Turks and Caicos is one of the most mesmerizing destinations in the Caribbean. The turquoise waters are glowing with color, while the beach sand is sugar-soft. It’s hard to do anything but sit on the beach while vacationing in this luxurious locale, but there are lots of attractions worth checking out. From island hopping to scuba diving, here are some great things to do while visiting Turks and Caicos.
1. Visit One of Their Beautiful Beaches
Some of the most spectacular and serene beaches blanket the islands of Turks and Caicos. And all the islands (40 in total) are surrounded by one of the most extensive coral reef systems known to man, making them an absolute haven for beach connoisseurs, devoted divers, and snorkeling enthusiasts alike.
Grace Bay Beach, situated as part of the famous Princess Alexandra National Park, offers warm Caribbean waters, white soft sand, and gentle breezes perfect for nature lovers looking to partake in quiet and relaxing water sports. Many travelers already cite Grace Bay Beach as one of the best beaches in the world. Beach enthusiasts should also visit Chalk Sound, Governors Beach, Smith’s Reef, and Bight Reef to see the best underwater views while snorkeling.
With pristine sand and water, Long Bay Beach is another popular beach and has conditions that are equally desirable for kiteboarders and surfers. It’s also one of the best coastlines for horseback riding with views of the turquoise sea with nothing but sand between you and the horizon. If you’re looking for something a little more secluded, award-winning Parrot Cay is a world unto itself. Set on its own 1000-acre unspoiled private island, it’s a refuge of calm and luxury in the midst of a bold and breathtaking landscape.
2. Try a New Water Sport
If you’re a water sports enthusiast, Turks & Caicos is your perfect paradise.
The islands are often regarded as a top scuba diving spot in the Caribbean. With a tropical climate, crystal-clear water, and an abundance of marine life, this archipelago is a top diving destination for both recreational and professional divers. There are many dive sites to discover, including French Passage and French Cay.
Turks & Caicos is filled with gorgeous reefs that are just begging to be explored. So, get your jet ski ready and get away for the day! Jet skiing here is an unforgettable way to experience the secluded beaches, remote cay’s, the La Famille Express shipwreck, West Harbour Bluff and so much more.
If you’re a snorkeling enthusiast, you can snorkel directly off the beach along an ocean trail at Bight Reef to see marine life from up close. Boat tours for scuba diving are also available for a better view of nurse sharks and other underwater creatures. Parasailing at Grace Bay is also an incredible experience as you can get a birds eye view of the beautiful beaches, reefs and resorts.
For some above-water fun, opt for a guided tour through the mangroves via kayak or paddleboard toward Little Water Cay, known locally as Iguana Island for the 2000 rock iguanas that live there—a true desert island voyage!
3. Learn About Salt Production
Although much has changed in the centuries since the salt industry thrived, many vestiges of its historical importance remain in Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay. The well-preserved ruins are great examples of the fascinating history of these islands.
This World Heritage Site used to be the world’s biggest producer of salt from the 1600’s to the 1960’s. Today there are few people living on the island, along with lots of wild cattle and iguanas. This secluded locale is perfect for a day trip full of snorkeling and relaxing on the beach.
4. Play a Round of Golf
The idyllic Turks and Caicos Islands are a golfer’s paradise. Provo Golf Club, also known as “The Jewel Golf Course in the Turks & Caicos” is 18 holes of pure excitement with breathtaking views. Voted the 4th Best Caribbean Golf Course by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice, this championship golf course has vast emerald-green fairways outlined by elegant water features and gleaming white bunkers punctuated by stunning palms. The beauty of this course is interrupted only by the occasional appearance of a local heron or flock of migrating flamingos. Play this scenic course by the sea and enjoy a drink after your round at Fairways Bar and Grill.
Another great golfing option is a picturesque 9-hole course in the grounds of the Office of the Governor of the Turks & Caicos Islands called Waterloo Golf Club. Whether you want to practice your game or just enjoy a round with friends, this is the place to be. The 2758 yard long course, which is only a few hundred yards from the Cruise Ship Center, is open to tourists. As there is a limit of 36 players on the small course, it’s advisable to arrive early to get a spot on the green!
5. Hike One of Their Trails
Beautiful beaches aren’t the only thing offered in this tropical paradise. Hiking the island is a relaxing way to experience some of the local culture while getting your heart pumping.
Middle Caicos is an uninhabited island and home to Crossing Place Trail. This National Trust Heritage site was established by early settlers in the 18th century. The 8 kilometers of beautiful hiking trails lead you through beaches, lush tropical forest, and never ending scenic views of the island.
Mudjin Harbour is also a perfect place to hike and take in the beauty of Middle Caicos and all the breathtaking views. This wild and windy region of sharp, sheer-cut limestone cliffs rising straight from the ocean is manna for the adventurous traveler.
