This large archipelago embodies just about everything one could imagine of a Caribbean island: Endless white, soft sandy beaches, here and there isolated palm trees that rise into the cloudless sky, and many sea birds that let themselves be carried by the warm sea breeze. If you are looking for pure relaxation, you will surely find it on one of these rather unknown Caribbean islands, which I will introduce to you now.
The Turks and Caicos Islands at a glance
The approximately 40 Turks and Caicos Islands with their 497 square kilometres form an extension of the dreamlike Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its location, the archipelago, which is under British sovereignty, belongs to the Caribbean because of its history.
The archipelago consists of different parts, of which only some islands are inhabited – a total of eight. To the east of the collection, Turk Bank is home to the two large inhabited islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay. Explore the different beaches of the islands while island hopping.
The Caicos Islands are separated from the Turks Islands by the 30 km wide Turk Island Passage and are arranged in a quarter circle on the Caicos Bank. Most of these islands are uninhabited, some even only have space for a single luxury resort. The largest inhabited islands are Middle Caicos and Providenciales. Both the inhabited and the uninhabited islands attract with their enchanting nature including dreamlike Caribbean sandy beaches and inviting turquoise waters. The best way to explore the many islands is to spend a few days island hopping and discover the beauty of the uninhabited sections. Keep your eyes open to discover as many different bird species as possible that feel at home here. Among them are ospreys, pelicans and flamingos. On the Turks and Caicos Islands there are a variety of water birds.
Since the islands are located on the tops of limestone plateaus and are very flat, there is hardly ever rain around the Turks and Caicos islands. The islands attract with dreamlike conditions of over 350 sunny days a year. 350 sunny days a year attract tourists to the Caribbean beaches.
Since not too many different plants grow on the islands, you will almost exclusively find tropical palms, which sway slightly in the warm wind and thus give the perfect Caribbean picture. Although there are no real cultural highlights or other spectacular sights on the islands, they offer nature lovers a true paradise on land and water with many nature parks and marine reserves. Those who are looking for a relaxing beach holiday and a lot of silence will surely find it on the Turks and Caicos Islands. Nevertheless, the islands are more varied than it might seem at the moment.
Caribbean islands are mostly only something for a large purse
Switching off on the Turks Islands
At the Turks Islands there are only two islands worth mentioning, where you can experience more than pure beach. Of course you can also make a small stop on Cotton Cay, East Cay or Gibbs Cay, but apart from deserted, fine sandy beaches and some water birds you won’t find anything here. Actually, it’s really wonderful, isn’t it?
The 18 square kilometer island Grand Turk with the capital Cockburn Town is often visited by big cruise ships. If you go ashore here on the island, you’ll first find yourself in the Grand Turk Cruise Center, where wide stretches of beach with sun loungers, pool landscapes with bars and souvenir shops await you. However, I would advise you to go to one of the other beaches and escape from the many people who settle here to bathe and drink cocktails. After all, you want to enjoy the absolute peace and quiet on the islands, don’t you?
When you stay on Grand Turk, you should definitely visit the small, pretty capital and stroll between the neat, pastel-colored houses from the colonial era, while the salty sea air blows around your nose. This island may not be as wild as Cuba or Jamaica, but the open and vivacious nature of its people is evident everywhere.
The capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands shines in bright beauty
Since there are hardly any currents in front of the Turks and Caicos Islands, you can see very far while diving even at great depths. Wonderful, quiet beaches are something wonderful. A bit of action is not wrong, though. If you want to do something for your body or your adrenaline level, you should take advantage of one of the various water sports that are increasingly offered on the beach. Heat your jet ski over the deep blue water or play beach volleyball. Especially divers will get their money’s worth with the magnificent diversity of species.
The lighthouse at the northern tip of the island, which dates from the 19th century and is now a listed monument, promises an interesting half-day excursion. Unfortunately, the beautiful white tower has rusted with time and no longer shines in its old glory, but it is still worth a visit. If you are on Grand Turk from December to April, you should be on the lookout from this spot, because about 40 kilometers southeast is the Mounchoir Bank, where large herds of humpback whales cavort in winter and on the way there also the Turks and Caicos Islands pass at a short distance.
History on Salt Cay
If after a few days you get tired of relaxing on the beach between palm trees, a trip to Salt Cay is a good idea, where you can learn a little about the history of the island. As the name suggests, salt was mainly extracted here in the past. Since the salt production on the island stopped, there hasn’t really been much activity, which is why today you’ll find a beautiful authentic island with small ruins. During your stay, keep an eye out for the sweet donkeys that populate this island and will be happy to keep you company!
Caicos Islands – an idyllic paradise
Of the Caicos Islands only a handful are inhabited, visit and enjoy their kilometre-long beaches but you can also enjoy the abandoned ones. On different day trips, which mostly start from Providenciales, you can relax on the quiet islands and enjoy the absolute peace and quiet without seeing other tourists – this will be the most relaxed holiday of your life. Or you can book one of the many snorkeling or diving tours, where you can admire the wonderful underwater variety around the islands, which attracts many divers every year. You may even enjoy meeting a gentle humpback whale underwater – you’ll never forget such an encounter again.
The Turks and Caicos Islands offer divers a diverse underwater world
The island Providenciales belongs to the Caicos Islands, offers you the most variety of the whole islands and is therefore also considered as the tourist centre. From here the other islands can be reached within a few minutes by small airplanes, which is why “Provo” is a great starting point for your trip. Of course, it is cheaper to cross by boat, where you can look for turtles that appear at the water surface every now and then.
Nature lovers should take a short trip to Little Water Cay. On this beach you can sizzle in the sun next to iguanas, enjoy the Caribbean warmth and jump into the crystal clear water to cool down. Or you can explore the lagoon Chalk Sound in the south of the island, which promises a uniquely beautiful excursion. Rent a kayak for this trip. You can paddle wonderfully between dozens of small, overgrown rock islands and enjoy the crystal-clear blue water, which changes its colour depending on the incidence of light. Also the sunset is very beautiful and should be on your list. On the southern side of the island there are also numerous villas and other luxury accommodations that you can rent as far as the piggy bank allows.
You should also experience Thursday Fish Fry in Bight Park. Here you can always feast on Thursdays through the large street food offer and experience a great time with the locals to the harmonious Caribbean music. From dozens of shops and stalls the delicious scent flows into the air, which is already filled with the rhythmic sounds. The exuberant Caribbean atmosphere will surely quickly infect you.