The Sultry Shores of Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos islands are an archipelagic British Overseas Territory, comprised of the Caicos and Turks islands, respectively. The islands are located south of the Bahamas, and north of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic/Haiti). The Turks and Caicos islands are nestled within the world’s third largest coral reef system, making these clear tranquil waters ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. You’ll be rewarded for your journey here with endless Caribbean splendour and tranquility, as many of the beaches remain quiet and uncrowded.
These Famous Beaches
If they’re good enough for the Jenner’s, they’re probably good enough for the average Joe; if you can swing the bill, that is. You might not be renting out an entire luxury home for your 19th birthday, but there are plenty of hotels that’ll do just fine. But enough about trying to keep up with the Joneses. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular beaches in the TCI.
Our first stop is on the most populated of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Providenciales, known locally as “Provo.” This island is amply developed, with modern luxury resorts and villas, shops, gourmet and casual restaurants, spas, and a golf course. Grace Bay has long been voted one of the top beaches in the world. Located on the north shore of Provo, with powdery white sand, crystal clear waters, and amazing underwater exploring, it’s a perfect spot for relaxing, scuba diving or snorkeling.
This stretch of the island is where most of the hotels and action are. And the reef along the northern shore is long, and chock full of colorful Caribbean fish and marine life. You’ll be pampered in paradise, if you cling to this shore. The waters tend to remain clear and calm, making it easy for swimmers of any level, to strap on a mask and explore the fish below.
Keep the Dive Alive
You can rent diving gear, charter boats for dives, and take part in any manner of watersports in the Grace Bay area. It’s 12 miles of world-famous, first-class beach. You might as well take advantage, and explore the terrain in some adventurous way. But if it’s not your thing, we won’t fault you for kicking back with a book and a beverage. And if you’d rather get off the beach to change the pace of your visit, there are historic Caribbean villages located on the island’s south shore. We always recommend sampling a bit of local flavor when possible. It’s what traveling is all about.
Here’s a glimpse of the jaw-dropping beauty of these beaches:
Chalk Sound is a quiet, south shore alternative to Grace Bay. Its clear blue Caribbean waters make this natural, turquoise lagoon a truly peaceful environment. The lake is located in Chalk Sound National Park, which protects these waters from motor boats. We said peaceful, right?
You’ll be likely to see iguanas populating the hundreds of tiny little island that pop up in the Sound, as well as gulls, terns, and herons soaring overhead, and sting rays, lemon sharks, and barracudas swimming the shallow blue waters. While this natural gem is preserved as a park, it has seen a bit of a decline in recent years; so get it while the getting’s good.
Thankfully, this Chalk Sound is anything but torturous:
Grand Turk is the largest island within the Turks Islands, and contains the capital city, Cockburn Town. Wrap it up, folks! Governor’s Beach is the most popular beach on the island. While the snorkeling is subpar as far as reef and fish go, the visibility is supreme, and its sand is perfectly white and smooth. The beaches most unique and distinguishing feature is the Mega One Triton shipwreck. You can’t miss it. It’s literally on the beach. Unlike most wrecks, which tend to be far below the surface, this rusted out beauty has been soaking up the sun, since it washed ashore in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy.
Grand Turk in all its glory:
Long Bay Beach is another highly beloved beach on Providenciales. Since the airport is there, we can safely assume the lot of you will be hanging around Provo. This beach is a bit off the beaten path, but with its sheltered shores, makes for tranquil swimming and easy relaxing. The biggest bonus on this beach is that you can spend an afternoon riding a horse around the beach, thanks to Provo Ponies. It’s an opportunity to take an unforgettable ride through the gorgeous beaches, and wade into the azure waters on the back of one of nature’s most majestic creatures. Next best thing to being a mermaid. We promise.
Save up and swing on down to TCI.
Here’s a run-down of some Turks and Caicos must-sees for anything we may have missed: