Turks and Caicos islands for Kids
Here you can stay put on the main island of Providenciales (Provo) with its incredible 12-mile Grace Bay Beach and full-on family resorts, many with condo-style rooms with kitchens, or head out to the Sister Islands where life slows down and quirky local culture emerges, while accommodation choices are privately owned B&Bs, old-fashioned beach resorts and eco lodges.
Families in search of the very best in Caribbean beach holidays and those with an adventurous streak will love it. It’s safe, friendly and accessible for families with plenty to see and do.
Whether it’s building sandcastles on the beach, learning to snorkel or scuba dive (the islands are home to the third largest barrier reef in the world), watch whales migrate off Salt Cay (February to April), enjoy eco-tours and historical sites or say hi to a real live conch.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust welcomes children at all its sites including Cheshire Hall Plantation on Provo, Wade’s Green Plantation at Kew on North Caicos, the Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos with its bat population and of course a trip to Little Water Cay to see the rare rock iguanas up close.
Reef Peepers glass bottom boat tours are fabulous for kids and if they’re feeling confident enough they can also snorkel. Or how about Undersea Explorer Tours, a semi-submarine lined with glass windows?
If you want an all singing-all dancing, all-inclusive family resort, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa is the bee’s knees. Children will enjoy hours of fun at the Pirates Island Waterpark, featuring nine slides, a lazy river and thrilling surf simulator; the exclusive scuba programme; Sesame Street activities with Big Bird and the gang; gaming at the Xbox 360 Play Lounge, not to mention the state-of-the-art Scratch DJ Academy and ultra-cool Liquid teen night club. Seven nights all-inclusive at Beaches Turks & Caicos for a family of four costs from £7,269 with flights and transfers included.
Beaches’ Key West Luxury Village opened in May 2013 adding to the choice of accommodation.
The Gansvoort is a surprisingly family-friendly one for parents who enjoy a bit of design lux.
And if you want to up the ante to a private island resort, chi-chi Parrot Cay lays out the red carpet for kids. Two new two-bedroom beach houses are ideal for families of four. Family packages include excursions to Iguana Island and Sand Dollar Island, sailing and windsurfing lessons, family cooking class or castaway picnic.
If you want to get away from it all, book Pelican Beach Hotel right on North Caicos’ castaway beach at Whitby with just 10 modest rooms and great homemade food. Or an eco cottage at Blue Horizon Resort on remote Middle Caicos with stunning Mudjin Harbour on the doorstep is also ideal.
For self-catering there are 80 villas to rent across the islands such as Villa Mirabelle right on Sapodilla Bay in Provo. This hacienda style, five-bedroom villa has a private pool and lush garden right onto the beach.
How to get there: British Airways flies every Sunday from London Heathrow with a stop over in the Bahamas from £951 return.
Travel time: A flight from London takes 12 hours.
Top tip: Enjoy a twin-centre holiday to New York City and Turks & Caicos. JetBlue has daily service from New York JFK. Flight time 3 hours.