A Caribbean holiday can’t get better than this! The enviable clarity of the crystalline blue tropical water beckons one to check out all the action on the seafloor and a healthy marine ecosystem makes it a treasure trove for snorkelers and divers. On land, sugar soft sandy beaches spread out languidly, their golden hues contrasted by green patches dotting the shoreline and island interiors and the turquoise water of the sea. The island wildlife and birdlife consist of some unique species. Now you just need to find the best time to visit Turks and Caicos!
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Turks and Caicos is an Atlantic archipelago consisting of forty islands and cays, out of which only eight are inhabited. That means the Caribbean Sea here is a playing field for explorers at heart! Travelers keen to escape crowds and hunting for deserted beaches or uninhabited islands as their chill-spot are handsomely rewarded! Maybe this mix of privacy and the legendary luxurious island hospitality draw the celebrities and tech giants of the world to drop their anchor at Turks and Caicos for a short and sweet Caribbean getaway!
This cluster of Caribbean Islands is just a stone’s throw from Miami and The Bahamas.
The weather god is benign year-round with hardly any shower or cloudy sky to report. The islands are extremely safe with most of the public beaches free to access. The food is mouthwatering and the cocktails refresh and ready you for another sultry sun time. But is everything as good as they say?
Yes, it is. And that’s why we are afraid to say that vacationing in Turks and Caicos doesn’t come cheap. The island imports everything making a holiday super expensive! But that’s where our expertise and knowledge come in handy. We will share with you secrets as to how you can twist the Best time to visit Turks and Caicos in your favor and design a family getaway to this dreamy Caribbean island without robbing a bank.
Best Time to Visit Turks and Caicos
You must be wondering, didn’t we just say great weather all year round with almost no rains, so why are we even discussing the Best time to visit Turks and Caicos? Well, of course, the island temperature hovers between 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and remains pretty consistent throughout the year. But the best time is determined not only by the weather but also by footfall, accommodation prices, and the hurricane season.
December to April
With a clear sky, optimal water condition, no rains, and a soft summery temperature, this is the time when the tourist hordes descend on the island. Needless to say, this is the holiday season for the world, and the island knows it. Most accommodations and activities are priced 30-50% higher compared to other times of the year. Bookings are hard to find, and activities are met with serpentine queues. The same is also seen during the spring break when college crowds fill up the island. If you want to avoid loud noise and constant partying, retreat from all-inclusive resorts on Grace Bay and opt for a stay in a luxury villa, away from it all.
June to November
Due to its location on the tropical Atlantic, the Turks and Caicos Islands are often visited by hurricanes and tropical storms during the late summer and early autumn months. That’s why most of the island shuts down or gets into repair mode during this period. If you have flight flexibility on your side in case of an imminent storm, you can plan your island vacation in its low season. You will get attractive accommodation deals and discounts. But check with activity operators if they are functioning or not. Popular water sports like sailing, parasailing, and other water activities like snorkeling, day cruises operate throughout the year.
Something to keep in mind
It is widely believed by the locals that the island weather fares better than what has been forecasted. Weather clears out fast, and no disturbances hang around for long! And if you believe in stats, then mid-August through September is most likely to be hit by cyclones or hurricanes, so avoid the same.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos with Kids
Out of the eight inhabited islands, tourists generally choose between the biggie beaut, Providenciales, or its sleepy colonial cousin, Grand Turk. Grand Turk has the island capital of Cockburn Town and is a historically dense island.
Providenciales or Provo
Popular as the tourism capital of Turks and Caicos, Providenciales is a gorgeous island laced with eye-candy Caribbean beaches like Grace Bay, Bight Beach, etc. It can match every pocket as a slew of resorts, rentals, and hotels of every magnitude and luxury levels pepper the island. You will get grocery shops, trendy eateries, car hires, and taxi services without breaking a sweat.
Following are some of its coveted areas that are not only scenic but also safe, secure, and suitable for families to stay at.
Home to all-inclusive family-friendly resorts, the seven-mile-long beach of Grace Bay champions over all other Caribbean beaches with its sheer beauty. Known for its stunning beachfront properties where soft sand is just a step away, a stay in this strip is all about elegance and extravaganza. With ocean-facing spacious family-friendly villas, restaurants, and pubs within walking distance, excellent diving opportunities, and lively local bands making up the music scene, this area is an enticing spot to stay with the family.
If you seek a residential vibe to beat the commercial crowd and prices of Grace Bay, head to Turtle Cove. This is where most of the watersports and day cruise operators are located, making it a great bargain for families looking to save on accommodation and daily commute. The saved money and time are precious resources and can be spent on activities instead. It has the island’s largest marina and super nice dining options.
This is another crowd-favorite beachfront locale that is also one of the oldest settlements on the island. People adore it because most properties are located right on the beach. There is Bight Children’s Park where every Thursday, a local fest is held called Island Fish Fry that children simply love to attend.
