It’s Island Time! Fun Things To Do in Turks and Caicos

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Ocean Club Resorts Turks and Caicos Review - Grace Bay Beach.
Grace Bay Beach. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is a British Overseas Territory located in the Atlantic Ocean, just north of the Caribbean Sea. It consists of more than 40 islands and uninhabited cays, including eight major islands: Providenciales, Grand Turk, Middle Caicos, West Caicos, North Caicos, East Caicos, South Caicos, and Salt Cay. The most populated island is Providenciales, or Provo as the locals say. If you’re flying from the U.S., you’ll land in Provo. If you’re coming by cruise ship, you’ll dock at Grand Turk.

TCI is known for its exceptional barrier reef, diverse marine life, white sand and striking turquoise water. It attracts scuba divers and snorkelers, as well as travelers looking for a laid-back beach getaway. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Turks and Caicos.

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Rum punch from the Provo Fish Fry.
Rum punch from the Provo Fish Fry. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Things To Do on Providenciales

You can see the entire island of Provo in about an hour, which makes it an easy place to explore, even if you don’t want to rent a car (and drive on the left side of the road). Taxis can take you everywhere you need to go.  

Grace Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in the world, according to the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice awards, which makes it a popular place to stay. Oceanfront resorts offer easy access to power-soft white sand beaches and a host of water sports, from water skiing to parasailing. You can rent jet skis and catamarans on the beach, or venture over to Turtle Cove Marina to find boat tours and fishing operators. In the other direction, Long Bay Beach is a great spot for kitesurfing.

Read More: Review of Ocean Club Resorts on Grace Bay Beach: Two Resorts for the Price of One

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Grace Bay Beach boasts white sand and clear, blue water.
Grace Bay Beach boasts white sand and clear, blue water. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Scuba Dive and Snorkel

To fully appreciate the biodiversity of Turks and Caicos, you’ll want to spend time underwater in the world’s third-largest coral reef system. Join a scuba diving excursion to dive sites with sunken shipwrecks or snorkel right from the shore. Here are some great places to try.

  • Smith’s Reef. Located near Turtle Cove Marina, Smith’s Reef is the best easily accessible snorkeling spot on the island. You may see green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and spotted eagle rays. At night, you could encounter an octopus.
  • Bight Reef. Also called Coral Gardens, this shore snorkeling spot is a 10-minute walk from Beaches Turks and Caicos. It’s a popular spot for sea turtles, but be careful of nearby boat traffic.
  • Sapodilla Bay. This small sheltered cove with shallow water is one of the safest beaches for snorkeling. Its underwater experience isn’t as rewarding as Smith’s Reef and Bight Reef, but you may see conch and starfish.

Kayak and Stand-up Paddleboard

  • Grace Bay Beach. Weather permitting, you can enjoy water sports on the beach of your Turks and Caicos hotel. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals are free at Ocean Club Resorts, for instance.
  • Chalk Sound National Park. This national park has hundreds of tiny limestone islands, which makes it an interesting place to see by kayak or SUP. The clear water here is shallow and you may spot barracudas and lemon sharks.
  • Mangrove Cay. Kayak or SUP on a small, scenic island of red mangroves. Guided eco-tours are available to explore the mangrove wetlands and estuaries. Some tours offer an intro to paddling course for beginners.
Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Ocean Club Resorts on Grace Bay Beach.
Ocean Club Resorts on Grace Bay Beach. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Walk a Puppy on Grace Bay Beach

Potcake Place is a nonprofit on Provo that is trying to solve the stray dog problem in Turks and Caicos. Part of its program is to socialize puppies to prepare them for adoption. You can help by scooping up a rescue pup for a morning walk, to help it get comfortable around people. It’s free and a fun way to enjoy Grace Bay Beach with a dog.  

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Stroll along the blue water of Grace Bay with a Potcake pup.
Stroll along the blue water of Grace Bay with a Potcake pup. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Horseback Ride on the Beach

Provo Ponies started as a rescue operation more than 20 years ago and now offers horseback riding through the shallow water on Long Bay Beach. Kids as young as 7 can join in the fun — guide-led ponies are available for small children. If you’re staying in Grace Bay, transportation can be arranged for $15.50 per person roundtrip.  

Other tour companies have horseback riding around the island, such as Unique Tours & Rentals Ltd. which operates near Smith’s Reef.

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Horseback riding past Da Conch Shack, near Smith’s Reef.
Horseback riding past Da Conch Shack, near Smith’s Reef. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Eat Conch Fritters With a View

Head to Da Conch Shack for Johnny fries, conch salad, and rum punch. You won’t find a better vibe for dinner or drinks and live music on the beach. Check the website for the music schedule and make plans to see the local Junkanoo band perform while you eat.

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Try local favorite dishes at Da Conch Shack.
Try local favorite dishes at Da Conch Shack. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Visit Turks and Caicos Rock Lizards

Turks and Caicos National Trust Guides provide onsite tours of Little Water Cay, also known as Iguana Island. This small cay near Leeward is a sanctuary for the Turks and Caicos Islands rock iguana. It has two boardwalk trails that allow you to see the iguanas without endangering the underground iguana burrows and nests.

Island Fish Fry

On Thursday nights, the Provo Fish Fry dishes up local food alongside vendors, a DJ, and live music. Entry is free, but bring cash to spend on plates of mac and cheese, rum pineapple drinks, and island souvenirs. Toward the end of the evening, you can watch Junkanoo musicians perform.  

Read more: 7 Best All-Inclusive Resorts on Turks and Caicos

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Members of the Junkanoo band.
Members of the Junkanoo band. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Things To Do on North and Middle Caicos

If you have the time, take a day trip to North and Middle Caicos to see the high limestone cliffs and beaches in Mudjin Harbour, hike the Crossing Place Trail, and visit two popular caves. Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos is the largest non-submerged cave system in the Bahamas-Turks and Caicos archipelago.

Things To Do on East Caicos

Located between Middle and South Caicos, East Caicos is the largest uninhabited island in Turks and Caicos. It also has an extensive cave system, though not as large as the Conch Bar Caves.

Things To Do on Grand Turk

If your cruise has a port day in Turks and Caicos, you’ll be exploring the island of Grand Turk. You can walk along a rugged stretch of the coast near the port, join an excursion or strike out on your own to see more of the island.

Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Beach near Grand Turk Cruise Port.
Beach near Grand Turk Cruise Port. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Here are a few popular port day outings on Grand Turk.

  • Gibbs Cay. Also known as Stingray Cay, this small island is about a mile off the coast of Grand Turk. Take a snorkeling tour to have close encounters with stingrays.
  • Governor’s Beach. Located between Cruise Center and Cockburn Town, the capital of TCI, this is the best beach on Grand Turk. It’s only about a mile from the Cruise Center, but there’s no safe way to walk so you’ll want to take a taxi. Confirm the rate before getting in — it should only be about $4.
  • Grand Turk Lighthouse. The shallows near the Grand Turk Lighthouse are an ideal feeding ground for wading birds, including wild flamingos if you’re lucky.  
Things To Do in Turks and Caicos - Flamingos at the beach near the Grand Turk Lighthouse.
Flamingos at the beach near the Grand Turk Lighthouse. Photo credit: R.C. Staab
When not running around on adventures with her five children, Heidi Gollub volunteers for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and creates content for the local news. She frequently appears on television and was recently a speaker at Mom 2.0 and the Texas Conference for Women.
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