Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Breathtaking beaches. Calm tourmaline waters. Stunning coral reefs and some of the world’s best diving.

This is the Turks and Caicos, one magnificent cluster of Caribbean Isles that lured me with its unimaginable beauty. I promise that one visit here is never enough. I know it wasn’t for me. I was so taken aback by its magnificent natural wonders that I found myself planning a return trip even before my plane landed in the U.S.

Turks and Caicos Weather

One of the joys of this Caribbean destination located between the Dominican Republic and the Tropic of Cancer is its pleasant and consistent weather throughout the year. The tropical climate sports winter temperatures of around 75 degrees and 82 in the summer. Though the summer season is sultrier and more humid, the warmer climate is tempered by soft ocean breezes.

Compared to other Caribbean islands, the Turks and Caicos, tends to be a bit more arid. Rainfall ranges from 27 to 29 inches a year with November being the rainiest month. This is more than enough to keep the islands lush and green.

sunset in Turks and Caicos
Another stunning Turks and Caicos sunset (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Best Time to Go to the Turks and Caicos

If it weren’t for the hurricane risk that lures over the Caribbean from summer through fall, the Turks and Caicos would be an ideal place to vacation any time of the year. However, August to October are its more prone-to-hurricane months. According to the locals, the “best time” to visit is from January to April, with April the best overall.

Current Travel Restrictions

Yes, the island is open for tourism, and there is no quarantine requirement.

However, a travel authorization is required to board a flight with a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than five days before arrival, along with proof of travel insurance covering COVID-19 medical costs.

Masks will not be required in public places after June 30th. Up to date information can be found on the Turks and Caicos tourism website.

The U.S. currently requires a COVID-19 test to return and many hotels and resorts offer free testing.

Where to Stay: Turks and Caicos’s Best Resorts

conch shell on the beach
A conch shell on the beach (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The Turks and Caicos offer a myriad of accommodations and resorts, most located on the beautiful 12-mile stretch of Grace Bay in Providenciales. Here are some of our favorite properties for their location, quality of accommodations, amenities, and reputation.

Turks and Caicos: The Alexandra Resort

The casual chic luxury all-inclusive Alexandra resort sports a magnificent beachfront address. 90 spacious suites range from studios to a 4-bedroom penthouse, and a full range of amenities and services.

Turks and Caicos: Blue Haven Resort

Alexandra’s sister resort, the Blue Haven, is also an all-inclusive high on luxury and it’s the only resort at the far eastern end of the island. Overlooking picturesque protected Mangrove Kay, the 51-suite condo property reflects the beautiful ambience of the Dutch Antilles.

Turks and Caicos: Ocean Club Resorts

A hammock at Ocean Club in Turks and Caicos
A welcoming hammock at Ocean Club on Grace Bay Beach (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Situated directly on the sugar-white sands of Grace Bay Beach, Ocean Club features the choice of an East or West resort with a classic laid-back Caribbean style. This all-inclusive vacation club’s accommodations span from studios to three-bedroom beachfront villas, and it’s the perfect resort for families.

Check out our review of an amazing Ocean Club condo

Turks and Caicos: Ritz Carlton

Much to the delight of Ritz Carlton fans, this opulent seaside resort with private balconies and sweeping panoramic ocean views is slated to open in July, 2021. Of no surprise, this premier property features high-end luxury, a host of top amenities, and even an on-site casino. Guests can choose from a selection of 147 ocean view rooms, including 23 suites, or five three-story penthouses, each with their own rooftop plunge pools.

Where to Play on the Island

Visitors come to the Turks and Caicos Islands for two main reasons—the beaches and the water. The beaches are magnificent and its crystal-clear turquoise seas are so breathtakingly beautiful, they practically defy description.

boat in the water in Turks and Caicos
Views of the island from the water (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Outdoor activities abound. Here are some of my favorites in this island paradise.

Turks and Caicos Grace Bay Beach

Even on an island known for its fabulous beaches, Grace Bay stands out for its stunning stretch of pearly-white sand. It’s no surprise that it’s often named one of the best beaches in the world.

Caressing ocean breezes rustle through the palms, and the waters are calm, crystalline, and warm. It’s no wonder many of the best-known resorts and hotels are located on this breathtaking 12-mile stretch of heaven.

Diving and Snorkeling in Paradise

school of fish as seen snorkeling in Turks and Caicos
Grab some snorkeling gear and meet more of the locals (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Home to numerous snorkeling trails and stretches of psychedelically-colored coral reefs, the Turks and Caicos feature some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean.  The abundance of marine life here includes dolphins, sharks, rays, turtles, whales, and an array of strikingly multi-hued tropical fish.

Kayaking the Mangroves

Two kayak guides holding a yellow kayak
Try out kayaking in Mangrove Cay (Photo credit: Noreen Kompanik)

The pristine scenic 286-acre uninhabited Mangrove Cay showcases the unique red mangrove island trees with their fascinating twisted roots reaching out into the calm, protected waters. The best way to see this magnificent water wonderland is by guided water tours.

Water Play TCI instructors provide an in-depth eco-tour experience by kayak (as we did) or paddleboard. There’s nothing better than exploring the crystalline waters and seeing turtles, baby sharks, conchs, starfish, and more.

Foods to Try in the Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is an amazing place to experience incredible Caribbean dishes. The blending influences of West Africa, South Asia, South America, and Europe along with the freshest seafood and local ingredients create the recipe for tantalizing culinary treasures.

Conch Ceviche at Ocean Club East
Conch Ceviche at Ocean Club East (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Cracked Conch is the island’s iconic dish. Whether it’s prepared as a ceviche, deep fried as conch fritters, or grilled, it’s amazing. Callaloo stew is a traditional Caribbean vegetable dish first introduced in the 16th century. Jerk Chicken is also a staple of the islands, and oh so good. If you’ve never had Johnny Cake, you have to try it. This pan-baked cornbread is an island mainstay.

Turks and Caicos Travel Tips

sunset in the Turks and Caicos
Sunset in the Turks and Caicos (Photo by: Noreen Kompanik)

Packing for a Turks and Caicos vacation is an easy task. Bathing suits, coral-safe sunscreen, sunglasses, a sun hat, flip flops, and casual clothing are the most important items in your suitcase. The U.S. dollar is the official currency.

U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a passport to enter the country. Wi-Fi and cell phone service worked great for me (but could depend on your provider).

Is Turks and Caicos Safe?

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling throughout the Caribbean and I felt very safe in the Turks and Caicos. Petty theft can take place anywhere, so no matter where I travel, I follow these same precautions: Keep your doors locked, use your in-room safe, don’t flash around large amounts of cash, use common sense, and always stay aware of your surroundings.

Although the Turks and Caicos is one of the lesser-known of the Caribbean Island groupings, it’s a not-to-be-missed gem with less hustle and bustle found on the more-frequented islands. It’s a true tropical paradise I’m so glad I experienced.