Turks And Caicos Travel Guide: Trip To Providenciales

Are you planning to visit the dreamiest islands in Turks and Caicos? This Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide is here to help you plan your trip to Providenciales Island.

Turks and Caicos (TCI) Islands are one of the dreamiest of the Caribbean islands. With its stunning white-sand beaches, luxury resorts, excellent year-end temperature, and the world’s third-largest barrier reef system, TCI is a highly desirable Caribbean destination.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about traveling to Turks and Caicos for the first time. What to expect, what to do, where to eat, and how to travel on a budget.

You may also want to check out the TCI guide focused on families planning to visit Turks and Caicos with kids.

A girl with a sun hat  sitting on the shore overlooking ocean in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Travel Guide

Somewhere between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic is a beautiful country with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is mainly known for its white-sand beaches, luxury resorts, and pristine marine environment.

While TCI consists of 40 different islands, only eight are inhabited, the most popular tourist destination is Providenciales, also “Prove,” where most resorts, restaurants, and the world-famous Grace Bay Beach are found.

Flying to Turks and Caicos

Providenciales International Airport (PLS) makes it super easy for International travelers to arrive in Provo. The major US cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia are less than 4 hours away, which makes the trip incredibly convenient if you are traveling from one of the east coast cities in the USA.

If you are cruising instead of flying to TCI, all ships arrive on Grand Turk Island, and If you want to visit Providenciales from Grand Turk or vice versa, you must take a short local connecting flight.

If you plan to visit Providenciales, my guide will help organize a fantastic trip!

airplane window overlooking the Turks and Caicos Islands

About Turks and Caicos

Transportation – There is no public transportation in TCI. The best way to can get around is by car or taxi.

Language & Visa – The official language is English. English is the official language of Turks and Caicos. US citizens do not require visas to enter turks and Caicos. However, if you are planning an extended stay (Over 90 days) or are not a US citizen, you may need to apply for a visa. For more information, click here.

Currency – Although the TCI is a U.K. territory, the United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency.

Electricity – The Turks and Caicos Islands use 120v, 60Hz electricity, and U.S.- style power plugs. Thus, no adapters or converters are needed if you visit the USA.

Climate – Like other Caribbean islands, TCI is blessed with all-year-round warm temperatures ranging from 74-84 Fahrenheit. Hurricane season usually takes place between August to October. (You can get cheap deals during these months).

Safety – The Turks and Caicos are among the safest countries in the Caribbean. However, that does not mean you should not take any precautions. Avoid leaving your valuables unattended, walking in the dark, and visiting remote or isolated areas.

Food Conch is the National Food of the Island Nation. The most popular conch food choice is the conch fritters. I am not a big seafood person, but I was pretty pleased with those! The best place to try the conch is at the famous Da Conch Shack on Providenciales, which offers a variety of conch dishes.

Tipping – Tipping is similar to the tipping customs in the U.S. Always check your bill for an automatic service charge, which could be up to 10-15%. And, of course, if you receive exceptional treatment, you may give your server more than the standard 20%.

Getting Around

There is no public transportation in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The best way to get around is by taxi or car rental. You won’t find Uber or Lyft here, but you will spot conch cabs that operate similarly on the Island of Providenciales.

The most budget-friendly option is to rent a car, but check your travel itinerary first and see if you need one. TCI is U.K. territory. Therefore, you will have to drive on your left side, which could be quite an adjustment for some.

We did not rent a car on this trip. Our hotel had a shuttle to the main town, where we shopped for groceries, and our excursions organized our transportation. We called a taxi when we ate outside the resort, but that was about it.

Where to Stay in Turks And Caicos

Providenciales Island (Provo) is the most popular tourist destination in TCI. The world’s famous 12-Mile long Grace Bay Beach has many luxury resorts, turquoise water, and beachfront restaurants.

Where to Stay in Providenciales

As mentioned earlier, Providenciales is well known for its beautiful Grace Bay beach. Also, did you know that Grace Bay Beach was voted the #1 best beach in the World by Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards in 2022? Surreal to think that we were just there!

Grace Bay Resorts

For more flexibility, you can choose from multiple hotels to stay in Grace Bay Beach, from well-known Beaches resorts to Airbnb vacation rentals. Below, I am listing a few best options for couples and families.

Beaches Turks & Caicos – where families come together. Beaches resort is an all-inclusive Caribbean paradise. It is located on Grace Bay beach, offering couples and families the ultimate beach fun. With its 45,000 sqr feet water park, 21 gourmet restaurants, and ten swimming pools, you will not get bored.

