Turks and Caicos is a little-known slice of Margaritaville located about 250 miles Northeast of Cuba. It’s world famous for snorkeling and sugar-sand beaches that form the coastline. The main industry used to be salt-mining, and the indigenous inhabitants (“belongers”) are descended from slaves of that era. Tourism is the big moneymaker today, followed by banking services. Real-estate is a hot commodity, with several celebrities and other high-rollers owning property throughout the islands. A vacation here can be economical or expensive, or anywhere in between.
For the High-Roller
The main entry point into Turks and Caicos is Providenciales (“Provo”). From here, you can take boats or small planes to nearly any other island. There are even islands that you can rent for the day. They will take you to a small, deserted island and provide a 5-start meal for your party on the beach. Perfect for well-known faces that need to hide from an admiring public.
The Parrot Cay and Amanyara resorts are the two 5-star properties near Provo. They average $432 - $1800 per night, depending on the room type and season. You can get there in style by requesting a limousine upon arrival.
For the Upscale Crowd
There are 24 other resorts to choose from in the “midrange” category, keeping in mind that midrange on Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is still $200+ per night. My favorite is the Windsong Resort. It’s fairly economical at $227 - $496 per night. I paid $238 per night and got a $100 Expedia food voucher. This comes in very handy because food is rather pricey.
Upon arrival, the Windsong upgraded us to a suite, without us even asking. The suite was fantastic. It had a large bedroom with a walk-in closet, two-sink bathroom with a large, room-style shower, a complete kitchen, living room, and large patio. It overlooked the pool and of course, the ocean.
The location of the Windsong is fantastic. It’s steps from the beach and just a short beach walk to a restaurant called Somewhere. I spent almost every day there having a cheeseburger in paradise, washed down with the local Turk’s Head beer. Turk’s head refers to the plant after which the islands are named. Caicos is from the term “caya hico” meaning string of islands.
It’s pretty quiet on these islands. Most restaurants stop serving around 9pm, and there is little to no night life. Although, on our last night, we went to a full moon party at a restaurant called Horse Eyed Jack’s (a referenced to a type of fish), and the party was in full swing when we left at 4am. It was a pretty wild party, locals dressed to the nines danced the night away to music provided by a DJ and a 10 foot speaker tower.
For the Average Joe
The least expensive hotel on the island is the Comfort Suites. Even it is over $100/night. It’s not a bad place though and is right in the middle of it all.
Put this place on your bucket list. The beaches are perfect, the snorkeling is amazing, and the people are friendly.