Turks and Caicos Directory
Turks and Caicos Overview
The beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands are situated 575 miles southeast of Miami. Covering 193 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Turks and Caicos Islands has the third largest coral reef system and the best tropical beaches in the world, making it a premier beach, diving and snorkelling destination and an ideal location for romance, family vacations, ecotourism and adventure seekers.
The name Turks is derived after the indigenous Turk's Head "fez" cactus, and the name Caicos is a Lucayan term "caya hico," meaning string of islands.
Only eight of the 40-plus islands are inhabited – so if you want sun, sea and tranquility, with 200 miles of almost deserted ivory sands and fabulous snorkeling and diving, this is the destination of your dreams. The islands are relatively flat but vary from sand dunes to lush green vegetation. The eight inhabited islands are: Salt Cay, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay.
The capital, Cockburn Town, is on Grand Turk, a favorite haunt of anglers and scuba divers. Just off Grand Turk, the 20-mile wide Turks Island Passage that separates the Turks from the Caicos plunges to great depths. In the last decade on Turks and Caicos, divers have begun to discover some of the finest coral reefs and walls in the world. From the legendary walls of Grand Turk, West Caicos and Provo's Northwest Point to the historic wrecks south of Salt Cay, a dozen world-class walls have become Mecca for the serious diver.
From late December through April, the entire Atlantic herd of 2,500 Humpback Whales pass through the shores on their annual migration to the Mouchoir Bank, just 20 - 30 miles southeast. During this period divers can listen to an underwater concert of the wale's' songs. During the summer, divers encounter Manta Rays cruising the face of the walls. Encounters with Dolphin are not uncommon.
Beach on Salt Cay Turks and Caicos
The island of Providenciales, Provo for short, is our main tourist island, you will find International style hotel accommodations, each one has its own unique set up and surroundings with most of them being located on the beach as well as world class spas and cuisine.
The Turks and Caicos has a wide selection of restaurants that serve local cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes are conch dishes such as conch Creole, Curried Conch, Conch Fritters, Conch Chowder, Cracked Conch, and Dried Conch. Lobster is also regularly served and is one of the main exports of the country.
Most recent development has taken place on Providenciales. This charming island, with a fantastic beach, has grown from an almost uninhabited backwater to a resort island with a population of almost 10,000. At Grace Bay, for instance, there are luxury resort hotels, a casino, a variety of restaurants and a tourist-oriented shopping complex. There is also a golf course. More casual, rustic and intimate accommodations can be found on the other islands and smaller cays. Parrot Cay and Pine Cay are privately owned islands and are home to the most exclusive resorts Parrot Cay Resort and Spa and the Meridian Club.
Most of the islands are only about 10 to 25 minutes by air from Provo and most can be reached by boat too. There are also regular ferries from North to Middle Caicos.
The Turks and Caicos is only 75 minutes from Miami, less than 3 hours from Charlotte, North Carolina, 3 hours from New York and 3 and a half hours from Boston and can easily be reached with direct flights from the US, the UK, Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
American Airlines, US Airways, Delta Airlines, Air Canada and British Airways offer direct routes from Miami, New York, Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Toronto and London. In addition those wishing to travel from within the region can make it easy by flying with BahamasAir, Air Jamaica Express, SkyKing and Air Turks & Caicos from Nassau, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata, Cap Haitien or Cuba.
|Turks and Caicos Facts|
Cockburn Town, Grand Turk
14,302 (July 1996 est.)
Caribbean, two island groups in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas. Geographic coordinates: 21 45 N, 71 35 W
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Turks and Caicos Accommodations