Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of about 100 islands (of which 9 are inhabited) located in the Atlantic Ocean, south of Miami. Of the many islands and cays, Providenciales is the most visited one because of its easy access, development, and wide offer of pristine beaches, luxury hotels, and restaurants. Read on for a complete guide to help you plan your next trip to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
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Practical Information for Turks and Caicos
Language: English is the official language of Turks and Caicos.
Visa: Turks and Caicos offers visa exceptions to visitors from several countries, including the US and the European Union, for stays up to 90 days. Additionally, visitors are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination when entering the country. For the latest entry requirements, please check here.
Although no longer a requirement for entering Turks and Caicos, my recommended travel insurance source is SquareMouth, which is a platform for searching for the best option amongst travel insurance companies. It allows travelers to instantly purchase a travel insurance policy from every major provider in the US, and it also makes clear each policy’s COVID-related coverage, so you know you’re protected.
Electricity: 120 V with type A plugs and sockets (same as the US).
Currency: The currency in Turks and Caicos is the US dollar. Also, international credit cards are widely accepted in the country.
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST) or GMT-5.
Transportation: Since there are no trains or buses on the Turks and Caicos Islands, the best way to get around the country and explore its beaches is with a rental car or with boat tours. Keep in mind, in Turks and Caicos, they drive on the left side of the road, like in the UK. However, most cars are imported from the US (left-hand steering).
Getting to Turks and Caicos is an easy task. The biggest airport in the country is in Providenciales (Providenciales International Airport – PLS), and it’s connected to major US east coast cities such as Miami (less than 2 hours) and New York (4-hour flight).
From the US, American Airlines, Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue are some airlines you can use to fly to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
Best time to visit Turks and Caicos
The average temperature in Turks and Caicos ranges from 75-95° F or 24-32°C. The rainy and hurricane season usually goes from June until November. So, the best months to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands are from December until May. However, since December and January are high season months, February, March, and April are the most favorable for prices and weather.
Best Hotels in Providenciales
Most tourists heading to Turks and Caicos set up base in Providenciales, the largest island in the country. It offers a wide range of luxury hotels and rental villas for perfect days overlooking the ocean, relaxing, and practicing water sports.
Best Hotels and Villas in Grace Bay
Grace Bay Club: One of the best hotels on the island, this beachfront hotel has 3 pools, a spa, and a tennis court. Here, when you wake up, you can go for a walk on Grace Bay beach and enjoy drinks and food at the on-site restaurant that is one best in Providenciales – the Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar.
The Oasis at Grace Bay: A no-thrills and the best bang for your buck hotel in Grace Bay. This small 3-star hotel features two swimming pools, spacious rooms with a balcony, and a great location. It’s within a 5-minute walk to the beach and close to the many restaurants of Grace Bay (Cocovan and Coco Bistro are within walking distance). The hotel also has complimentary bicycles and, if you don’t want to walk, they also offer a golf cart service to take you to the beach where you can enjoy their sunbeds and umbrellas free of charge.
Read a complete and honest review about my stay at The Oasis at Grace Bay here.
Seven Stars Resort & Spa: this oceanfront resort in Grace Bay offers a heated saltwater pool, a spa, tennis court, water sports equipment, and bicycles for wandering around the area. From here, you can walk to the Providenciales shopping district to grab a quick bite to eat, sip a coffee, have ice cream, or indulge in an açaí bowl.
The Ritz-Carlton Turks and Caicos: located in Grace Bay, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the area’s newest additions of luxury hotels. Here, you’ll have access to 4 on-site restaurants, including BLT, an American steakhouse for when you’re craving a tasty piece of red meat. The main features of this 5-star hotel include an adults-only pool, a spa, a casino, and the luxurious The Lady Grace catamaran.
Best Hotels and Villas in Long Bay Beach
H2O Lifestyle Resort: H2O is set in front of Long Bay Beach, one of the best beaches to visit in Providenciales. The location is perfect for water sports and one of the favorites for kitesurfing on the island. When not enjoying H2O’s stunning pools, sit at their sun loungers by the beach to soak in the uninterrupted views of the ocean.
