Turks & Caicos
The Ultimate Caribbean Island Destination
One of your best bets for continuous sun on your Caribbean vacation is to visit the Turks and Caicos. This group of small islands, situated in the West Indies southeast of the Bahamas, has sunshine 96% of the time. With such an archipelago of sunshine, which of the islands should you visit? There are eight main ones and 299 small ones!
Do you vacation “all-inclusive”?
Providenciales, or “Provo” for short, is one of the larger Caicos Islands at 38 square miles, and is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos offering all-inclusive resorts, luxury hotels, villas and condos, fine and varied dining, relaxing spas, shopping, and an excellent golf course to challenge even the pros. But its claim to fame is its white sand beaches. Provo has been ranked “Best Beach” by Conde’ Nast magazine and by the World Travel Awards for several years running. This is your ultimate escape island.
The most beautiful beaches are found on the north shore of the island near Grace Bay. This area is also home to most of the islands’ major resorts and tourism services. Love to snorkel or dive? Here you will also find a long coral reef rich in aquatic life.
What’s better than swimming with exotic marine life? If you are a dog lover, playing fetch in the surf with a dog or cuddling a wriggly puppy on the beach has got to be top of your wish list! Potcake Place, a dog rescue charity based in Providenciales, maintains a shelter for stray island puppies. Here you can volunteer (it’s free!) to help socialize the dogs by adopting one for the day. These homeless “potcakes”, a mixed-breed dog native to some Caribbean islands, are all also up for lifelong adoption. So, if you fall in love with your little charge for the day, you can take him or her home with you as the “best souvenir ever”.
With all this going for it, Providenciales’ all-inclusive resorts are popular for those who wish to get away from it all but still have all the modern conveniences to hand when desired. Because the place is compact, give your travel professional plenty of notice of your vacation plans or you may find it is a case of “sorry, no vacancy”. With advanced planning, there are lots of familiar options too such as Beaches and Club Med Turkoise. Recently the Turks and Caicos Collection introduced its all-inclusive options for Alexandra Resort, Beach House, and Blue Haven Resort.
Do you vacation “cruise”?
Grand Turk is one of the two larger of the many, tiny Turks Islands and sports this British territory’s capital of Cockburn Town. Native population of the whole island is about five thousand souls so when a large cruise ship calls, its population easily doubles. To accommodate the cruise ships, this historical port has built a luxurious cruise ship center encompassing fourteen acres of facilities and a massive three thousand-foot-long pier.
The recreational area sports a swimming pool – that is if you can’t enjoy a thousand feet of glorious beach -, rental cabanas for shade, shops, and the world’s largest Margaritaville restaurant with all its good food, vacation camaraderie, and Jimmy Buffet souvenirs.
If enjoying the many amenities of the Grand Turk Cruise Center is not to your taste, try diving or whale watching (in season). Divers, novice and pro alike, love this island for its outstanding coral reef. This protected reef is so close to shore so you can dive from the beach, and it drops eight thousand feet to sea bottom! There are many experienced dive operators here to guide and assist you, no matter your level of experience. And depending when you visit, you can also observe humpback whales right from the beach too or opt to get a closer look from a tour boat out on the water.
One of the more popular excursions are the boat tours that whisk you away to an uninhabited Turks island, to picnic on an isolated beach, and feed the stingrays who swim directly off its beach. This is an amazing adventure so make sure your travel professional books this option for you if you are not a diver.
Your Destination Vacation
With Turks & Caicos on your vacation horizon, whether it be for long, lazy days on the beach at a resort, or a day visit on a cruise, be prepared: this destination is a stunner. It may well be the beginning of a love affair that sees you return here time and again.
Resort on Grand Turk
Duke Street, Cockburn Town
All images courtesy of Bigstock unless otherwise noted. Feature image of overhead beach view courtesy of Romello Williams on UnSplash.