Vacation Rentals Turk and Caicos

Fun at the Cruise Center Turks & Caicos

The Grand Turk Cruise Center

If you are coming by cruise ship to the Turks & Caicos Islands, you’ll be landing here on Grand Turk! The Grand Turk Cruise Center is a self contained tourist mecca, built specifically for the cruise ships. You won’t be parked at the commercial dock next to the cargo ships and have to navigate your way around a crummy commercial district on your way to find a taxi to get you out of there.

Here, you walk off the boat straight onto the beach for playing in the water and sunbathing. Sea-Doo, snorkel activities, booze cruise sailboat, and tubing behind a ski boat all are located right here. Just behind the beach is the gigantic pool with a surf machine, tons of shopping and the largest Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on the planet!

Since we actually have a vacation rental here, we just walk in for free whenever we want a “break” from all the quiet solitude of our secluded beach in front of our house. Grand Turk really is the best of both worlds, quiet seclusion like you are on a semi-private island, but then the Cruise Ship Center when you want a little action in your vacation!

We have many guests who were first on our island for 6 hours, saw our place on a tour, and the next year they stayed with us for a whole week. My wife and I have a saying about the cruisers; Cruise here once, come back for a lifetime.

Seaside, Destin, or Rosemary Beach Florida? Choose Turks & Caicos Instead.

Best Budget Vacations: Nearcation or Can You Afford a Caribbean Island Getaway?

One can only put up with so many snowfalls, seasonal colds, and polar vortices before a little sun, sand and relaxation is needed. In fact, no matter the season, it’s always a good time to start planning your next vacation. You deserve a little exotic in your future.

But let’s be practical. Vacation planning inevitably involves budgeting. And invariably, budgeting rolls around to the topic of affordable vacation destinations, nearcations (places you can drive to), and even staycations (vacations in your town). But what you may not know is that certain far-flung vacation spots can be less expensive – and that’s including airfare – than ventures just a short drive from home.

A little secret in the travel world? Florida is not the most affordable vacation destination in town. In fact, even if you live a few hours’ drive from the state’s sand-rimmed shoreline, it’s still not the cheapest beach spot – not by a long shot.

Allow me to introduce you to a completely exotic, white-sand-fresh-seafood-Caribbean-Sea-spectacular-sunset kind of budget vacation spot: the ultra affordable, teeny tiny, secluded island of Grand Turk.

Making Cents of Budget Beach Vacations
For sand-lovers and island-hoppers in the U.S., the Caribbean is the go-to pick for cheap beach vacations. Even so, according to TripAdvisor, the average cost of a one-week Caribbean vacation for a family of four is $7,152 – including $3,253 in flights and $2,772 in hotel accommodations – for an average trip cost of $1,788 per person.

Some of the most interesting findings from the TripAdvisor data? The average rate for a Caribbean hotel is $396 per night (March-April) and the average Caribbean flight comes in at $813 per person, round-trip. St Bart’s was the priciest destination indexed, topping out at a sky-high $12,486 for a week’s getaway, while Puerto Rico was dubbed the most affordable at just $5,109.

Savvy vacationers, of course, know how to lower the cost of travel: cash in airline rewards, travel during shoulder season, and trade the pricey hotel for a vacation rental. (Not only are rental homes less expensive per night, but they’re self-catering, which means you can prepare easy meals to save on restaurants.)

But all things being equal, how do the most affordable Caribbean vacations stack up to the southern U.S. nearcation/staycation favorite – Florida? And how does tiny Grand Turk compare to TripAdvisor’s budget island pick of Puerto Rico?

The short answer: Favorably. Very affordably, in fact. Believe it or not, Grand Turk beats out both Florida and Puerto Rico for the title of cheapest, most secluded beachfront Caribbean vacation. And we have the numbers to prove it.*

Inexpensive Destinations By the Numbers: Florida, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk
When evaluating budget vacation options, it’s important to compare similar offerings. After all, you could escape to your nearest state park for a week of camping, all for the cost of a couple of gallons of gas, campfire cooking ingredients, and park fees. But comparing camping to a seaside escape would be like comparing apples to tulips – both colorful and enjoyable, but not at all the same.

