Tours and attractions in Grand Turk island

Another touristic island in Turks and Caicos chain of islands is Grand Turk, the capital of this tiny country, located at the southeastern tip of this island chain.
It is a small island (unlike expected from its name), it is 11 km long and 2 km wide, home for 4,000 residents. The main town on the island is Cockburn in which there is the concentration of the government buildings in the country, a small number of hotels, the national museum of Turk and Caicos and a few wonderful beaches with white soft sand and turquoise water.

The island became touristic since it started being visited in 2006 by the Carnival Corporation large cruise ships. In the winter months, daily there would come to the harbor two large cruise ships. The cruise ships arriving at the island port in a modern ornate harbor with docks to which the largest ships can tie to.


cruise ships at grand turk port


It is recommended to visit Grand Turk island with a cruise ship for a one day trip. Close to the harbor, there is a modern center, abundant with facilities which resembles in its style to a private island of cruise companies. In the center of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, there is a large and beautiful swimming pool, a tourist center, duty-free stores, handicraft stands, restaurants, taxies and various tours on the island and sea. At the harbor itself, by the ships, there is a popular beach with white sand and deck chairs.


cruise center swimming pool

The beaches in Grand Turk

Despite the small size of the island, it has an excellent variety of great beaches. Close to the dock of the cruise ships, there is a popular beach with soft white sand, deck chairs, parasols and hammocks. A short driving distance from the harbor, southwest of the island there is the “Governor’s Beach”. One of the cleanest beaches in the Caribbean, with clear water and rescue services. The beach has calm and shallow turquoise water and a strip of soft white sand in the shape of a moon. The beach is decorated with Casuarina trees that provide natural shade. You can rent their deck chairs. It is a popular beach both for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is in front of the Governor House.


grand turk beach hotels


 The beach that is considered the most beautiful of all is the “Pillory Beach” with stunning turquoise waters. This is also a popular beach for snorkeling.



Sailing tours and diving

The island is considered one of the five best diving sites in the world and that is thanks to the huge coral reef descending as a steep wall 2133 meters deep into the ocean, which is just a few hundred meters off the shorelines. It is the third largest reef in the world. The underwater visibility of the seawater in the area is excellent. The entire west coast of the island is a protected water park.
Many companies specialize is diving tours on the island. Even if you are not divers you could be impressed by the wonders of the underwater world with a tour that includes sailing the Catamaran to several islets nearby the Grand Turk and snorkel.

Grand Turk Catamaran sail and snorkel

 The reef close to the “Round Cay” is considered one of the best diving and snorkeling sites in Grand Turk. Also, the “Horseshoe Reef” is an excellent destination included in most tours. Those who prefer to swim with the “sea cats” (giant stingrays) can do so close to “Gibb’s Cay”.


stingrays in grand turk

From January until March thousands of whales swim close to Grand Turk and it is an excellent period to go whale watching.


Overland tours

Those who prefer a land-base tour can join the Hop-On Hop-Off Island Tour including a free bus ride which circles the island and stops at the major attractions, beaches and harbor. The ticket price includes an entry to different sites such as the old prison, Cockburn clock tower and the lighthouse Park.


Cockburn beaches

The Grand Turk lighthouse is 150 years old. It was built in England and was brought to the island in pieces. Today it is a wonderful lookout point of the island and the islands around it and a starting point for a hike along the cliff to the east seashore.


grand turk light house


 Close to the lighthouse, there is the rope park with a long omega “zip line”.
Fans of driving and action can go on a guided ATV tour or a tour in a self-driven electrical red ornate Hummers. A successful company that organizes riding on the island is "Funtastic Tours" – during the two-hour tour, you will learn a lot about the animals and vegetation on the island.


Hummer tour


You will travel among the many salty pools (which were in the past the main industry on the island but is no longer active) and you will encounter many wild donkeys. The salt served, in the past, to preserve the fish in an era when there was no electricity or fridges.


Salt Pools:

salt pools in grand turks island


 The salt was transported at the time with donkeys but after the pools were abandoned, the donkeys were released. Today there are about 300 donkeys wondering around freely all over the island.


donkeys in grand turk island

The hotels along the coast are small and simple and resemble small motels and hostels. You cannot compare them to the size and quality of the hotels in Provo island.



A flight over the island

 I recommend Taking A scenic flight in a light plane from Grand Turk to Provo. It is a cheap flight of about 25 minutes which during it you could see spectacular views of the islands and numerous islets of Turks and Caicos surrounded by reefs and clear turquoise waters. In Provo you can visit the beatiful Grace bay beach.


The view from a flight over the Turks and Caicos Islands

You will find wide and updated information about Turks and Caicos on the official state tourist website:
If you are on a trip to the eastern United States, it is good to combine it with a visit to Turks and Caicos at the end of your trip. It will be undoubtedly “the icing on the cake” of your trip! 


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Turks and Caicos Islands Travel

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