Picture crystal-clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and fanned palm trees as far as the eye can see. That's exactly what you'll get when you travel to the tropical islands of Turks and Caicos located at the southern tip of the Bahama Archipelago. Aside from being a veritable paradise, the islands offer so many incredible things to do.
"The pace of life is easygoing, the local welcome genuine, and the diving truly out of this world," says Lonely Planet's Caribbean and Central American destination editor Alicia Johnson. While peak travel season for this region takes place between December and April, the island destination makes for an unforgettable summer vacation.
Stay at a luxurious beachside resort, enjoy the Caribbean cuisine, and take part in adventures like reef diving and swimming alongside dolphins. Consider this your guide to the best things to do in Turks and Caicos.
1. COMO Parrot Cay: For maximum luxury, book your stay at COMO Parrot Cay, a hotel situated on its own private island. Johnson describes this spot as part resort, part spa thanks to its infinity pools, water sports, diving school, restaurants, health-oriented spa treatments, yoga, and wellness offerings.
2. Dragon Cay Resort: If you find yourself in Middle Caicos, you'll want to stay at Dragon Cay Resort in the Mudjin Harbor, according to Johnson. She suggests asking for either the Sunrise or Sunset rooms to get the best views of the Atlantic, though the resort does come with its own stretch of private beach available for all guests to enjoy.
3. Sibonné Beach Hotel: Located in Providenciales, this popular spot is situated right on the sand of Grace Bay. It’s known as an anti-resort, according to Johnson, due to its particularly mellow vibe and more affordable accommodations.
4. Miss B's: This is one of North Caicos's best eateries, according to Johnson. Enjoy Bahamian offerings like conch, souse, and lobster, and be prepared for karaoke on Saturday nights.
5. Coyaba:mFor a five-star dining experience, head to Coyaba, which translates to "heavenly" in Arawak. Johnson describes it as "a happy marriage of European technique and Caribbean flavors."
6. Grace's Cottage: This quaint establishment is a bit off the beaten path, but once you arrive, you'll be seated outside beneath the trees in paradise. Along with delicious cuisine, the restaurant offers an unparalleled wine list. Be sure to make a reservation.
7. Coco Bistro: In typical Turks and Caicos fashion, this restaurant boasts a bright orange exterior surrounded by coconut palms. Expect to find conch ravioli, fresh lobsters, and coconut pie on the menu.
8. Fish: "Fishing is a big deal in Turks and Caicos," says Johnson. Therefore, this activity belongs on your list of things to do in Turks and Caicos. Deep reefs are full of wahoo, tuna, mahi-mahi, dorado, sailfish, and marlin. You'll need a fishing license to participate in the local activity, but you can get on at the marina office in Turtle Cove for a small price.
9. Dive: An island excursion is not complete without a day of diving. Johnson advises checking out Salt Cay where you can swim with humpback whales or Grand Turk for truly pristine reefs. You can also dive in Provo for a chance at swimming alongside dolphins. It's more affordable to snorkel on the Turks Islands, compared to the Caicos Islands, but either location will cost you about $65 to $125 for a half-day trip.
10. Whale Watch: During their annual migration between January and March, 2500 to 7000 humpback whales make their way through the channel that separates the Caicos and Turks islands. Local boats are ready and waiting to take visitors out to sea to be close to the action, but you can also stay ashore at Grand Turk or Salt Cay and still take in the sight.
Enjoy the many relaxing and reinvigorating things to do to in Turks and Caicos. Happy island hopping.