Are you one of those beach bums who only really feels on vacation when there is sand between your toes? If so, it’s time you headed for Turks & Caicos, where long, white stretches of pristine beach are all around you.
Wondering where exactly Turks and Caicos is? Well, you wouldn’t be the first person to express surprise at this mystery vacation destination. This truly beautiful set of low lying islands and cays has been flying under the radar for many years, becoming a firm favourite with a select, small number of visitors. The island chain is south east of the Bahamas, and despite lying geographically in the Atlantic Ocean, it has strong Caribbean influences. From the friendly laid back locals to the cuisine, music and cultural life, Turks & Caicos feels like a Caribbean destination – it’s just so much closer to home. Most people who discover Turks & Caicos make a return trip – for many it’s love at first sight and they just can’t help coming back for more.
One of the main charms of these islands is their unspoilt and undeveloped feel. Yes, there are a few built up areas where smart resorts and condominium developments gleam in the sunlight, but many of the cays and islands are sleepy, empty and charmingly un-commercial. Something that’s actually getting harder to find in our fast paced, money-driven world.
For confirmed beach bums, Turks and Caicos truly is paradise. Whether it’s lying on or strolling along the sand that puts a smile on your face, or getting wet in the warm turquoise seas, all roads lead to the beach.
The most famous beach on the islands is Grace Bay Beach, an award winning stretch of white sand that goes on for miles. Water sports are a big attraction in Grace Bay, whether it’s snorkelling or deep sea fishing Turks and Caicos offers the best opportunity for you to see the marine life up close. The coral reefs that surround the islands are home to many and varied species of sea life and you can spend hours swimming with a mask and snorkel, marvelling at the underwater world. If you prefer heading further out to sea, the deep sea fishing Turks and Caicos provides is second to none. With fishy giants such as tuna, mahi mahi,barracuda, sailfish and wahoo regularly on the catch list, the chances of landing something large are high.
Sunsets on Turks and Caicos are a pretty big deal. Finding a bar at cocktail hour to watch the sun dip below the horizon is something of a ritual for all islanders. For a refreshing sundowner, why not try some local Bambarra Rum? Accompanied by a snack of crispy conch fritters, and you’ve got yourself a typical Turks and Caicos feast.
Beach bums who like to really escape the rest of humanity and grab themselves their own deserted island can take a chartered boat to uninhabited cays. Wonderful havens for wildlife, there are many empty cays accessible only by boat where beach bums can channel their inner Robinson Crusoe.
If you are the the sort of beach aficionado who likes to appreciate the view under moonlight, why not consider a horse trek along the sands after dark? In Grace Bay you will find stables prepared to saddle up and take you on a magical horseback expedition under the starry night sky.
The A list
Beach bums will want to know the low-down on the best places to spend their time. Here’s a run down of the A list beaches most likely to grab your attention…
Let’s start with the superstar beach of the islands, the one everybody has heard of, Grace Bay Beach. Found on the main island Provo, it stretches for 19 kilometres and was named the world’s best beach several years in a row by World Travel Awards. For fabulous diving and snorkelling and the kind of beach where you never have trouble finding somewhere to lay your towel, Grace Bay Beach does very nicely.
For those who are simply bonkers about anything beachy, other places well worth visiting include Long Bay, Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay – also on Provo. Further afield you can find Pine Cay and Parrot Cay on Caicos Cays and Whitby Beach and Sandy Point on North Caicos. Governor’s Beach and Pillory beach on Grand Turk are lovely places to picnic and Mujidin Harbour and Bambarra Beach on Middle Caicos offer more beachy beauty.
Turks and Caicos offer enough sand based variety for the fussiest beach bum, so if you were wondering where next to focus your hedonistic attentions, why not sample a little beach bum luxury Turks and Caicos style?