Turks and Caicos Vacation: Everything You Need to Know About this Caribbean Paradise
Turks and Caicos is a picture-perfect Caribbean travel destination with year-round great weather and an array of activities to choose from. While I’m not a Turks and Caicos expert, I have stayed at three properties on the island, visited several more, and taken part in a variety of activities from water sports to island tours. Here’s what I think you need to do on your Turks and Caicos vacation.
Turks and Caicos Overview
Turks and Caicos Islands are made up of 40 small islands and cays, and only eight islands are inhabited. The most popular vacation destination is Providenciales which is also the most populated Turks and Caicos island. Locals refer to Providenciales as “Provo”. Grand Turk is the second largest, followed by Middle and North Caicos which are the physically largest islands of Turks and Caicos.
Turks and Caicos natives are called Belongers or Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
I’ve had the pleasure of staying at three beautiful properties on Providenciales, all of which had a distinct vibe and property features. Here’s an overview of them:
Privacy and Luxury – Beach Enclave
If you want to feel like a baller, this is the property for you. Beach Enclave has standalone luxury villas on the North Shore and in Long Bay ranging in size from three to seven bedrooms. Each villa comes with a private butler who helps you schedule activities and coordinate things like meals and transport. The villas have direct beach access and also come with an infinity pool.
I stayed at a Long Bay villa which is known as being one of the world’s best kite surfing destinations and is often referred to as the world’s largest swimming pool with miles of shallow water. If you’ve never kite surfed you can book a session with Big Blue Collective to learn. The beach is also great for snorkeling and swimming.
Culinary and Luxury – The Shore Club
If you’re looking for a more social travel experience with great food then The Shore Club (located walking distance from Beach Enclave) is calling your name. I stayed in one of their two-bedroom suites which was two to three times the size of my New York City apartment and had great views of the ocean. There are also private villas on property perfect for families or groups of friends.
My favorite memories at The Shore Club were the culinary and cocktails experiences I had there. SUI-REN is their on-site fine dining restaurant which features Peruvian and Japanese flavors, serving dishes like Nikkei Tiradito, udon, and an array of sushi. I also love their beautiful Rope Bar which wows with its unique nautical design and great drinks.
Family-Friendly – The Palms
The Palms is a 72-suite resort with a tennis court, gym, and dedicated children’s club making it especially family-friendly. It’s located in the heart of Grace Bay and the beach here is slightly wider making it easier to take boat trips directly off the shore. My favorite part of staying at The Palms is their sprawling, stunningly beautiful spa which spans a whopping 25,000 square feet. You can enjoy massages in your own private cabana, Tata Harper facials, and Zareeba. Zareeba is an indigenous herbal steam bath which detoxifies and clears the mind. It also utilizes local herbs like cerasee, mikania and vervain to relieve aches or inflammation.
Turks and Caicos Weather
The weather in Turks and Caicos is generally warm and enjoyable throughout the year with a warmer season from May to October and cooler temps from November to April. The temperature in Turks and Caicos ranges from 75° F to 95° (24° C to 35° C), with an average of 75° F (27° C). The sun is famously intense there so make sure to wear sunscreen or risk getting a sunburn.
Turks and Caicos Islands are for their wind conditions with around eight months of wind per year — that’s what makes the island so popular with kite surfers.
Best time to Travel to Turks and Caicos
As mentioned above, there’s never a bad time to travel to Turks and Caicos weather-wise. To quote local water sport company Big Blue Collective: “In our opinion, the best time to visit Turks and Caicos is during the months of April and May. Why? These months offer the ideal combination of avoiding huge crowd sizes, keeping travel costs down, enjoying a variety of water sports, and staying away from the rainy season.”
What To Do in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos are amazing for all water activities. I highly recommend taking a boat trip from Grace Bay and exploring nearby uninhabited islands Little Water Cay and Pine Cay where you can snorkel and even find a sand dollar. The marine life is abundant in Turks and Caicos, I saw dolphins, turtles and stingrays when I was there. If you would like to steer your own vehicle there’s also jetskiing, hobie cats, kayaks and paddleboards aplenty. If you’re not a water or beach person there are also plenty of land activities like ATV, golf, and safari tours.
Restaurants in Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos has great dining options. If you want a fine dining alfresco experience head to Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar to enjoy a romantic meal with beautiful lighting. If you’re looking for a more low-key dining experience with fried fish options head to The Conch Shack where you can eat with your feet in the sand. Wymara Resorts and Villas also has a beautiful fine dining restaurant Stelle which serves elegant Caribbean flavors.
How Long is the Flight to Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is an exceptionally popular destination with Americans living on the East Coast with an abundance of direct flights with airlines like Jetblue, Delta, and US airways from cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charlotte. There are also direct flights from Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal, and London.
Traveling to Turks and Caicos During COVID
Travel to Turks and Caicos is permitted (even from the United States) but it requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The test must be taken within five days prior to arrival in the islands (changed from 72 hours). Children under ten are exempted from this requirement. You also need to provide insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs and full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions, and air ambulance. As of now, (August 2020) masks are required in all public places until 31 December 2020, so make sure to pack a mask for your Turks and Caicos vacations
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