This sparkling collection of Caribbean islands known as the Turks and Caicos Islands is located a bit to the south and east of the Bahamas, and north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
To see more of the map, just widen your browser. Travelers will find these two island groups are quite diverse in their landscapes, but they all boast pristine beaches and stunning turquoise waters. The islands of Grand Turk, Providenciales and South Caicos feature arid, flat land, while the Middle and North Caicos boast luscious foliage and rolling hillsides.
The Caicos islands offer a wide selection of attractions. On North Caicos, visitors can enjoy the preserved cotton plantation ruins of the Wades Green Plantation. Similarly, on the island of Providenciales, the Chesire Hall Plantation stands as a relic of the past with historic buildings and intriguing artifacts. Both attractions are owned by the National Trust, and offer great insight to the past of Turks and Caicos. Also located on the island of Providenciales, Chalk Sound National Park gives travelers a taste of the outdoors with woodland landscapes and possible sightings of the endangered Turks and Caicos rock iguana.
Another nearby attraction is the Caicos Conch Farm off Leeward Highway, which provides guests with a close-up experience that showcases breeding basins, hatcheries and more. If you're looking to spend the day soaking up the sun's rays, consider heading to Grace Bay Beach. This destination, found on the eastern coast of Providenciales, toward the left side of the map, offers 12 miles of pristine shorelines that are perfect for quiet sunbathing.
Or, you can head to the Turks Islands for fun in the sun as well as culturally enlightening attractions. The Grand Turk Lighthouse, located on the northern tip of its namesake island, is a restored structure that serves as a great picnic spot with charming views. At the Turks & Caicos National Museum, patrons can experience the country's sole museum that houses shipwreck remains, a look at the old salt industry and a reproduction of the Grand Turk Wall reef formation. A stop at the Grand Turk Cruise Center will provide you with direct beach access, changing rooms, relaxing pools with cabanas, shopping and an on-site restaurant.
Sitting southwest of Grand Turk, Salt Cay makes for a superb day trip for snorkeling and exploring. This small island is home to the whaling company ruins of Taylor Hill, as well as the White House, which stands as an example of Bermudan architecture.
The island of Providenciales offers a large range of accommodations and attractions for vacationers. The majority of lodging facilities are located on the eastern side of the island, closer to the middle of the map. Hotels and resorts are clustered around the coastline, and most are situated directly on the beach-front. This region offers plentiful restaurants and points of interest. Additionally, a large number of rental villas are available on the southern peninsula of the island below Chalk Sound. If you're interested in staying near the airport in the downtown area, a number of hotels can be located in the area, which features attractions like the Chesire Hall ruins and a buzzing marketplace.
Centered around the city of Cockburn Town, the island of Grand Turk (on the right side of the map) also offers travelers with a selection of hotels and inns. Most lodging facilities are located along the western coast of the island, with direct access to that area's sandy beaches. However, a fair number of accommodations can be found on the eastern side of the island as well.
There are other islands in the Turks and Caicos that offer places to stay, if you're willing to wander a little off the beaten track. Located next to Providenciales on the map, North Caicos and Parrot Cay house a small number of hotels and rental villas. The island of Middle Cay also has some accommidations; consider it if you mostly want to experience the beautiful outdoors, rather than shopping and nightlife. Similarly, Salt Cay features a handful of hotels, as well as some great snorkeling spots and a few charming cafes.
Most travelers arrive in the Turks and Caicos at one of two major airports. If you're heading to Grand Turk, you'll arrive at McCartney International Airport (GDT, just south of Cockburn Town. However, you might reach the island after making a connection at the largest airport in the area, Providenciales International Airport (PLS), which is located on it's namesake island on the left side of the map. This airport serves flights to and from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and destinations throughout the Caribbean.
Cruise ship passengers will arrive at Turks and Caicos through the Grand Turk Cruise Center, mentioned earlier as a worthy attraction of itself. This facility is located on the southern tip of the island, and is equipped with features like changing rooms, dining and more.
Ferries are another option for for traveling between some of the islands in the Turks and Caicos group. One example is the Dale Marie Ferry, which runs out of the Middle Caicos Dock. This weekend ferry transports tourists to Bottle Creek and North Caicos. Another example is the Salt Cay Buccaneer, which runs between Salt Cay and Grand Turk. Another ferry is operated by the TCI Ferry Service; it travels between Providenciales and North Caicos.
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