Turks and Caicos Islands

Alex Robinson, www.alexrobinsonphotography.co.ukSimilar to the southern Bahamas, to which they are geographically linked, these flat, coral islands are a British Overseas Territory. Miles of sandy beaches attract sun-loving tourists from North America to a water playground, for there is little of interest on land to tempt them away from the sea. Diving and snorkelling are superb among coral gardens, wrecks and walls which drop dramatically to the floor of the ocean. Whales migrate through the deep Turks Passage and dolphins can be seen following boats and even swimming with divers, while fishermen wrestle with huge game fish out in the ocean.

Most accommodation is on the island of Providenciales (also known as 'Provo'), where 12-mile Grace Bay on the north shore is now wall-to-wall hotels providing package tourism and the condo lifestyle. There are lots of facilities for sailing, diving and fishing as well as golf or just enjoying the beach. Grand Turk is the seat of government but is a quiet, unhurried place with a few small dive lodges and some pleasant colonial buildings. Its residents are uncertain about the merits of the cruise ship pier built in 2004 and the arrival of cruise passengers in large numbers in the winter season. Other inhabited islands, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay, have tiny populations, although each has its own distinctive character, and they are good places to escape the crowds. Island hopping is easy and recommended.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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