The Turks and Caicos Islands are a secret gem of the Atlantic Ocean. They’re a British Overseas Territory and are divided into two main parts: the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands. Only around 30,000 people call Turks and Caicos home, but many more come here every year for vacation.
If there’s a place that relies heavily on tourism and foreign money is Turks and Caicos. They’re a well-known beach destination among seasoned travelers. And for good reason! The Turks and Caicos have beautiful beaches where you can swim, snorkel, or play water and land sports.
If you’ve always wanted to relax in the sun and be surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters, the Turks and Caicos beaches are perfect for you. There are many kinds of beaches spread across the two groups of islands. You’ll also find plenty of accommodation options in the islands! No matter what your dream vacation is, any Turks and Caicos beach offers exactly what you want.
But with so many picture-perfect beaches, how do you know which Turks and Caicos beach is the one for you? We believe that you can have your dream vacation as long as you do some research beforehand. Are food and drink important to you? What about paddle boarding in the clean water? Or maybe you’re after snorkeling beaches?
To make your life easier, we’ve put together a list with our top picks for best beaches in Turks and Caicos. After reading this article, you should be able to choose your dream beach.
1) Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach is a pristine, white-sand beach located off the coast of Providenciales. It’s the classical Turks and Caicos beach: fine sand, clean water, and lined by private Caicos resort villages. Any travel guide will recommend it to you and your family.
But the beach is open to anyone. All are welcome to come experience what the most famous beach in the country has to offer. Even if you’re not staying at one of the finest resorts, you can come practice stand up paddle boarding or just lay out in the sun!
Grace Bay Beach is a little more than three miles long and has won the award for best beach several times. Which comes as no surprise! The barrier reef that lies a mile off the coast shelters Grace Bay Beach. There are no seaweeds, rocks, or pollution here — something hard to find sometimes. The proximity to the reef also makes this one of the best snorkeling beaches in the area!
Grace Bay is also part of the Princess Alexandra National Park. So, if you’re a fan of nature — both under and above the surface — make Grace Bay Beach one of your must stops during your Providenciales Turks and Caicos vacation.
2) Leeward Beach
If you cross Grace Bay Beach headed east you’ll arrive at Leeward Beach. This one is also located in Providenciales and is slightly less famous than the beach we’ve mentioned before. But don’t let this fool you — it’s just as much worth a visit!
You won’t find luxury villas and spas here, something not that common in South America. This means that Leeward Beach isn’t as crowded and is much more tranquil than other neighboring beaches. The vibe is much cozier and straight out of a postcard.
The calm waters of Leeward Beach make it a great destination for water sports enthusiasts. You can rent kayaks and equipment for paddle boarding here. If you’d rather have a less active holiday, don’t be discouraged. Leeward Beach is famous for having stunning seashells spread all over the sand. Bring a small purse and fill it with memories to bring back home!
3) Bight Beach
Bight Beach is located right to the west of Grace Bay Beach. It’s a very famous Providenciales beach among locals because of how welcoming it is for large families with children. Not to mention that the sugar-like sand and the crystalline water where lionfish swim is begging to be photographed.
If you look at a resort map, you’ll see that Bight Beach is lined by some. But this doesn’t make it as crowded as the more-talked-about Grace Bay Beach. It’s the perfect compromise between secluded and lively. You can find restaurants in walking distance of the beach, but still find a quiet section of sand to spend the day in.
Bight Beach is most famous for the barrier reef of the same name, also known as Coral Gardens. Because this beach is so close to it, you can go snorkeling. You’ll most likely spot barracudas, sea turtles, stingrays, and eagle rays swimming around. This is because they love the seagrass and the reefs so much they call Bight Beach their own!
Families love coming here because the beach has restrooms and a children’s playground. If they get tired or need to go potty, you don’t ever have to leave the beach! Another attractive feature is the picnic tables in the shade.
Bight Beach has just about everything you’d want. You’ll notice the day pass by in the blink of an eye!
4) Mudjin Harbour
Moving on to the island of Middle Caicos, Mudjin Harbour is a beach worth checking out. It’s the most famous beach on this island and is often called the top landscape attraction of Turks and Caicos.
The first feature that puts Mudjin Harbour on the map is its limestone cliffs. Their dramatic look enchants many visitors who keep coming back year after year. The Dragon Cay, a small ironshore island a few feet off the coast of the beach, also impresses tourists. Lastly, the cave system that sprawls out near Mudjin Harbour dazzles anyone who comes here.
Other than that, Mudjin Harbour is your typical Turks and Caicos beach. The water may not be as calm all year round, but the sand is the characteristic white. People who come visit usually come for the landscape, so don’t forget to pack your camera! The dramatic fall from the limestone cliffs is especially beautiful when there’s a high ocean swell.
Be careful not to fall and snap all the pictures you want! Enjoy your time here — the views of Mudjin Harbour are unique.
5) Long Bay Beach
Don’t get confused — the Long Bay Beach we’re talking about here is the one located in Providenciales. Although there are many stretches of shore named “Long Beach,” this one is unique. Fans of water sports usually make Long Bay Beach a priority when they visit Turks and Caicos.
Long Bay Beach has fine, white sand and a big blue sea that stretches out as far as the eye can see. The water is shallow for a long time, so you’ll be able to walk quite far. But what makes it special is its location. Because of the spot where Long Bay Beach sits, the eastern trade winds make it the ideal destination for kiteboarding.
If you’re more of a land sport kind of person, you can practice horseback riding here in Long Bay Beach. You may have ridden a horse before, but have you ridden one in crystal-clear turquoise waters? Yeah… We thought so!
A little off shore on the horizon, you’ll be able to see the wreck of La Famille Express. It was a Soviet oil rig that was then converted into a Dominican freighter. However, in 2004 during Hurricane Frances, it was grounded. You can see the hurricane damage if you take a boat and go on an excursion. How often do you get the opportunity to explore a wreck site?
There are some resorts and villas close to Long Bay Beach. You can check into one of those places if after a long tiring day of kitesurfing you’d like a warm bath, air conditioning, and free wifi. Now that is most people’s idea of a well-spent night.
6) Half Moon Bay
When you think of a half-moon bay you probably picture clear turquoise waters, fine sand, and a relaxing environment. If so, you already have a great image of what Half Moon Bay looks like! This unique beach was formed in a rather unusual way, which adds to the charm it already has!
Half Moon Bay is located between Water Cay and Little Water Cay. Over time, sand ended up being deposited in between these two sites, and so was Half Moon Bay born! This beach has fine white sand and a big blue unlimited ocean in front of it. No wonder that this is the most popular boat excursion in Turks and Caicos…
On this little piece of paradise, you can kick back and lay out in the sun or go for a swim. Even if you’re not a good swimmer, the shallow water will help you get the hang of it safely. If you want, you can also revel in the beauty of the untouched nature Half Moon has to offer. The small Rock Iguana well known in the islands calls this place home. Tiny lemon sharks can also be spotted swimming in the lagoon and in the groves of palm trees that frame the bay.
Because Water Cay and Little Water Cay are uninhabited, the place hasn’t been touched by resorts and the fine dining establishment common in the West Indies. Bring your own food, a towel, and plenty of energy to explore this paradisiac three-quarter-of-a-mile stretch of sand.
7) Governor’s Beach
If you landed on the Turks and Caicos capital, Cockburn Town, you might want to consider making Governor’s Beach your first beach stop. Located in the island of Grand Turk, Governor’s Beach is famous for having some of the clearest waters in the country.
The beach got its name because the governor of the country has a beach mansion a short distance from here. But Governor’s Beach isn’t a secluded spot only for the rich anymore. Anyone can come here and explore the wonders the beach offers.
Governor’s Beach is sheltered from the eastern winds that rile up the sea. Instead, it’s a calm and quiet spot where anyone, regardless of skill level, can come for a swim. Although the water isn’t very deep, you can still take a quick dip in these perfectly clear waters.
You won’t see any coral fish at Governor’s Beach. There simply aren’t any rocks around and it’s not close to a reef. But you can still enjoy nature by visiting the thick Casuarina tree grove right at the beach! If you still want to admire more nature, you can visit the Columbus Landfall National Park.
Lastly, we can’t write about Governor’s Beach and not mention the elephant in the room — almost literally. You’ll see that there is a massive ship grounded at the beach. This vessel was called Mega One Triton and was one of the victims of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. If you’re a fan of the navy and vessels, you might find it interesting to check out this rusted giant.
8) Sandy Point Beach
We have finally arrived at the island of North Caicos. Sandy Point Beach sits on the northwest side and is two miles long. The best way to describe it is secluded. While this isn’t the ideal beach for swimming, it’s still awe-inspiring, especially for fans of deserted islands!
Sandy Point can be reached by two different points. But it’s generally a very secluded area. Here, you’ll find two miles of white and fine sand and a big blue sea. The water is particularly clear here, even more so than in nearby beaches. It’s also very shallow, so you can walk quite far without the water level rising significantly.
Because the sea bottom is a little rocky in some places, swimming isn’t that popular here. However, Sandy Point Beach is a great place to wait for your ferry. It’s very close to Sandy Point Marina, one of the places where the passenger ferry docks before heading off to other parts of North and Middle Caicos.
