My life has been crazy this year with work but I managed to plan a trip to Turks and Caicos to help some friends celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Hurricane Ian thought he was going to mess up my plans but fortunately that didn’t happen. As I flew over beautiful turquoise waters and landed on the island of Providenciales, or “Provo” I could feel the tension and stress leave my body. I stepped off the plane and could immediately smell the warm salty air. I breathed deeply with sigh of relief.
Turks and Caicos Trip
Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean and is a top destination for travelers from all over the world. The islands offer beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters, ample sunshine, and a laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can find plenty of activities to keep them busy, from snorkeling and diving to golfing and windsurfing. There are numerous reefs teeming with marine life just offshore for a personal snorkeling experience. I have been a diver for over 30 years and the sheltered west side of West Caicos offers excellent dive conditions which I got to experience for myself. We saw reef sharks, sting rays, nurse sharks, moray eels, lobster, shrimp, trumpet fish, and so many colorful fish engulfed us as we swam through the beautiful waters. West Caicos also offers a nature reserve home to flamingos. East Caicos, currently uninhabited is slated for future development.
Turks and Caicos has two main tourist seasons:
winter (mid-December to April) and summer (May to mid-November). The majority of visitors come from North America, so flights from the US are plentiful, but price can vary greatly during different times of the year. Many businesses close during the months of Sep/Oct plus it is hurricane season which can pose its own issues. Most visitors stay on the island of Providenciales, or “Provo”, which has the greatest concentration of hotels, shops and restaurants. Some great restaurant options are Coco Bistro which has a gorgeous setting of palm trees that hug your table. 72 West located at The Palms resort which is 5-star with great food at a hefty price. Hemingways which is located at The Sands at Grace Bay, a sister property to The Palms, is a wonderful place with wonderful food, delicious cocktails and super nice staff. They all made me feel really welcome. I stayed at The Sands which was lovely but the spa was closed so make sure to call ahead and ask these questions so your needs are met once you arrive. If you are a shopper, this may not be the place for you. A few select souvenir shops and a couple art galleries with beautiful pictures of the Turks and Caicos islands give you some memorable items to return home with.
Turks and Caicos is renowned for its brilliant white sand beaches, which attract tourists from all over the world. Grace Bay Beach on Provo is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world; it’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. Long Bay Beach is another great spot on Provo for swimming and snorkeling; it’s also popular with windsurfers. For a more secluded beach experience, head to Sapodilla Bay Beach on the island of Cheshire Hall; it’s only accessible by boat so you’re sure to find a spot all to yourself. I did not experience any of the other islands but I will return and make that happen. I planned to take an Intercaribbean Airways flight to Grand Turk but hurricane Fiona had just passed over and did quite a bit of damage to the island.
In addition to lounging on the beach all day or hanging out in the beautiful water with a cocktail in your hand (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained in Turks and Caicos. On Provo, you can also go fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, kiteboarding and windsurfing; lessons are available if you’re new to these sports. If you want to explore beyond Provo, take a day trip to visit one of the smaller uninhabited islands or go on a whale-watching tour which is seasonal so call in advance. You could also charter a luxury catamaran which will take you to stunning coral reefs to snorkel/swim and enjoy a half day/day cruise around the islands.
Turks and Caicos is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to relax on beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by clear turquoise waters. Life can overwhelm us and we can forget to enjoy what all it has to offer. It doesn’t take white sandy beaches to relax and be in the moment. Maybe its the mountains, wineries, skiing, or simply a walk in the park. Anything that removes the stresses of everyday. Live the Best You!!!