We discovered Turks & Caicos in 2009 as a family to surprise our mom for her 50th birthday. We didn’t know much about Turks and were excited to experience it. After a few days on the island, we quickly realized it was unlike anywhere else we had been. Its natural beauty, beaches, crystal clear water and friendly people were more than welcoming and kept us coming back. The country has much to offer. Whether you’re looking for a laid back, sit at the pool with a drink in hand beach trip or an adventure filled with activity, Turks caters to all types of vacationers. This story is meant to help those who want to learn about the island, prepare for their first trip or read about a few of OKAICOS favorite spots.
Know before you go: Turks & Caicos, a British territory, is an island chain made up of about 40 islands and cays. It’s located in the Atlantic Ocean, 400 miles south east of the Bahamas. The largest islands include North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos, Ambergris Cay and Providenciales. We know Providenciales (“Provo” for short) well as we’ve stayed here every year since our first trip. The main currency in Turks is USD and language is English. The climate is typical Caribbean so pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and your pair of OKAICOS.
On arrival: The main airport on Provo is PLS (Providenciales International Airport). It’s easy navigating this island as all locations on Provo are within about 30 minutes of the airport. Arrange a pick up with your hotel, residence or car rental before arriving. If that is not an option, taxis are a great alternative and easy to catch (a lot do not accept credit cards, be sure to grab cash for your ride). Travel tip: We seldom pay for international cell data packages and are a fan of airplane mode and Wi-Fi. Take a screenshot of your destination’s address and contact info prior to arriving. That way, you’ll have a picture with an address to show your driver, alleviating the need to turn on international roaming to search for it.
Where to stay: There are a number of amazing lodging options on Provo. We’ve stayed at the Ocean Club property every year since our first trip. It’s a laid back, quiet hotel located at the far end of Grace Bay and we love it. The Gansevoort Turks, located on Grace Bay, is another spot we’d recommend. It’s modern, luxurious and Caribbean chic. Walk through the open air lobby with the large pool and pristine beach in sight and you immediately feel relaxed. There are a number of amazing places to stay on Turks. If you have any question, definitely reach out to OKAICOS and we can provide additional insight.
Where to eat: Do not go to Provo without checking out Coco Bistro or Coco Van. The restaurant is set within a palm grove on Grace Bay. Eating under palm trees makes for an awesome experience. Coco Bistro (white table cloths) is a classy spot. Coco Van (an airstream trailer) offers a relaxed, come and go vibe with picnic tables and a walk up bar. Same restaurant, two different vibes. Las Brisa’s is another OKAICOS favorite, located on Chalk Sound. Sit in the open-air gazebo and take in the surrounding aqua blue water while you eat fresh seafood. Somewhere Bar is another favorite. Overlooking Princess Alexandria National Park, it provides amazing views, delicious food and a laid back setting. Looking for something lighter? Check out Okeanos smoothies, right off the main road in Grace Bay. FYI: Dinner is normally island casual, so prepare accordingly. For example, hang out at the beach or in the boat all day in your OKAICOS. Then throw on a collared shirt and head to dinner with some espadrilles. Our trunks are crazy versatile!
What to do: As mentioned, Turks has activities for everyone. For those who enjoy relaxing by the ocean or staring at palm trees by a pool, you’re in luck. Turks & Caicos has been repeatedly ranked as one of the top beach destinations due to the amazingly clear and calm waters of Grace Bay, pristine beaches and world-class hotel amenities. Get antsy sitting around in a beach chair all day? Turks also offers world class deep sea fishing charters. The island is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world, providing top notch snorkeling and scuba diving. Sailing, parasailing, paddle boarding, island hopping and shopping are other activities you can enjoy during your vacation. Whether you’re relaxing in a beach chair, catching wahoo or diving next to sea turtles, OKAICOS are more than equipped for your travels and adventure.
Fun facts: We are all for random facts. Here are some about Turks.
- Turks and Caicos is the site of an annual Humpback whale migration.
- More than half the coastline is soft, powdery, white sand.
- JoJo, a wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, is amongst our favorite local. Jojo has been calling TCI home for over 30 years. He’s recognized as a National Treasure by the Turks & Caicos government. He is one of the few wild dolphins around the world who voluntarily interacts with humans in the wild and is awesome to see.
- There are dozens of underwater cave systems in Turks and Caicos.