The paradise archipelago of 40 islands that make up Turks & Caicos sits in the Caribbean to the south east of the Bahamas.
The first cars appeared on Providenciales in 1964, getting about by donkey isn’t uncommon on Grand Turk and apart from these two holiday isles, the rest of this lovely country is undeveloped and wonderfully unspoiled – avoid the cruise ship side of Grand Turk and you could easily still be in the early 19th century.
You won’t find theme parks to fill a family holiday here, but wild adventure and the world’s most beautiful beaches more than compensate.
Grace Bay is officially the world’s best beach and you’ll find it on Providenciales.
A dry, tropical climate with year-round sunshine and temperatures in December and January between 22 and 27˚C rising to 33˚C in hot, hot July.
Providenciales has 17 official beaches ranging from the powdery white sands of Grace Bay to pelican-friendly, West Harbour Bluff – good for caves and rock carvings too.
There are three national parks on Providenciales: Princess Alexandra – best for beaches; Chalk Sound – beautiful lagoons and tiny islets to explore; Northwest Point – wild seas, rugged cliffs and fantastic bird watching.
Provo Golf Club’s 18-hole course ranks in the Caribbean’s top 10.
Turks & Caicos has over 110km of coral reef barrier and is considered to be one of the world’s best diving destinations.
Providenciales specialises in all-inclusive family beach resorts and Grand Turk is the island for charming Colonial hotels and beachy self-catering.
The holiday capital of Turks & Caicos, Providenciales is the place for big beaches and luxurious family resorts. With three national parks, several marine and nature reserves, hectares of coast and a laid-back, beachy atmosphere it’s the perfect island for adventurous kids. Award winning dive schools teach children as young as six. Horse riding on the beach, dolphin spotting and snorkelling are much more fun than white-knuckle action. Kids can try all sorts of water sports for the first time in safe, calm waters. Then there are days out eco-touring, island hopping, caving, iguana watching and exploring – very little is off-limits to kids.
Protected by a barrier reef just over a kilometre offshore and covered in powdery fine seashell-sand, Grace Bay has been voted World’s Best Beach many times over. It’s on the north east coast of Providenciales, beautifully sheltered and stretches to between 5km and 12km (depending on which local you believe).
The capital of Turks & Caicos is a mecca for divers and a brief stop for most Caribbean cruises. Apart from that small flurry of activity this is a gorgeously sleepy island known best for serene beaches, lovely Colonial architecture, free-roaming donkeys and Creole traditions.
There’s very little public transport on Providenciales or Grand Turk and taxis are expensive. Hiring a car is the best option if you want to see more than just your beach and resort. Bikes are another good way to get about and most island roads are quiet enough to cycle safely. Almost all hotels will arrange transport for day trips and island hopping. Ferries run from Providenciales to Middle and North Caicos and there are flights from Providenciales to Grand Turk.