9) North Bay Beach
Another hidden gem of Turks and Caicos is North Bay Beach. This is an often overlooked stretch of coast, but beautiful nonetheless! It’s the perfect place to go to if you’re planning a romantic getaway or just want to ditch the beachgoing crowds during your vacation.
North Bay Beach is the perfect combination of anything a paradisiac beach could offer. You have little wave breaks perfect for practicing stand up paddle boarding. You have clear waters where you can snorkel. The sand here is very fine and peach-colored. And lastly, you won’t have to worry about noisy beach neighbors!
Because so few people actually take a day trip here from Providenciales, you’ll more than likely have the beach all to yourself. North Bay Beach is located in the sleepy and quiet island of Salt Cay and getting here isn’t that difficult coming from the main island.
It’s definitely a great alternative to other more mainstream beaches. But hurry up! Who knows when travel guides and agencies will get a whiff of how amazing North Bay Beach is?
10) Pine Cay Beach
Pine Cay Beach is located on the north side of a private island of the same name. It’s quiet, secluded, has white fine sand, and shallow turquoise waters. There aren’t many resorts around, but you can still check into a rental villa. Either way, Pine Cay Beach is the paradisiac beach movies and pictures have promised you.
This pristine beach sits in the string of cays between Providenciales and North Caicos. An interesting fact about this island is that there are no cars allowed on here. You’ll mostly see people getting around the island on a golf cart or on a bike. Not a lot of people live here, though, so Pine Cay Beach usually only sees visitors.
You could even walk from Pine Cay Beach to Water Cay if you wanted. The 450-foot-wide bank of sand and vegetation that connects these two places is sound to walk on. So this means that if you’re a fan of long walks on the beach, the five-mile trek is perfect for you.
Another interesting feature of this privately-owned island is that the landing strip of the airport is located right in the dunes. But you won’t be seeing any big jets landing here. The island is so remote that only smaller planes reach Pine Cay. If you’re worried about the noise, don’t be. Incoming or outgoing planes are very rare, so you’ll most likely not even notice they’re there.
11) Sapodilla Beach
The last beach on our list is Sapodilla Beach. It’s a small but very well frequented 900-foot stretch of sand. It sits off the south coast of Providenciales, just 10 miles from the touristy Grace Bay. This would be your run-of-the-mill Turks and Caicos beach, except that it’s much more select.
Sapodilla Beach is nestled between two hills and lined by luxury resorts and villas. You’ll also see private yachts anchored in the bay and may spot some wealthy vacationers who made Turks and Caicos their stop.
Because the water here is so shallow and calm, it gets even warmer than it does in other nearby beaches. That, coupled with the fact that the sea bottom is not rocky at all makes this a perfect swimming beach. But if you get tired of being in the water, there are some interesting places to visit very close to Sapodilla Beach.
The first is Chalk Sound National Park. It’s famous for being a turquoise-colored lagoon with hundreds of teeny tiny limestone islands. The second is Sapodilla Bay Hill Rock Carvings. As the name suggests, it’s a rocky hill where messages and notes were engraved several centuries ago and from where you can enjoy the view of Chalk Park.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Beaches in Turks and Caicos
When is the best time to visit Turks and Caicos?
Although the weather is warm year-round, the Turks and Caicos islands have a rainy season and a hurricane season. Tourists want to definitely avoid these times, so the period between December and March is when most visitors come to the islands.
However, if you’d like to find a middle ground between good weather and sticking to a budget, April through May would be ideal. You might experience some showers, but they shouldn’t be intense at all or stop you from enjoying your vacation.
Is Turks and Caicos safe?
The islands are praised by all visitors on how safe they are. Unlike many neighboring countries, tourists don’t have to worry about crime in Turks and Caicos more than they would at home. It’s perfectly safe to leave your resort and walk on the beach without fearing for your safety.
Did Turks and Caicos get hit by hurricanes?
Being in the Caribbean area, hurricanes are to be expected from time to time. How badly they hit the islands depends on the hurricane’s strength. But generally, Turks and Caicos aren’t the most devastated islands. As long as you avoid coming here from June through November, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
What kind of accommodation is there on the islands?
You can find luxury resorts and rented villas in Turks and Caicos. Which one you should choose depends on where you want to spend your time and whether fine dining, all inclusive food and drink, and other luxuries are important to you or not. Regardless, you’ll surely find a nice place to check into.
Are the beaches in Turks and Caicos a good family destination?
Absolutely! A lot of beaches have restrooms, picnic tables, restaurants, and are equipped for lovers of land sports. Your children are bound to have fun, especially if you choose a beach that is popular with families, such as Grace Bay Beach and Bight Beach.
Turks and Caicos is surely one of the best beach destinations in Central and South America if you’re a fan of paradisiac beaches! Everything from the fine, white sand to the quiet and peaceful crystalline waters dazzle visitors and make them come back from more!