Though it has only been a tourist destination of note since 1980, Turks and Caicos is what some would consider the epitome of a Caribbean vacation destination. Beautiful beaches and tropical lands, a storied history and interesting cultural attractions, and exotic animals and colorful coral draw visitors to the islands.
Geography and Weather
Turks and Caicos is comprised of two groups of forty islands and cays; the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands, which are located in the West Indies. The Turks and Caicos Islands are separated from one another by Turks Passage, and while each island is different, main topographical features include low-lying limestone, marshes, and swamps. The islands have a total area of 193 square miles. Only eight islands in the chain are inhabited.
Turks and Caicos is known for experiencing 350 sunny days a year, and averages about 21 inches of rain annually. Temperatures remain remotely unchanged throughout the year, at around 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit each day. Low humidity and trade winds keep the heat at bay, making most days perfectly pleasant.
Around the Islands
The beautiful weather means that active vacationers can spend long hours outdoors without heat exhaustion. This is great, because there is so much to do outdoors in Turks and Caicos. There are 33 nationally protected areas including parks, sanctuaries, and historical sites for tourists to visit. Eco-tours have become more and more popular in recent years. On these tours, guests can explore the local iguana sanctuary, observe tropical wildlife either by hiking, mountain biking, or kayaking, and explore the coral reef with your snorkel. Scuba diving in Grace Bay is another great way to experience marine life in Turks and Caicos, and whale watching tours are typically very successful at producing a whale sighting. Boating, parasailing, fishing, and golfing are other popular outdoor activities.
Tourists who enjoy learning about history and culture won't want to miss a visit to Cheshire Hall, Grand Turk Lighthouse, Turks and Caicos National Museum, and Wades Green Plantation. A suggested method of exploring the area is island hopping, which will give you a well-rounded taste of the various elements of the different islands. American guests will be pleased to learn that communication on the island is easy, the official language of Turks and Caicos is English. Additionally, the local currency is the US Dollar, so travelers don’t have to worry about dealing with the hassles currency exchanges.
Many people believe that the perfect Caribbean vacation is centered on relaxation. Lazy days spent searching for souvenirs yield excellent deals, as the islands have no sales or luxury tax, and many items are duty free. There's no better way to relax than a day at the spa, and there are 18 in Turks and Caicos that excel in facials, massages, and full body treatments. Guests of Turks and Caicos never have to worry about safety while enjoying a tropical vacation; the area has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean. Without the need for stressing about pickpockets and con artists, travelers are able to fully relax and soak in the tranquility of Turks and Caicos.
Travelers eager to sample new tastes will be thrilled by the culinary offerings in Turks and Caicos. While vacationers should be prepared to pay a pretty penny for a good meal, guests will be able to find a wide variety of cuisines to suite any palette. If you’re looking for comfort foods, the islands boast everything from hamburger joints to pizzerias. Don’t waste your time looking for a fast food chain; they are non-existent in this region. Those eager to try local foods will be impressed by some of the best meals in the Caribbean, like meat stew, corn bread, fried plantains, freshly caught conch and more. Due to the infertile land, a vast amount of tourists’ food is flown in from neighboring islands on a daily basis. Adult travelers should enjoy some of the local beers and rums that are sure to put a spring in your step.
A visit to nearly any island in the Caribbean will most likely be filled with days on gorgeous beaches, but a trip to the beach in Turks and Caicos is almost like something out of a dream. In fact, Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales has been named the “World's Leading Beach” by the World Travel Awards numerous times. If the only reason you go to Turks and Caicos is to spend your days on the beaches, you wouldn't have wasted a trip. With both bustling beach hotspots and secluded stretches of sand, seaside enthusiasts of all sorts will be able to locate their ideal beach destination on the islands.
Exceptional weather, world-class beaches, exciting attractions, and gorgeous beaches make Turks and Caicos a more popular tourist destination each year. Why not see for yourself what others have been discovering about Turks and Caicos while you've been home dreaming about it – that the islands truly are a Caribbean paradise.