So let’s start by defining our parameters. We’ve chosen to compare oceanfront vacation spots in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos – two destinations known as cheap-and-popular beach getaways, and one tiny-but-affordable island in the middle of the aquamarine Caribbean. All three destinations offer seclusion, spectacular beaches and adventure. And at all three destinations, we’ve chosen beachfront (or beach-adjacent) vacation rentals that feature coastal-cozy décor and oceanfront seclusion.

As food and activity costs vary by traveler, we have included just one tour (snorkeling) as reference in our calculations.

Seaside, Florida
The quaint town of Seaside, Florida, is a favorite destination for good reason: it’s just a five-hour drive from Atlanta; Seaside’s Emerald Coast beaches are clean and beautiful; and the town itself is completely charming. However, you’ll pay a premium for Seaside’s charm and may have a difficult time finding beachfront rentals. (The same is true of Rosemary Beach, another popular choice for Florida beach vacations.) Also be aware that Florida’s waters can be murky and sometimes teem with jellyfish – far from ideal swimming conditions!

Round-trip drive for 4: $464 (600 miles, calculated at 77.3 cents per mile for SUV driving)
Travel time: 5 hours (one-way)
Beachfront, 2-bedroom vacation rental: $4,835 (example; Note: not oceanfront)
Snorkeling tour for 4: $152 ($38 per person)
Total Cost: $5,451

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the Caribbean’s best deals for Americans: it’s close, it’s a U.S. territory (you won’t lose $ on exchange rates), and airfare is generally inexpensive. We’ve chosen to highlight Vieques Island, a Puerto Rican out island that is quiet and peaceful, and offers plenty of privacy.

Round-trip flight for 4: $2,795 ($1,631 to San Juan + $1,164 to Vieques on Cape Air)
Travel time: 4 hours (plus layovers)
Beachfront, 2-bedroom vacation rental: $2,631 (example)
Snorkeling tour for 4: $220 ($55 per person)
Total Cost: $5,646

Grand Turk
Grand Turk is the quiet and isolated capital island of the Turks and Caicos. Here, the Caribbean scenery is worthy of a postcard – an electric turquoise so clear, you can count the sun-bleached grains of sand on the sea floor. And while neighboring Provo, the most visited island in the Turks and Caicos, is crowded with hoards of tourists, little Grand Turk welcomes visitors to deserted beaches, pastel-painted homes, and colonial charms.

Round-trip flight for 4: $2,488 ($2,208 to Providenciales + $280 to Grand Turk)
Travel time: 4 hours (plus layovers)
Grand Turk Vacation Rental: $2,507
Snorkeling tour for 4: Free – in the backyard or bike to a great location
Total Cost: $4,995

*Costs were calculated based on a round-trip flight (Saturday-Saturday in May 2015) for four (2 adults, 2 children) from Atlanta to each destination, and include one week (7 nights) at a secluded, beach-casual 2BR, 2BA oceanfront vacation rental comparable to Beachside Bungalow’s Sea Gull.

Save Money on Your Next Vacation: Escape to Exotic Grand Turk
The numbers speak for themselves, but if you’re still wondering whether Grand Turk is an affordable Caribbean destination, try these facts on for size:

Grand Turk is just 6.5 miles long. If you like to walk or bike (free bikes with our Grand Turk vacation rental!), you won’t need to rent a car.
The island’s best fish market – local fisherman, beached on the shoreline to hawk their catches of the day – is a 2-minute walk from our bungalow. Think fresh-caught tuna, mahi-mahi, and deliciously flakey grouper… And the lobster? It’s just $12/pound for sweet, meaty lobster tail!
Our home comes with a fully equipped kitchen, and we’re walking/biking distance to the island’s best grocery store. You can dine island-style on cheap but exotic eats, like Grand Turk’s famous conch fritters, jerk chicken, passion fruit, peas & rice, fresh fish, crab and lobster, and other Turks & Caicos cuisine.
Some of the best things to do on Grand Turk are absolutely free: grab snorkel gear from the bungalow and head out to explore the Caribbean; walk along our shimmering, white-sand beaches; and stroll through colonial ‎Cockburn Town to drink in the colonial charm. Relax and enjoy the languid pace of island life!

