This island chain is impossibly beautiful. It’s one of those places that you can literally just stare in wonder. And with so many amazing things to do in Turks and Caicos, it’s a perfect destination for a vacation!
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I mean, the beaches are beautiful. Quite stunning, actually. But Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean offers so many activities beyond staring at gorgeous beaches. (Although, that’s pretty amazing too!)
So, what is is there to do in Turks and Caicos?
Well, a lot actually. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous Turks and Caicos vacation or a laid-back beach getaway, here’s your guide to everything you’ll need to do and see on your vacation.
Best things to do in Turks and Caicos
In this guide I’m covering activities on multiple Turks and Caicos islands (or TCI, as the locals call it). Each item will have a suggested location. 🙂
Providenciales is the biggest islands for tourism, so many of the activities are located there. It’s also the largest international airport. Grand Turk is popular for cruises. Inter-island travel is possible via small plane flights or via boat for day trips, depending on location.
Here’s a map that may be helpful as you’re planning your trip.
Let’s dive into the best things to do during a Turks and Caicos vacation!
1. Kayak at Chalk Sound National Park
Start your Turks and Caicos vacation off with a little adventure! This was one of my favorite activities. We hit the incredibly turquoise water at Chalk Sound National Park and it was unforgettable!
Chalk Sound National Park is a lagoon on the island of Providenciales. The water is extremely shallow and calm, making it a perfect spot for paddle boarding or kayaking.
The lagoon has hundreds of tiny islands to explore. Spotting wildlife is common, like iguanas, heron, bonefish and even the occasional stingray.
My husband and I kayaked for about 2 hours, soaking in the sights. I highly recommend this as one of the top things to do in Providenciales (or Provo, as the locals call it)!
Pro tip: pack a dry bag for personal items like cell phones or keys on the kayak or paddle board. These are my favorite dry bags from Amazon (I have one in orange). They seal amazing and have a carrying strap.
Address: 188 Chalk Sound Dr, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
2. Snorkel at Smiths Reef
Next up, let’s go snorkeling! Turks and Caicos is known as one of the best places to dive and snorkel, so time to check it out. If you’re looking for a place to snorkel right off the beach, definitely head to Smiths Reef on Providenciales. The reef is just a few yards off the shore!
I loved snorkeling Smiths Reef because it was leisurely and relaxing. We hung out on the beach for hours and popped in and out of the water as we wanted to.
Pro tip: If you’re snorkeling here, you’ll need water shoes. There are lots of super soft beaches in Turks and Caicos, but this isn’t one of them! Here are the water shoes I wore (I own them in gray), and they’ve traveled with me all over the world.
There are lots of snorkeling tours in Turks and Caicos, so if you’re looking for a day of adventure, be sure to take a snorkel tour. Tours usually include lunch and drinks, too. Here are a few snorkeling tour options.
Address: Coconut Rd, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
3. Turks and Caicos kiteboarding: Long Bay Beach
Wondering what to do in Turks and Caicos? How about kiteboarding?
My husband and I spent one glorious afternoon on Long Bay Beach, watching the kiteboarders. Long Bay Beach has super shallow water for as far as the eye can see, so it’s perfect for kiteboarding.
Read next: Best Beaches in Turks and Caicos
Rent a kiteboard right on the beach, or opt for kiteboarding lessons. Fly over the water in the wind and get incredible views of Turks and Caicos!
Address: Long Bay Hills TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
4. Go hunting for conch shells
This was a fun activity and one of the most unique things to do in Turks and Caicos. Conch shells are plentiful on TCI!
Just a quick note: many of the beaches are located in protected areas – national parks and nature preserves. So taking home conch shells isn’t necessarily recommended. Plus, you could face a fine! Read more about shell restrictions here.
However, it’s still fun to find them! My husband and I found tooooons of them on the shores of Long Bay Beach. We actually found living conch beneath the water, too.
So obviously just let them be in the water, okay?
Pro tip: don’t forget your water shoes! The beaches that have conch shells washed up are poky beneath your feet. Grab those water shoes and have a blast looking for shells.
Location: any beach!
On Providenciales, check out Piranha Cove or Long Bay Beach
Address: Long Bay Hills TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
5. Visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse
It’s the one and only lighthouse in Turks and Caicos, and it’s located in Grand Turk. Built in the 1850’s, it’s one of the most popular historical landmarks in all of Turks and Caicos.
