Travel Guide to Visit Turks and Caicos
I have only ever visited Turks & Caicos once before this trip. It was a quick day visit to Grand Turk while on a cruise, so I missed out on visiting the popular island of Providenciales. Since then, I’ve dreamed of coming back to see the turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches.
This recent trip was to the Caicos Islands where we stayed in Providenciales. Providenciales is the most popular island for tourists and after spending the week there I can see why. It’s filled with beautiful beaches, resorts, water activities and plenty of seafood dining.
This weeklong trip was hosted by CheapCaribbean. CheapCaribbean is a travel company that offers package deals to the Caribbean that will fit any budget. Consumers can purchase the “Beach Crawl Package” to visit Turks and Caicos, which is the exact same trip I did. It’s a 5-night, 6-day trip with hotel, airfare, breakfast, ground transportation and excursions included every day!
About Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is a group of 40 islands in the Caribbean but is part of British territory. There are the larger Caicos Islands to the west and the smaller Turks Islands to the east.
Providenciales is the third largest but most populated island within the Caicos Islands. It’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches including Grace Bay Beach, where we stayed.
The Best Time to Visit Turks and Caicos
There’s truly no bad time to visit Turks and Caicos. The islands are beautiful year-round. You’ll see lesser crowds and cheaper prices in April and May though.
The temperatures are perfect throughout the year. Even in the coldest month, lows are still around 73 degrees Fahrenheit. In the warmer months, highs are around 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like the rest of the Caribbean, Turks & Caicos experiences a rainy season from June to November which can come with the threat of a hurricane. We visited in the first week of November and only had one day of rain that lasted a few hours.
Getting to Turks & Caicos
Providenciales International Airport (PLS), is the only airport in Turks and Caicos that welcomes international flights. PLS is a 15-minute drive to Grace Bay which means you’ll be relaxing on the beach shortly after landing. With the “Beach Crawl Package” that you can purchase from CheapCaribbean, they book your travel and ground transportation for you.
If you visit Turks and Caicos by cruise ship, you’ll be coming into Grand Turk which is part of the Turks Islands. This port is 70 miles east of Providenciales, so you won’t be able to see it if your cruise is only stopping for the day. On the plus side, not having cruise ships come into Providenciales keeps the island a little bit quieter for those who fly in.
Where to stay in Providenciales
There are many hotels in Providenciales to choose from to fit your budget. The “Bar Crawl Package” provides accommodation at Seven Stars Resort & Spa along Grace Bay Beach and I can’t recommend this spot enough. It’s in a central location with grocery stores, shopping, and dining options within walking distance. The hotel also offers free rental bicycles if you want to get around town a little bit faster.
Seven Stars Resort has 115 rooms with one, two and three bedroom suite options. You can choose between ocean facing or island facing and all rooms come with a balcony. It was so nice waking up each morning and enjoying an espresso on the balcony while watching the sun come up. Truly paradise.
There are multiple dining spots on the property including a sit-down restaurant or a quicker option on the pool deck. Breakfast is included free with your room each day. It’s buffet style with warm and cold breakfast options including an omlette station.
Seven Stars also has a spa, water activities, tennis courts and hosted yoga classes. There are 3 pools on the property including an adults-only option if you’re looking for a quieter space. I found the pools to be fairly empty most days since most people sat at the beach instead. The beaches have chairs with umbrellas and a wait staff if you’d like to order food or drinks.
What to do & see
CheapCaribbean hosted a ton of great activities for our group throughout the week. All these activities are included in the “Beach Crawl” package that you can purchase for your trip! It was great having daily activities organized for us in advance. This took the stress away from planning my own activities and having to coordinate my own logistics.
Enjoy a Catamaran Tour
On our first full day, we set off on an all-day catamaran tour hosted by Grace Bay Watersports. They picked us up from our hotel on the water on a boat called “Island Queen.”
We spent the first few hours cruising around the waters and taking in the views. Later in the morning we stopped by an abandoned pirate ship that sits in the middle of the ocean. A few of us more adventurous people in the group even climbed the pirate ship and jumped in the water with a 30 ft drop.
After the thrill of jumping in the water, we played it safe at sea level and went snorkeling. It was great seeing all the sea life below!
As the day went on, our private catamaran pulled up to a few remote beaches where we were able to get off and explore. At one of the beach stops, our tour guides cooked us an amazing seafood lunch right on the beach. They called it “island style” and it was amazing!
This was the one day we experienced a little rain, but it wasn’t really bad after spending the whole morning in the water anyway.
Explore North Caicos & Middle Caicos Islands
North Caicos and Middle Caicos are the largest islands in the country. The two are connected by a road causeway so it’s easy to explore both in one day. However, neither island is connected to Providenciales, so you’ll need to travel by ferry if you’re looking to explore this part of the country.
On North Caicos Island, we visited Wade’s Green Plantation. This is a historical site managed by Turks & Caicos National Trust. The tour was 30 minutes long and was very fascinating to learn more of the history of the islands.
