travelocity.com)
Do You Need a Visa to Visit Turks and Caicos?
You do not need a visa to visit Turks and Caicos if your stay is less than 90 days. However, must show your passport upon arrival. Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date.
In addition, you must have a valid onward or return ticket and complete the TCI Assured online travel pre-authorization.