Welcome to Paradise
Turks and Caicos
The most beautiful beaches in the world
The Turks and Caicos are made up of 40 different islands only 8 of which are inhabited. The main tourist island is Providenciales (also referred to as Provo by the locals) which we will spend most of our time discovering here on this site. The Turks and Caicos are located about 550 miles south of Miami just south of the Bahamas chain of islands. The travel time from Miami is about 1.5 hours by airplane. The islands are technically located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea.
Providenciales, known as “Provo”, is the main tourist destination in the Turks and Caicos islands. Provo is home to Grace Bay Beach which is the most beautiful beach we have ever seen and commonly known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Grace Bay Beach is part of a 12 mile stretch of beach along the northern coast of Provo making up the longest public beach in the world. The resorts along the beach are spread out so the beach feels uncrowded. There are times and places where you feel like you have the beach all to yourself.
This website is for travelers by travelers. We wanted to share our wonderful experiences on and around the island for others who have yet to make it to the Turks and Caicos. These opinions are our own without any paid or promotional influence. Hopefully sharing our experiences will help someone else make decisions about where to stay and what to do while on Turks and Caicos. And we hope to answer some of your other travel questions along the way.
- Beauty 94%
- Peace 90%
- Fun 86%
- Dining 82%
- Paradise 100%
The beaches on Providenciales are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Of course, you are visiting to see Grace Bay Beach which is widely considered the best beach in the world. There are other beaches on the island that are worth exploring including Sapodilla Bay Beach, Taylor Bay Beach, and Long Bay Beach. The majority of your time will be spent on Grace Bay, but the other beaches on the island are worth exploring too. Especially if you want a more serene and secluded experience on the beach.
Restaurants and Dining
If you are visiting Provo, you are going to want to enjoy some of the wonderful dining experiences the island has to offer. There are many great restaurants located on the island to check out. The only hard part is narrowing down which ones to visit. Reservations are often recommended. You can check out our full list of restaurants here. Below are a few select restaurants to check out as well:
Want to get away from the beach for a while? There are a number of excursions to take you away on your next adventure. Over land and sea, you will find plenty of excursion on Provo. From golf, to paddle boarding, to scuba diving, or deep sea fishing, you will find it all. Here are a list of excursions you will find on the island:
- Provo Golf Club
- Sunset Cruises
- Snorkel Cruises
- Scuba Diving
- Wake boarding
- Glow worm cruise
- Luxury boat charters
- Deep sea fishing
- Ferry to North and Middle Caicos
- Jet skis
- Partial sub-marine cruise
One of the most amazing and breathtaking views in the world will be found at Chalk Sound. Located on the island of Provo, you will see incredible views of inland turquoise waters that changes colors with the movement of the sun. Chalk Sound is protected as a national park so you cannot use motorized vessels on it. This protects the calm clear water that you see. You can view the park via Chalk Sound Drive or just a visit to Las Brisas restaurant. Or if you are more adventurous, just rent a kayak and explore it for yourself.
North and Middle Caicos
The trip to North Caicos and Middle Caicos is a short one of just 25 to 30 minutes on the TCI Ferry. You need to pre-book your ferry service (1-649-946-5406) which departs out of Walkin Marina, Leeward Provo and lands in Sandy Point Marina, North Caicos. From there you can rent a car via one of the local car rental companies like Al’s, Caribbean Crusin, Easy, Nick’s, Scooter Bob’s or Pelican Beach. The you can start exploring any of the following on your adventure:
- Mudjin Harbour
- Conch Bar Caves National Park
- Flamingo Pond Overlook
- Bambarra Beach
- Whitby Beach
- Last Chance Bar & Grill
- Barracuda Beach Bar
- Dragon Cay
North Caicos and Middle Caicos provide some of the most photographic and scenic views in the Caribbean.
History and Geography
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are made up of over 40 islands and cays (pronounced “keys”). The islands are separated into two groups, Turks Island and Caicos Islands, by a 22 mile wide sea passage that reaches depths of over 7,000 feet. Most of the islands are sparsely populated with Providenciales (called “Provo” locally) having the largest population at over 20,000. Providenciales is the tourist hub of the islands highlighted by the famous Grace Bay Beach. The second most populated island is Grand Turk with a population of around 5,000. Grand Turk is the island capital and is where the cruise ships come to port while visiting Turks and Caicos.
The islands were the landfall islands of Christopher Columbus in his first voyage in search for the Far East. Columbus set foot on the islands in 1492 and was welcomed by the peaceful inhabitants, the Lucayan Indians. The first settlement came in 1680 by Bermudian Salt collectors. This islands were next under French occupation, but later annexed by Britain as part of the Bahamas in 1799. In 1848, Britain recognized Turks and Caicos as a separate colony from the Bahamas. Today, Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory although they have their own government and laws.
The location of the Turks and Caicos Islands is southeast of the Bahamas and north of the Dominican Republic in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are located only about 600 miles southeast of Miami, Florida making it a convenient destination for American tourism. The location and consistent warm climate bring tourists to the islands year round.
The islands popular motto is “Beautiful by Nature.”
Visiting Provo and Grace Bay can be an expensive endeavor. One way to save a bit of money is to visit the local grocery stores and eat some meals in your villa. Most of the rooms on Provo come with a small kitchen or even a full size kitchen so eating at your resort or villa is easy.
There are a few local grocery stores on the island of Provo. One of the most convenient is the Graceway Gourmet located just off of Grace Bay Beach near many resorts like Seven Stars and Grace Bay Club. There is Graceway IGA on Leeward Highway and Quality Food Center near downtown.
The quality of the groceries is very high, but keep in mind everything is imported so the prices are quite a bit higher. On average your bill can be two times higher than what you might be used to in the United States. Some items like a case of beer can be as much as three times higher in price. Even though it is expensive, it still saves over eating an drinking out or eating at the resorts for every meal.