Bird Rock Trail is also a must-do hike if you’re visiting Turks & Caicos. Located on the eastern side of Providenciales, this is the only official hiking trail on the islands and offers incredible views of the Caribbean Sea.
6. Experience Local Cuisine
Although dining in Turks and Caicos is quite casual, you can still find an abundance of variety in the different cuisines offered on the islands. Whether you go for seafood or soul food, there are options for everyone.
Popular local specialties include fresh lobster, blackened fish, jerk chicken, and fried plantain. The islands however are known for their seafood, especially fish like snapper, tuna, and grouper. If seafood is your thing, then you’re in for a treat. The locals here love conch, it’s an island favorite and they do a lot with it too. It can be found in many dishes at many of the island’s restaurants. We recommend checking out the diverse and delicious conch dishes at Da Conch Shack and Rum Bar.
On Thursday nights, everyone flocks to the fish fry at Bight Park to enjoy the delectable fried seafood, live music, dancing and local craftsmen. The Fish Fry is a wonderful event that doubles as a celebration of island culture. With lots to do and see, it’s a great outing for the entire family to enjoy. You’ll find great souvenirs and fun crafts at the craft stalls, so make sure you bring some cash with you for seamless transactions.
7. Visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse
The most famous and main historical landmark in Grand Turk, Grand Turk Lighthouse, is a beautiful 60-foot-tall structure that is worth paying a visit. This lighthouse was built in 1842, however, it is no longer operational. Tourists can visit the grounds of the lighthouse, but they are not allowed inside.
Visitors can enjoy a light snack and browse the gift shop in the light keepers house and walk along the scenic coastal path to take in all the scenic views. While touring the grounds, you might even be lucky enough to spot some of the cute and wild donkeys that roam this area of the island.
Recommended Accommodation Nearby: Peninsula 3 BDM Skyridge
8. Enjoy a Scenic Horseback Ride
If you love horses and want to try something different, horseback riding in Turks & Caicos is the perfect fun-filled activity. Whether it’s a ride on your own or with a group of friends, the three small riding stable options in Provo ensure that everyone will have a memorable experience.
Located on the southeast side of the island near Long Bay Beach you’ll find Provo Ponies, the island’s primary stable which offers both group and private rides. Unique Tours is another option, an eco-friendly company located in central Provo at Blue Hills Beach; however they can conveniently come to your villa or beach of choice. Lastly you have Heritage Tours, a company dedicated to preserving and sharing aspects of the culture and history of this incredible destination, which you can find near Five Cays Beach.
Whether you ride along the sandy beach or within the shallow, crystal waters, this activity is a quintessential island experience.
9. Explore Conch Bar Caves
If you are looking for a truly unique experience, the Conch Bar Caves should be high on your list. In the village of Conch Bar on Middle Caicos, The Conch Bar Caves are a series of tunnels and chambers that have been carved out of the limestone rock formations. This is the largest non-submerged cave system in the island chain (which is also a national park) and is a fascinating place to explore.
As you enter, you’ll see the usual cave formations like stalagmites, pools and other spectacular cave features. As you explore, you may even be able to spot one of the four bat species. You will also stumble upon local crustaceans as well. The cave tour is not suitable for individuals with limited mobility or small children, as some sections can be quite challenging and there are quite a few rocky steps to climb.
Recommended Accommodation Nearby: 2 BDM Premier Beachfront
10. Visit a Plantation
For any history buffs vacationing in Turks and Caicos, Cheshire Hall is a must visit. The 200 year old cotton plantation is the most popular historic attraction in Providenciales. The attraction explains the Loyalist period of the Caicos Islands and how it became so important for the development of the island’s nation as a whole.
Knowledgeable tour guides take visitors throughout the plantation where some cotton plants still remain amongst the ruins.
11. Stop by the Turks & Caicos National Museum
Give your trip an educational boost with a visit to the National Museum. Featuring exhibits on the history of the islands, art, and more.
Tucked away in the heart of the small island of Grand Turk, the National Museum provides an endearing archive of history and culture for all to enjoy. The museum is a non-profit foundation that strives to maintain and share the culture and history of the islands. With plenty of artifacts and information, you’re sure to pass a relaxing time browsing through their inventory of various exhibits.
Their gift shop is filled with everything from locally made items to beautiful mementos, making it a perfect place to pick up a special souvenir.
Recommended Accommodation Nearby: Oceanfront Coral Villa
12. Book a Beachfront Villa
Want a beach all to yourself? Our Turks and Caicos vacation rentals on Grace Bay, Long Bay, and Parrot Cay can make this dream come true, as many of our luxury villas open onto private, secluded beaches.