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What to See and Do in Turks and Caicos Islands

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With turquoise water and powdery sand beaches, Turks and Caicos Islands are the perfect setting for a vacation of rest and relaxation: Kick back with a cocktail, grab a book, and soak up some sun. If you like being active, you can snorkel and scuba dive amid colourful coral reefs, play golf, and explore underground caves and heritage sites.

Scuba diving and snorkeling

 

If you’re after underwater adventures, Grand Turk is chock-full of them. Don't miss the reef on the west side of the island that slopes gently downward until it suddenly drops 7,000 feet, revealing astounding views. Rent gear or bring your own, and join a team of divers to see up close Nassau groupers, puffers, trumpetfish, and other species that inhabit the ocean. Vivid tube sponges and different kinds of coral provide rainbow colours in the deep blue waters around Grand Turk, which average mid-80 degrees F in summer, and only 8 to 10 degrees less in winter.

 

  • Oasis Divers, Duke Street, Cockburn Town, Turks and Caicos Islands; Tel: +1 800 892 3995; Website: Oasis Divers

Underground caves

 

On Middle Caicos, in the little village of Conch Bar, you'll find a protected network of underground caverns. At Conch Bar Caves, a heritage site, you can wander among stalactites and stalagmites growing from eroded limestone. Four species of bats occupy the caves, so you’re likely to see a few - or the owls that also share this habitat. Pools of naturally collected water are home to various species of crustaceans. Take care to wear good shoes and breathable clothing if you go on a cave tour, as maneuvers can be challenging in the caves’ confined spaces.

 

  • Conch Bar Caves, Conch Bar, Middle Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands; Tel: +1 649 941 5710; Website: Conch Bar Caves

 

Grand Turk Cruise centre

 

The centre is a 1-stop hub for entertainment, relaxation, and shopping. It features spots like FlowRider® - a water attraction where you can try bodyboarding or surfing on an artificial wave - a NASA exhibit, and duty-free shopping at Dufry. Guests can also take advantage of free chaise longues near the beach, get a massage with shore-side service provided by Spa Turkoise, or rent a poolside private cabana for the day. Or you can just relax at the port and watch the cruise ships dock.

 

 

Conch farm, humpback whales

 

Turks and Caicos offer a flourishing habitat for animals and the opportunity for visitors to learn more about them. At Caicos Conch Farm on Providenciales, the only one of its kind, you can learn how Caribbean queen conchs are raised from larva to maturity. Guests can also touch the animals, take in a show starring trained conchs, and buy a few fresh to eat. For something on a much grander scale, in late winter and early spring you can watch humpback whales on their migration route near Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

 

  • Caicos Conch Farm, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands; Tel: +1 649 946 5330; Website: Caicos Conch Farm

 

Historic plantations

 

History buffs can head to Cheshire Hall to see one of Providenciales’ heritage sites. The 200-year-old ruins were once a cotton plantation with slaves. Now well preserved, they serve as a reminder of the islands’ colonial past. Wade’s Green Plantation, on the island of Kew, is one of the best examples of a Loyalist site in the Caribbean. Nicknamed “Bellefield,” the site nowadays celebrates emancipation via reenactments and other performances.