Long Bay Hill
Another chic address located at the highest point of the island so you can just imagine the view. This is an up-and-coming location that a lot of millennial travelers who want to escape the crowd and trade the on-the-beach experience for something more exclusive are opting for.
If you want to wind down your expenses, Grand Turk offers the same Providenciales perks at a comparatively pocket-friendly price. Plenty of activities are available on the island like wetland tours, snorkeling, or just lazing around on one of its gorgeous beaches. History lovers can walk to the lighthouse, check out the church, prison, library, and museum.
Private Islands and Cays
If you are celebrating a milestone with your family, treat them to a very special experience of staying on a private island. There are three cays or keys in this archipelago known for their luxury resorts and villas, COMO Parrot Cay is one of them. These are properties where you can do all activities right there, apart from all resort amenities. The concierge will be happy to help you design the holiday of your dreams to impress your family!
How to get around Turks and Caicos with Kids
The two most popular ways of approaching this island cluster are either by air or water. You can either fly in a commercial flight or arrive onboard a cruise ship or a yacht. The US operates many seasonal flights to Turks and Caicos that offer attractive low-season discounts. Turks and Caicos is a relatively short flight from the US mainland. That’s why it is a firm family favorite for parents with a very young child who is still doesn’t have experience with long-haul flights.
Flights and ferries
International flights mostly land at Providenciales International Airport, while the cruise ships and yachts dock at the Grand Turk. If you are not staying at Providenciales or intend to island hop, you can take a local flight to reach your destination from any of the smaller airports like Grand Turk’s JAGS McCartney International Airport. Alternatively, one can also charter a ferry to travel between islands. Ferries have three routes and have daily scheduled departures.
Cars and Cabs
Sadly, the islands don’t have much public transport to speak of except a handful of taxis. These you can find in bigger islands like Grand Turk, Middle Caicos, etc. Most of them don’t ply on a meter, and therefore you need to fix a charge before embarking. Tourists should be cautious while renting unofficial cabs or jitney services that might end up scamming them.
For families that intend to explore the islands thoroughly, car rentals are the best choice! Beware that since it’s a British governed island, driving is on the left side, unlike the US. But since most cars are from the US, they have left-hand steering. This might confuse you, so take time to figure it out. Read the details of driving instructions and how to negotiate roundabouts and manage alighting passengers on the traffic side to ease your driving experience once on the island.
Bikes and Scooters
For small families with young ones, renting a scooter might be a cute and cheap option. Helmets are not mandatory but do take one to keep your family safe. Many resorts offer bikes and Scooters as complementary services as well. It’s easily a fuel-efficient and cheap way to beach crawl or attraction-hopping in a concentrated location.
How Much Time to Stay in Turks and Caicos with Kids
For an introductory trip to the island, a week-long itinerary will suffice. It will have enough time to sneak in plenty of leisure lounging on the beach, do a little cultural trip of the island, explore its nature reserves teeming with tropical flora and fauna unique to the island and also add in a couple of days if you want to venture to the north or south of the main island and explore the archipelago much deeply on a boat excursion. Space out activities so that the kids get ample time to snooze and regenerate their energies in-between. Nobody wants cranky children throwing a fit instead of fully enjoying an activity. Like your luggage, pack the itinerary light as well (obviously taking your kid’s capacity into consideration)!
Many time-starved families look to book themselves in one of the many all-inclusive family resorts of Turks and Caicos that have their own in-house restaurants, beach access, swimming pools, waterparks, entertainment activities, and kids’ camp. It will be a real loss if one doesn’t devote enough time to the resort to fully utilize all their amenities. That’s why we recommend a minimum five days stay for a healthy mix of resort activities and off-site real Turks and Caicos exploration. Three days for the resort and two days to explore the sight and sounds of the island.
Things To Do in Turks and Caicos With Kids
Turks and Caicos offer unlimited family fun of every nature. Whether it is adventurous, educational, cultural, skill-centric, or wildlife, one has to be just mindful enough to design their own perfect family island itinerary!
The refreshing and soul-soothing turquoise water, clear and calm surf, a menagerie of tropical sea life scuttling underwater, a complex network of reefs with all its mystery, a bevy of incredible beaches, and a lot of unique local history and culture is an open-arm invite to visiting kids to immerse themselves deep into the heart of Turks and Caicos.
After having a fill of the most popular beaches like Grace Bay, Leeward, and Bight Beach, kids can enjoy the shallow and warm waters of other sheltered and secluded beaches like Taylor Bay, Sapodilla Bay, and Turtle Tail Beach. All these beaches offer a uniquely serene environment with gentle waves and soft sands that kids will simply adore.
Learn a new water sport
For slightly older kids, a plethora of watersports are awaiting. Lessons from trusted academies are available along with all the latest sailing vessels like the unsinkable Hobie cats, Laser sailboats, and other little catamarans. Learn sailing, swimming, diving, kiteboarding, etc.
