Turks & Caicos
Turks and Caicos is a small archipelago nation south of the Bahamas. It is made up of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. Technically, it’s located in the Atlantic Ocean, not in the Caribbean Sea, but it’s still commonly thought of as part of the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos is a welcoming place for U.S. citizens – the U.S. dollar is the official currency and the official language is English. But the nation is a British Crown Colony, so U.S. travelers need a passport to travel there.
The weather in Turks and Caicos is ideal. A constant trade wind keeps temperatures comfortable and tropical, ranging from 85 to 90 degrees from June to October and 80 to 84 degrees from November to May. It also averages 350 days of sunshine a year, so travelers can feel confident that their trip will be warm and sunny almost any time they go.
The two main islands, Providenciales (part of the Caicos Islands) and Grand Turk (part of the Turks Islands), are home to many of the main attractions of Turks and Caicos. Providenciales is the most populated of the islands and is a top beach destination. Grace Bay Beach, located on the island, is a long beach by Caribbean standards (12 miles long), so travelers usually have an easy time finding a patch of sand to relax in. Providenciales is also home to the Caicos Conch Farm, the only conch farm in the world. Conch is an integral part of Caribbean cuisine, especially in Turks and Caicos, and the country’s flag even has a conch symbol on it. Conch fritters and conch salad are the most popular ways to enjoy the island staple.
Grand Turk is the capital island as well as the largest of the Turks Islands. A popular excursion for travelers is a trip to Gibbs Cay, where visitors can explore an uninhabited island and meet friendly stingrays who will swim right up to them. Another popular activity on Grand Turk is scuba diving, as the island has healthy coral, diverse marine life and visibility that can exceed 100 feet. There are many dive companies for travelers to choose from, as well as many beautiful locations to dive in.