There are multiple buildings to see on the plantation tour which are all still standing after hundreds of years. Warning: this tour is pretty heavily covered by trees, bushes and plants so don’t forget to pack your bug spray.
On Middle Caicos Island we visited the Conch Bar Caves. It is the largest above-ground cave system in the Bahamas-Turks and Caicos Islands archipelago. These caves are home to four species of bats, which you will see during your tour.
Don’t worry though, the bats aren’t flying around everywhere the whole time. Since bats are nocturnal, they’ll mostly be sleeping when you visit. However, we did see a few of them moving from one hole to the next.
Upon arrival at the caves, you’ll be handed a flashlight which is helpful to guide you through the darker areas that are deep inside. Please keep in the mind that the caves do not have a developed pathway, so I suggest wearing tennis shoes and stay very cautious as you walk around.
Kayak through the Mangroves & Visit Iguana Island
This was my favorite activity of the week. Turks & Caicos is famous for its crystal-clear water, so I was excited for a slower tour that’s closer to the water. CheapCaribbean booked our tours through Big Blue Collective Kayak Eco Tour.
We did a 4-hour tour which included a lunch break at Little Water Cay, also known as Iguana Island. It sounds like a lengthy tour, but it went by quickly with all the stops we made to look at sea life and including lunch. On this guided tour, we saw sea turtles, baby sharks and some birds closer to the mangroves. I’ve never been so close to a sea turtle before, it was amazing!
On the lunch break at Iguana Island, you exit your kayak and leave it up on the shore. We were given an hour to walk through the pathway on the island, stop in the visitor center, wade in the water and of course, see all the iguanas!
Warning: these iguanas are not very fearful of humans. Several of them walked right up to our group less than a foot away. It gave me a great chance to take photos but if you get scared with wild animals being so close, I recommend keeping some distance. Please also DO NOT feed the iguanas.
The downtown shopping district is only a 10-minute walk or 5-minute bike ride from Seven Stars Resort. There are restaurants, cafes and stores that sell all sorts of gifts and souvenirs.
We spent about 2.5 hours in this area on our last day, so you don’t need to budget too much time to visit. This allowed us enough time to eat lunch and visit 5-6 stores.
Where to Eat in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Trying the local cuisine is always my favorite part of traveling. Below are some of my favorite spots we ate out throughout the week.
The first 3 restaurants were official stops along our “Beach Crawl” hosted by CheapCaribbean. They chose some of the islands most popular places. The last 3 restaurants I went to on my own and they were equally as good.
Omars Beach Hut
This was the first stop on our “Beach Crawl”. It’s a 15-minute drive south-west of Seven Stars Resort along the south facing Caribbean shore. They had excellent appetizers and a front row to ocean views. We were here before sunset so the vibe felt like a fun happy hour spot.
While you’re at Omars Beach Hut, you can walk a few steps down the beach to check out Bugaloos. These guys can make a great beachy cocktail. The vibe is a little more intimate with string lights and seating available in the sand or even the water. It started raining while we were here, so we moved inside which was equally as nice.
Da Conch Shack
I read a lot about this famous restaurant while planning my trip and it met all my expectations. It has primarily outdoor seating in the sand with long picnic tables large enough to host any size party. It was already past sunset when we got here but if you visit during the day, you can take in views of the water just steps away.
Their name speaks for itself, they’re famous for conch! If you’re not familiar with conch, it’s a tropical marine mollusk with a spiral shell that you can eat. You can’t visit Turks and Caicos and not try conch at least once. We had it literally every day of our trip and we obviously saved room for a little more at this stop of the beach crawl.
This restaurant is located in the downtown shopping district that I talked about earlier in this blog post. It’s an Irish themed pub that’s known for live music and sports. It definitely draws a crowd for its nightlife.
If you want to check them out in a quiet environment, stop by for lunch like we did. We sat on the outdoor patio which was great to enjoy the weather and people watch.
Skull Rock Cantina
On the other side of Seven Stars Resort from downtown, you’ll find another smaller yet still fun district of shops and restaurants. Skull Rock Cantina is one of the spots we dined at. You can’t go wrong with giant margaritas and nachos in a lively environment.
If you’re craving Mediterranean, you have to eat at Turks Kebab. We got carry out early in the week but they also have a cute outdoor dining patio.
The doner kebab and hummus were both great and were a nice change from the seafood that we were eating all week.
Our visit to Turks and Caicos was incredible and I’m already missing the view of those bright blue waters. CheapCaribbean made the entire week such a treat. You can take the exact same trip that I did by booking through CheapCaribbean and searching for the Beach Crawl package. Treat yourself to paradise in Turks and Caicos!
Have any questions about the places I talked about in this post? Leave them in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram.
RELATED: If you liked this beachy itinerary, check out my blog post HERE on what to do in Ixtapa, Mexico.
SAVE THIS POST TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS: