If you’re thinking of booking a dream trip to the Caribbean, the usual destinations which spring to mind are Barbados and Jamaica but there’s one chain of islands that you should definitely check out.
The Turks & Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Lucayan Archipelago and while many people don’t know about it, this place is great for a Caribbean holiday if you want to go a little off the beaten track.
Here are our top three reasons to visit the Turks & Caicos islands over the more popular islands.
Sure, you could say that the beaches are amazing all over the Caribbean and you’d be right, they are. But for such a small group of islands, it’s surprising just how many of the world’s best beaches are located in Turks & Caicos.
Grace Bay Beach is the most popular beach on the island, with numerous hotels lined up along it. There’s a good reason for that since Grace Bay has been named the best beach in the world by TripAdvisor. The beach is known not just for its pristine white sands but also as a very popular dive site.
The islands are surrounded by the third largest barrier reef in the world, with a vibrant and colorful collection of sea life to discover.
And Grace Bay isn’t the only beach worth visiting in Turks & Caicos, with the likes of Long Bay, Malcolm and Chalk Sound all offering beautiful but relatively quiet places to lay back and let the world pass you by.
IT’S TOURIST FRIENDLY, BUT NOT TOO BUSY
It’s always difficult trying to strike up a balance of a holiday destination which isn’t totally cut off or remote and that is also not infested with tourists.
Thankfully, the Turks & Caicos islands fall right into that sweet spot, with a booming tourist industry with plenty of resorts, restaurants and bars. But with few enough people so that you feel like you’ve got some breathing space.
We spoke to the staff at the Beach House all-inclusive resort on Grace Bay who said: “One of the great things about the islands is that until about 20 years ago nobody even knew where they were, so they’re still relatively under the radar.
This means that it’s a fantastic time to visit, before it gets too busy and overly developed like some of the other Caribbean islands.
However, it’s not just the cafes and restaurants that make the Turks & Caicos islands stand out, also the street food is delicious! The national dish is the conch which is served up in all manner of ways which one can think of, such as conch fritters and conch salad.
You can even visit the world’s only commercial conch farm, the Caicos Conch Farm, where you can learn all about how this intriguing creature is grown, and of course, try some for yourself!