Turks & Caicos

The Turks & Caicos are two distinct island-groups (the Turks Islands and the Caicos Islands) that make up a 166 square mile archipelago in the tropical Atlantic.  They are located 575 miles southeast of Florida, U.S.A., and include about 100 named islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited.  Flight time from Miami to Providenciales International Airport (PLS), on the island of Providenciales, is approximately 1 hour 39 minutes, making this a quick tropical destination to reach for travelers flying from the U.S.


Turks & Caicos is recognized as having some of the best beaches in the world with their powder white sand and spectacular turquoise water.  These unique islands sit atop an underwater plateau of limestone that rises 10,000 feet from the ocean floor. Turks and Caicos is renowned as a scuba diving paradise. They boast one of the finest barrier reef systems in the Atlantic (the third largest coral reef system in the world), and the best wall dive sites in the world with depth drops from 30 feet to over 7,000 feet! The land areas are generally flat with the highest elevation reaching only 156 feet at Blue Hill on Providenciales, and at Flamingo Hill on East Caicos. The inlands are made up of mangrove channels and shallow lagoons that offer an abundance of nature and wildlife to explore. The islands are small and narrow, creating a landscape that is primarily situated on shoreline.  Temperatures range 75° F to 95°F.  Rainfall there is among the lowest in the Caribbean, which is why it is commonly said that there are “350 days of sunshine throughout the year” in the Turks and Caicos.


People who are native to the Turks & Caicos are of African descent, and are referred to as “Belongers” or “Turks & Caicos Islanders.”  An international influence is seen in the culture due to a population that is a blend of African descendants (the majority of the population) with British, American, Canadian, French, Haitian, Dominican, and Scandinavian immigrants.  The Turks & Caicos is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, with the official language being English.  Most of the population lives on the islands of South Caicos, Providenciales (Provo), and Grand Turk.  Vibrant cultural influences are seen in arts such as basket weaving, in cuisine that is seafood-based, in popular foods that are influenced by neighboring countries (such as conch fritters from The Bahamas, and jerk chicken from Jamaica), and in its traditional Ripsaw music.  The Turks & Caicos are home to a mix of people who are friendly and low-key—which is why the relaxed, slow-paced environment sometimes runs on “island time.”


Vacationers are attracted to the Turks & Caicos for the exquisite marine life and incredible beaches.  Providenciales (also called Provo) is the most developed and most popular island in the chain with its world-class resorts, restaurants, spas, shopping, and nightlife. Provo offers the most beaches, and is home to Grace Bay Beach, rated one of the top beaches in the world due to its long stretch of soft white sand, calm reef-protected surf, and brilliant turquoise blue water.  Beaches are found on all sides of the island, each with their own appeal.  Grace Bay and Leeward Beach, on the island’s northeast, are wide with deep, clean, sandy ocean floors. The central north coast beaches in the Bright and Turtle Cove areas have lush sea grass close to shore and several great snorkeling sites.   Long Bay Beach, Five Cays Beach, Sapodilla Bay, and Taylor Bay on the south side of the island have shallow water and very fine, soft sand. Other activities to do when you’re not beach-lounging, snorkeling, or diving, include: fishing, boating, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, kiteboarding, and paddle boarding.


The Turks & Caicos islands offer plenty of other sites and activities as well…Sports fishing is a major attraction with several tournaments taking place throughout the islands each year.  You can enjoy a whale watching excursion off of Salt Cay (best from January through March).  On Middle Caicos, take a guided tour of Conch Bar Caves, one of the largest dry cave systems in the Caribbean.  Do a horseback ride on Longbay Beach.  Shop the local artisans for hand-made crafts and clothing.  Taste the popular PeppaJoy Hot Sauce, and award-winning Bambarra Rum (which is mixed and bottled on Provo).  Treat yourself to some relaxing treatments and services at one of the top spas in the area.


The Turks & Caicos is one of the best places for a beach vacation that offers relaxation and exhilaration all in one place.  With its incredible beaches and stunning turquoise waters, world-renowned diving locations, and so much to do and explore on the islands, the Turks & Caicos is a top Caribbean destination for couples, groups, and families alike.

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