Something for marine lovers
Snorkeling enthusiasts can explore easy to reach reefs starting quite close to the beaches like the Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef. The colorful and interesting reef fish, coral heads, and mysterious lush seagrass hiding more marine treasures are thrilling to explore.
Beach trotting on a horseback
One of the unique and child-friendly ways of exploring the beach is a beach trot with a Provo pony. The animals are a delight and absolutely safe for kids of all ages. The ponies often walk inside water which is a joyful experience for any kid. The guides have training and knowledge to make this horseback riding on the beach a complete experience.
Boat excursions and cruises
For school-goers or slightly older kids, there are tonnes of deserted sand bars, uninhabited islands, shallow lagoons, off the main island that are waiting to be discovered. The parents can join in on the fun and book a charter boat for a day cruise. Most charters have fun things like water slides, wakeboards for the kids to never stop having fun even when they are on board a vessel. They also organize beach BBQs and offer lunch, snorkeling, and more.
Another all-ages activity to experience the island life to the hilt is to take off up in the air and parasail while this compact and ravishing Atlantic archipelago lays out below with all its wonder! The intricate reef network, the blinding blue clear water, beautiful resorts spread out like tasty treats is a wonderful sight to behold from a bird’s eye view. Parasailing boats operate out of Grace Bay and Bight Beach.
Amble back centuries as you soak in the plantation era Providenciales at Cheshire Hall Plantation. This is a historic landmark of this island and is a capsule glimpse of the island’s plantation past. The tour is educational and kids can buy local handicrafts from a small hut on the compound.
If you are on the island on a Thursday, don’t forget to take your kids to the Bight’s Children Park for Island Fish Fry. No, it is not only the food that is a huge draw here. It is a weekly event and comprises an activity-laden evening where all can enjoy local live music bands, farmers market, cultural performances, costume dancing, and loads of local fun.
Wildlife and Eco Tours
Little Water Cay is famous for iguana spotting. It is a lovely nature reserve to come face to face with this docile island inhabitant, the Turks, and Caicos Island Rock Iguanas. This spot is near Leeward and can be either clubbed with an eco-tour or done separately if you are not doing one.
Eco-tours are highly advisable to explore the tropical wetlands and mangrove zones to admire both the marine and terrestrial wildlife in their natural setup. You can opt for either kayaking or paddleboarding as the spots are located quite near to the mainland. You will get to see stingrays, turtles, conch, starfish, baby lemon sharks, and nurse sharks, and of course, the iguanas.
No island trip is ever complete without saying hi to the island’s own Good Bois and Good Gals! Another unique animal activity is to drop by at the Potcake Place, a nonprofit rescue charity for the island’s local dog breed, the Potcakes. They are barkless hunting dogs that are offered to the visiting guests to be taken out for a socialization walk on Grace Bay. Isn’t that cute? If you are a dog lover, this will be a one-of-a-kind experience!
Things to Eat in Turks and Caicos
The destination is best savored when it is served on a plate! And Turks and Caicos is no exception. Reflecting the healthy fishing culture of local communities and plenty of maize, plantain, papaya, and pea’s cultivation in the freshwater starved farm belt, a scrumptious offering from the island generally consists of a unique amalgamation of all the cultures that have passed through this tropical archipelago in the course of its history. Starting from the Taino natives to the Bahamian influence and Jamaican inspiration, Turks and Caicos cuisine is an absolutely delicious melting pot of its heavyweight neighbors. Though it is hard to come by authentic TCI dishes in the main islands like Providenciales, as one venture in the less populated islands of North Caicos, Middle Caicos, and South Caicos, the island cuisine makes its presence felt.
Start your day with the island’s favorite breakfast, boiled fish, and grits.
Locally caught fresh seafood is definitely the dominant factor here. You can also have it for lunch, just add a side of Johnnycake. Satiate your conch craving with Conch fritters, Coconut conch chowder, cracked conch, or Conch ceviche. The blue mud crabs are the island’s wetland treasures and are best sampled in a plate of Crab and rice. For some easy starch with your fish or chicken protein, grab a bowl of Hominy grits.
Another unusual fish that the island has started consuming lately to maintain the marine ecological balance of the surrounding waters is cooking up Lionfish in a variety of ways. Local Lobsters are seasonal and you can eat them fresh between August to March when it’s the open season. Vegetarians don’t roll their eyes just yet! Try some Callaloo stew made from indigenous leafy vegetables or Peas and rice. Seafood lovers can take a well-deserved break by biting into some juicy and charry Blackened or jerk chicken or fish.
Are you ready to craft your next Caribbean family vacay to Turks and Caicos? Now that you have our insights, you only need to throw in your intent to the mix! As we have always stressed, work around the seasonal traveling and find the sweet spot between high and low season. The Best time to visit Turks and Caicos is when the weather, activities, crowd, food, flight, and stay will be cost-wise at a low point, with plenty of discounts or upgrades. Hope our blog helped you crack this difficult equation, and soon your family will set out for their next Caribbean romp!