An easy three hour direct flight from New York brings you to paradise for an unforgettable and relaxing weekend. The powdery beaches of Turks and Caicos are enough of a reason to visit but, if you are looking to experience the culture of the Caribbean, this little cluster of islands gives tourists an authentic peek into local life. At present, the island requires up to date Covid-19 vaccinations as well as a negative PCR test to enter and exit the country, creating a safe environment for visitors.
Where To Stay:
On the island of Providenciales, known as Provo, within Turks and Caicos, visitors can choose their own adventure between two equally beautiful beaches. On the Long Bay Beach side of the island, expect serenity and seclusion at the bay’s only hotel, The Shore Club. Even at full capacity, guests feel a sense of desert island bliss when meandering through the foliage lined paths of the property. Each accommodation boasts an ocean view and outdoor terrace, but for the ultimate feeling of exclusivity, book one of The Shore Club’s beachfront villas. The three, four and six room standalone houses are gated and include amenities like a heated pool, private beach access, butler service and a fully stocked chef’s kitchen. Beneath the property, a maze of underground tunnels allow for complete privacy from check in to check out.
On the opposite side of the island, the vibe is a little more lively, but surrounded by the same crystal blue waters and white sand beaches. The Palms is the crown jewel of Grace Bay, treating guests to gorgeous Caribbean style architecture throughout the sprawling 25 acre property. Like The Shore Club, suites at The Palms feature Viking-clad kitchens, ideal for longer stays in paradise. The property is perfect for families with younger children as the hotel has an onsite Conch Kritter’s Club to keep the kids entertained while the adults spend a day on the beach or at the spa.
Where To Eat:
Unlike neighboring islands, Turks and Caicos has so much more to offer than the typical jerk chicken dish. For a laid-back island lunch tucked way on Blue Hills Beach, visit Da Conch Shack. Watch from your beachside picnic table as fishermen hand pick fresh conchs for the restaurant’s signature ceviche. For a casual dinner vibe, try Coco Van for an elevated twist on comfort food classics served out of a vintage airstream. The palm-shaded deck is the perfect place to indulge in a cocktail and an order of their delicious Peking duck tacos.
For a more luxurious dining experience, treat yourself to the incredible Peruvian-Japanese inspired menu at Sui-Ren, also at The Shore Club. The Asian Fusion roll is a must-order along with one of the bar’s barrel-aged cocktails. On Friday evenings, there is live entertainment.
What To Do:
While there is no shame in laying on the beach all day, Turks and Caicos has a wide variety of activities specific to the islands. Long Bay Beach ranks amongst the top sites in the world for kite surfing with its calm waters and gentle breeze. If watersports aren’t on the agenda, it’s just as mesmerizing to watch the experts from your lounge chair.
Behind the kite surfers, you might notice a ship that seems to be stationed in the middle of the sparking bay. Perched about two miles off the coast of Long Bay Beach sits an actual abandoned ship that ran aground in the shallows in 2004 and has been there ever since. Many visitors can be seen jumping off the bow of the ship, though we don’t recommend it as the ship has rusted significantly over the decades. Instead, charter a boat with Caicos Dream Tours for a history lesson on the wreck and an up close peek of the famous cargo ship. Afterwards, grab a midday drink at a truly unique (and secluded) bar located in the middle of Long Bay. Rent a jet ski or grab a boat over to Captain Oak’s Tiki bar for the most Instagrammable beverage imaginable. At low tide, ambitious patrons can walk out to the floating bar.
If you happen to be in Provo on a Thursday, visit the Island Fish Fry for a taste of local cuisine. The weekly neighborhood event attracts the surrounding community and tourists alike. Restaurants from all over the islands set up shop serving favorites like conch salad and crab n’ rice while live music sets the scene.