Things to Do in Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands are blessed with sunny weather and warm temperatures year round. They also claim to have the world’s best beach, Grace Bay Beach. These factors, combined with incredibly welcoming people and fabulous, upscale resorts, make the islands an idyllic destination for travelers. But what are the best things to do in Turks and Caicos?
Like other seaside vacation spots, you can spend all day at the beach or by the pool. You can relax at your resort spa or drink at the bar. But if you really want to know what makes these islands special, here’s my list of the most fun things to do in Turks and Caicos.
Grace Bay Beach
Located on an eastern stretch of Providenciales, Grace Bay Beach is consistently rated by TripAdvisor as the best beach in the world. Protected by one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, Grace Bay’s waters are calm, cool, and crystal clear. There are also three miles of sugar-white sands, making the beach perfect for lazy sunbathers.
Conveniently, the majority of the best resorts in Turks and Caicos are situated right on Grace Bay’s pristine shores. Getting to and from your accommodation will be super easy. Plus, many of the islands’ best shops and restaurants are close by. In all likelihood, Grace Bay will be the central hub around which you plan all other activities.
Although Grace Bay may be the best beach, there are plenty of others that are worth a visit. Taylor Bay, for example, is a tranquil stretch of sand with knee-high water, and Half Moon Bay boasts some peaceful and secluded sights.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. While in the water, you can see pristine coral gullies full of schools of fish, stingrays, turtles, and nurse and reef sharks. You might even see one of the local dolphins, Jojo and Dreamer, who love to interact with humans.
From Grace Bay, Leeward Reef is the most popular coral reef to visit for snorkeling. You can find a number of snorkeling cruises, such as Caicos Dream Tours. But the honest truth is you should book a private tour. That way you can go where you want when you want instead of following the cruise’s schedule.
Not far from Leeward Reef is Iguana Island, officially known as Little Water Cay. The island is a sanctuary for the nation’s endangered population of rock iguanas. These cute, little lizards are everywhere, so you are almost guaranteed to spot them.
Aside from iguanas, Little Water Cay is a popular attraction thanks to its calm, undeveloped beaches. There are also some undisturbed mangrove wetlands that are fun to explore by paddleboard or kayak.
One of the best things to do in Turks and Caicos is to embrace your athletic side and partake in some water sports. Paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding, and sailing are just some of the amazing opportunities at your disposal.
For the less athletically inclined, consider taking up parasailing or jet skiing. Both are a great way to get an adrenaline rush. However, they also give you phenomenal views of the islands, which you can’t get any other way.
Day Trip to North and Middle Caicos
Take a break from the tourist-heavy Providenciales and head to North and Middle Caicos. Since these islands are quiet and undeveloped, they are a favorite for hikers and photographers. The secluded beaches and breathtaking landscapes are just as magical as Grace Bay.
In particular, you might want to check out Mudjin Harbor at Middle Caicos. The coastal vistas there are especially dramatic and beautiful. You can also explore the Conch Bar Caves, which are one of the largest dry cave systems in the Caribbean.
Chalk Sound National Park
Continuing on the theme of fun, tourist-free things to do in Turks and Caicos, take a look at Chalk Sound National Park. Located on the southwest of Providenciales, the national park is a picturesque lagoon with shallow waters and hundreds of small, rocky islands.
Thanks to Chalk Sound’s protected status as a national park, powered watercraft use is prohibited. You can reach the park by kayak or paddleboard. While there, you’ll see tropical wildlife, such as bonefish, barracudas, stingrays, and juvenile lemon sharks. There is also an airplane wreck in Chalk Sound, which is worth checking out.
Horseback Riding at Long Bay
Nothing is more romantic than a horseback ride along the beach. Provo Ponies is the island’s oldest and most popular stable. So I recommend booking a ride through their website. The horses are well-trained and enjoy wading in the water. They will give you a wonderful ride along the sandy shores of Long Bay and into the shallow, turquoise waters as well.
Thursday Fish Fry
Held every Thursday from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Stubbs Diamond Plaza, the Fish Fry is an unmissable cultural event. Here you can sample local food and drinks, shop from local vendors, and enjoy live music. Make sure to try the Gully Wash, the islands’ favorite cocktail.
The Thursday Fish Fry isn’t just an event for tourists. It is a place where locals and tourists mingle. According to some locals I met, if you do not go to the Fish Fry, then you haven’t truly gone to Turks and Caicos.
Free Diving at the Wall
The Turks and Caicos Islands are located on an underwater plateau that drops off suddenly from a depth of 40-50 feet to thousands of feet. This dramatic, underwater cliff is called the Wall, and it’s the best place to free dive. The waters here are incredibly blue, clear, and deep. You will see coral, fish, and maybe some reef sharks too.
If you take the dive, it is an unforgettable experience. Just remember to obtain proper free diving instruction before you attempt the sport, and never dive alone.
Turk’s Head Brewery
No trip to a foreign nation is complete without trying the country’s local delicacies. One of those delicacies in Turks and Caicos is beer, and Turk’s Head Brewery is the best place to get it.
Located in central Providenciales, the brewery holds tours and has an onsite tap room, where you can try their beers. Currently, Turk’s Head Brewery makes Lager, Amber Ale, IPA and Light beer.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
If you are interested in the best things to do in Turks and Caicos, you might be wondering where to stay. There are a number of amazing, luxury resorts to choose from. Some are even on their own private island! But for those looking for a more affordable stay, I suggest reading my review of Ports of Call. The budget resort is just a few minutes walk from Grace Bay Beach, and it has all the amenities you might need.