Turks Caicos Information

Day Trips and Excursions in Turks and Caicos

turks and caicos snorkeling map


The Turks and Caicos Islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the Bahamas, and about forty minutes by plane from Miami and the North American mainland.

The archipelago of 40 cays and islets sits on a sea mount rising up from the Atlantic Ocean. Each cay is unique and provides a glimpse of life in the Caribbean in times gone by.

turks and caicos photos
Image from Wikipedia

If you can ever drag yourself away from beautiful Grace Bay Beach, an entire world is awaiting you here to explore in the Turks and Caicos.

Here are some easy day trips from The Sands at Grace Bay.


Caving on Middle Caicos

This adventure begins with a scenic boat ride from Provo to North Caicos—you can most easily get to the caves of Middle Caicos from North Caicos—where you’ll stop along the way to snorkel on the barrier reef.

Middle Caicos itself is home to just 300 full-time residents. It’s a wonderful day trip by boat from Provo.

North Caicos

After landing on North Caicos you will set off to explore the conch bar caves and venture deep inside the earth with your native guide to view stalactites and stalagmites, bats, white owls and incredible limestone formations.

North Caicos. Image by Flickr user kanu101. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

North Caicos itself is largely undeveloped. Visiting the island offers a look at Turks and Caicos the way it used to be. The trip to North Caicos can and makes for an interesting day trip from Providenciales.

Learn about planning day-long Turks and Caicos tours through the Sands at Grace Bay >>

Middle Caicos

However, now that you’re on North Caicos, continuing to travel on to Middle Caicos is well-worth the effort. A narrow sandy causeway connects the two islands. While it is possible to walk the trail to reach Middle Caicos, it would take far too long.

Ali West
Image by Flickr user Ali West

Instead, rent or arrange transport to take you to Middle Caicos and its caves.

Image by Flickr user Tim Sackton. Mudjin Harbor, Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands
Mudjin Harbor, Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. Image by Flickr user Tim Sackton. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The caves of Middle Caicos are located close to Mudjin Harbour. The limestone bluffs offer some truly unforgettable views of spectacular seascapes here.

Image by Flicker user Ali West. Middle Caicos.
Middle Caicos. Image by Flicker user Ali West. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Besides awe-inspiring views Mudjin Harbour features some truly gorgeous beaches.

Dragon Cay, a small limestone cay, is accessible from the beach at low tide.

Dragon Cay
Image by Flickr user Tim Sackton. Mudjin Harbor, Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

But even if the tide does not cooperate, the beach at Mudjin Harbour provides a unique place to splash in the sea and relax on the beautiful white sand.

Middle Caicos Caves

The Turks and Caicos are famous for having the largest above-ground cave network in the entire Caribbean and a private tour is just the way to explore it. Some of the most striking caves are found on Middle Caicos.

Middle Caicos Caves
Image by Ali West. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The caves, since they’re above ground, can be explored easily by anyone (with the proper footwear), and offer an interesting glimpse at the natural history and cultural heritage of the Caribbean.

Only recently rediscovered, the caves were once the home of Lucayan Indians, and it’s thought they sheltered in the caves during hurricanes. The Village Caves and the Conch Bar are the most frequently visited caves on Middle Caicos.

Learn more about our Middle Caicos day excursion.

Take a Trip to Caribbean Paradise on South Caicos

Located to the southeast of Middle Caicos, South Caicos is not a day trip. Instead South Caicos is a destination in its own right. It can be accessed by water taxi, but it’s far easier to fly there.

Image by Flickr user spezz. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

South Caicos is a private island. There is accommodation there, but the island is best known for being the location of summer homes and villas of movie stars.

Brian Brake
Image by Flickr user Brian Brake. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Most of the activities on South Caicos involve the water: windsurfing, kiteboarding, snorkeling and scuba diving and even some fishing.

Brian Brake
Image by Flickr user Brian Brake. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

South Caicos is surrounded by shallow shoals and flats—perfect for bonefishing. Airboats are available to take anglers out to the best bonefishing spots.

Exploring Providenciales

Even if you don’t have time to do a day trip to explore more of the Turks and Caicos, our very own island of Providenciales.

Leeward Beach, Provo

Leeward Beach, on the northeast end of Provo, provides a secluded, spectacular beach to explore.

Christine Jackowski
Image by Flickr user Christine Jackowski. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Leeward is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. Leeward is also close to Mangrove Cay, a nature reserve.

Daniel Ross
Image by Flickr user Daniel Ross. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Mangrove Cay provides an excellent place to explore by kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP).

SUP is a popular activity in the Turks and Caicos. Our own stretch of Grace Bay Beach on the leeward side of  Providenciales is perfect for it.


Providenciale’s Iguana Island (aka Little Water Cay)

Just off the northeast, leeward tip of Providenciales Little Water Cay, better known as “Iguana Island.”

The cay is a wildlife preserve for iguanas. It can be reached by water taxi from Blue Haven Marina in Leeward and is the perfect family day trip in Turks and Caicos.

Andy Atzert
Image by Flickr user Andy Atzert. License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Little Water Cay is indeed inhabited by a colony of friendly iguanas. They are herbivores (the iguanas eat plants) and are quite friendly and sociable.

Tim Sackton. The Turks and Caicos rock iguana (Cyclura carinata).
Tim Sackton. The Turks and Caicos rock iguana (Cyclura carinata). License: 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Get Help Planning a Day Trip in Turks and Caicos

If taking a day trip with your family to explore the Turks and Caicos sounds interesting, here are three trips put on by Caicos Dream Tours that pick you up right in front of The Sands at Grace Bay and fantastic exploration in some of the Turks and Caicos’ must-see spots.

reef tours grace bay

Plan Your Excursion

The excursions may be conveniently booked by guests of The Sands at Grace Bay at our Tour Desk, located by our main swimming pool. Learn more here.

Turks Caicos Information

The Food and Cuisine of Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the Bahamas, and about forty minutes by plane from Miami and the North American mainland.

The climate is warm and dry for most of the year, and this climate has influenced the kinds of foods people enjoy in the Turks and Caicos.

Being surrounded by ocean, the main focus of Turks and Caicos Islands food culture is seafood. The country’s status as a crossroads between the Caribbean and Europe far to the northeast has also contributed to the national cuisine.

More recently the Turks and Caicos’ relatively prosperous economy has attracted people from all over the Caribbean who have also brought their food culture with them.

The History of the Turks and Caicos


The Turks and Caicos Islands have been inhabited for almost a thousand years.

The first inhabitants were the Lucayan, the original inhabitants of the Bahamas, and related other indigenous people who inhabited other parts of the Caribbean.

While the Lucayan are longer present in the islands, a glimpse of their way of life be found in the famous caves found on Middle Caicos.

Maize, Sweet Potato and Salt

Besides fishing, the Lucayan people of Turks and Caicos subsisted on many foods traditionally associated with the New World including beans and sweet potato, as well as manioc and cassava.

The Lucayan’s presence can still be seen by the presence of salt pans around the islands. Salt has always been an important commodity since ancient times. It is used not only for seasoning, but also for preserving food such as fish for long periods of time.

The Lucayan, like of the Caribbean’s other original inhabitants preserved salt, and some of the locations of these salt pans still exist today.

The Europeans Arrive

Columbus first reached the Caribbean in 1492, reaching what is now San Salvador in the Bahamas, to the northwest of the Turks and Caicos.

Following Columbus began five hundred years of change in the Caribbean. Europeans arrived to grow sugar and other crops, and to establish outputs in competition with other European nations.

They also brought the practice of slavery with them, including thousands of people from Africa whose ancestors still live in the Caribbean today.

In the Turks and Caicos various European occupiers such as the French and later the British focused on producing salt.

Salt production was so closely associated with it was once featured on the flag of the territory:



While the Turks and Caicos is known for Bambarra Rum today, distilling rum, the tipple that is characteristic of the Caribbean has never really been practiced on the islands.

Rum Punch

This is because the islands are generally too dry to grow sugar cane, the chief ingredient when making rum.

Cuisine of Turks and Caicos Today

If you travel to the Turks and Caicos today you’ll be able to choose from almost every cuisine on earth.

This is because, as the islands have become more popular as a tourist destination people have been attracted from all over the world to live and work here.

The island of Providenciales in particular offers everything from sushi and high-end fusion cuisine to Indian and Chinese food.

Of course, everyone who travels to the Turks and Caicos will want to eat seafood, which includes local delicacies such as mahi mahi, tuna, rock lobster and the ever-present conch.

Drought-resistant maize (a kind of corn) does well in the semi-arid conditions of the Turks and Caicos. As a result, hominy grits are a popular part of traditional local cuisine.

The Unique Food Culture of Turks and Caicos

Photo courtesy of the
Photo courtesy of the

While the Turks and Caicos is a modern international crossroads of cultures, the islands are also a melting pot of Caribbean culture.

For example, many people travel back and forth between the Turks and Caicos and the neighbouring country of Bahamas for work or to visit family.

Other people from countries around the Caribbean will also travel to the Turks and Caicos for work, and all bring their food culture with them.

Traditional Foods… Brought From Somewhere Else

Since the arrival of Europeans and people from Africa, local food has been based on the sea and on maize.

Two traditional dishes, grits and johnnycake, are distinctive Turks and Caicos specialties. As the travel blog Caribya notes:

Islanders love “boil fish and grits” for breakfast, and “boil fish and johnnycake” for lunch. For supper, fresh seafood alongside peas and hominy is a staple. In fact, once upon a time, when an island wife was asked what she was serving for dinner, her typical response would be “peas and hominy and penn on.” “Penn on,” was slang for “Depends on,” meaning that dinner would be peas and hominy, and the meat would depend upon whatever fish or game her husband had caught that day.

These days such traditional foods are harder to find in Providenciales, the tourist hub of the Turks and Caicos.

However, should you venture to Middle Caicos you’ll have the chance to encounter an older way of life, and this included food.

Other traditional dishes include conch and hominy, cod fish cakes and corn bread. Steamed conch, stewed conch, and stewed fish and grits.

Crab and rice, which features the blue crab common to the islands, is also a local comfort food.

These foods are a real taste of the Caribbean, so it is worth seeking them out.

If you want to get an in-depth look at the cuisine of Turks of Caicos, be sure to check out the @TCIFoodandCulture Instagram feed. The photos are mouth-watering and verge on “food porn.”

Conch Fritters and Deep Fried Fish

While conch fritters are said to be the characteristic food of the Turks and Caicos, this dish is said to be a relatively new arrival to the islands.

The Caribbean Queen conch is the native mollusk and number one export for the Turks & Caicos Islands. It’s said that each of the islands in Turks and Caicos produces its own unique flavour of conch meat.

Conch Fritters

Conch can be served in a variety of ways, including fresh conch salad and conch fritters.

conch fritters

Fritters are a relatively new addition to the cuisine of the Turks and Caicos because in the past in the past, cooking oil was very hard to come by.

So pan frying, poaching, stewing or roasting was typically how people prepared this delicious Turks and Caicos treat.

Festivals and Events: the Best Way to Experience the Cuisine of Turks and Caicos

The best way to encounter the traditional cooking styles of Turks and Caicos is to visit one of the many festivals that are held throughout the year. It’s a way to meet new friends and create long-lasting memories.

Thursday Night Fish Fry

Fried fish is also a new addition to the cuisine of Turks and Caicos, but it has grown to become a cornerstone of community life in Providenciales.

Every week Provo hosts the Thursday Night Fish Fry near the Bight Park.

It’s a great way to taste local cuisine and also meet the local residents of Providenciales. Conch Festival The Conch Festival is held on the last weekend of November every year in Turks and Caicos.

A photo posted by Conch Festival (@conchfestival) on

This event kicks off the Christmas season on Providenciales. It’s a lot of great food and fun for the whole family.

Traditional Caribbean Restaurants on Providenciales

Da Conch Shack

Da Conch Shack is local legend in Turks and Caicos.

da conch shack
Image courtesy da Conch Shack Facebook page

This traditional Caribbean beach bar serves up delicious local foods, including curried conch, cracked conch, fried conch, conch fritters and conch creole. That’s a lot of conch!

The restaurant is also located across the road from a beautiful beach.


Bugaloos is another local favorite on the island of Providenciales.

Located south of Five Cays Settlement, about twenty minutes by car from Grace Bay Beach, Bugaloos serves comfort food, with a beautiful view of the ocean added for free.

Bugaloos is also located next to a wholesale fish market, so the seafood will always be fresh.

Experience Turks and Caicos Cuisines at Hemingway’s

For more restaurants, the Ottawa Citizen has a “restaurant critic’s guide” to fine dining in Turks and Caicos.

However if you’re a guest at the Sands and you want to experience authentic local cuisine, you just have to head over to Hemingway’s, right on beautiful Grace Bay Beach.

The local Caribbean Queen conch is served in many Turks & Caicos restaurants including our very own Hemingway’s beachside restaurant at The Sands at Grace Bay.

The “Conch Served The Way You Like It” menu option offered at Hemingway’s is a great way to experience the taste of our Caicos conch in a variety of ways, as you can choose amongst conch fritters, conch fingers or a fresh conch salad.

These are all delicious and refreshing after a full day of fun under the sun. Another restaurant specialty is the chef’s conch chowder, which is a traditional spicy island recipe that is also made with fresh local conch.

What’s Your Favorite Food When You Visit Us?

Do you have a favorite food or place to eat when you visit Turks and Caicos? If you do, let us know in the comments!



Things To Do In The Caribbean

3 Beach Travel Caribbean Vacation Accessories

Packable pail image

Travel Weekly recently featured a “Great Beach Accessories” article with some terrific and functional travel products that are terrific for those heading to a Caribbean beach destination this fall or winter. Here are a few of the recommendations that we loved, that may be great optional accessories to bring with you to your Turks & Caicos stay at The Sands at Grace Bay:

Fivesse Beach Tote: This is a family-friendly water resistant bag that has interior pockets reserved for everything you need to bring or collect during your day at the beach including pockets for collecting seashells and souveniers, carrying books, cell phones, credit and room key cards, sunscreen, water bottles and more.

Packable Pail: This is a collapsible beach pail that looks just like a full size beach pail but it will conveniently fit into your suitcase and beach bag. Enjoy building sand castles and having fun with the family along Grace Bay Beach with this washable, foldable and durable pail that also includes a sand shovel.

Real X Cooling Cap: This “cool” hat is activated by dunking it in water and will become 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature as it evaporates slowly. This is a quick and easy way for you to cool off from the heat and protect your face from the sun during a day at the beach or while exploring the island and resort. Just dunk it, wring it and wear it to stay cool while out in the sun! This company also makes cooling shirts and towels as well as misting gear.

For more beach travel gear and accessory ideas, visit our resort Pinterest page: Caribbean Beach Travel Gear

Turks Caicos Information

Grace Bay Beach Travel Tips: Ways to Protect Your Tech’s Caribbean Travel Expert, Robert Curley, recently featured some beach travel tips and cool gadgets on his Caribbean Travel blog that can help keep your technology safe and secure when you take it to the beach. Here are some of the protective gear recommendations that would be perfect to pack in your suitcase before your next trip to Turks & Caicos and stay at The Sands at Grace Bay beach:

  1. Travelon Waterproof Smartphone Case – this is a waterproof pouch that can protect your smartphone from the sand and water, that includes a foam insert so your case will float if it happens to fall in the ocean. Your phone can still be operated while its stored in the bag. Travelon Waterproof Smartphone Case
  1. LugSlider 15-inch Laptop Pouch – This laptop bag is made from water-repellant material to help you keep the moisture and sand far away from your computer, and features a convenient carry handle so you can slip it on your arm while carrying your beach bags, chairs and other beach day essentials. LugSlider Laptop Pouch
  1. Outdoor Research Sensor Dry Pocket Tablet – This waterproof case is the perfect size to safely carry your iPad, Kindle or tablet-sized laptop or electronic reading device around the beach. It also comes with Velcro straps, making it easy to attach to your beach chair. Outdoor Research Sensor Dry Pocket Tablet

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 4.03.31 PM

For the complete article, visit:

Things To Do In The Caribbean Turks Caicos Information

The Sands at Grace Bay Is Featured On “Travel The World” Radio Show

The Sands at Grace Bay’s General Manager, Mona Beeson, was the featured guest speaker this week on the “Travel The World” radio show, hosted by Community Digital News.

Travel the world

Mona had the pleasure of chatting with the radio show hosts, Bob Taylor (who has previously stayed at The Sands at Grace Bay) and Jacquie Kubin, about the increasingly popular vacation destination of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos – as well as what makes The Sands an ideal place to stay for those interested in planning a Turks & Caicos trip. They discussed information that can help you plan your perfect Caribbean vacation to Turks & Caicos, including important international travel requirements, local island recommendations and much more – to assist first time visitors.

Anyone interested in planning a trip to the Turks & Caicos Islands may benefit from listening to this Travel The World online radio segment, available at the following link:

There is also a terrific photo slideshow featuring resort and island images, available to view at the following link:

Perfect harmony on Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales

Experience an earthly wonder of sand and sea at our 114-suite luxury resort on Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, British West Indies.

Family-friendly, yet ideally suited for romantic getaways and wedding celebrations, The Sands at Grace Bay offers a harmonious balance of home comforts and sublime Caribbean elegance – as well as a picture perfect location on the sparkling shores of Grace Bay Beach.