Gorgeous, exotic and inexpensive, too – Grand Turk is very, very tempting! And if that’s not enough, we’ll sweeten the pot with promises of our friendly island, picture-perfect beach, and light and airy home. Really, it’s paradise.

On your next vacation, don’t fight the tourist crowds (or the jellyfish) – jet off to a secluded island where your dollar stretches as far as the sandy beaches!

Some of the best diving in the world

Diving in the Turks & Caicos Islands and specifically on Grand Turk is a Top 10 in the world diving experience. 4 dive shops on a 7 square mile island should be your first hint that there is something special going on in these waters.

Not just the spectacular marine life, but also the 7000 foot drop-off structures are amazing. The best part: less than a 5 minute boat ride to the dive sites means surface intervals drinking coffee at your vacation rental and 3 dives per day!!! Come see us at the Caicos Cottage on Grand Turk for the the rental and dive of a lifetime.

Branding your VR on the Big Sites

Branding your VR is key to your survival in the new world of vacation rentals, without a brand you are lost in a sea of thousands on the listing sites – buried at their whim. Once you have a catchy name, its time to have a logo made and start plastering your VR’s name and logo everywhere you can across the internet. The goal here is to be easily found.

When we started our VR, I remember sitting on the back porch with a group of my wife’s discipleship 18 year olds brainstorming on a name. We narrowed it down to two; Shell Yeah! or BeachsideBungalow, I like alliteration so BeachsideBungalow was the winner.  It might be even better if you are able to incorporate your vacation area into your house name. I end up saying Turks Beachsidebungalow in a lot of my posts so that Google picks up on those keywords mentioned together. 

Next step was to have a logo made, and I called on a friend Andrew Bartolotta, Andrew.jpg@gmail.com or visit his website at andrewjpgdesigns.com. Highly recommended, and not very expensive. I get compliments All The Time on our logo. It really makes us stand out and look very professional. He came up with several ideas and we picked this one and tweaked it for about 2 weeks, wanting to get the colors just right. This is what we finally decided on:

As you can see, Joanie and I are standing in front of our VR with our very large and visible sign. Now that we have a name and a logo, we start putting it up everywhere, including physical locations. We have cruise ship tourists who wander past our house everyday and we have had several bookings off of our sign. You might want to have a car magnet or a back window vinyl sticker made if you are local and drive nearby a lot.

Next steps are to plaster it all over your website and Facebook page for you VR – you DO have a website and a Facebook VR page don’t you??? If not, this is your Absolute Must Do Next Step!

I can’t emphasize this enough: If you aren’t willing to have a website and use that as your main booking hub, then you will never have as much success as you have enjoyed in the past. VRBO is no longer your friend in the VR world, they have become adversarial to us as owners and are only looking to use us to extract as much money from our customers as possible. Up until 2015 they were a great partner but after the corporate buyout they are no longer operating as a classified ad service. The time is now to break free of their control, but still USE them in the process. You’ll have to make a decision if it is worth it, it will take you more time than it used to to be successful – things change and there is no use crying over spilled milk. I still have a listing with them and still get a few bookings though their sites, but mainly I am using them….

Here you can see my listings as they appear in search on both VRBO and Airbnb. This might be a little risky to have my logo implanted on my main photo, but they haven’t asked me to take it down yet! At the very least, I have my house name in my title and also throughout my listing over and over (19 times actually). With each passing day, the public is learning more and more that they are getting ripped off by these listing sites to the tune of 8% to 20%. The national #bookdirect campaign is spreading the word to consumers to look on the listing sites, but book direct with the owner. Hotels and airlines are both also pushing the Book Direct message. As time goes on there will be more and more savvy buyers looking to book direct on your website, but if you aren’t up to speed and able, those buyers will be moving on to your competitor who is. I am unfortunately still relying on the big listing sites to bring me guests in this model, but one day I hope the guests will quit using the big sites as much, and instead search for “vacation rental Turks & Caicos”. I am already ready for this to be the case! We rank on page 2 or 3 for this very search and I am already getting direct bookings. This means I’m getting extra bookings from another source that I wasn’t previously using – Google- this will only grow in the future. My website tracks where my visitors come from and many are coming from Airbnb or VRBO where they see my house name and then do a google search for Beachside Bungalow. This is in addition to the direct searches for VR in T&C mentioned above. Try it and see where I come up for those 2 words – Beachside & Bungalow – you’re going to be amazed. You don’t even have to add Turks at this point. That’s how to use VRBO and Airbnb!

Facebook Sale Groups 101 for your Vacation Rental

How to use Facebook Sale Groups to your advantage

I didn’t want to have this as a post on Facebook for fear that they would frown upon some of the “ideas” I have, so here goes:

1. Search for Facebook sale groups in the area that most of your clients hail from and ask to join these “yardsale” groups. I only join groups with over 20,000 members each, and I look for “Upscale Resale” type groups over used car groups. The key to this part is to use the mapping feature and move the map to hover over the town or city you are targeting. Use your laptop and go to Facebook.com/salegroups/. It will show you your city, from there zoom out and zoom back in on the cities that most of your clients come from. For us, our winter clients come from the northeast and Canada. Our Summer clients come from the south, important to know because…

2. Use multiple Facebook profiles. Facebook is now limiting the amount of posting allowed each day in these Facebook sale groups. I have several Facebook profiles that I use, -my adult kids – they no longer care or use their Facebook page! Organize your facebook sale group locales by different “children”. Elizabeth is Canada and Florida, George is Maine to Conn. and Alabama, Georgia, S.C., Bobby is Michigan, N.C., Virginia, Tennessee, Etc. We start booking our Fly-To destination in the Turks & Caicos Islands about 6 months out, so in February or so I am putting ads up in the south and I need to use each “child’s” account to post about 20 ads per day. Each “child” needs a South season set of groups and a North season set of groups, this way I can make about 20 posts per “child” and use all 4 accounts which makes for about 80 groups a day. I have about 400 groups that I am a member of, hence I need several Facebook profiles to get through them all without getting put in Facebook Jail. (too much posting from one account)

3.The Post: I usually make a “sale” post that has a price and location. It is a little more time consuming, but Facebook will show you a list of all of your “sale” posts – that will be very handy later. If you just post it as a discussion, it drifts down the sale group page rapidly and gets lost, losing it’s effectiveness. Make the ad using the Facebook prompts. One large picture to really grab their attention- your most iconic VR picture you have. Write a concise header – for me it is “Beach Vacation Rental Turks & Caicos Islands, Caribbean”. Price it for a week and most people will understand. You will get a few questions on this, but much fewer than if you put in a daily price. Then just a quick blurb in the description about your place and then use “Like our page to remind yourself”. That phrasing really works well and doesn’t sound too pushy.  A good bit of your goal here is to get likes to your Facebook page so they will see your regular VR page posts you are posting on your VR’s Facebook page. In that blurb, I post a link to my VR Facebook page and a link to our website. On the sale post form it will also require you to put in a zip code, I usually make it where my VR is located. That will keep the pushback about being a scammer at a minimum since the zip and your VR location match up. 

4. Now that you have all of these “items for sale” Facebook will send you a reminder about them which you can use as a prompt to add a comment to your post. Each time you add a comment, it will push your ad back to the top and a fresh set of people will see it. Of course you can bump it yourself anytime and I usually do after a few days. The best type of bump I have found is another awesome picture instead of just typing the word BUMP in the comment section. One more picture for them to see instead of you having to type 1000 words. Posts and bumps seem to have the largest audience and most activity in the mornings during the week and Sunday nights.

