When I first heard about a friend going to Turks and Caicos, it took me a while to find it on the map- the tiny island is a hidden gem in the travel lists. I researched the island, and the pictures blew me away. I convinced my husband, and we booked a trip to get away from the cold North East.
Turks and Caicos is 37 miles long, and comprises of several islands with a population of 31,500, but Providenciales is the main island with a population of 23,800.
Most of the hotels are around the Grace Bay beach- it is a 11 km stretch of soft sand and stunning turquoise water. Grace Bay beach is voted as one of the best beaches in the world- and it isn’t hard to see why-Grace Bay beach is heaven on earth, but without being too touristy! What makes it my favorite place in the Caribbean?- there is always a cool breeze so you can stay in the beach all day!
What blew me away was the water was translucent- you can see the reefs from the flight!
The Grace Bay stretch has restaurants and bars so you don’t really need to travel for food or drinks!
Turks and Caicos are heaven for all things in the water- swimming, diving, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. The Turks and Caicos islands are bio-diversity hotspot, and the reefs are preserved as a national park where fishing is prohibited.
There are excursion trips available, where they take you snorkeling, then for a visit to iguana island. They camouflage well, but after a lot of effort I found a couple!
Another part of the tour- conching! A conch is a delicacy. An honest admission of my lack of knowledge- I always thought conches were not alive!
And of course, another special feature- the stunning sunsets!
Here are some other things you should know:
- You don’t need a visa if you are from India! (this is a rare privilege).
- The currency is US dollar.
- The weather is in the 80s between December and May. June to November is hurricane season.
- English is the spoken language.
- You don’t really need a car to go around. There are taxis available everywhere.
- It is one of the safety islands in the Caribbean, with the lowest crime rate.
- Heaven on earth does come at a price- apart from seafood, most of the supplies are imported with a 30% duty, so everything is expensive- almost New York prices! It makes sense to plan ahead and shop.
- There are a lot of options for food- but a word of caution for vegetarians- most restaurants are new to tourism, so they are not familiar with working with you to make things vegetarian. We spent a little more time figuring out which places had veggie options in the menu.
As I face my holiday blues, I sit back and dream about being back in the pristine and beautiful Turks and Caicos island!