Windsong on the Reef – We stayed in this resort. We found Windsong to be a little more budget-friendly and quiet, with large rooms and suites with a kitchen! If you travel with kids, you know space is a luxury. The resort owns 133 meters of private beach and a private reef that guests can enjoy.

Seven Stars Resort & Spa – This resort has the only heated saltwater pool on the Island. In addition, It is equipped with water sports, basketball, and tennis courts. Perfect for couples and families looking to stay on Grace Bay Beach.

Grace Bay Club – Ideal for couples and adults traveling without kids. You will enjoy romantic dinners in its luxury restaurants and sunset strolls on Grace Bay beach. This hotel has villas as well as suites. Families are welcome in mansions, but the suites are adults-only, making those perfect for couples.

The Oases at Grace Bay – A more affordable option located in the laid-back grace bay of TCI. The Oases at Grace bay is a boutique hotel with only sixteen suites and excellent water and land activities to keep you busy.

Como Parrot Cay – Top luxury boutique hotel in Turks and Caicos. The whole hotel speaks elegance. Guests have their private balconies or terrace attached to their suites. You will undoubtedly enjoy their open-air yoga classes in the morning if you love yoga. In addition, the resort has a holistic spa, Japanese baths, and an infinity pool to add to the luxury and relaxation.

mom and son captured walking in the windsong resort, Turks and Caicos
Windsong on the Reef

Best Things to do in Providenciales, TCI

The best thing you can do in TCI is to relax! As a travel blogger and always on the go, I do not remember the last time I had so much time to stay in one place and do nothing. Much needed.

While relaxing is unavoidable in TCI, there are plenty of activities that you can choose from to cross off your bucket list. I am listing our favorites!

Snorkeling in Turks and Caicos

Snorkeling is a must! TCI has the third-largest barrier reef in the world. So get ready to experience stunning marine life from adorable sea turtles, starfish, eagle rays, and colorful corals. We snorkeled right in front of our resort by the shore most days.

If you want to take the snorkeling experience from the shore to another level, we highly recommend signing up for Caicos Dream Tours. Our experience with them was beyond amazing.

The tour included a snorkeling adventure into the barrier reef and a stop at Half Moon Bay. While I did not go snorkeling and stayed with my son on the boat (he insisted), we could still see plenty of fish from above.

My husband went with the tour and brought back some underwater footage, including chasing reef sharks with a go-pro that he still cannot stop talking about. Check out Instagram highlights.

This snorkeling tour was full of fun, laughter, snacks, and drinks and was very family-friendly!

two iguanas captured
woman sitting in the sand smiling next to iguana

Hang Out With Iguanas at Little Water Cay Little Water Cay, also called the Iguana Island, is one of the top tourist attractions in Providenciales. You will find many boats and charters coming here. Here you will find rock iguanas relaxing at the beach, not caring about humans walking among them (but remember not to feed them). Suppose you happen to visit Half Moon Bay instead; no worries. We spotted at least 10 Iguanas relaxing at the beach when we arrived. They usually find their way here from Little Water Cay.

Relax at Half Moon Bay – Between Little Water Cay and Water Cay, you will find the Half Moon Bay beach. Another popular place for picnics and excursions. The water on the beach is beyond turquoise. Our tour stopped here to check out Iguanas and relax at the beach for about an hour, but time flew quickly! We loved the beach a lot!

Semi Submarine Tour Undersea Explorer is fantastic for families with smaller kids. It feels like a short trip through the reefs, but it is just enough and well worth the investment. A guide and the captain were on the lookout to help us navigate. For the entire 45 minutes, we were excited to find turtles, stingrays, and many different types of fish, and we even got to see a nurse shark.

Tip: if you feel uncomfortable with the closed space for too long, you may go upstairs anytime for fresher air and return. Watch my stories on Instagram to have more idea of what to expect.

girl smiling sitting inside the semi-submirine boat: One of the Top Turks and Caicos things to do

Go Horseback Riding at the Beach – if you search on the web what is the best thing to do in TCI, you will most likely end up with horseback riding in Providenciales as the top thing to do. Make sure you pre-schedule your tour, as it is a very demanding excursion. We could not experience it due to age restrictions for our toddler, but everyone we asked about the experience had something positive to say.

Experience Clear Kayak in the Blue – Have you ever dreamt of being in a transparent kayak surrounded by nothing but turquoise water? Take your water adventure to another level and sign up for one of the most popular clear kayak tours around Mangrove Cay.