Looking to explore the island? Taxis can be expense. Alternatively, renting a car, scooter, or bicycle can be a fun way to explore. Many of the resorts along Grace Bay offer complimentary use of bicycles. This is perfect for going to lunch or heading to the grocery store to grab some food and supplies.
There are a number of car rental companies on Provo including Grace Bay Car Rentals, Avis, and Payless. Several places offer scooter rentals and tours of the island, but TCI law requires that you wear a helmet. If you choose to drive, here are a few rules to remember.
- Drive on the left
- In roundabouts, give way to the traffic coming from your right
- On Leeward Highway, the left lane is for normal traffic, the right lane is for passing
- Seatbelts are required by law (or $250 fine)
Turks Head Beer
The local beer on the island is Turks Head and it is as delicious an any beer you will find in the United States or Mexico. The beer is brewed on the island and includes several types.
- Amber Ale
Seasonally, you may find additional flavors of stout and wheat beers.
This beer is cheaper than any of the “imported” beers on the island. You can even tour the brewery (fee required) for tastings of all the flavors and pick up some beer while you are there. This can be a really nice excursion for any beer drinkers in your group. Tours are available by appointment only 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm, Monday through Friday and noon on Saturday. To book a tour call 649.941.3637 extension 1006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday Night Fish Fry
A Thursday night tradition on Provo, the fish fry is lively and festive event for both locals and tourists alike. Local food, crafts, souvenirs, and live music highlight the evening. The fish fry starts around 6 pm and lasts until 9 pm or so. Come and enjoy plenty of conch salad, conch fritters, fried fish, and other local cuisines.
The fish fry in located at Kids’ Bight Park (next to Gansevoort resort). Take a cab or drive if you prefer, but get there and enjoy a taste and feel of local Provo atmosphere. Around 8 pm is the junkanoo rush, where drums and cowbells sound as everyone marches down the strip.
Located in the Grace Bay hub area are several shopping plazas all within walking (or biking) distance to each other. Everyone that visits Turks and Caicos will want to return with a souvenir or keep sake to remember their trip. The primary shopping areas are as follows:
- The Saltmills
- Regent Village
- Ports of Call
- Le Vele Plaza
- Caicos Café Plaza
- Ocean Club West Plaza
A good starting point is Regent Village or The Saltmills as they have the most shops and restaurants. From there, you can venture out to any of the other shopping areas. Restaurants, coffee shops, spas, dive shops, wine stores, cigar shops, and souvenir items can all be found in this area. A couple of our favorite shops are Dive Provo (Ports of Call) and Caribbean Outpost (Regent Village).
What is a potcake? ‘Potcake’ is the name for the dogs of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. The name is derived from the days when locals would feed the dogs from remains in the cooking pots. Potcakes are smart and loyal and grow to between 35 and 75 pounds.
In Saltmills plaza, you will find the non-profit Potcake Place K9 rescue. Potcake Place was created by volunteers to care for local potcakes on the island. You can adopt a potcake for life or just for a walk for the day at Potcake Place. Other services include spay and neuter, fostering, puppy adoption, and more. While you are on Provo, stop in and visit the potcake puppies and dogs and maybe take one out for a walk!
Did you know?
Did you know?
Island Safety Tips
Turks and Caicos is a paradise, but we all need to take proper precautions to have a safe and enjoyable vacation.
- Remember to hydrate properly. You will lose a lot of water in your body from the sun and if you consume alcoholic beverages. Make sure to supplement with two to three liters of water per day to hydrate your body.
- Sunscreen is a must while on the island. Be sure to apply a thin layer of sunscreen while outdoors especially between peak UV hours of 11 am and 3 pm. Stylish sunglasses help protect eyes from harmful UV rays as well.
- There is a nuisance of mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and flys on the island particularly in the evening hours. Be prepared with bug spray or buggy bands to help keeps these pests away. Buggy bands seem to work well at dinner when the flies are around.
- Provo is a very safe island, but there is occasional crime. Protect yourself by staying in tourist areas with plenty of traffic. Carry very little cash. Do not wear flashy jewelry. And do not leave anything of value in your rental car. You can leave the rental car doors unlocked.
Experience local rhythms and grooves all over the island. Nothing enhances a drink or dinner more than enjoying some great local music. Here are some top options:
Da Conch Shack – Live music Wednesday starting at 7 pm, Sunday starting at 12:30 pm, and a DJ on Friday evenings.
The Deck at Seven Stars Resort – Live music Wednesday and Friday from 6 pm – 9 pm. Sunday live music and beach BBQ and bonfire 6 pm – 9 pm.
Hemmingway’s at the Sands Resort – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday live music from 7 pm – 10 pm.
Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl – Live music with lunch every day from 1 pm – 4 pm and with dinner Friday, Saturday and Sun day.
Find detailed information on the beautiful resorts and hotels on Provo in Turks and Caicos.
We detail some of the wonderful beaches on Turks and Caicos including Grace Bay beach which is widely considered one of the best beaches in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to answer your questions. That is what this site is about. Here are a few frequently asked questions. We have an entire page with more frequently asked questions as well.Read all the FAQ’s
What currency is used in Turks and Caicos?
The US dollar is the common currency in Turks and Caicos and is accepted everywhere. All major credit cards are typically accepted as well.
What is the best restaurant in Turks and Caicos?
There are a ton of great restaurants in Turks and Caicos. There are way too many to name in this small space. If we had to pick one favorite, it would be Coco Bistro. Of course, this question is very subjective as there are many great restaurants on the island.
Is Turks and Caicos family friendly?
Absolutely. Turks and Caicos is very safe. There are also plenty of family friendly activities on the island and at the many resorts.