An archipelago of around
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An archipelago of around
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This sparsely populated archipelago, where Europe first alighted on the New World, has remarkably stayed off most holiday seeker’s radar. With some of the best diving on the planet, unique flora and fauna bursting at its ecological seams, flawless empty beaches and spectacular unspoilt reefs – it’s time to show off.
Get a first-hand glance at the exquisite Bight Reef as you snorkel into the shimmering shallows of Providenciales. Navigate the water highways teeming with stingrays, turtles, bottlenose dolphins and migrating humpback whales. Dive into what’s believed to be the widest blue hole in the world, off Middle Caicos, and discover the mysteries of the deep. Plunder an impressive underground cave system, such as the Boiling Hole on South Caicos. Or practice your swing at one of the most challenging golf courses in the Caribbean – The Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club.
The truth is, most of what you’ll do here is so deliciously self-indulgent that you won’t want to leave the comforts of your world-class hotel. The warm welcome, easy-going atmosphere, decidedly tempting feasts and the occasional rum punch are intentionally designed to slow you down. Book your flights to Turks and Caicos Islands and castaway for a true luxury island life.
The Sands at Grace Bay is directly on Grace Bay providing all-suite rooms, alternatively Ports of Call Resort is another well-located budget option on the Bay with an intimate boutique ambience and diving opportunities nearby. The luxe Windsong Resort is located around 20 metres from a snorkelling hotspot. If it’s great facilities you’re after then check out Bianca Sands on Grace Bay which offers an infinity edge pool and Jacuzzis. Get your phone at the ready for The Shore Club – this exclusive hotel was deemed the Most Instagramable hotel in the World, while The Ritz-Carlton Turks and Caicos – Providenciales offers a casino, high end restaurants and even its own catamaran service.
Secure your holiday with a low deposit and flexible installments – you can decide when you make the payments and how much they are.
For a true taste of the Turks and Caicos be sure to sample some conch. The edible marine snail is the national symbol of the islands and can be found in many dishes served here.
1. If you like water sports, you'll find plenty of options in Turks and Caicos - whether it’s kayaking, kite boarding, parasailing or windsurfing. See the extraordinary limestone caves of Middle Caicos, then head to the beach for a picnic and snorkelling. Play a challenging round of golf or enjoy a laidback day of bird watching.
2. A trip to Turks and Caicos wouldn't be complete without visiting Grace Bay Beach, which is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and was voted the Best Beach in the World by TripAdvisor.
Families will love the child-friendly attractions that surround The Bight Beach, while The Bight Reef offers exquisite snorkelling close to the shore. Expect to be greeted by pristine white sand beaches (some slightly tinted with pink) and crystal-clear ocean water with breath-taking turquoise and blue hues. Best of all, many of these you can enjoy in splendid isolation.
3. See some of the island's well-preserved treasures, from Cheshire Hall, a key historic attraction, to the lighthouse, a protected National Trust site which guards the northern tip of Grand Turk.
4. Look out for rock iguanas on Little Water Cay – the nature reserve here is the only place in the world to spy these charming, endangered creatures. The Cay is home to 2,000 rock iguanas which have sadly been wiped out from the other cays in their former habitat. You can also spot wild flamingos on North and Middle Caicos. Flamingo Pond Overlook, near Whitby on North Caicos, offers the best chance to spy these flamboyant birds and is probably the most easily-accessible. Go kayaking on Provo’s Chalk Sound National Park's three-mile lagoon, where you’ll have bonefish, barracuda, rays and lemon sharks for company.
5. Taste your way through a paddle of beers at Turk’s Head Brewery, the islands’ only brewery. You can take a tour or just sample some ales in its laidback taproom. Try the strong IPA called Down da Road or one of its seasonal stouts.
If you’re visiting Turks and Caicos holiday, especially for the first time, we recommend going all-inclusive. So, you can simply relax, kick back and make the most of your time on this ocean paradise, safe in the knowledge that virtually everything is included in the cost of your holiday. The Windsong Resort is ideally positioned on the island’s best reef, just 20 metres from a snorkelling hotspot on the stunning Grace Bay beach. Voted one of the top resorts in the Caribbean and we can see why.
The Turks and Caicos comprise some 40 islands and cays, but only eight are inhabited. The islands are split into two groups, the Caicos Islands (the largest) and the Turks Islands.
Providenciales, better known as Provo, is the main destination for visitors. Hilly and green, Provo has plenty of welcoming spots for diving and fishing. Take in the sunset from the Northwest Point Marine National Park and Nature Reserve but do prepare for a plague of biting bugs. Provo is also home to the islands’ only 18-hole golf courses, plus a few low-key casinos.
The small cluster of islets between Providenciales and North Caicos, Caicos Cays was once used as a haven for plundering pirates. Today, many remain largely untouched and make for a popular daytrip for snorkellers. Other area islands, such as Dellis Cay, Pine Cay and Parrot Cay, are privately owned and are home to exclusive secluded resorts such as the COMO by Parrot Cay.
Considered one of the lushest isles of the group, North Caicos is also hailed as the next tourism hotspot with several hotels popping up. It’s also home to the islands’ largest flock of pink flamingos.
Middle Caicos is the largest island and offers a variety of landscapes for you to enjoy. Bambarra Beach lies near 600-year-old limestone caves, beyond green hills that rise high above the waters. There's a causeway (plus a ferry) connecting North and Middle Caicos, but do check out the Crossing Place Trail, which was used by settlers during low tide to travel between the two islands.
Nature dominates South Caicos – creamy white beaches, jagged cliffs and serene bays are just some of its charms. The islands' fishing hub is just as popular among students studying ecology and marine life; Boston University has an outpost here.
West Caicos is an ideal daytrip for divers or picnickers searching for an especially remote location. You can only reach the island via a costly private charter. If you do make the trip, be sure to visit the abandoned Yankee Town settlement, where a railway and steam engine are the only signs of the small sisal (or rope plantation) that thrived here in the late 1800s.
One to miss would be East Caicos, once dominated by cotton plantations, it's now largely swamps and is only accessible by boat from one of the other populated islands.
Lying several miles southeast of the Caicos Islands, the Turks Islands are much smaller and generally even more laid-back. The larger of the islands, Grand Turk, sits approximately five miles north of the second main Turk Island, Salt Cay.
Home to the islands' capital, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk is the region's historical centre, filled with 19th Century Bermudian architecture. There are several excellent snorkelling and scuba diving spots. You'll also find the Grand Turk Wall, which falls 7,000 feet beneath the water – a quarter of a mile off the western shore. The nearby Gibbs Cay is a good spot to swim with the stingrays. Back on land you can soak up some local history at the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
It's easy to see why all two and a half square miles of Salt Cay has been recommended as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Horses and donkeys run free and often have right-of-way on the unpaved streets. Few travellers base themselves on Salt Cay, but the island boasts several of the best snorkelling beaches.