You would think that being a girl from South Florida, I wouldn’t fall in love with an island country. I mean, I live 10 minutes from the beach. I am about a 3 hour drive from the Florida Keys, and an hour from South Beach in Miami. Why would I go to a beach destination right? WRONG!
To be blunt, I was flirting with the idea of Turks & Caicos for awhile. Grace Bay Beach looked unreal to me in photos, and the hotels looked adorable. That flirtation turned to LOVE. Thats right, I fell in love with Turks & Caicos. The vibrant colors, the incredible food, and it doesn’t hurt that Grace Bay Beach is even better in person.
Turks & Caicos Tips
Here are just a few things you should know before you start your planning!
- When I say Turks & Caicos, I am really talking about Providenciales. This is the airport we flew into and the island known as “Provo.” This is the Turks island that Grace Bay Beach is on. Grand Turks and Caicos is where most of the cruise ships go. You’ll want to look at flights into Providenciales!
- Many airlines fly there so there is no shortage of flights getting down there! We flew JetBlue there, and Southwest back. I always like to look at one ways on different budget airlines to see if I can cut costs somewhere, and it usually works! On this trip, we saved $53 per ticket flying Southwest back.
- It isn’t cheap there. Because it’s an island, everything is imported. Gas is over $5 USD per gallon, so taxis aren’t cheap. Drinks, food at restaurants, souvenirs, not cheap either. So just be prepared for that!
- They drive on the left side of the rode, in the right side of the car.
- If you’re staying in the Grace Bay area, you are within walking distance (or a short taxi ride) from everything you need.
- The local currency is USD, and English is the spoken language.
Now, here is everything we did in Turks that made us fall in love!
1. Grace Bay Beach
I can’t explain in words or pictures how beautiful Grace Bay is, and I grew up in South Florida! For miles and miles, this perfect white sand beach stretches along the island with some of the clearest, flattest water I have ever seen. You can bring your beach chair to the water and lay there all day. Along the beach, there are places to stop and eat or get a drink. There are also servers that will come bring you a menu so you can stay soaking up the sun where you are.
2. Go snorkeling
There are many different snorkeling tour groups you can choose from, but one that was highly recommended to us was Island Vibes. This tour was everything we hoped! There is a diving board and a slide off the boat, lounge chairs up top, and they make you conch salad and provide endless rum punch! We stopped to snorkel (in the 3rd largest reef in the world) and it was beautiful! The reef had so many intricate tunnels and caves you could swim over and under. We also loved that they don’t allow you to put sunscreen on before you get in the water in order to protect the reef. After the snorkeling, they take you to this little vacant island with a BEAUTIFUL lagoon. There were iguanas everywhere and it was an awesome experience!
3. Where to Stay In Turks & Caicos
I can’t say enough good things about the lovely Villa Del Mar. This boutique condo hotel is literally a 30 second walk from Grace Bay. We couldn’t have chose a better hotel for us! It was so fun to wake up and be steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! For the rooms, you can choose from a 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, or the top floor penthouse! We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa. It came with a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a large sitting area and dining table, and a large bathroom with a separate bath tub. The interior design lover in me loved all of the plantation shutters too! Villa Del Mar has two pools, a hot tub, and a tiki bar! Make sure when you are at the bar to get a drink from “Captain Phil!” He is the nicest guy and really treats his guests like family.
It is SO worth it to stay here and is a much more affordable option then some of the others in the area. I honestly wouldn’t pay to stay directly on the beach when you can stay here and be at the beach in 30 seconds and have the room size we had! Something we really appreciated about the hotel is their secluded section of the beach for their guests. They have umbrellas, chairs, and towels on the beach for Villa Del Mar guests, and it’s included in the room rate! Finally, the location of Villa Del Mar is key. You are within walking distance to some incredible restaurants, the beach, and the casino! Included in your room rate is a continental breakfast as well. It doesn’t get better than that!
4. Where to Eat In Turks & Caicos
- Island Fish Fry- If you’re in Provo on a Thursday night, you must go to the island fish fry! They do it every Thursday night starting at 6:30pm. Its right off the water and such a fun experience! It has so many local vendors and local food! Many places took card but don’t forget to bring some cash!
- Cocovan– Many people told us to go to Coco Bistro. However, we didn’t make reservations in time to be able to eat there. They have an airstream with an outdoor bar and seating area to the left of Coco Bistro called Cocovan. This place was AMAZING! You must get the tacos and the fried shrimp mac & cheese balls! If you go from 5:00-6:30pm, you can catch their happy hour at the bar.
- Caicos Cafe– Another recommendation from others, this place is a short walk from our hotel, Villa Del Mar. I had some amazing ravioli here!
- Skull Rock Cantina– This place was located in the town and we had some incredible mexican food here! They have different kinds of drink specials and the portions were big sizes, so you can share!
5. Horseback Riding on the Beach
This was our favorite activity we did on our trip. We rode with the company Provo Ponies. The horses were the sweetest, the guides and workers were gentle, informed, and excellent hosts! We rode for a while along the trail that led us to the beach and then you see IT, that perfect blue water that you know the horses are about to jump into! The horses really seemed to love the water, and it was such a cool experience riding horseback while they swam.
Turks & Caicos is an island you can spend a week on, or just a few days! If you are from the Eastern part of the United States, I highly recommend you check it out for a quick weekend away! From the perfect beaches, the cutest hotels, and the numerous excursions to choose from, you’ll be really happy with your beach holiday choice!