Places to Go in Turks and Caicos
Turks & Caicos consists of about 40 islands and cays of which the main two are Providenciales, popular among tourists, and Grand Turk, the seat of the government and home to the capital of Cockburn Town. The islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The islands have one of the longest coral reefs in the world and are a very popular destination among snorkelers and scuba divers.
1. Cheshire Hall: The ruins of a 200 year old cotton plantation on Providenciales island offer a look into the island’s history and a beautiful natural landscape. From the great House atop a hill, you can get an excellent view of Provo.
2. Grand Turk Lighthouse: Originally built in 1852 and transported to the island from England, this working lighthouse is a great place to get a view of the North Atlantic Humpback Whales and North Creek.
3. Middle Caicos Caves: The largest chain of limestone caves in the Caribbean also forms a limestone cliffside along the Mudjidin Beach. Within the caves, you can see inscriptions dating back to the guano-mining period. You will need a guide to tour the caves.
4. The Hole: On Long Bay in Providenciales, you can swim at the bottom of this 40 foot deep limestone hole. Adventure travelers love this spot.
5. Turks & Caicos National Museum: Learn about the nautical and slave trade history of TCI. Exhibitions in this Grand Turk museum include ones on the Molasses Reef Wreck and the sinking of the Trouvadore.
6. Smith’s Reef: This snorkeler’s oasis is full of colorful marine wildlife. It is great for both advanced and novice snorkelers.
7. Governor's Beach: A main port for cruise vacationers, you can still find your own private spot of sand on this Grand Turk beach. It’s a great place for scuba diving, but one of the best things about this beach is the natural phenomenon called “green flash,” in which the sun turns from reddish orange to blueish green just prior to setting.
8. Grace Bay: One of the most popular beaches on Provo, has soft, ash-colored sand. The 12 miles of beach are next to a great little town filled with restaurants, homemade ice cream haunts, and shops. A must see spot on Grace Bay is Bight Reef, a great place to snorkel.
9. Provo Golf Club: This 18-holer is a unique setting for a golf outing. The course is lined with palm trees and limestone caves, flamingoes dot the course, and the tee markers are made from conch shells.
10. John Glenn Exhibit: This 3,500 square foot free attraction is filled with spacecraft replicas, including a life size 3-D model of John Glenn. The exhibit is also known as Splashdown Grand Turk, named after the 1962 crash of the Friendship 7 in the Atlantic Ocean just off Grand Turk island. A replica of the ship can be found in the exhibit.
Image by Tim Sackton on Flickr Creative Commons.