Region & Time Zone: Caribbean, Eastern Standard Time
Passport Required: Yes
Languages Spoken: English (Official)
Currency: US Dollar
Power: Standard US Plug at 110 volts
A little background
The Turks & Caicos Islands lie at the southeastern end of the Bahamas chain and are composed of 40 islands of which only a handful are inhabited. These islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and were purportedly named after the local barrel-shaped Turks Heads cactus and the French word for cay "caiques". After centuries of Spanish rule, French buccaneer turmoil, Bermudian, Jamaican, and Bahamian settlers - Turks is now a British Overseas Territory boasting 128 square miles of beautiful beaches. Even more enticing, the ocean water is so clean, clear, and blue that you might think you are in a swimming pool! If you are looking to relax and just let go, Turks will automatically get you in the zone.
Life's a beach
The Turks and Caicos islands are home to more than 230 miles of radiantly white, fine sand beaches - and some of these beaches are widely considered to be among the best and most secluded in the world. Grace Bay beach in Providenciales (or Provo, as it is also known) is located within walking distance of all the major hotels and resorts.
There is no better way to see Providenciales than by water. There are numerous reefs, cays, beaches, and other sights to see. We highly recommend a half-day tour with a snorkeling excursion around the local coral reefs - there are plenty of fish and interesting corals to explore! Afterwards, make sure to ask your tour captain to take you to the "Columbus Passage" which is a 22-mile wide, 7000-foot deep underwater passage. The stark contrast between snorkeling in the clear, lively coral reef versus the dark depths of the "Columbus Passage" is both eerie and enlightening all at once.
Check out Potcake Place at Saltmills Plaza. Potcakes are a mixed breed of dog that call the Turks and Caicos Islands home. Many of the Islands' dogs are homeless orphans that need safe homes - and Potcake Place makes it easy for visitors to stop by, volunteer, donate, and even adopt a dog. To learn more, visit Potcake Place. And remember, if you happen to find your new best friend at Potcake Place, JetBlue is a pet-friendly airline. To learn more about traveling with pets, visit JetPaws.
Dance the night away
If you like to dance, stop by the Gansevoort Hotel on Friday nights for their DJ night dance party at Stelle Restaurant. The party starts at 10:30pm - and Top 40 hits stream late into the night. Cover is $20, but if you are a guest of the hotel, your cover is waived.
Turks by sea
There is something to be said about discovering Turks by sea - so speak to your hotel concierge about arranging a boat excursion around Iguana Key, Grand Turk, and all the small cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands. The views of sandy beaches, mangroves, and wildlife will give you a good sense of why Turks is the place you come to Get-a-way from it all.
Conch shell diving
Conch shells are usually found in shallow waters near the shore. Because Turks has some of the clearest water in the Atlantic, spotting conch shells is an easy feat. If you take a boating excursion, we recommend you ask your captain about conch diving. Although many of the conch shells on the island have been depleted - so most of the conch found at restaurants is harvested from conch farms.
Horseback riding on the beach
Ever dreamt of horseback riding on the beach? Turks and Caicos is the place for you! With many different horseback tours available, you have the option to ride along the beach or even through the water in certain parts of the island. Most tour operators offer transportation to and from your Turks and Caicos resort.