Are the turquoise waters and white beaches in Turks and Caicos calling your name? Many have heeded the same call and lived to tell the tale of a vacation they will never forget. The dreamy pictures splashed all over social media are enough to make you consider booking a flight. But before you pack your swimwear, lather on some sunscreen, and take a week off work, there are some things you must do – planning.
U.S. travelers to Turks and Caicos must hold valid passports that should be valid three months past the date of entry. Moreover, your passport should have at least two blank pages for entry and exit stamps. You will not need a visa if you plan to tour the country for fewer than 90 days. But what happens if your passport has expired, has no blank pages, or is not in good condition? Luckily, you can always expedite your passport application within a few days via a trusted passport agency.
Papers aside, you must also plan a good itinerary when visiting Turks and Caicos. Doing so enables you to visit all the major attractions and ensure you leave this dreamy destination with no stone left unturned. Let’s get into the must-sees and dos in Turks and Caicos.
Visit the Beaches
The unspoiled beaches in Turks and Caicos should be one of your key stops. Nothing beats spending an entire day on the beach. When was the last time you did that? You can swim in the ocean, wade through the shallow waters, discover marine life close to the shore, take beautiful pictures, or bask in the sun. It’s a fantastic way to unwind and let go of all your worries. You’ll only need to reapply sunscreen every few hours, and you will be good to go.
Some of the best beaches to explore are:
- Grace Bay,
- Long Bay,
- Pine Cay, and
- Parrot Cay.
There are so many other beaches you can explore. Access to all the beaches is free, making beach days cost-effective ways to enjoy your time on the islands.
Watch Whales on Salt Cay
Picture humpback whales making their way through the ocean right in front of you! This delightful annual migration takes place between January and April. And if you are lucky enough to be visiting at the time, you can be part of the occasion. The whales display their fins and tails, allowing you to take in just how majestic they are. And if you are not one to shy away from an adrenaline rush, you can charter a boat to view the animals from a close distance. If that feels a bit much for you, standing on the cliffs overlooking the ocean will give you a good view. Afterward, you can chill by the shore, grab food, and bask in the sun. That would be a day well spent!
Cruise to the Caicos Cays
The best part about visiting Turks and Caicos is that there is always an island to discover. So, when you feel particularly energetic, jump on a cruise to one of the smaller islands. Here, you can view the tranquil waters, marvel at the sea creatures, and sunbathe on the shores. Better yet, you can hop from one island to the next. Some of these islands have ruins, snorkeling sites, sunken cannons, and historical features that would add to your vacation.
Some of the islands you can consider are:
- Little Water Cay,
- Bay Cay, and
- Fort George Cay.
You can also ask your hotel about the visits it organizes and jump on one of these.
Kiteboard for Adrenaline
If you’re an experienced kiteboarder, you need no introduction to the wonders of kiteboarding. But to the beginner, now would be the best time to get your introductory classes. Many trained instructors in Long Bay Beach can walk you through how to use kiteboards. They also hire out equipment, eliminating the need for additional capital investments for newbies. You can learn how to control the kiteboard in just one day, allowing you to venture deeper into the waters for a more thrilling experience. Expert kiteboarders can embark on adventures miles from the shore where the winds are stronger.
Do you love interacting with marine life close-up? If yes, snorkeling is a great way to explore the aquatic life in Turks and Caicos. The islands boast undisturbed reefs where you can view the corals, sea animals, and a wide array of fishes. And an easy way to get close is to hire a boat and snorkel in areas with abundant aquatic life.
Guess what? Turks and Caicos is home to bottlenose dolphins that occasionally interact with visitors. And if you are lucky, you may encounter these sea animals when snorkeling. You can even swim with them and capture these great moments on camera.
Other species you may encounter are:
- Nurse sharks, and
Please snorkel under the advice of trained instructors to avoid harming or getting harmed by the animals.
Enjoy Local Fish Recipes
Leaving Turks and Caicos without indulging in fish would not seem right. After all, the islands are home to schools of fish. And now would be the best time to delight your taste buds with the different ways of consuming fish. You can try stews, sandwiches, pizzas, and a hoard of other foods which incorporate the catch of the day. Some of the fish you should try are:
- Nassau grouper,
- Red snapper,
- Mutton snapper,
- Gray snapper,
- Horse-eye Jack, and
And when it comes to good restaurants, you can always find good spots near the beach and in hotels. Mr. Grouper’s Restaurant, Mango Reef Restaurant & Bar, and Bugaloos are good examples.
If you want to experience the waters in Turks and Caicos without snorkeling or swimming in them, here’s an idea! There are tons of kayaking spots on the islands where you can relax, put your arms to work, and take in the expanse of the waters. Plus, you can also interact with aquatic life without dipping your feet into the water.
So, where can you go kayaking? Some of the ideal places would be:
- Princess Alexandra National Park: It boasts crystal blue waters and an open view where you can kayak all day and take beautiful pictures,
- Mangrove Cay: If you would like to explore the mangroves, this is a good way to do so. It features narrow channels which are sure to give you an adrenaline rush, and
- East Bay Islands National Park: If clear waters are your thing, you cannot go wrong with this spot.
Besides kayaking, you can paddleboard in these and other spots too!
Play a Round of Golf
Not everyone envisions spending their vacation in the water. If you would rather kick back with a round of golf, you will have numerous opportunities. Let’s explore your options:
- Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club: How do you feel about an 18-hole golf course? If you are serious about your round of golf, this is the best place to play. It should take you about three hours to play through the entire course. And while doing so, you would enjoy magnificent views of waterways, fantastic landscaping, and birds. When you’ve exhausted your energy, you can wind down with a drink or food from the clubhouse.
- Waterloo Golf Course: 9 holes should be sufficient for a quick round of golf. It might not be up to the standards of the Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club, but it allows unlimited play.
- Combina Golf Course: This unique golf course features casuarina trees along its paths.
You can also try tennis to top off your golfing sessions.
Parasail Across the Ocean
If kiteboarding calls to you, imagine just how exhilarating parasailing can be in Turks and Caicos! Being this high above the water enables you to get a clear view of the surrounding islands. You can take in the water, the hotels, the tourists, some of the aquatic life, etc. If you are lucky, you may even sight dolphins and sharks! And in just 10 minutes, you will have experienced the thrill of a lifetime. Plus, you can take numerous pictures and videos or have the sailing team do it for you.
And the best part? You can pretty much sail anywhere in Turks and Caicos. Most beaches have licensed parasailing operators who can ensure your safety while in the air.
Visit the Turks & Caicos National Museum
What’s one last thing to do before leaving the islands? – Find out what makes them so unique! And what better place to do that than in the national museum? Here, you will view exhibits collected over centuries which guide you as to the history of the islands. You will also learn about the natives and their ways of life before the coming of the Europeans. If you’ve been curious about the culture in the islands, now would be a great time to get answers to any burning questions.
After your visit, you may want to tour the old Cheshire Hall. It is another great stop for history lovers, where you will learn about the history of enslaved people on the islands. You can visit some of the slave quarters, the cotton presses, and other landmarks depicting the slave trade era in the 17th and 18th centuries.
There is a lot to do in Turks and Caicos. Whether scuba diving in the deep sea, riding horses on the shores, or jet skiing across the waters, you are sure to have a great time!