While this site is about Asia I have recently been tempted by the Caribbean and have started doing some research as I may stop in before heading home for a visit. I hope you enjoyed what I learned.
The small country of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean is a small British territory, and is spread over the two groups of islands that are starting to become a great tourist destination. As with much of the Caribbean the temperature is warm throughout the year, but these islands do not have a particularly wet season even during the winter. The islands have developed a new port for cruise ships and have several beautiful resorts to visit, and for those staying on the islands there are plenty of events and activities to enjoy here too.
The Turks And Caicos Music And Cultural Festival
One of the most popular and exciting annual events to enjoy in the islands is the week-long cultural festival that combines massive musical acts from around the world with the best of the local culture on the islands. The festival is a great celebration that is usually held in the last week of July and the first week of August, and has hosted such internationally renowned artists as Lionel Richie, Billy Ocean and Kenny Rogers.
However, it isn’t the big names that really help to make this a wonderful place to visit, as the festival is a true celebration of local music, with all kinds of Caribbean styles on show, including the ripsaw music that is a big part of the music of the islands. The festival can also boast a wide range of different stalls and there are plenty of things to buy. I have already started thinking I should open a bank account online so that I can keep track of spending. In South East Asia it is easy because things are so cheap and you pay with cash but I have a feeling it will be much more expensive in Turks and Caicos.
One of the best features about this group of islands like much of the Caribbean is that it enjoys wonderful beaches and stunning azure waters that are great for all manner of water sports. The Turks and Caicos Islands can boast a network of beautiful coral reefs around the islands that are perfect for diving and exploring the natural marine life of these waters. One of the highlights of a trip to the island of Grand Turk is the opportunity to snorkel with stingrays, with the clear shallow waters offering a really close look at these stunning fish.
For the few beaches around the island that aren’t protected by the natural coral reefs, it is also possible to enjoy surfing and kite surfing, although it isn’t as popular as many other islands of the Caribbean.
Night Life And Music
The music of the islands takes a number of British and Caribbean influences, and is shown off in the annual festival, but there is local and international music available depending on the venue and the island on which you are staying. Because the majority of places that visitors stay tend to be in the smaller villages it will tend to only have one or two bars in the hotels themselves, however, Cockburn Town and Providenciales tend to have more of a selection. For those looking for the best nightlife, Grace Bay has several different clubs and bars along the strip, including the three floors of ‘Somewhere on the Beach’.
Diving In The Turks And Caicos Islands
The marine life and the topography of the sea bed in this area makes diving the most popular tourist activity throughout the islands, and there is a new dive site almost around every corner here. For those looking to get an encounter with a shark the ‘Shark Hotel’ dive site near North West Point and ‘Grace Point’ near Grace Bay is also a good place to start. The steep drop offs at these dive sites offer a great opportunity to explore some of the walls, especially around North West Point, while there are also several other challenging dives. Visitors may also see humpback whales between January and March, when these huge creatures migrate past the coast of the islands.