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Turks and Caicos Islands

Lying off the southeastern tip of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands encompass one of the world's largest coral reef systems, earning the islands a reputation as a premier dive destination. Exquisite white-sand beaches fringe this necklace of about 40 islands, where water sports, nature trails, iguana reserves, underground caves, and dazzling seascapes are the main draws. Fishing is also excellent, and from January through April, you can spot humpback whales on their annual migration route around these unspoiled islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory, and only eight of the islands are inhabited. Cruise ships glide into the main port on Grand Turk, home to the quiet capital of Cockburn Town. Providenciales, known as "Provo," is the most developed island, and its spectacular Grace Bay is one of the planet's most ravishing beaches. Middle Caicos, the largest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, has the most dramatic coastline, with limestone cliffs plunging to turquoise bays.

Things to do

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory, and only eight of the islands are inhabited. Cruise ships glide into the main port on Grand Turk, home to the quiet capital of Cockburn Town.

Grace Bay, Providenciales

Stretching for more than eight kilometers, Grace Bay is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Powdery sand meets crystal-clear water in striking shades of blue along this exquisite slice of coast, and coral reefs shimmer just offshore. Part of the Princess Alexandra Marine Park, Grace Bay Beach is the focal point for tourism on the island of Providenciales.

Diving & Snorkeling

Diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands are among the most popular things to do on the islands. Surrounded by one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world, the islands sit on a vast underwater plateau with dramatic drop-offs not far from shore, making it an excellent destination for wall dives - especially in Grand Turk.

Chalk Sound National Park, Providenciales

An eye-popping shade of turquoise, Chalk Sound is a beautiful lagoon with limestone deposits separated from the ocean by a thin stretch of sand. Sprinkled throughout the sparkling waters are tiny green-topped rock islands, which are home to many iguanas. About a 20- to 30-minute drive away from Grace Bay, the area is a beautiful place to take photographs.

Little Water Cay Tour

About 456 meters across the sea from Providenciales, Little Water Cay (locally known as "Iguana Island") is home to rare and endangered rock iguanas, and you can hop aboard a boat tour to see these friendly creatures. The iguanas once roamed throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, but domestic dogs and cats all but wiped them out - except on Little Water Cay where they are protected.

Turks and Caicos Islands Attractions

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Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos Islands (5 rentals)

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Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos Islands

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