With 40 different islands and cays (of which only eight are inhabited), Turks and Caicos beaches are truly out of this world. Thanks to the third largest coral system on the planet, Turks and Caicos beaches are calm and clear. And you rarely have to vie for space with anyone! You can book a boat to uninhabited cays and imagine yourself as Robinson Crusoe for a day. The waters are pristine and crystal clear, and waves are gentle – perfect for snorkelling and young kids! From the gorgeous Grace Bay to the isolation of Salt Cay, here are the best Turks and Caicos beaches.
1. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales
You’ll find Grace Bay Beach at the top of most articles about Turks and Caicos Beaches. Frequently rated as the best beach in the world, Grace Bay is this pristine thanks to a barrier reef a mile out, which hides some great diving sites and protects the beach from ocean surges. The calm waters make it perfect for family swimming. The shoreline is lined with luxury resorts, oceanside bars and restaurants, so visitors have endless accommodation and dining options.
2. Leeward Beach, Providenciales
East of Grace Bay is the peaceful Leeward Beach. There are no big resorts here, which means it feels far away from the sun-seeking folks of Grace Bay. If you want to stay in a quieter area, there are quite a few luxury rentals here to choose from. The sheltered channels off the eastern side of Leeward are ideal for aquatic activities – wakeboarding, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more. But at dusk is when the real magic begins, as the sun sets across the bay.
3. Long Bay, Providenciales
The consistent eastern trade winds on Long Bay create the perfect conditions for kiteboarding. The water is just a couple of feet deep, shallow enough for kiteboarders to stand when they’re not ripping across the water and making it a great spot for beginners and pros. It also has outstanding horseback riding opportunities as well! Off shore, the shipwreck of the La Famille Express, a Soviet oil rig service vessel turned Dominican freighter, is a popular stop for boat charters.
4. Mudjin Harbour, Middle Caicos
The most dramatic scenery on Turks and Caicos, Mudjin Harbour is just as stunning from the limestone cliffs above as it is up close. You can explore Dragon Cay, the wind-swept coves and snorkel in the turquoise shallows below. The Harbour may also remind you of Bermuda’s Horseshoe Bay Beach and Stonehole Bay Beach. That’s because Mudjin Harbour was originally ‘Bermudian Harbor’, though the pronunciation has evolved over the centuries.
5. Half Moon Bay, Water Cay
Between the Water Cay and Little Water Cay is Half Moon Bay, a beach and sandbar lagoon that filled in over time between these two islands. A boat cruise or yacht charter is the typical way to visit Half Moon Bay, but if you’re feeling adventurous it is also possible to kayak over from Providenciales. The beach is beautiful, with soft sand and turquoise water, and you can sometimes see the endemic Turks and Caicos rock iguana scurrying about the dunes.
6. North Bay, Salt Cay
If it’s total peace and quiet you’re after, then the remote Salt Cay should be high up on your list. North Bay is one of the finest coasts in the Turks and Caicos. It brings together white sand, crystal-clear water, small reefs for snorkelling, little wave breaks for stand up paddling. Best of all, you’re likely to have the place all to yourself, as very few come to visit this beach. If you want to stay on Salt Cay, there are a handful of rustic villas and hotels here as well as a grand total of three restaurants.