Many avid travelers have heard of Turks and Caicos, and have already visited. Of course, there are just as many who have yet to experience this British Overseas Territory, and so we have a list of reasons that you will want to add Turks and Caicos to your must-see list for this year.
Before we dive into that list, though, let’s answer a few big questions about it, including the most commonly asked question – “what is Turks and Caicos?” If we answer that as plainly as possible, we’d say it is (as noted) a British Overseas Territory made up of a group of islands – the Caicos Islands and the Turks Islands. Part of the Bahamas island chain, they are close to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Although it is not the largest island, Grand Turk is home to the capital city of Cockburn Town. The Caicos Islands are separated by the Caicos Passage, and the two groups are separated by the Turks Islands Passage. There are around 30 islands in the entire network – with eight thought of as the main, inhabited islands.
The Turks Islands include Salt Cay and Grand Turk while the Caicos Islands include Providenciales (called Provo), North Caicos, South Caicos, West Caicos, East Caicos, and Parrot Cay. There is also Mouchoir Bank, a small island near the Turks Islands.
The weather in the Turks and Caicos is usually quite sunny and fair, and the region has been spared the hurricanes that are so often a plague among other Caribbean locations.
The 5 Biggest Reasons to Visit the Turks and Caicos Islands
There are always a lot of reasons to pay a visit to a tropical paradise like the Turks and Caicos, and millions of travelers have already visited these islands. However, if you want five very strong reasons to spend time planning a holiday in the area, here are our top five:
1. The Best Beach in the World
Yes, almost all Caribbean islands will have several amazing beaches to boast about, but Turks and Caicos is usually at the top of lists of “world’s best” and “world’s favorites,” where beaches are concerned. In particular is Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales. It has consistently been identified as the best beach in the world by travel authorities as prestigious and trusted as Conde Nast and TripAdvisor.
What makes the beach(es) so desirable. There are a few explanations behind their award-winning status. The first is that the sands of the islands are extremely soft and light. This is a defining characteristic of the islands, and the sand is made of shell and coral worked into a fine particle by the ocean’s actions. There are no hard rocks or darkly colored sands in the area, which is why the waters are so brilliantly blue.
Other great beaches include Leeward, Plandon Cay Cut (South Caicos), Mudjin Harbour on Middle Caicos, Long Bay Beach, Half Moon Cay, and Governor’s Beach on Grand Turk.
2. One of the Largest Barrier Reefs in the World
Noted for the quality of its impressive wall dive sites and excellent snorkeling, it is important to note that Turks and Caicos has the world’s third-largest barrier reef. The underwater plateau rises an astonishing 10k feet from the ocean floor and is full of coral and sea life. In fact, a great deal of Turks and Caicos tourism emphasizes the underwater activities so enjoyable there.
3. Excellent Water Sports
And while there are amazing diving and snorkeling in the waters around Turks and Caicos, it is also the perfect place for watersports. It is a kiteboarding capital and the spot where many learn how to enjoy the sport. It is also great for parasailing, windsurfing, boating, fishing, surfing, and more.
4. Fewer Crowds
It is fair to say that Turks & Caicos remains a bit of a traveler’s secret as it still has yet to experience the enormous crowding and explosive commercial growth that other islands have witnessed over the years. The appeal of Caicos or Turks and their year-round beauty has not gotten passed the jet set, though. Today it is home to many celebrities who have holiday properties on the islands as well as spending time vacationing in the area each year.
5. Amazing Food
Lastly, one of the reasons that Turks and Caicos are so popular with savvy travelers is the cuisine. It is becoming a destination for excellent restaurants and local favorites, especially the freshly caught seafood.
In fact, travelers head to the island to experience the many five-star restaurants and fine dining establishments, some right on the water. Yet, they also head there to sample the island cuisine, especially the conch shacks that line the beaches and offer delicious island favorites. Travelers also savor the island cuisine that includes Caribbean classics like jerk chicken, peas and rice, and all kinds of barbecue. The island also has a “fish fry” culture that includes once weekly fish fries offering lots of tasty local dishes.
While all of this is more than enough to inspire many to head to Turks and Caicos, there is also the fact that it is home to amazing luxury villas. Similar to other destinations noted for the appealing and private villas (such as Barbados or St Barts), the villas of Turks and Caicos can serve as destinations on their own.
For instance, if you are eager to sample the delights of the islands, you can do so from the comfort of an oceanfront villa sized for one, two, or families and groups. They will include amenities suited to all tastes and budgets and put you within minutes of the many attractions and activities that make the islands so appealing.
Walk to the white sands and see the beauty of the beaches yourself, pay a visit to one of the many excellent restaurants, do some sightseeing or sailing, and discover just why Turks and Caicos has more than five simple reasons you will want to add it to your must-see list this year.