There you have it. I get lots of website hits and we currently have over 6000 followers of our Beachsidebungalow Facebook page. Several bookings have been made and many more will probably come later – (they weren’t looking to book a vacation when they saw my ad, but will come back around when it is vacation time.) I also use this same venue and technique to do Public Service Announcements about how to look for and find VR’s and book them direct. I get lots of discussion and shares on those posts! P.S. All this is FREE. 

Below is an example of my post:

Seaside, Destin, or Rosemary Beach Florida? Choose Turks & Caicos Instead.

The Cruise Ship Center Grand Turk

Best Budget Vacations: Nearcation or Can You Afford a Caribbean Island Getaway?

One can only put up with so many snowfalls, seasonal colds, and polar vortices before a little sun, sand and relaxation is needed. In fact, no matter the season, it’s always a good time to start planning your next vacation. You deserve a little exotic in your future.

But let’s be practical. Vacation planning inevitably involves budgeting. And invariably, budgeting rolls around to the topic of affordable vacation destinations, nearcations (places you can drive to), and even staycations (vacations in your town). But what you may not know is that certain far-flung vacation spots can be less expensive – and that’s including airfare – than ventures just a short drive from home.

A little secret in the travel world? Florida is not the most affordable vacation destination in town. In fact, even if you live a few hours’ drive from the state’s sand-rimmed shoreline, it’s still not the cheapest beach spot – not by a long shot.

Allow me to introduce you to a completely exotic, white-sand-fresh-seafood-Caribbean-Sea-spectacular-sunset kind of budget vacation spot: the ultra affordable, teeny tiny, secluded island of Grand Turk.

 

Making Cents of Budget Beach Vacations
For sand-lovers and island-hoppers in the U.S., the Caribbean is the go-to pick for cheap beach vacations. Even so, according to TripAdvisor, the average cost of a one-week Caribbean vacation for a family of four is $7,152 – including $3,253 in flights and $2,772 in hotel accommodations – for an average trip cost of $1,788 per person.

Some of the most interesting findings from the TripAdvisor data? The average rate for a Caribbean hotel is $396 per night (March-April) and the average Caribbean flight comes in at $813 per person, round-trip. St Bart’s was the priciest destination indexed, topping out at a sky-high $12,486 for a week’s getaway, while Puerto Rico was dubbed the most affordable at just $5,109.

Savvy vacationers, of course, know how to lower the cost of travel: cash in airline rewards, travel during shoulder season, and trade the pricey hotel for a vacation rental. (Not only are rental homes less expensive per night, but they’re self-catering, which means you can prepare easy meals to save on restaurants.)

But all things being equal, how do the most affordable Caribbean vacations stack up to the southern U.S. nearcation/staycation favorite – Florida? And how does tiny Grand Turk compare to TripAdvisor’s budget island pick of Puerto Rico?

The short answer: Favorably. Very affordably, in fact. Believe it or not, Grand Turk beats out both Florida and Puerto Rico for the title of cheapest, most secluded beachfront Caribbean vacation. And we have the numbers to prove it.*

Inexpensive Destinations By the Numbers: Florida, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk
When evaluating budget vacation options, it’s important to compare similar offerings. After all, you could escape to your nearest state park for a week of camping, all for the cost of a couple of gallons of gas, campfire cooking ingredients, and park fees. But comparing camping to a seaside escape would be like comparing apples to tulips – both colorful and enjoyable, but not at all the same.

So let’s start by defining our parameters. We’ve chosen to compare oceanfront vacation spots in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos – two destinations known as cheap-and-popular beach getaways, and one tiny-but-affordable island in the middle of the aquamarine Caribbean. All three destinations offer seclusion, spectacular beaches and adventure. And at all three destinations, we’ve chosen beachfront (or beach-adjacent) vacation rentals that feature coastal-cozy décor and oceanfront seclusion.

As food and activity costs vary by traveler, we have included just one tour (snorkeling) as reference in our calculations.