The Shore Club: a fantastic property in Long Bay Beach; at The Shore Club, the rooms’ designs are a breath of fresh air where the white and turquoise blend perfectly with the surroundings. Additionally, here you’ll have a private tennis court, 4 restaurants, 5 bars, and 4 pools.
Windchaser Villa: going to Turks and Caicos with family or group? Then consider staying in this magnificent luxury villa with 4 bedrooms located within a short, 3-minute walk from Long Bay Beach. This modern property has the best amenities, such as a fully equipped kitchen, grill, and outdoor pool.
Other Hotels and Villas in Providenciales
Neptune Villas: located within a short walk from Sapodilla Bay Beach, Neptune Villas offers impressive views of Chalk Sound National Park and its pristine lagoons. From here, you’ll also be closer to Taylor Bay Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Turks and Caicos.
Wymara Resort & Villas: Wymara is in The Bight Beach, one of the best snorkeling spots in Providenciales. This resort has stunning suites and has luxury villas with a private pool for a memorable time in Turks and Caicos.
Taylor Bay Villa: a gorgeous 2-story villa with pool located in Taylor Bay, one of Providenciales’ most stunning and unspoiled beaches. Wake up with the beach at your door and make use of the kayak and paddleboard offered for guests.
Palm Jewel Villa: a 5-bedroom luxury villa within a short walk (100 yards) from Sapodilla Bay. Its secluded location is perfect for those who prefer privacy but still want to be close to the ocean.
Crystal Sands Villa: this 2-bedroom beachfront villa features ocean view rooms, a complete kitchen, an extensive pool, and sun loungers by the beach. By staying here, you’ll be in one of the most stunning places on the island – Sapodilla Bay.
Villa Amalfi: a romantic villa for two at the end of the cove of Sapodilla. Here you’ll have a large pool with a patio and will be just a few steps from the beach and its crystal-clear water and soft sand.
Best Luxury Resorts in Turks and Caicos
Como Parrot Cay: this luxury private island resort is renowned for its wellness experience (like the Como Canggu and Como Ubud in Bali). The rooms have Balinese-inspired design here, and its pools and restaurants are only overshadowed by the cerulean and peaceful waterfront beach.
Amanyara: Set on Malcolm Beach, away from the bustle of Grace Bay, Amanyara promises blissful days with daily yoga classes, pampering spa sessions, and remarkable cuisine.
Sailrock Resort: located in the pristine South Caicos Island, within a short 30-minute plane ride from Providenciales, this resort has a selection of luxurious amenities. Be ready for a wonderful stay filled with white sandy beaches and plenty of water activities.
Ambergris Cay: hop on a 20-minute flight from Providenciales to Ambergris Cay for a luxury, all-inclusive experience. The oceanfront suites have private pools and stunning views perfect for a remote island experience.
You might also like to read: The Best Beachfront Hotels and Rental Villas in Turks and Caicos
Things to do in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
For a fun experience that can be enjoyed by all ages, horseback riding is one of the top ones in Providenciales. The unique ride along the beach allows you to appreciate the surroundings in a unique way.
One of the most famous places for horseback riding in Turks and Caicos is along Long Bay Beach, one of the best beaches on the island.
With an extensive coastline, Turks and Caicos has many snorkeling opportunities to be enjoyed through a tour or reached within a few steps (or strokes) from the beach. When looking for snorkeling spots in Providenciales, The Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef are the most famous.
With the vast idyllic coastline in Providenciales, it’s no wonder this destination has some of the most scenic beaches in Turks and Caicos.
Of all the beaches in Providenciales, Grace Bay, Long Bay, and The Bight Beach are the biggest. They have easy access to restaurants and bars and are some of the beaches you must visit while on the island.
Now, if you’re looking for shallow, translucent waters, head over to the serene Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay.
