Things to Do in Turks and Caicos
Named the “Best Beach in the World” multiple times (and by multiple entities), Grace Bay Beach is so beautiful that it really needs to be seen to be believed. This is the main beach on the island of Providenciales, in Turks and Caicos, and is lined with upscale resorts.
Known locally as Iguana Island, Little Water Cay emerges from the crystal clear waters just outside Providenciales. The tiny islet is ringed by white sandy beaches—a tranquil habitat for the endangered Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana, a charismatic green lizard endemic to the islands.
Swim and snorkel with stingrays in the warm shallow waters around Gibbs Cay, a beautiful and uninhabited 7-acre (2.8-hectare) island. The best place in the Turks and Caicos to see and interact with southern stingrays, Gibbs Cay also features pristine, white-sand beaches, a scenic shoreline, and a hill with sea oats at its center.
The Turks & Caicos National Museum in Cockburn Town is a family-friendly attraction that explores the history of the Caribbean with a focus on the Turks and Caicos Islands. Established in 1991, it houses a fascinating collection of exhibits and artifacts relating to the tropical Atlantic archipelago.
The only lighthouse on Grand Turk, the Cockburn Town Lighthouse (also known as the Grand Turk Lighthouse) was built in the 1850s to help ships navigate the treacherous shallow reefs off the northern end of the island. Although no longer operational, the lighthouse is one of the top historical landmarks on Grand Turk.
Atop a hill on the island of Providenciales, the ruins of this once thriving cotton plantation offer visitors an essential perspective into the island’s history. Protected by the National Trust, the 18-century Cheshire Hall was named by Loyalist brothers Wade and Thomas Stubbs after their English home county of Cheshire.
Riven with sea inlets and lagoons populated by pink flamingos, lush North Caicos is the Turks and Caicos’s second-largest island and lies about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from its eastern neighbor, Providenciales. Dotted with small settlements and former plantations, the quiet island boasts long sandy beaches with coral reefs for swimming and snorkeling.
Located on the west shore of Grand Turk, Cockburn Town is the oldest town and capital of the Turks & Caicos Islands. This charming and picturesque beachfront settlement offers British colonial architecture, historic landmarks, and easy access to white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters.
Get a feel for the seafaring history of the Turks and Caicos Islands with a trip to see the rock carvings made by shipwrecked sailors at Sapodilla Bay. The inscriptions on the rocks range from names and dates to carvings of ships and buildings. The unfortunate sailors chose Sapodilla Hill as their lookout as it affords a wide view of the ocean beyond.
Many visitors come to Turks and Caicos Islands—a collection of small vacation-friendly outposts in the Caribbean—as part of a cruise, setting anchor at the Grand Turk Cruise Center. A destination in its own right, the Grand Turk Cruise Center is both a jumping-off point for exploring the island and somewhere you could easily spend the day.
More Things to Do in Turks and Caicos
Grand Turk Wall
The Caribbean’s islands are renowned for their crystal-clear waters and opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Grand Turk—in the Turks and Caicos Islands—is a hugely popular diving destination thanks to some of the finest reef and wall sites in the tropical Atlantic—including the famous ‘Wall’, located just off Grand Turk.
Grand Turk is the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, representing the territory’s administrative, cultural, historical and commercial centre. Located between the Cruise Center and Cockburn Town, the famous Governor’s Beach offers a classic Caribbean combination of soft white sand and calm turquoise waters.
Salt Cay island is the smallest of the main inhabited Turks and Caicos Islands. At only 2 square miles (around 7 square kilometers) with no built-up tourist hotels or resorts, it attracts visitors hoping for something a little more adventurous than the typical Caribbean holiday, but with all the laid-back charm of the region.
Duke Street is the main thoroughfare in historic Cockburn Town, the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Visitors will find all the usual vacation attractions here, from hotels and souvenir shops to restaurants and bars.
Chalk Sound National Park
Connected to the ocean via a small channel, Chalk Sound is a landlocked lagoon that attracts swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. The dazzling body of water takes up the southwestern coast of Providenciales, south of the island’s airport and downtown area, just inland from Sapodilla Bay. The lake stretches for 3 miles (5 kilometers), separated from the coast by a thin peninsula of resort-studded sand.
Northwest Point National Park
Covering the northwest tip of Providenciales island, this protected area covers both land and sea and is a great spot for walking, beachcombing, birdwatching, and relaxing on the secluded beach nearby.
On the peaceful North Caicos Island, Whitby Beach is one of the best. Head here for an unspoiled white sand beach and water perfect for swimming.