The Islands of Turks and Caicos
Boasting 230 miles of white sand shoreline, and some of the world’s largest and most stunning coral reefs, Turks and Caicos is widely considered one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets.
This hot spot destination is made up of 40 islands, 8 of which are inhabited. The inhabited islands are separated into two groups: East and West. To the East are the Turks Islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay and to the West are the Caicos Islands South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, Pine Cay and Parrot Cay.
The main island of Providenciales (Provo), is wonderfully family-friendly and the daily pace has a relaxed and laid back vibe. Sunny and consistent temperatures also make the islands a year-round travel destination.
9 Must Try Turks and Caicos Adventures
Turks and Caicos is one of the most mesmerizing destinations in the Caribbean. Known for its pristine clear waters and beaches, it is the place to go for breathtaking outdoor activities. Hitting the beach with the kids, taking a boat tour to whale watch, playing a game of golf or learning how to snorkel are all possibilities here. But if you truly want to experience what Turks & Caicos is famous for, this list is for you!
Turks and Caicos National Museum
Though it may seem strange to visit a museum while in tropical paradise, understanding the history of these beautiful islands can make your trip much more memorable.
Set in the heart of the island of Grand Turk, this museum is a non-profit facility that receives zero aid from the government but does a great job of maintaining a delightful collection of culture and history from the Islands. Here you will be able to discover more about the island’s as you navigate through various exhibits from natural history all the way to ship wrecks.
If you’re searching for the perfect Caribbean souvenir, their gift shop sells many locally made items as well as other wonderful souvenirs.
Chalk Sound National Park
Chalk Sound is a stunning lagoon on the southwest side of Provo that is studded with numerous tiny rock islands and is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sites on the island.
The water here is a pristine sparkling clear blue thanks to their strict rules about preventing the use of any motorized watercrafts that can muddy the waters. One of the best ways to explore this area is via kayak or stand-up paddle-boarding.
After a day of exploration, enjoy picturesque views of the National Park during a laid-back lunch at Las Brisas.
A popular destination for animal-loving families is the iguana sanctuary at Little Water Cay (AKA Iguana Island). This pristinely preserved island is home to the locally loved rock iguanas that gives the area its name.
The island also offers organized tours and trails so that you have the opportunity to really get up close and personal with the Rock Iguanas! (Don’t worry – they may be large but they’re incredibly friendly critters!)
If you are lucky enough to hit the island in the high season between January and April then be sure to participate in the wonder that is whale watching on Salt Cay. The weather hovers around the mid-20s making it a comfortable and exciting day excursion.
You can charter your own whale-spotting boat or if you prefer simply stand on the stunning, salt-sprayed cliffs and lose yourself in the breathtaking view of observing these gentle giants in their natural habitat. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Thursday Night Fish Fry
Seafood is a staple must have when vacationing in the Caribbean and no trip to Provo is complete without sampling all the fresh and salty delicacies of the iconic Fish Fry at Bight Park (close to Grace Bay).
This lively event takes place every Thursday night from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM and you can enjoy all the delicious fried seafood your heart desires, live music, dancing, local craftsmen, and a variety of other local food stands. This is a fun and animated event frequented by locals and visitors alike, and a great way to let the whole family soak up a little bit of the island culture.
For any history buffs, you will definitely want to plan a day trip to Cheshire Hall. This 200 year old cotton plantation is one of the key historic attractions of Provo and is probably the most important site for cultural heritage on the island.
The $10 admission fee includes entrance to the site and a 30-minute guided tour. On the tour, knowledgeable guides take visitors throughout the plantation where some cotton plants still remain amongst the ruins. You will also have the opportunity to purchase locally made craft items that are great for souvenirs.
Horseback Riding in the Ocean
If you’re an animal lover who seeks adventure, then horseback riding in Turks & Caicos is the activity for you!
Provo is home to three small riding stables that each offer rides along numerous beaches in the area. You have Unique Tours which is located in central Provo at Blue Hills Beach; Provo Ponies which offers both group and private rides which is located on the southeast side of the island near Long Bay Beach and finally there is a newer stable, Heritage Tours, which is located near Five Cays Beach.
Whether riding on land or in the turquoise shallow waters, the beaches in Turks & Caicos deliver a breathtaking setting for both beginners and experienced riders. Ideal for both families and couples, this activity is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.
Travel Tip: In order to capture all your horseback riding memories, bring a waterproof camera!
Conch Bar Caves
Located near the village of Conch Bar on Middle Caicos are the miraculous Conch Bar Caves. These limestone rock beds are considered to be the largest above-ground cave system among the chain of Islands and also one of the largest in the Caribbean.
Here you will be able to discover these incredible tunnels and chambers that are full of history and adventure. Upon entering, you’ll see the usual cave formations like stalagmites, columns, pools and other cave features. The more you explore around the caves, you may be lucky enough to spot one of the five bat species that inhabit the cave system as well as local crustaceans.
It’s advised to come prepared with handheld flashlights and to ensure you are wearing the appropriate shoes or boots that are best suited for slippery or rough terrain. The cave tour is not suitable for individuals with limited mobility or small children, as some sections can be quite challenging.
Alongside all the wonderful fun-filled activities that we mentioned above, there are even some amazing annual events that are held on the island. Our personal favorites include:
The Culinary Food and Wine Festival that is typically held in early November, where you can join in on a celebration of local fine dining and delicious wine.
The Conch Festival takes place at the end of November and celebrates everything conch related as it is the island’s primary delicacy.
Maskanoo is a lively street festival that is held on Boxing Day (Dec 26) and features tasty local food, live music and even a parade!
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
Whether you’re seeking adventure, seclusion or good ol’ classic island vibes, Turks and Caicos Islands have it all for a picturesque family vacation, a relaxing trip with friends or for an intimate getaway for two!
Ready to explore this unique Caribbean paradise? Book your luxury vacation rental in Turks & Caicos today!