Home to what has been called the best beach in the world, Turks & Caicos is truly unique island in the Caribbean. The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, nine of which are inhabited, and offers famous stretches of uncrowded beaches and vibrant coral reefs.
So when we headed down to an SI Swimsuit favorite location once again, we knew exactly what to expect. World class hotels, spas and restaurants next to some of the most gorgeous blue water you've ever laid eyes on.
Our Swim Search models and SI Swimsuit 2020 athletes were in for a treat. Our stays at Grace Bay Club and Beach Enclave proved to be luxurious and left us trying to find a way to permanently relocate the SI offices (!).
We can’t say enough good things about our time in Turks & Caicos. So stop what you’re doing and add this incredible destination to your list of places to visit right now.
Where is Turks & Caicos located?
The islands are located 575 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, south of the Bahamas and east of Cuba.
How do I get to Turks & Caicos?
By airplane: The Turks & Caicos Islands are an easy escape with direct connectivity from several U.S. cities including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Boston. Additionally, flights are available from Toronto, London and several Caribbean islands.
By cruise: The Turks & Caicos Islands is home to the “Caribbean’s Best Beach Port” in Grand Turk.
Give us a quick snapshot history of Turks & Caicos.
Though the days when the Lucayans fished and sailed the turquoise waters of Turks & Caicos have given way to a booming tourism based economy, their gentle temperament and love of nature can still be felt today. Turks & Caicos is now the premier luxury destination in the Caribbean.
What is Turks & Caicos known for and why?
Our pristine and inviting beaches: Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales has won several “World’s Best Beach” awards. The destination has also won the 2019 and 2020 World Travel Awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination.
What is the weather like year-round in Turks & Caicos?
The average temperature ranges between 80 and 90 degrees from June to October, sometimes reaching the mid 90s, especially in the late summer months. From November to May the average temperature is 80 to 84 degrees. A constant trade wind keeps the climate at a very comfortable level. In an average year, Turks & Caicos has 350 days of sunshine.
Best time of year to travel to Turks & Caicos?
Year-round. The winter months are particularly popular for tourists.
How many islands make up Turks & Caicos? And how many are inhabited?
The Turks & Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, of which nine are inhabited (Grand Turk, Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, Salt Cay, Pine Cay, Ambergris Cay and Parrot Cay).
Tell me about the culture and people of Turks & Caicos.
Natives of the Turks & Caicos Islands are called “Turks & Caicos Islanders.” However, Turks & Caicos, while small in size, is a melting pot of expatriates from more than 50 countries. Turks & Caicos Islanders are renowned for their friendly nature. The traditional music of the Turks & Caicos is called “ripsaw” Music. Our traditional dishes include conch, lobster and local fish (prepared in every way).
What are must-have packing items for a trip to Turks & Caicos?
Sunscreen, flip-flops, your favorite sunglasses and your smartphone for lots of selfies!
What is the one thing someone must bring home from Turks & Caicos?
Handmade jewelry, which can be purchased at the weekly Island Fish Fry or our local craft markets.
What are some go-to restaurants in Turks & Caicos?
Crackpot Kitchen, Fresh Catch, Bugaloos, Da Conch Shack, Mr. Grouper and Coco Bistro.
What are the best bars in Turks & Caicos?
Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club, The Deck at Seven Stars Resort, Pink Bar at Wymara Resort and Danny Buoys.
Tell me about the Da Conch Shack? Why is it so famous?
Da Conch Shack offers authentic TCI cuisine. The conch is extracted on the spot from the ocean, prepared and then served beachside. It’s more than a meal; it’s an experience.
Can you tell me a little bit about the animal rescue organization Potcake Place? How long have they been in business and how has it benefited Turks & Caicos?
Potcake Place’s mission is to reduce the number of homeless potcakes in Providenciales. Potcake is the name given to the dogs in the Turks & Caicos Islands. It came about because the locals fed the caked remains of the cooking pot to the dogs. Potcake Place is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers and has been in operation for more than 10 years. Potcake Place rescues, homes and coordinates the adoption of potcake pups found on the island. Their “adopt a pup for a day” program is popular with visitors who enjoy taking the pups on scenic beach walks.
What are the top-five must-have experiences in Turks & Caicos?
1. Island Fish Fry every Thursday
2. Diving at ‘The Wall’
3. Jojo the Dolphin sighting
4. Attend a local festival (Conch Festival, Lobster Festival, South Caicos Regatta or the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, Valentine’s Day Cup Model Sailboat Races)
5. Whale watching (available December to March in Salt Cay).
What are the top-five attractions to visit in Turks & Caicos?
1. Conch Bar Caves in Middle Caicos
2. Turks & Caicos National Museum (Providenciales and Grand Turk)
3. Flamingo Pond in North Caicos
4. The Grand Turk Lighthouse
5. Iguana Island (Little Water Cay)
What are the best outdoor activities in Turks & Caicos?
Snorkeling, kiteboarding, diving, fishing, parasailing and swimming.
What are the best day trips in Turks & Caicos?
If staying on Providenciales, the best day trip is to North and Middle Caicos for cave exploration and other attractions such as Flamingo Pond, Cottage Pond and Mudjin Harbour. If staying in Grand Turk, the best day trip is to Salt Cay for whale watching.
What are the most popular things to do in Turks & Caicos with kids?
Semi-submarine excursion, horseback riding, Junkanoo Museum, half-day snorkel cruise and visit to Iguana Island.
For an adventure backpacker outdoorsy type of traveler, what can someone experience in Turks & Caicos?
Explore the Indian and Conch Bar Caves in Middle Caicos or hike and bird watch at Bird Rock Point in Providenciales. History buffs would enjoy exploring Wades Green Plantation in North Caicos or Cheshire Hall Plantation in Providenciales.
Do you have recommendations for some R&R experiences in Turks & Caicos?
In addition to relaxing and unwinding at one of our world-class spas, visitors can enjoy the bliss of beachside yoga. Our ultra-luxurious boutique private islands (Parrot Cay, Pine Cay and Ambergris Cay) are exclusive and are the perfect hideaway to escape from it all. These islands provide the perfect atmosphere to bask in the natural beauty and miles of deserted white-sand beaches.
What’s your budget traveler advice and tips for traveling to and around Turks & Caicos?
Stay in a vacation rental (VRBO or AirBnB), split stay between Providenciales and another sister island, rent a car instead of using local taxis and most importantly—eat local.
Does Turks & Caicos Tourism work with any charities? Conservation efforts? If yes, please explain.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust is a strategic partner of the board. The National Trust is mandated to protect, conserve and promote the cultural, historic and natural heritage of the Turks & Caicos Islands for present & future generations and for the enjoyment of all. The Tourist Board works along with the National Trust to promote its heritage sites, programs and fundraising initiatives.
Why Turks & Caicos? Tell us why it is so special.
Our pristine beaches, delectable dining and friendly people and our rich culture and local traditions - all make the Turks & Caicos Islands truly beautiful by nature.
Head to turksandcaicostourism.com to learn more about this Caribbean gem.