You can visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse and grounds, but the inside isn’t open to the public. It’s an interesting area to visit for the history of the islands.
Oh, and keep an eye out for the feral donkeys. They’re funny and friendly.
Pro tip: take the trail that starts at the lighthouse along the coast down to a private beach. You’ll get beautiful views and it’s a great spot for a picnic.
Location: Grand Turk
Address: Lighthouse Rd, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
6. Relax at Grace Bay Beach
Okay, okay, you’re going to Turks and Caicos for the beaches. So this one’s gotta be on your list!
Grace Bay Beach is like heaven for your senses. The softest white sand under your toes, fresh ocean breeze, warm waves gently crashing on shore and scent of salty air.
Truly perfection. Which is why it’s been ranked as one of the top beaches in the world by Trip Advisor and countless others.
Grace Bay Beach is perfect for swimming and enjoying the sand. It’s a perfect spot for families, too, since the sand is so soft and little ones can play without getting poked by shells.
There are several hotels that line the beach at Grace Bay, but there’s plenty of free, public parking if you’re not staying at a hotel on the beach.
Address: Grace Bay TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
7. Swim with the stingrays at Gibbs Cay
Guys…there are so many stingrays here it’s often called Stingray Cay! But in reality, Gibbs Cay is a small island near Grand Turk.
Snorkeling or swimming with the stingrays is a popular cruise excursion. But if you’re staying on Grand Turk, it’s just a short boat ride away.
8. Explore a shipwreck
The Turks and Caicos museum estimates 1000 or more shipwrecks are in and near the island chain!
While shipwrecks make great dive spots, there are some you can see above the water. Here are a few shipwrecks in Turks and Caicos:
- La Famille Express, Long Bay Beach, Providenciales
- Haitian Transport, south side of North Caicos
- Transport vessel from the Dominican, Long Bay on Salt Cay
- Tugboat near South Dock, Providenciales
9. Grab a spot to watch the sunset (one of my favorite Turks and Caicos activities)
These islands are gorgeous during the day, for sure. But let’s talk about sunsets for a minute. I mean, is there any better spot to watch the sunset than on the beach? It’s one of my favorite things to do at any beach destination. And TCI has some pretty great sunsets!
So grab a chair or towel on a beach facing west and enjoy the view. Bonus points if you pack dinner or a bottle of wine! Island sunsets feel just a little more special, right? 🙂
Here’s a full guide on where to watch the sunset on Turks and Caicos.
Location: any beach!
My favorite spots are Malcolm’s Road Beach and Leeward Beach/Pelican Beach on Providenciales.
10. Paddleboard at Iguana Island
A small island off Provo, Iguana Island is technically called Little Water Cay. It’s the best place in Turks and Caicos to see native iguanas.
Iguana Island is part of the Princess Alexandra Nature Preserve, so most of the island is protected. There are boardwalks if you want to walk around the island.
Otherwise, you can take a kayak or paddleboard tour, which is what I recommend. Kayaking or paddle boarding through mangroves, you’ll be able to see the wildlife on the island, but also in the water.
I loved the kayaking tour I took through the mangroves! Although paddle boarding and walking would both be fun, too. I don’t really think you can made a bad choice here!
11. Dine at the Thursday night fish fry
The Thursday Night Fish Fry started off as a local’s thing on Provo, but the tourists caught on and now it’s a mix of both. It’s basically a festival with live music, food trucks, vendors selling souvenirs and so on.
This is one of the most well-known activity of all the things to do in Providenciales.
Every Thursday night you’ll catch live music and an assortment of vendors with food and goodies. It’s a great way to taste the local flavor! My husband and I had a few dishes (and drinks!) and even grabbed an ice cream cone.
Pro tip: I’d recommend to get there early if you want a seat while you eat, as the options are limited.
Address: Lower Bight Rd, The Bight Settlement TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
12. Scuba dive Turks and Caicos
Next up….let’s go underwater! If you’re a diver, this is a MUST!! My husband and I are not divers, but we talked with several other people that go to TCI every year just for the diving. Such a cool experience!
Best Turks and Caicos diving spots:
- Molasses Reef, east of French Cay
- Princess Alexandra National Park (many sites within the park)
- Double D, near French Cay
- Highway to Heaven, West Caicos
- Northwest Point area, Providenciales (multiple sites here)
And honestly, there’s a ton more places to dive. But I’m not even 1/2 way done with this article, so moving on. 🙂
13. Go horseback riding (a Turks and Caicos vacation favorite!)
This destination is such an amazing time, and this was one of my very very favorite things to do in Turks and Caicos! (I know I’ve said that a lot…can you tell TCI is incredible?)
My husband and I purchased this activity through a horse rescue organization on Providenciales. The way they fund the rescue to buy food and supplies for the horses is by tourists.
Just a quick note – these horses LOVE going in the water. You can tell by the way they moan when they get in, and the fact they kept wanting to wade deeper into the water. It was adorable.
I thoroughly researched Provo Ponies before going for this ride, since I know animals are mistreated all over the world to benefit tourists. This is not one of those cases!
So if you love riding, or even if it’s your first time, this activity is such an amazing experience. It’s a travel bucket list item for sure!
Here’s a full guide to everything you need to know about horseback riding in Turks and Caicos.
Address: 32 Dolphin Ln, Long Bay TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
14. Hang out in Cockburn Town
If you’re looking for character, architecture and history, Cockburn Town is the place to be. The capital of TCI, this city is located on Grand Turk.
The main attractions are the Turks and Caicos National Museum and Her Majesty’s Prison. The Grand Turk Lighthouse, at #5 above, is located nearby.
Oh, and of course, the beach! Cockburn Town Beach lines most of the town and nearby Pillory Beach is another treasure on Grand Turk.
Location: Grand Turk
Address: Cockburn Town, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos Islands
15. Go kayaking in a glass-bottom kayak (one of the most fun things to do in Turks and Caicos)
So I’ve already mentioned kayaking, but this experience is very different than the others! My husband and I rented glass-bottom kayaks at Bight Beach and it was amazing!
The beach is beautiful, but it also comes with a reef right off the shore. We snorkeled here and watched the marine life through the bottom of a kayak. Such a cool experience!
The Coral Gardens reef at Bight Beach is known for sting rays, eagle rays, barracudas, spiny lobsters and a ton more! (Can you spot the sting ray in the photo above?)
We snorkeled the reef and kayaked with a see-through bottom kayak and both were excellent experiences!
Location: any reef on Providenciales!
My favorites are the Coral Gardens at Bight Beach and Smiths Reef
More amazing things to do in Turks and Caicos
Honestly this is an amazing spot on this earth! I can’t get over the vivid turquoise water and how fascinating these islands are to explore. Here’s more fun and unique Turks and Caicos activities.
Also, make sure to stop and smell the flowers when you see them. 😉
16. Try out the local ice cream shop
You gotta try the ice cream while on your Turks and Caicos vacation. I once planned an entire vacation around ice cream (true story). So I know my ice cream!
I really enjoyed the ice cream at Island Scoop. My husband and I stopped in a few times during our stay on Provo. There’s a cute courtyard nearby to eat your cool treat, complete with outdoor games and Instagrammable photo ops!
Location: anywhere delicious ice cream is sold
Address: Island Scoop is at Grace Bay Rd, Grace Bay TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
17. Shop at Saltmills Plaza
If you love to shop for items unique to your destination, this is the spot for you! There are all kinds of stores and boutiques in Saltmills Plaza on Providenciales. It’s perfect for a rainy day or to take a break from the beach.
I’m typically more of a minimalist and enjoy budget-friendly destinations, so I did shop for just one thing – a beach hat. It was a steal at about $10. Plus I’ve taken it to other beachy spot since then, like Kauai, San Diego and Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Address: The Salt Mills Plaza, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
18. Soak in the views at Dragon Cay
Dragon Cay in Middle Caicos is located at Mudjin Harbour. It’s one of the most picturesque spots you can find. I mean, all the beaches on this gorgeous island chain are beautiful. But Dragon Cay is stunning!
One of the things that makes Dragon Cay and Mudjin Harbor unique is the powerful waves. The underwater plateau near the beach drops off sharply, where the ocean floor falls thousands of feet.
Anyway, the waves in this area are more powerful than most of the rest of the islands. So if you love listening to waves crash onto the shore, this is your spot!
Location: Middle Cay
Address: Mudjin Harbor TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
19. Grab lunch with a view on the beach
What’s better than delicious lunch (and maybe a cocktail) on a beautiful island? The beach views, of course!
Turks and Caicos is no stranger to gorgeous views and unbelievable scenery. Finding a spot for a meal overlooking the water is one of my favorite things to do in Turks in Caicos, or any beachy spot for that matter!
Try breakfast, lunch or dinner with a view. Just keep in mind that views are worth more, and typically restaurants with views are pricey. So maybe set an amount in your vacation savings plan for dining with a view.
Try a breakfast or lunch spot if you’re trying to keep the cost down.
Oh and just a note about dining in TCI: I found almost every restaurant to be extremely relaxed (i.e. slow), so make sure you start thinking about food before you actually head to a grab a bite to eat.
Location: any beach!
On Providenciales, there are plenty of restaurants along Grace Bay Beach and Bight beach. On Grand Turk, Governor’s Beach is a popular spot for dining with a view.
20. Pick up some local art
If you’re an art or souvenir collector, then you need to go Alverna’s Craft Market in Providenciales. It’s a fun spot to shop for a gift or something to take back home.
Supporting local, small businesses and thus livelihoods are so important. And it makes souvenir shopping all that more rewarding.
Oh, and make sure you grab food next door at Turks Kebab while you’re in the area.
Address: Allegro Rd, Grace Bay TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
21. Explore Conch Bar Caves National Park
I’m sure you’re not still wondering what to do in Turks and Caicos by this point. But the list goes on anyway!
Conch Bar Caves National Park is the largest above-ground cave system in all of TCI.
The cave interior is largely untouched. Only a path has been developed on the inside, leaving it’s natural beauty in tact. However, due to the destructive nature of early visitors, the National Park requires a guide to accompany tourists.
Middle Caicos doesn’t get enough tourists to have regular hours of operation. To visit the Conch Bar Caves National Park, visit the Middle Caicos Co-op store in Conch Bar Village to arrange a tour.
This is a super fun one and one of the most unique things to do on Turks and Caicos!
Location: Middle Caicos
Address: none available, navigate to Conch Bar Caves National Park
22. Go hiking in Turks and Caicos
If you like active vacations, this is just for you! While hiking in Turks in Caicos doesn’t come close to the challenge of hiking in places like Glacier National Park, it’s still super fun!
The islands are relatively flat and trails haven’t been built up extensively, so options are a bit limited. However, there are still a few options worth exploring.
Best hiking trails Turks and Caicos:
- Crossing Place Trial, Middle Caicos
- Shark Bay to Highlands Bay, South Caicos
- Northwest Point National Park, Providenciales
- Balfour Town to Little Bluff Lookout, Salt Cay
- Bird Rock Trail, Providenciales
- North Point Trail, Grand Turk
Just a quick note about hiking. Make sure to wear shoes (even if they’re water shoes) because the natural limestone can be extremely sharp. Also, bring water. Lots of water!
23. Find a private beach (the best of Turks and Caicos: things to do)
Gah! This one’s a favorite memory of mine and I’m so excited for you to do it, too! One of the most beautiful vacation moments in my life has been getting to visit beautiful beaches all to myself. Well, with my husband anyway!
Several times on our Turks and Caicos vacation, we had the beach all to ourselves. It can be tricky to do, but to make this happen, try these things:
- Travel during off-season (Apr-May, Sept-Oct)
- Avoid the most popular beaches and go for something more off-the-grid
- Go at non-peak times, such as early morning or evening/dinner time
Pro tip: many beaches are perfect for walking. However there’s a few that have some shells, and some beaches that are full of shells. I highly recommend taking water shoes on your trip.
These are my favorite water shoes from Amazon, which I wore in Turks and Caicos and literally all over the world. I couldn’t be happier with them!
Location: any beach
We found Leeward Beach/Pelican Beach and Long Bay Beach on Providenciales the most empty during our time on the islands.
24. Try conch
One of the most popular local cuisines is conch, which are snail-like creatures that live in the water. Conch is plentiful on the islands, so it’s easy to find.
