The Turks and Caicos (TCI) are a British territory located north
of Haiti, east of Cuba and south of the Bahamas. TCI is two sets
of islands forming one country and altogether there are more than 40 islands. The Caicos Islands include the West, East, South and
Middle Caicos, plus the Providenciales (Provo) and Parrot Cay. The
Turk Islands include Grand Turk and Salt Cay. Geographically, the
Turks and Caicos form part of the series of islands with the Bahamas.
The indigenous Taino populations were enslaved by the Spanish upon their
arrival in the late 1400s. Slaves were also brought to the islands
from Africa, resulting in a significant proportion of blacks today. The
population of Turks and Caicos is under 50,000 people with most people living on Provo in the Caicos Islands. There were
no cars in Provo
until the 1960s. The capital of the Turks and Caicos is Cockburn Town (pronounced
'Coburn') on Grand
Turk with a population of around 8,000. Cockburn
Harbour, on South Caicos, has a population under 3,000. The official
language of the islands is English and, despite its British heritage, the currency is
interestingly the US dollar. Electricity is 110 volt/60 cycles.
Providenciales International Airport is the access point by air and Grace
Bay is the center for tourist resorts.
Cruise ships regularly visit Grand Turk. There are no visa
requirements for visits less than 30 days, provided that proof of round trip
travel arrangements are documented.
The Turks and Caicos experiences a typical Caribbean
climate, although technically its location is in the Atlantic.
Temperatures in the summer months, around July, average 30 C (95 F) for
highs, while the summer lows average 27 C (85 F). In the winter
months, temperatures are 3 - 5 degrees cooler. The rainy season
extends from September to December. September and October mark the
height of hurricane season. The most popular months to visit are
February and March, when the temperatures are comfortable, the rainfall is
lowest, hurricane season has passed and North American tourists are
seeking spring break destinations. The islands are popular for their
beaches, coral reefs and uninhabited islands. Turks and Caicos has
become a world class location for hotels, spas and restaurants.
Attractions in Provo, Turks & Caicos:
Things to see and do:
Although Provo (Providenciales) is the most populated island in
the Turks and Caicos, it doesn't have a clearly defined city. It is about
15 miles long (25 km) and narrows at points to 2 miles in width. Provo is
the resort center of the Turks and Caicos and the site for the international
Grace Bay is the location for most of the resorts in the Turks
Visit a beach. The beach at Grace Bay is the best beach in
Provo. It blends into the beach at the Bight, which has a
children's park and snorkeling at Bight Reef. Other beaches in
Provo include Northwest Point, Malcolm Road, West Harbour, Taylor Bay,
Sapodilla Bay, Turtle Tail, Long Bay (kiteboarding) and Leeward.
These beaches are all within 25 minutes of each other.
Snorkeling at the Bight Reef, Smith's Reef and NW Point.
Dive at Pine Cay, Grace Bay, NW Point, French Cay, West Caicos and
Sandbore Channel. Try Provo
Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park. The park includes
Little Water Cay. See iguanas and osprey. Nearby is Half
Moon Bay. Caicos
offers snorkeling and conch shell cruises, iguanas sightings on Little
Water Cay and fishing excursions. Caicos Dream Tours has a desk
at the Alexandra Resort.
Cruise on the Atabeyra.
On the third night after the full moon, take an evening cruise on the
Atebayra and see the glow worms.
Things to see and do in Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos:
Grand Turk is the cruise ship port for the Turks &
Caicos. The island is about 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.
Grand Turk Cruise Center - right beside the cruise ship
dock. Lounge at the beach. Swim in the ocean or their freshwater pool.
Rent a cabana. Visit Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville,
go shopping or try surfing on the FlowRider. This is a tourist
theme attraction and not an escape to the solitude of uninhabited
islands that make the Turks and Caicos so special.
Governor's Beach – located in Columbus
Landfall National Park between the cruise terminal and Cockburn Town. The debate is still on about whether this is the
location where Columbus first landed in the Caribbean. Good snorekling and
swimming, plus beach chair and umbrella rentals. Not many
Diving and snorkeling. Take a boat excursion to Gibbs Cay to
spend time at the beach and to feed the stingrays. Dive at more than 20 sites on the western leeward side of the island,
including Black Forest, Coral Garden, Rolling Hills, Tunnels, the
Library and MacDonald's. Try Oasis
Divers or Chukka
Pillory Beach - great snorkeling off the beach or whale watching tours
provided by Bohio Dive Resort
Grand Turk Light House - at the northern tip of the island.
Visit Salt Cay - a community ferry makes day trips possible 3 times a
week. Alternately book an excursion.
Savor the Tastes of the Turks and Caicos
Peas & grits
Conch & Grits
Penn on - depends on the catch of the day.
Turks Head Lager
Las Brisas Restaurant and Bar at the Neptune
Villas in Chalk Sound, Provo.