If you’re thinking of booking a dream trip to the Caribbean, the usual destinations which spring to mind are the likes of Barbados and Jamaica, but there’s one chain of islands which you’d be foolish to overlook!
The Turks & Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Lucayan Archipelago, and while many people don’t know about it, it makes for a great Caribbean holiday which is a little off the beaten track.
Here are our top three reasons to visit the Turks & Caicos islands ahead of the more popular islands.
Sure, you could say that the beaches are amazing all over the Caribbean, and you’d be right, but for such a small group of islands, it’s surprising just how many of the world’s best beaches are located in Turks & Caicos.
Grace Bay Beach is the most popular beach on the island, with numerous hotels lined up along it, and there’s good reason too.
Grace Bay has been named the best beach in the world by TripAdvisor and is known not just for its pristine white sands, but also as a very popular dive site.
The islands are surrounded by the third largest barrier reef in the world, with a vibrant and colourful collection of sea life to discover.
And Grace Bay isn’t the only beach worth visiting in Turks & Caicos, with the likes of Long Bay, Malcolm and Chalk Sound all offering beautiful but relatively quiet places to lay back and let the world pass you by.
It’s Tourist-Friendly but Not Too Busy
It’s always difficult trying to strike up a balance of a holiday destination which isn’t totally cut off and remote, but that isn’t heaving with other visitors.
Thankfully, the Turks & Caicos islands fall right into the sweet spot, with a booming tourist industry with plenty of resorts, restaurants and bars, but with few enough people so that you feel like you’ve got some breathing space.
We spoke to the staff at the Beach House all-inclusive resort on Grace Bay who said: “One of the great things about the islands is that until about 20 years ago, nobody even knew where they were, so they’re still relatively under the radar.
“This means that it’s a fantastic time to visit, before it gets too busy and overly developed like some of the other Caribbean islands.”
The islands are also home to some excellent restaurants, such as Cocovan, Coco Bistro and the Shay Café & Lounge.
However, it’s not just the cafes and restaurants that make the Turks & Caicos islands stand out, it’s also the street food too!
The national dish is the conch, which is served up in all manner of ways which you can think of, such as conch fritters and conch salad.
You can even visit the world’s only commercial conch farm, the Caicos Conch Farm, where you can learn all about how this intriguing creature is grown, and of course, try some for yourself!
Other Caribbean specialities such as jerk chicken and fresh seafood are also must-trys during your visit to Turks & Caicos!