Seaside, Florida
The quaint town of Seaside, Florida, is a favorite destination for good reason: it’s just a five-hour drive from Atlanta; Seaside’s Emerald Coast beaches are clean and beautiful; and the town itself is completely charming. However, you’ll pay a premium for Seaside’s charm and may have a difficult time finding beachfront rentals. (The same is true of Rosemary Beach, another popular choice for Florida beach vacations.) Also be aware that Florida’s waters can be murky and sometimes teem with jellyfish – far from ideal swimming conditions!

Round-trip drive for 4: $464 (600 miles, calculated at 77.3 cents per mile for SUV driving)
Travel time: 5 hours (one-way)
Beachfront, 2-bedroom vacation rental: $4,835 (example; Note: not oceanfront)
Snorkeling tour for 4: $152 ($38 per person)
Total Cost: $5,451

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is one of the Caribbean’s best deals for Americans: it’s close, it’s a U.S. territory (you won’t lose $ on exchange rates), and airfare is generally inexpensive. We’ve chosen to highlight Vieques Island, a Puerto Rican out island that is quiet and peaceful, and offers plenty of privacy.

Round-trip flight for 4: $2,795 ($1,631 to San Juan + $1,164 to Vieques on Cape Air)
Travel time: 4 hours (plus layovers)
Beachfront, 2-bedroom vacation rental: $2,631 (example)
Snorkeling tour for 4: $220 ($55 per person)
Total Cost: $5,646

Grand Turk
Grand Turk is the quiet and isolated capital island of the Turks and Caicos. Here, the Caribbean scenery is worthy of a postcard – an electric turquoise so clear, you can count the sun-bleached grains of sand on the sea floor. And while neighboring Provo, the most visited island in the Turks and Caicos, is crowded with hoards of tourists, little Grand Turk welcomes visitors to deserted beaches, pastel-painted homes, and colonial charms.

Round-trip flight for 4: $2,488 ($2,208 to Providenciales + $280 to Grand Turk)
Travel time: 4 hours (plus layovers)
Grand Turk Vacation Rental: $2,507
Snorkeling tour for 4: Free – in the backyard or bike to a great location
Total Cost: $4,995

*Costs were calculated based on a round-trip flight (Saturday-Saturday in May 2015) for four (2 adults, 2 children) from Atlanta to each destination, and include one week (7 nights) at a secluded, beach-casual 2BR, 2BA oceanfront vacation rental comparable to Beachside Bungalow’s Sea Gull.

Save Money on Your Next Vacation: Escape to Exotic Grand Turk
The numbers speak for themselves, but if you’re still wondering whether Grand Turk is an affordable Caribbean destination, try these facts on for size:

Grand Turk is just 6.5 miles long. If you like to walk or bike (free bikes with our Grand Turk vacation rental!), you won’t need to rent a car.
The island’s best fish market – local fisherman, beached on the shoreline to hawk their catches of the day – is a 2-minute walk from our bungalow. Think fresh-caught tuna, mahi-mahi, and deliciously flakey grouper… And the lobster? It’s just $12/pound for sweet, meaty lobster tail!
Our home comes with a fully equipped kitchen, and we’re walking/biking distance to the island’s best grocery store. You can dine island-style on cheap but exotic eats, like Grand Turk’s famous conch fritters, jerk chicken, passion fruit, peas & rice, fresh fish, crab and lobster, and other Turks & Caicos cuisine.
Some of the best things to do on Grand Turk are absolutely free: grab snorkel gear from the bungalow and head out to explore the Caribbean; walk along our shimmering, white-sand beaches; and stroll through colonial ‎Cockburn Town to drink in the colonial charm. Relax and enjoy the languid pace of island life!

Gorgeous, exotic and inexpensive, too – Grand Turk is very, very tempting! And if that’s not enough, we’ll sweeten the pot with promises of our friendly island, picture-perfect beach, and light and airy home. Really, it’s paradise.

On your next vacation, don’t fight the tourist crowds (or the jellyfish) – jet off to a secluded island where your dollar stretches as far as the sandy beaches!

