Turks and Caicos
Read our pocket guide to Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos: A pocket guide
One of the last spots in the Caribbean that hasn’t yet been over-run with tourists, the 40 low-lying coral islands of Turks and Caicos offer a discreet holiday destination for the elite looking to escape the glitz of the Bahamas. The islands, which are just southeast of the Bahamas, have been part of Britain for over 200 years and are especially popular with British travelers. The main sports activities here are paddleboarding, swimming, and snorkeling in the calm, clear waters; diving with green turtles and lobsters; and kayaking through the canopied channels of the dense mangrove forests. Providenciales, or “Provo,” is the most developed of the islands and home to the subtle but glamorous 12-mile Grace Bay Beach, as well as some of the finest hotels and exclusive vacation rentals, all of which include exceptional spa facilities and even championship-caliber golf courses. A long coral reef protects Grace Bay, attracting an abundance of colorful marine life. For the best snorkeling conditions, charter a boat and head to Smith’s Reef, where the water is shallow enough for an excellent a family outing. Though Grace Bay Beach has everything you need, don’t miss out on the less populated islets such as Iguana Island, an aptly named nature preserve, and Water Cay, where the sugary white sands of Half Moon Bay form a crescent framed by limestone cliffs. Daily boat trips can be chartered at your request and often include a sampling of the ever-popular Caribbean rum punch.