The Caribbean, with its many gorgeous islands, attracts tourists from all over the world. Most people vacation in the Caribbean because they want to enjoy picture-perfect beaches, great cuisine, and outdoor adventures.
If that's what you're looking for, then you should visit Turks and Caicos – a collection of 40 islands and cays frequently featured among the top spots on lists of best beaches in the world.
Located less than 600 miles from Miami, Turks and Caicos offer you everything you'd expect from a Caribbean vacation – sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and relaxed vibe – even though they're technically in the Atlantic Ocean.
The two main islands are Providenciales, also referred to as Provo, and Grand Turk. Provo is where you'll find the main international airport and most resorts, while Grand Turk is where you'll find the capital and the cruise port.
The Turks and Caicos Islands may not be as well-known as some of their Caribbean neighbors, but that only adds to their appeal because the tourist infrastructure has more 5-star resorts than you could hope for. Nowadays, you'll also be able to find budget-friendly accommodation like Airbnb as well.
This is a great destination for those seeking to delve into a vibrant culture with friendly locals, great food, and awe-inspiring natural beauty.
If you're from the US, getting to the Turks & Caicos Islands is a breeze. It takes less than two hours to get there from Miami and less than three hours from New York. There are also direct flights from Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Charlotte.
American, JetBlue, and Delta are just a few of the airlines that fly nonstop from the US.
Despite its status as a British Overseas Territory, the local currency is the US dollar, and the country's power outlets use American-style plugs and voltage.
Another advantage is that American, UK, and EU citizens don't need a visa to visit.
The main reason people go to the Turks and Caicos Islands is their breathtaking beaches that are consistently ranked among the best in the world. If you like soft sand with a hint of pink that feels soft between your toes and inviting crystal clear water, this is the place for you.
Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales has won TripAdvisor's Best Beach Destination title for multiple years in a row. Other beaches worth visiting are Leeward Beach, also in Providenciales, Governor's Beach in Grand Turk – perfect for renting a boat and going snorkeling, Sandy Point Beach in North Caicos, Horse Stable Beach in North Caicos – this one is great for bird-watching.
If you enjoy warm sunny weather, the tropical climate of the Turks and Caicos Islands is sure to appeal to you. The temperature stays between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27 and 32 degrees Celsius) all year.
Like in any tropical area, when it rains, it pours. However, it doesn't last long, and it usually doesn't happen very often.
Hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the majority of hurricanes hitting the islands between the end of August and the start of September but most pass this area and hit Hispaniola, the Bahamas, or eastern US.
You'd have to travel far and wide to find waters that can rival those here – so clear and with so many different shades of blue from celeste to deep azure. It's hardly surprising that a place where the ocean reigns supreme offers an abundance of water activities - sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply swimming. There's something tempting about these magnificent waters.
The Turks and Caicos Islands have some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. The barrier reef system is the third-largest in the world, and it's home to all kinds of aquatic treasures. You'll encounter plenty of colorful sea life like sea turtles, wrasse, parrotfish, trumpetfish, angelfish, small sharks, and more.
In Providenciales, you can snorkel straight off the shore at Smith's Reef, but most visitors choose a boat excursion to access more extensive reefs.
One of the most popular activities among tourists is renting a boat and traveling from island to island on a tour that includes beach visits, snorkeling, and a BBQ lunch on the white sands of the coast.
After all of that activity, you'll need to refuel, and Turks & Caicos has lots of options. There's no better way to get to know the islands than to indulge in their delicious cuisine. From fine dining at luxury resorts to popular spots for locals – there are many places to experience this seafood lover's heaven.
You'll, of course, want to try conch prepared in a variety of ways since it's a staple of the local cuisine, but leave enough room for butter-drizzled lobster and other seafood delights. You'll also find a lot of restaurants that combine island flavors with international influences to make unique dishes.
Rum drinks are quite popular in the Caribbean, and you'll be pleased to hear that the Turks and Caicos Islands have their own award-winning brand called Bambarra, which is best enjoyed in premium cocktails or on the rocks.
All of the resorts on the Turks and Caicos Islands feature the best amenities to make tourists feel pampered. Many of the most luxurious and well-known ones are grouped in the northeast of the island of Providenciales, within the Grace Bay region.
There's nothing quite like relaxing and having fun in a tropical paradise and waking up in the morning to a splendid view of the ocean on Grace Bay.
These resorts are often all-inclusive and give you access to pools, spas, and everything you need to relax and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.
Turks and Caicos Islands are a popular family vacation spot. That's because not only are the calm waters ideal for children to play in, but the crime rate is low and mostly entails opportunistic petty theft.
You may have to watch your valuables when you go to the beach, but you don't have to worry about anything more serious than that. Tourist safety is a top priority for the authorities here.