BE SURE TO READ: The 5 best beaches to visit in Turks and Caicos
Chalk Sound National Park
The turquoise waters of Chalk Sound National Park will make you think you’re in the Maldives. However, these shallow natural lagoons are protected to preserve their raw, unspoiled nature, which is most appreciated when the sun directly touches its surface.
Motored boats aren’t allowed because it’s a national park, but you can still visit for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Cheshire Hall Plantation
If you want to see one of the most historical sites in Turks and Caicos, plan a visit to Cheshire Hall Plantation. This late 1700s cotton plantation offers a view into the archipelago’s past.
Cheshire Hall is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and the entrance fee is US$ 10.
Considering most travelers stay in Providenciales, a day trip to either North Caicos or Middle Caicos is a great alternative to explore a unique part of the Turks and Caicos.
Additionally, one of the best places to see in Turks and Caicos is Half Moon Bay, a pristine beach found between the deserted islands of Little Water Cay and Water Cay. Here, choose between staying by the beach with sapphire water or by the thin lagoon with clear water and soft sand.
Best tours in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Most travelers in Turks and Caicos want to spend their days sailing, diving, or snorkeling. So, if you’re looking for excursions to enjoy the best of the island, here are the best tours around Providenciales.
Best Restaurants in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
When it comes to food, Providenciales doesn’t disappoint and has lots of options that will please everybody. Fresh seafood (including conch), curry, and rum are some of the things you should try while here. The best places to eat in Providenciales are:
- Da Conch Shack: an island institution, Da Conch Shack is the best place to try Turks and Caicos main dish – conch. Go to this beachside restaurant to try conch in either a salad, chowder, or fried. Want more? Try their pirate’s pot made with lobster, conch, fish, and shrimp in a ginger soy broth.
- Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar: an oceanside restaurant in Grace Bay for fresh seafood and drinks in an elegant setting. Be sure to order either their ceviche, tartare, or sashimi. Reservation is encouraged.
- Coco Bistro: a lovely restaurant in Grace Bay that offers fresh local cuisine and is set amongst palm groves. Go for their Conch 2 ways or West Indian Style Shrimp Curry. Because it’s a popular place on the island, reservation is highly recommended.
- Cocovan Airstream Lounge: a perfect spot for a quick bite to eat. Come here for lunch or a casual dinner and try their amazing fried fish taco or duck taco. Other delicious options include a fried chicken sandwich and burger. For drinks, the air streamer is a great choice.
- BLT: an American steakhouse in the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
- Lemon 2 Go: a café with Balinese vibes for coffee, smoothies, quick bites such as muffin, banana bread, and vegetable/beef puff.
- Beans and Leaves Coffee: a coffee shop serving small bites like panini, pastries, smoothies, and pre-made salads.
- Island Scoop: your go-to sport for ice cream when you need to beat the heat. They have a variety of flavors, and you can choose one of the 3 types of cones.
- Las Brisas: offering lots of dishes for every type of eater – think burgers, wraps, and salads – in one of the most unbeatable views of Turks and Caicos – the Chalk Sound National Park. Be sure to head upstairs for 180 views of the gleaming lagoon.
- Crest and Berry: the best place for refreshing smoothies and bowls in Grace Bay. The healthy bowls have options that include açaí, pitaya, and spirulina.
- Somewhere Café: for stunning views of The Bight Reef, this café has lots of drinks and food choices that include tacos and burgers overlooking one of the best snorkeling spots in Turks and Caicos.
Read here a complete post about the best places to eat in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Top tips for visiting Providenciales
- Packing must include sunscreen, swimwear, beach bags, and sandals.
- Bring a GoPro or a waterproof phone pouch.
- Carry reef-safe sunscreen and a hat for the sun.
- If you need to get snacks and beverages to take to the beach, stop by the Graceway Gourmet, a grocery where you can stock up.
TURKS AND CAICOS PACKING TIPS
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From Turks and Caicos, plan on exploring Miami for a few days as it makes the best combination of restaurants and urban life with a tropical getaway.
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