If you are not up for a few hours of excursion because of age restrictions in the family or other reasons, there is another way to experience the transparent Kayak. You can sign up for a drone photoshoot near the shore. Since we had a small kid with us, we chose this option. My Time Tours captured beautiful memories for us. I loved it because they made it feel like an experience, not just a photo shoot.

mom dad and child sitting in clear kayak by the shore in providenciales Turks and Caicos
drone caption of a woman lying on clear kayak in the ocean. Turks and caicos things to do

Fish Fry Festival – This popular festival/event takes place in Providenciales every Thursday, and it is free! This is where locals, vendors, and tourists come together. Here you will have some delicious food and drinks and enjoy live entertainment. Due to Covid-19, the event was closed when we visited. Make sure you check it out when you visit!

Chase the Sunset – Sunsets are beautiful, but sunsets on Grace Bay Beach are extraordinary. Enjoy it every evening if possible.

Turks and Caicos Travel Guide: Where to eat

Da Conch Shack – If you have never tried the conch, chances are you will try one in Turks & Caicos. There is a variety of those offered on their menus. But if you try, do it at the Conch Shack Restaurant. The conch shack restaurant & bar is on the beach, loaded with all types of seafood you can ask for besides the conch. It is a casual environment. There is a stand outside with all the conch decor and island things for sale, so check them out before you head back.

girl overlooking the ocean while having a drink in her hands sitting by the table at the conch shack restaurant in Turks and Caicos

Somewhere Cafe & Lounge – hands down, our favorite restaurant in TCI. Located right on Grace Bay beach, this two-story casual cafe was our go-to for lunch and dinners. (they also offer breakfast). It was only a 5-minute walk from our resort. The food was very reasonably priced and delicious. Our favorites were burritos and tacos. From drinks, the Island’s specialty rum punch! Not to mention the service was terrific! Watch their Facebook page for live music schedules and other events.

Coco Bistro – Do you have a special occasion or want to experience something a little more unique? Then head towards the Coco Bistro for the delightful island ambiance. It is located in the center of Grace Bay and within walking distance from most resorts. Here you will find tables under the beautiful palm trees with coconuts hanging, and the culinary experience is one of the best in Turks & Caicos.

Coco Van – For more affordable and casual evenings, try coco van! A fantastic option for someone who wants quality food and drinks with reasonable spending.

Gateway Gourmet – You may have heard that Turks & Caicos is not very cheap for food. Our hotel offered a service once a day. I highly recommend visiting a local grocery store to stock up on snacks and drinks.

couple captured cheering glasses at the beachfront restaurant in Turks and caicos

Turks and Caicos Travel Guide: Is TCI Kid Friendly?

Absolutely! If your kids love the beach, sand, boat rides, and chasing beautiful fish, TCI is ideal. With your help, they will discover and learn more about marine life and different types of fish. Most resorts will have kids’ snorkeling rafts to use. Our son is two, but he still loves exploring the underwater world on the beach and during semi-submarine excursions.

Turks and Caicos Travel Restrictions

As of now, Turks and Caicos are open to tourism. No quarantine is required upon arrival. But there are specific requirements to follow to enter the islands. For entry requirements and to stay up to date with Island Covid regulations, it is best to follow the TCI Travel info.

What to Pack

Here are some must-bring items, but check out the ultimate beach vacation packing list for the complete guide and product recommendations.

  • Dry Bag
  • Rashguards for kids
  • Sunhat
  • Camera
  • Go-pro
  • Waterproof Bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Shoes
  • Reef Safe Sunscreens
  • Light Layers for evening
  • Lightweight umbrella (for wet season)

Below are some of our favorite travel gear

[shopr collection=”travel-essentials”]
girl happily sitting at the beach with a white dress on overlooking the ocean

Turks and Caicos Travel Guide: How to Stay Within Budget

There is no arguing that Turks and Caicos is a luxury travel destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can easily spend $1,500-$5,000 per person here (for a week-long vacation). While things can certainly add up, you can ensure that your holiday does not exceed your budget and stick to your plan.

  • Plan your trip as early as possible and use travel points.
  • Travel during off-peak season. March and May are usually lower in prices and crowd.
  • Opt out of all-inclusive hotel deals. While those are very convenient, you will save more when booking services individually.
  • Shop local groceries and stock up on snacks and breakfast/lunch items. Skip eating at restaurants three times a day. Food in Turks and Caicos is mainly imported and not cheap. Try local restaurants. Keep in mind beachfront restaurants are more expensive.
  • Rent a car to avoid the taxi costs if you travel a lot.
  • Cut on some excursions. There are many beautiful things to do and see but pick something that will not break the bank.
  • Skip travel agents and put your trip yourself.

I hope this Turks and Caicos Travel Guide will help you plan your dream vacation. If you have been to TCI, please share your experience in the comment section.

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  1. Lovely blog! Going with my family this week to TCI! We love traveling have seeN many places but this our first time to TCI

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