This Ultimate Turks and Caicos Travel Guide is here to help you plan your trip to Providenciales, TCI. Also, this guide, as many of ours, is kid-friendly. I hope it will help you plan an unforgettable family vacation!
Turks and Caicos (TCI) Islands are one of the dreamiest of the Caribbean islands. With its stunning white-sand beaches and luxury resorts, excellent year-end temperature, and the world’s third-largest barrier reef system, TCI is a highly desirable Caribbean destination.
Turks and Caicos Travel Guide
Somewhere in between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, there is a beautiful country with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is mainly known for white-sand beaches, luxury resorts, and a pristine marine environment.
While TCI consists of 40 different islands, only eight are inhabited. The most popular tourist destination is Providenciales, also “Prove,” where you can find most resorts, restaurants, and the world-famous Grace Bay Beach.
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 will need to take a short local connecting flight.
If you plan to visit Providenciales, my guide is to help you put together a fantastic trip!
About Turks and Caicos
Language – The official language is English.
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.
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 either, 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 the transportation for us. 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. At the world’s famous 12-Mile long Grace Bay Beach, you can find 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 has been voted as 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
You can choose from multiple hotels to stay in Grace Bay beach, from well-known Beaches resort to Airbnb vacation rentals for more flexibility. 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 the 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 watersports, 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 your romantic dinners in its luxury restaurants, and the sunset strolls on the Grace Bay beach. This hotel has villas as well as suites. The families are welcome in villas, but the suites are adults-only, making those perfect for couples.
The Oases at Grace Bay – A little 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. If you love yoga, you will undoubtedly enjoy their open-air yoga classes in the morning. In addition, the resort has a holistic spa and Japanese baths and an infinity pool to add to the luxury and relaxation.
Best Things to do in Providenciales, TCI
The best thing you can do in TCI is relax! As a travel blogger and always on the go, I do not remember the last time I had so much time to stay at 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!
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 the 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. 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 so fast! We loved the beach a lot!
Semi Submarine Tour – Undersea Explorer, is a fantastic tour for families with smaller kids. It feels like a short trip through the reefs, but it is just enough and well worth the investment. For the entire 45 minutes, we were excited to find turtles, stingrays, many, many different types of fish, and even got to see a nurse shark. There was a guide and the captain on the lookout to help us navigate.
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.
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 demanded excursion. We could not experience it due to age restriction 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 with nothing much 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 the most because they made it feel like an experience and not just a photoshoot.
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 drinks and enjoy the 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, then chances are you will try one in Turks & Caicos. There is a variety of those offered in their menus. But if you decide to try, do it at the Conch Shack Restaurant. The conch shack restaurant & bar is located 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.
Somewhere Cafe & Lounge – hands down our favorite restaurant in TCI. located right on the 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! For live music schedules and other events, keep an eye on their Facebook page.
Coco Bistro – Do you have a special occasion, or do you want to experience something a little more unique? Then head towards the Coco Bistro for the delightful island ambiance. Located in the center of Grace Bay, it is 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 to have 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.
Turks and Caicos Travel Guide: Is TCI Kid Friendly?
Absolutely! If your kids love the beach, sand, boat rides, and chasing after 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 the kids snorkeling rafts to use. Our son is two, but he still loved exploring the underwater world on the beach and during the semi-submarine excursion.
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 for the complete guide and the product recommendations, check out the ultimate beach vacation packing list.
- Dry Bag
- Rashguards for kids
- Waterproof Bag
- Water Shoes
- Reef Safe Sunscreens
- Light Layers for evening
- Light umbrella (for wet season)
Turks and Caicos Travel Guide: How to Stay within Budget
There is no arguing that Turks and Caicos is a luxury travel destination. You can easily spend $1,500-$5,000 per person here (for a week-long vacation), but It all depends on your itinerary. While things can certainly add up, you can ensure that your vacation 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 from all inclusive hotel deals. While those are very convenient, you will save more when booking services individually.
- Shop local groceries and stock up on some snacks and breakfast/lunch items. Skip eating at the restaurants three times a day. Food in Turks and Caicos is mostly 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 plan to travel around a lot.
- Cut on some excursions. There are a lot of beautiful things to do and see but pick something that will not break your 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 in TCI before, please share your experience in the comment section.