Turks & Caicos holiday highlights

Stretches of uncrowded beaches that constantly appear in ‘world’s best’ lists, miles of vibrant unspoilt coral reefs teeming with life, salt lakes which are home to a variety of marine birds and uninhabited islands and cays combine to make Turks & Caicos a genuine tropical paradise. Cerulean waters lap the shores and play host to dolphins, marine turtles and, between late January and early April each year, migrating North Atlantic humpback whales. Jojo the dolphin is an Atlantic bottlenose who has played in the Turks & Caicos’ shallow waters for over three decades. He happily interacts with people in his natural habitat – a rare phenomenon that’s made him a national treasure.

The main island, Providenciales, or ‘Provo’ as it is more affectionately known, is the nation’s most developed island and home to many luxury villas – some of which are owned by Hollywood stars and rock royalty. Our featured Turks & Caicos resort, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa (see opposite) is ideal for families and has plenty of fine facilities and fantastic activities.

At the western end of Providenciales is the Chalk Sound National Park, a spectacular 3-mile beach overlooking water so implausibly turquoise it will leave you speechless. Tiny verdant cays are dotted within the sound adding to the natural splendour and paradisiacal ambience.

Each of Turks and Caicos’ other main islands have a distinct character – from the fishing capital South Caicos and the dramatic coastline of Middle Caicos to the historic capital island Grand Turk, a favourite cruise destination, and the tiny, laid-back hideaway of Salt Cay. It would be wrong to miss out on all that this remarkable nation has to offer but it may take more than one visit.

At hundreds of dive and snorkel sites, many just a short swim from the shore, turtles and eagle rays share pristine coral reefs and the wreckages of ill-fated ships

with hundreds of species of vibrant and inquisitive fish. Turks & Caicos is deemed a diver’s paradise, with Provo’s Grace Bay – a 12-mile stretch of powder-soft sand – nudged by breathtaking clear blue waters that are home to an extensive coral reef ecosystem. The nearby Eel Garden is one on the most popular sites and the whole area is a favourite with wall divers.

Turks & Caicos key facts

Time difference

GMT -5 hours

Currency

US dollar.

Flying time to destination

11 hours

Language

English. Some islanders still speak Creole.

Getting around

On land, taxis and car rentals are available. Go island-hopping by plane or boat.

Getting there

On land, taxis and car rentals are available. Go island-hopping by plane or boat.

Turks & Caicos good to know

Etiquette

Turks & Caicos

Stretches of uncrowded beaches that constantly appear in ‘world’s best’ lists, miles of vibrant unspoilt coral reefs teeming with life, salt lakes which are home to marine birds and uninhabited islands and cays combine to make Turks & Caicos a genuine tropical paradise. Cerulean waters lap the shores and play host to dolphins, marine turtles and, between late January and early April each year, migrating North Atlantic humpback whales. Jojo the dolphin is an Atlantic bottlenose who has played in the Turks & Caicos’ shallow waters for over three decades. He happily interacts with people in his natural habitat – a rare phenomenon that’s made him a national treasure.

Providenciales

The main island, Providenciales, or ‘Provo’ as it is more affectionately known, is the nation’s most developed island and home to many luxury villas – some of which are owned by Hollywood stars and rock royalty. Our featured Turks & Caicos resort, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa (see opposite) is ideal for families, with fantastic activities to get stuck into, like the Pirates Island Waterpark.

Chalk Sound National Park

At the western end of Providenciales is the Chalk Sound National Park, a spectacular 3-mile beach overlooking water so implausibly turquoise it will leave you speechless. Tiny verdant cays are dotted within the sound adding to the natural splendour and paradisiacal ambience.

Other islands of Turks & Caicos

Each of Turks & Caicos’ other main islands have a distinct character – from the fishing capital South Caicos and the dramatic coastline of Middle Caicos to the historic capital island Grand Turk, a favourite cruise destination, and the tiny, laidback hideaway of Salt Cay. It would be wrong to miss out on all that this remarkable nation has to offer, but it may take more than one visit.

Diving

At hundreds of dive and snorkel sites, many just a short swim from the shore, turtles and eagle rays share pristine coral reefs and the wreckages of ill-fated ships with hundreds of species of vibrant and inquisitive fish. Turks & Caicos is deemed a diver’s haven, with Provo’s Grace Bay – a 12-mile stretch of powder-soft sand – nudged by breathtaking clear blue waters that have an extensive coral reef ecosystem. The nearby Eel Garden is one of the most popular sites and the whole area is a favourite with wall divers.

Families

If you’re after an all-inclusive stay with heaps of activities to enjoy, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa (opposite) is an absolute must. Families will love the watersports and landsports on offer and little ones will flock to the Pirates Island Waterpark, which features the family-friendly Bobby D’s Diner, set upon the Jolly Roger ship on Pirates Island. There’s also the Kids’ Camp for children aged 5-12 and, while they’re having fun, you can book a treatment at the renowned Red Lane® Spa.

Tipping

Tip restaurant wait staff, taxi drivers and bar tenders about 15%.

What to wear

It’s illegal to be nude in public.

Religion

Christianity

Sports

Land sports
Your resort may offer tennis, croquet, table tennis, lawn chess, beach volleyball and billiards. There may also be a golf course nearby.

Watersports
Your resort may offer hobie cat sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, boogie boarding, diving, fishing and canoeing.

Spa and wellness

All our Turks & Caicos resorts boast pampering spa facilities.

Best Turks & Caicos beaches

Idyllic and unspoilt, Turks & Caicos’ white-sand beaches are hemmed by vibrant coral reefs.

Food & drink

Food
• Restaurants serve delicious local cuisine.
• Conch is a staple, served in dishes like conch Creole, curried conch, conch fritters, conch chowder, cracked conch, and dried conch.
• Other popular dishes include lobster, grits, rice ’n’ peas, and Johnnycake.

Drink
• Stick to bottled water.