If you are dreaming of a beach holiday in the Caribbean that gives you the flexibility of having your own fully-equipped suite while enticing you with fine dining, pristine grounds and sigh-inducing vistas, we look forward to welcoming you to The Sands at Grace Bay.



2 New Romance Deals at The Sands at Grace Bay

The Sands at Grace Bay is offering two new and affordable romance packages in 2015 that feature special touches such as sparkling wine, couples massages, horseback rides along the beach, snorkeling excursions and more – to help couples fall in love all over again in tropical paradise. Our signature romance packages conveniently allow couples to customize the details of their stay, by selecting their preferred accommodation, length of stay and time of visit. The packages may also be combined with our low-season 4th Night Free offer and reduced low-season rates for stays made between May 1st through December 19th, 2015.

The following are inclusions from The Sands’ new 2015 Romance Packages. Room accommodations are not included in the “per couple” price and must be booked separately.

Fall in Love Again Package: $750 Per Couple

  • Chilled bottle of sparkling wine in room upon arrival
  • 70 Minute Swedish Massage For Two
  • Couples Sunset Beach Cruise

Lasting Love Romance Package: $1,350 Per Couple

  • Chilled bottle of sparkling wine in room upon arrival
  • Fresh Flowers & Strawberries in room upon arrival
  • His & Her Spa Treatments For Two including:
    • 70 Minute Swedish Massage
    • Full Scalp Massage
    • Mini Reflexology
  • A 90-Minute Guided Beach Horseback Ride For Two with Provo Ponies
  • Dream Day Getaway Charter: a full day excursion with Caicos Dream Tours that includes a scenic power catamaran cruise to visit Iguana Island, snorkeling Provo’s top-rated coral reefs, diving for conch, hunting for sand dollars & an Island Style BBQ
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers


In addition to our location in one of the Caribbean’s most sought after vacation destinations, our resort guests will also benefit from the following added-value resort amenities during their stay: complimentary use of watersports equipment – including kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear and Hobie Cats; bicycles for island exploration; a Tuesday Manager’s cocktail party; three free-form swimming pools, a tennis/basketball court, and more. Plus, our luxurious studio and suite accommodations feature all the comforts of home and are ideal for a romantic retreat – complete with modern kitchens and appliances, dining and living room areas, screened-in balconies, and much more– just steps away from world-famous Grace Bay Beach.

The 2015 romance package rates exclude the price of room accommodations, resort taxes and service charges. Couples may select their preferred studio or suite accommodation based on their budgets and the romance packages with the resort’s 4th Night Free offer for additional savings. The Sands at Grace Bay’s 4th Night FREE promotion is valid for new bookings made on all room categories, for consecutive stays of four nights or more started and completed between May 1st through December 19th, 2015. The free night is not transferable or redeemable for cash, and is not applicable for groups. More information on these 2015 offers can be found online at:



The Sands at Grace Bay Kicks Off A #SandsSelfie Social Media Contest

The Sands at Grace Bay has just kicked off a #SandsSelfie social media contest that is taking place now through March 31st – where both current and past guests who post a resort “selfie” photo onto the resort’s Facebook or Instagram pages, will be entered to win a future 3-night stay in a luxurious one-bedroom Oceanview suite.

The contest encourages guests to capture and share fun and memorable selfie photos of their Turks & Caicos trip and stay at The Sands at Grace Bay, located on world-famous Grace Bay Beach, and the steps to enter the contest are as follows: 1) guests must take a #SandsSelfie photo from the resort property, 2) post it onto the resort’s Facebook ( or Instagram ( account using the #SandsSelfie hashtag, 3) and “follow” the resort on Facebook and Instagram to receive winner notification.

The #SandsSelfie contest is happening now through March 31st. When the contest ends, one #SandsSelfie photo taken on the resort property will be randomly selected from either the resort’s Facebook or Instagram account as the winner. Photos from current or past guests must include the hashtag #SandsSelfie in their photo descriptions during the specific contest period, to be entered. Those who enter must “follow” the resort Facebook or Instagram pages, to receive the winner notification. One winner will receive a gift certificate for a free 3-night stay in a 1-bedroom Oceanview Suite for a future visit to The Sands at Grace Bay – that can be redeemed within one year from the date it’s awarded.

The Sands at Grace Bay still has availability during the upcoming Caribbean high-season, but travelers will need to reserve their winter stay soon as space is limited. For winter bookings, travelers can check resort availability online via the new website or call toll-free from the U.S. (877) 777-2637; from Canada (800) 567-5327; or contact a travel agent for reservations.

SAN 11539 Selfie Contest Poster