The most popular way to eat it is fried, like you would shrimp or other seafoods. But, locals have experimented forever with flavors. So you can also find conch in the following ways:
- Conch salad
- Conch fritters
- Buffalo conch
- Curried conch
- Conch ceviche
- Cracked conch
- Coconut conch chowder
All conched out yet? 🙂
Location: nearly every restaurant sells conch!
25. Snorkel “The Wall” at Grand Turk: Columbus Landfall National Park
The Columbus Landfall National Park covers the entire west coast of Grand Turk. In other words, it’s huge!
One of the best spots to snorkel is what the locals call ‘the wall.’ It’s a 7,000 foot wall underwater. Yep – you heard that right. A 7,000 foot drop down to the ocean floor!
Snorkeling the Grand Turk wall is filled with the most interesting and unique marine life, it’s a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving in Turks and Caicos!
Location: Grand Turk
Address: any beach on the entire west side of the island: Governor’s Beach, Osprey Beach or Pillory Beach
26. Rent jet skis
Time to get the adrenaline pumping for a bit! The islands are beautiful from the shore…but how about seeing them from a distance?
Well rent some jet skis for a day and have some fun with it! With so many tiny islands, empty beaches and sea cliffs to check out, you’re sure to have a good time on jet skis.
Here are some fun spots for riding jet skis in Turks and Caicos:
- Sapodilla Bay – calm water is perfect for beginners!
- Long Bay Beach to see La Famille Express shipwreck
- Sea caves at West Harbor Bluff
- Island hop from cay to cay between Provo and North Caicos
My husband and I enjoyed a beach day at Sapodilla Beach and were very tempted to rent jet skis on the beach! We decided to kayak Chalk Sound that day instead. But our next trip will include jet skis for sure!
27. See the pink flamingos at North Caicos
Want to see pink flamingos in their natural habitat? Head to North Caicos!
There’s a protected area where hundreds of pink flamingos live in North Caicos, which is free to access to the public. The Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve is a fun site to add to a day trip through North Caicos.
While admission is free, you’ll want to stop by the visitor center to rent a pair of binoculars for just a couple bucks. Then head on out to the Flamingo Pond Overlook.
Location: North Caicos
Address: navigate to Flamingo Pond Nature Reserve near Whitby, North Caicos
28. Beach day with a puppy
This is such a fun idea. You can actually cuddle puppies while on vacation!
Potcake Place has a really cool program to help socialize and re-home puppies. Potcake puppies are the breed of stray dogs on the islands. Visitors (and locals) can take the puppies for a day of adventure.
What could be greater than a beach day with a puppy?
There’s usually a long line of people each morning eagerly awaiting their chance to borrow a puppy for a day, so make sure to get there early. And of course, follow all their guidelines.
And, if you have it in your heart to adopt one of these puppies, make sure you visit the Potcake Place early on in your trip. It takes 3 days on the island to complete the process. Otherwise, you can get approved online before your trip.
Find more about adopting a puppy through Potcake Place here.
Let’s review: 28 amazing and unexpected things to do in Turks and Caicos
Alright, that’s a wrap! 28 amazing and unexpected things to do in Turks and Caicos! It’s an island chain full of gorgeous sights and fun adventures.
Do you know what you’ll do first? Here’s a recap!
What to do in Turks and Caicos:
- Kayak at Chalk Sound National Park
- Snorkel at Smiths Reef
- Kiteboarding at Long Bay Beach
- Go hunting for conch shells
- Visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse
- Relax at Grace Bay Beach
- Swim with the stingrays at Gibbs Cay
- Explore a shipwreck
- Grab a spot to watch the sunset
- Paddleboard at Iguana Island
- Dine at Thursday night fish fry
- Scuba dive Turks and Caicos
- Go horseback riding
- Hang out in Cockburn Town
- Go kayaking in a glass-bottom kayak
- Try out the local ice cream shop
- Shop at Saltmills Plaza
- Soak in the views at Dragon Cay
- Grab lunch with a view on the beach
- Pick up some local art
- Explore Conch Bar Caves National Park
- Go hiking in Turks and Caicos
- Find a private beach
- Try conch
- Snorkel “The Wall” at Grand Turk
- See the pink flamingos at North Caicos
- Rent jet skis
- Beach day with a puppy
I know which ones were my favorite activities in Turks and Caicos! I’m excited for your trip! Comment below with what you’ll do first!
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