The pace of life is relaxed and easy in Turks and Caicos, a collection of eight main islands and nearly 300 smaller islands just 30 miles southeast of the Bahamas. These low, limestone islands are popular with sun-seekers: the sun shines about 350 days of the year, with daytime temperatures consistently in the 80s. Excellent conditions for diving, mangrove swamps filled with biodiversity, historic salt works and lovely white sand beaches mean there are lots of different ways to spend a day there.
Cruise ships call on the island of Grand Turk. From the dock, you can:
Head to the beach. Spend a day building sand castles, playing beach games, and relaxing in a lounge chair with a cool drink. The Turks and Caicos lie along a barrier reef, so there are also great opportunities for snorkeling.
Go SCUBA diving. Divers love Grand Turk. Just offshore, the water gets deep and the world’s third-largest barrier reef is waiting to be explored. During a port call, there’s usually time to visit two different dive sites.
Visit Cockburn Town. Tour the British Colonial structures along Drake and Front Streets in Cockburn Town, the islands’ center of governance for hundreds of years. Check out the restored Turk’s Head Inn; the Victoria Public Library, built during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in 1887; and the whitewashed boards and red shutters of St. Mary’s Church, which is a good example of the Bermudan style of architecture. You may have time to visit a local craft market, too.
Take a scenic island tour. In 1962, astronaut John Glenn returned from his space mission by splashing down in the water just off the coast of Grand Turk, and you can see a replica of the capsule that brought him back to Earth. There’s also the Salt House, a place to learn about the rise and fall of the salt industry in the islands. North Wells, once a settlement of salt-rakers, is now home to wild horses and donkeys, as well as beautiful birds; you might catch a glimpse of some pink flamingoes.
There’s so much more to do on Grand Turk that your Cruise Holidays expert can share with you while planning your vacation. You can ride horses or dune buggies, sail on a catamaran or paddle a glass-bottomed kayak, go deep-sea fishing, check your surfing skills on a Flowrider, or rent a private pool cabana for your memorable day in the Turks and Caicos.