I first visited Turks and Caicos for a week in November of 2008.
My return visit was April 9-16 of this year.
Eight years ago Turks and Caicos was the first Caribbean Island I had ever visited. Since then I have vacationed in Barbados and Anguilla.
A second time back to a place offers the possibilities of then-and-now comparisons but that will not help readers trying to decide if TCI is a place they should visit for the first time. So I will resist comparisons.
I would make it clear immediately that if you’re looking for nightlife and entertainment, I won’t be able to enlighten you. However, if you’re looking for a stay-put vacation, I can offer details from my experience there.
Turks and Caicos is a breezy island with plenty of sunshine. You want to know the weather for TCI? Get “Cockburn Harbour” (capital of TCI) onto your weather site.
The island is small so any rain there tends to be brief. It just passes through!
Temperatures for us were in the high 70’s during the afternoons. Nights and early mornings were in the 60’s.
One certainty is that there will be wind. It is persistent and could get you into a windbreaker if you’re on the beach at night. That breeze, however, is wonderful if you’re out in full sun during the day under an umbrella.
The sand does not get hot. I commented on that feature in my TCI review from 2008. I’m used to the hot-sun, hot-sand of New England’s beaches.
That breeze can fool you into a sunburn if you’re not careful. You’re in the sun but the breeze has you feeling cool. Sunscreen is essential.
The water is warm and a beautiful turquoise color. Recommendation: bring water shoes. There are lots of beaches, but off many of them is coral. It’s sharp but with water shoes you can get in without foot damage.
The waves were small because of a sandbar out from where we stayed on Turtle Bay. That made it a lot easier to navigate in the water.
This trip I was introduced to snorkeling for the first time. There was a pool at the villa (Paprika) and there I learned to snorkel comfortably. That coral off the beach was a terrific place to take in an underground aquarium that was dazzling.
This has to be said: I was on the beach on one particular day and saw a shark (4-foot) swim through the area close to shore that I had snorkeled in. At that size I wasn’t imagining Jaws but my attention was gotten for sure.
If you have an interest in collecting shells you are in luck. The nice thing about TCI shells is that not only are they different from each other but they are small. Easy to carry back to the US.
Many tropical plants to be seen including bougainvillea. Not many birds, though. I did get a picture of one of the few pelicans that flew by.
I strongly suggest having a camera with you if for no other reason than the sunsets. They were awesome on a nightly basis. The sunrises were pretty good too but nothing like the sunsets.
It always makes sense to bring food with you. We had a suitcase full of snacks and canned food such as tuna fish.
A pleasant surprise was a significant supermarket near the airport. What worked for us was stopping at the IGA Grocery Store on the trip from the airport before arriving where we stayed. The items available at IGA were just like back in the US. We bought plenty of bottled water. The attention getter, however, was the prices. But to have the foods you like available at a beautiful location lessened the sticker shock.
I avoided renting a car and never left, or wanted to leave, the villa area. Did notice that gas was $4.97 a gallon. It was a shocking, at the time, $3.99 when we visited eight years ago.
We did find a place nearby (Green Bean) that served Starbucks coffee. That information gave several of us impetus to take morning walks to get the familiar brew.
I found that the television/internet connections were consistently good. I was hardly cut off from the rest of the world.
The flights down and back were on time and uneventful. If you travel much you know about getting to the airport early and having to wait and wait. You also know that there are certain items that you will have to take out of your carry-on’s at security checks. I could have prepared better for that by packing the sure-to-be-checked things on top and then repacking them after getting through security.
A clever move I noticed on the flight from Boston to TCI: It was probably in the 40’s in Boston when we left so you had to dress warmly but in flight I saw several folks strip off outer layers and pack them in their carry-on bags. Those folks looked like geniuses when we walked off the plane and into the 70+ degree temperatures of TCI. Those same folks probably put on warm clothes from their carry-on bags as they approached Boston at the end of the trip from TCI.
A daily routine for me that included: being with family, beach walking, snorkeling, blogging, eating, napping, and picture-taking made the time spent in beautiful TCI delightful.
I recommend vacationing in Turks and Caicos and I am hoping to return there.