The network of 40 low-lying islands and cays which go into the making up of Turks and Caicos are generating hectic tourist activity with every passing season. Regular visitors to this charming and secluded getaway, will vouch for the fact that nowhere else on earth can one get to see the largest system of colorful coral reefs, and that too in the clearest of azure blue waters. From the glam and glitter of Providenciales to the laid back and historic lanes of Cockburn Town, the Turks and Caicos even today have maintained their reputation of being an exclusive vacation destination.
To enable visitors, especially first timers, the information given below will come in very handy to plan a trip of their dreams to these enchanting isles and also to find best places to stay in Turks and Caicos.
When to go
As is the case with most destinations of the Caribbean, the peak travel season in the Turks and Caicos extends from December to March. However, to avoid the throngs of tourists and take advantage of low off season rates, the islands can be experienced just as well in the months of April and May too. Irrespective of the hurricane threat which looms over this region from June to November, the weather remains pleasant round the year, with the temperature hovering in the mid 80s making it a comfortable place to visit at all times. During this period, airlines and hotels have been known to reduce rates as much by 40%. In case you do want to visit these islands in the peak season, making a booking, say a year in advance, will also result in big savings on your travel budget.
A valid passport and a return or onward ticket is required to visit the Turks and Caicos either by cruise ship to Grand Turk or by air to Providences. Due to the location of these islands and their remoteness, all travel documents should always be kept secured and safe. Major American and European countries have regular flights to this region. As regards to visa requirements, it is recommended to verify before hand whether you require a visa as many countries enjoy visa exemption to Turks and Caicos.
It is best to decide on the islands you plan to visit in advance so as to make travel to and fro easy because each island has its own specific transport requirement. The Turks and Caicos are mainly made up of six main islands, interconnected by small air crafts and passenger ferries. Using these modes of transport gives the visitor a great insight of the views of the ocean and the scenic cays. Once on land, the visitor has a choice of either renting a car or hiring a taxi, as there is no means of any other public transport like bus or train available in the Turks and Caicos.
Every island not only offers its most unique atmosphere, but has a wide and amazing array of accommodation choices as well. While Providences and Grand Turk features some of the best hotels, inns and resorts, there are a range of budget hotels and guesthouses on the smaller and less populated islands of Salt Cay and North and Middle Caicos. One can also opt for renting a fully furnished villa, which come with fully equipped kitchen and are private and spacious. It is extremely important to consider the location of your place of stay, since it is reiterated that no public transport exists in Turks and Caicos and accessing your lodge may necessitate the use of private vehicle, which in turn may jack up your budget substantially.
Things to do
From riding on horseback to diving down to the unspoilt barrier reef, there are numerous opportunities to have fun and enjoy quality time in the Turks and Caicos. The true beauty of these islands is found in its pristine beaches, mangroves and diverse marine environment. Outdoor activities like scuba diving, paddle boarding, kayaking or taking a cruise by a small boat or all exceptional ways to take in the splendor and charm of the Turks and Caicos.
For the food connoisseur, there is no better place to enjoy a wide range of cuisine, than in the Turks and Caicos. While Providences may be the hub of dining and has a large gourmet scene, the food on the smaller islands too is equally worthy of merit. Italian, French, Thai, Indian and even Japanese food awaits the diner in the large number of restaurants which have mushroomed in the islands, most have which are headed by award winning cooks and chefs. While local dishes are in great demand too, guests are advised to check up with the outlets in advance in case they have any specific dietary requirements.
While shopping options in the Turks and Caicos are limited due to the size of the nation, the islands do offer a large number of outlets selling gifts and souvenirs. High end retail shops can only be found on Grand Turk and Providences selling art and craft and jewelry.
The Turks and Caicos is really an incredible place to visit. This archipelago nation has enjoyed global recognition as a leading holiday destination for several years in a row, with Grace Beach garnering the reputation of being the best in the world. While most good tourist places and countries have time windows, the Turks and Caicos can actually be easily visited throughout the year.