Turks and Caicos Beaches

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Turks and Caicos Beaches
Locals will tell you no other Caribbean sand feels quite so soft as the sands found in Turks and Caicos. The beaches here are all public access, and whether you're into snorkeling, kiteboarding, or beachcombing, you'll find somewhere that suits.
Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Department of Tourism
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    The Most Iconic Sands
    With beaches spread along more than 40 islands and cays, it’s pretty easy to find a spot of your own in Turks and Caicos. There are, however, a few must-see beaches on the islands, including the most famous of them all, Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales. Stretching more than 12 miles, this beach is famous for its powder-fine sand and the water's amazing shades of blue. Other iconic beaches include Belle Sound on South Caicos, for its lagoon-like waters, and the uninhabited Gibbs Cay, just one mile off Grand Turk; it's better known as Stingray City—for reasons that become obvious if you visit.
    Photo courtesy of Turks and Caicos Department of Tourism
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    Kiteboarding Hotspots
    The warm and shallow waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands are a kiteboarder's dream, because of all the free-riding terrain to choose from; it's the perfect kiting destination, regardless of skill level. Beginners should check out Long Bay Beach on Providenciales, where the waters are shallow and there is ample space for practicing; more advanced kiters will love Turtle Tail Bay, where you can ride the wind right out to the ocean from the protected bay. For an exclusive kiteboarding experience on the islands, book a trip with KiteProvo out to Northwest Point Beach.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Family-Friendly Beaches
    From shallow beaches that offer easy access for little legs to sandy stretches attached to children’s playgrounds, there are tons of great options for family-friendly beaches along the shores of Turks and Caicos. The Bight Beach on Providenciales is the sight of the weekly TCI Fish Fry and also has a new children’s playground. Another Provo spot great for children is Sapodilla Bay, where the shallow waters are constantly calm and provide a safe spot to splash around. A bit farther off the beaten path, South Creek on Salt Cay is technically considered a wetland (the only wetland on Salt Cay), and although it’s too shallow for swimming, the area is great for exploring the sand patches and tide pools during low tide.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Beach Adventures
    Lounging on a beach all day is great if you’re looking for some R&R, but there’s so much more to do on a beach vacation than just perfecting tan lines. The proximity of Leeward Beach on Providenciales to the mangroves and Iguana Island (Little Water Cay) make this beach the perfect spot for launching into an adventure, whether it’s on a paddleboard or a kayak from the nearby marina. Three Mary Cay on North Caicos is a wildlife-protected area, meaning this private location is perfect for spotting everything from rare osprey (while kayaking) to exotic marine life like octopus, starfish, and urchin (while snorkeling). Back on Provo, Malcolm Beach is secluded enough for sunbathing, but it’s also one of the best spots for bonefishing.
    Photo by Matt Dutile/age fotostock
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    Party Beaches
    From the smoking-hot to the super-cool, Turks and Caicos has plenty of party beaches. Blue Hills Beach on Providenciales is a favorite spot for artists to hang out, and with tons of restaurants and bars along the beach (including Da Conch Shack restaurant), you’re almost guaranteed to find some action if you stake out a spot here. Boasting the same name as the island’s local rum, Bambarra Beach generally has something going on—even if it’s something random like the annual Valentine’s Day Cup model sailboat race. Locals on North Caicos mainly go to one beach to hang out and have a good time, so if you’re looking to party alongside the Belongers, head to Horse Stable Beach.
    Photo courtesy of da Conch Shack
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    Superb Snorkeling
    From night snorkeling with glowworms to sighting sessile sea life just off the shoreline, Turks and Caicos has a slew of snorkeling spots for every skill level. Smiths Reef is the best place for beginners on Providenciales, with easy access points and almost guaranteed encounters with creatures that hang out in the coral reefs, like long-nose trumpet fish and colorful schooling fish. Located within walking distance of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, Governor’s Beach is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on the island, partly due to its protected reef system within Columbus Landfall National Park. Pillory Beach—also on Grand Turk—is both phenomenal and highly underrated, with frequent sightings of normally rare eagle rays.
    Photo by Franco Banfi/age fotostock
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    Where to Go Beachcombing
    With more than 230 miles of beach to comb, you’re bound to uncover the perfect natural souvenir. Make sure to check current limitations on what you can take home (up to three conch shells in season), and put extra sunscreen on your back if you plan on looking in tide pools all day. South Point Beach on Salt Cay has remained relatively undiscovered by the tourists that make it out to this island, so the only competition for beach time may be one of the docile, semi-wild donkeys that call this region home. Pelican Point Beach on North Caicos is a quiet spot for unearthing conch shells, and Fort George Cay (also known as Shell Beach) is by far the best destination in the island chain to bulk up your shell collection.
    Photo by Ethan Daniels/age fotostock
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    Scenic Rocky Ridges
    Turks and Caicos is most famous for its sands, but the shores along the islands and cays offer many other scenic options to explore. South District Beach on Salt Cay does have some sand speckled along the shoreline, but for the most part this rocky beach is best for careful crawls over the rocks and amazing photo ops at night. Although Pumpkin Bluff Pond Beach on Providenciales is notorious for being one of the hardest beaches to reach, it’s well worth the trip to see how this rocky beach got its name. (Spoiler alert: It’s from the orange hue emitted from the reflection of the rocks and sand in the water.) Joe Grant Cay is another isolated island bound by rocky ridges and bluffs great for climbing.
    Photo by Terrance Klassen/age fotostock
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    From late January through early April, the waters surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands team with a whole new range of life and activity as humpback whales pass the islands on their annual migration. While a dedicated whale-watching trip or dive is by far the best way to encounter these creatures or to hear their songs beneath the water, there are a few beaches where if you stake out a spot you might catch a glimpse of a passing whale. Northeast Point Beach on Salt Cay has some scenic overlooks that make it easy to see into the waters, and the limestone bluff surrounding Little Bluff Point Beach offers a height advantage to anyone needing a boost.
    Photo courtesy of Sean Brady/Oasis Divers
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    Blissful Seclusion
    No matter the season, with so many stretches of sand and shore, it’s easy to feel like the only tourist on the islands in Turks and Caicos. If you want total privacy, check out Taylor Bay on Providenciales, located one mile farther on from an already low-density beach. Northwest Point Beach is also on Provo, but the feeling of isolation is even more evident since the sands are not maintained (mind the scattered seaweed). The private island of Pine Cay in the Caicos Cays is another secluded location where you can be alone with your thoughts; if you feel the need for a response to those thoughts, the Meridian Resort is only a short walk away.
    Photo by Walter Bibikow/age fotostock