Overlooked by many when considering a Caribbean vacation, the Turks and Caicos Islands may be exactly what you are looking for in a vacation. There you can find what you are looking for in a tropical island.
With world class diving, snorkeling and fishing you can have an active vacation or you may choose to relax, lay back on the sand, and enjoy the miles of uncrowded, pristine beaches. Located southeast of the Bahamas and north of the Dominican Republic, the island group consists of 40 low-lying coral islands. Although they’ve toyed with sovereignty in the recent past, the Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory. In addition to a unique Creole language, everyone speaks English and is very friendly.
There are many things to do in the Turks and Caicos Islands. With a 14-mile barrier reef and a huge underwater wall, the islands are a diver’s paradise. Whether day trips from shore, just off the beach, or on one of the live-aboard dive ships operating in the area, the protected reefs offer world class diving opportunities for the beginner or experienced diver. Sailing is another great pastime as many sailors berth there in their trips around the Caribbean.
The Caicos Islands are made up of several islands, with Provodenciales (Provo) being the most populated and home to the main airport. The islands range in population from 23,000 on Provo to none on East Caicos. On these islands you can find resorts, beaches, coves for sailing boats and even great shopping. You can get away to any one of hundreds of beaches in the Caicos Islands, visit local craftsmen making woven baskets, or you may choose to play golf at one of the Caribbean’s best courses. Some of the best restaurants and coffee shops are on Provo.
The Turks Islands offer historical destinations as they were once home to plantations and a historical salt-production industry on Salt Cay. The population of Salt Cay hovers around 100 but you can stay at several villas, cottages, or houses that are available for visitors. While getting there might be challenging, it’s worth the trip. You can explore the tiny triangle sized island by foot and visit the many historical buildings that were once home to the big salt producing industry. Diving there from shore is great and you’ll most likely be the only one on the beach. Salt Cay is also the whale watching headquarters with humpbacks often passing through the nearby 7,000 foot deep Columbus passage. You can hear them sing their songs as they move through the islands.
Some people also visit Caribbean Islands for medical tourism, especially for cosmetic procedures that are too expensive in America or Europe, such as rhinoplasty, orthodontics, and skin treatment.
Grand Turk is more populated with nearly 5,000 residents. In Cockburn town, the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, you’ll find great dive operators, horse rides, go on a stingray safari, snorkel and go on a dune buggy adventure. One of the best things to do is go on an eco-safari and kayak around the island through mangroves and coves. It’s a great way to bird watch.
If you time your vacation right, there is an annual cultural festival that showcases many performances and local ripsaw music. And don’t forget to enjoy the island’s specialty, conch fritters.