Snorkeling and Scuba diving on Grand Turk Island

 
Seashell at Gran Turk
 

‘Beautiful by nature’ is the motto of the Turks and Caicos Islands, so when you fancy booking a snorkeling or scuba diving you can imagine what to expect. Stunning views above as well as underneath the sea level. Grand Turk has the reputation of being one of the more laid-back destinations in the Caribbean making it great for a beach holiday. With wall diving being the specialty on the island, and only a few minutes away from the Sandy beaches, the crystal clear waters and colorful corals will dazzle your senses and make your diving session unforgettable.

Diving Grand Turk
Diving Grand Turk
 
              Scuba Diving
Diving Grand Turk
 
 

 Grand Turk is home to the world’s 3rd largest barrier reef just 300 yards off of our beach! Depths go from 40 feet to 7000 feet in one fell swoop (nicknamed The Wall), the coral and fish here are absolutely amazing. Dive operators will even pick up and drop off from the sandy bottom area just down from our house. Book a diving trip to one of the great diving sites and The Wall even if you aren’t certified yet. There are a number of PADI Open Water Courses you can join to earn your certificate. Having 4 dive shops on the tiny island of Grand Turk should give you an idea of what a big deal diving here really is. Grand Turk Diving, Blue Waters Diving, Bohio Dive , and Oasis Diving are all really great and the trips are usually 3 to 6 divers at a time. Very intimate so the dive masters can spend a lot of time with each diver helping them with technique or spotting fish and cool structures. Diving the waters surrounding Grand Turk is amongst the finest diving experiences in the world because of the incredible wall sites. The transitional zones from the beach to the wall are interesting as well, with a reef architecture that is incredible. Waters are usually very calm and because of the lack of rivers or runoffs towards the ocean, the water is extremely clear making the conditions and visibility excellent.

 

Best Beach snorkelling locations

 Grand Turk isn’t well known for its beach snorkeling locations, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to book a diving trip.  Here are a few beach snorkeling locations that will make it worthwhile to get your feet wet.

Boaby Rock Point – In calm ocean conditions, this is the nicest beach snorkeling site on the island. There is a beautiful reef in shallow water with fish surrounding it.

Governor’s Beach – The most popular site because of the rocks from an old jetty that can be found.

Cockburn Town Beach and English Point – Both have ancient coral shelf close to the shore. Very little sea life though.

Pillory Beach – Old coral formations and a wide variety of marine life.

We also supply a map of our favorite location not listed here for our guests. Shhhh.

Diving Grand Turk
Diving Grand Turk

Eat at Jack’s Shack

Jack's Shack

Jack’s Shack

Authentic Island cuisine, made with a combination of secret family recipes, Jamaican & local spices, and a “whole lotta love”! The aroma from our signature Jerk chicken lures in folks from up and down the beach. Or try one of our custom cocktails, or order your favorite from our full bar.  Be sure to inquire about of specialty SHOTS as well!

Website:

https://www.jacksshack.tc/

Culture, Music and Cuisine

National Costume of Turks and Caicos.

Grand Turk: Culture, Music and Cuisine

Grand Turk is a popular cruise ship destination due to its location in the Carribean. The small tropical island with a laid back lifestyle has plenty to offer for visitors arriving by cruise ship as well as tourists who are planning on spending more days. Grand Turk is famous for being a great scubadiving destination, has a rich history in the salt trading industry and above all, is well-known for its splendid beaches.

 
 

Culture

The island Grand Turk shares a lot cultural elements with the Bahamas. The Turks and Caicos Islands are actually the southernmost islands in the Bahama island chain although they are a separate country now and not part of the Bahamas.  With the booming of tourism, it remains unknown whether this will influence cultural aspects of Grand Turk and the whole Turks and Caicos Islands. Several attempts have been made by the government to encourage the preservation of local culture. A number of cultural awareness programs emerged and the Chief Cultural Officer Post was developed. In 2003, a new event was created, the Conch Festival, an annual event that goes along with a food festival and contains elements of the local culture such as its cuisine and music.

Music

Grand Turk has its own specific music style, called Ripsaw. This local music genre was developed during slavery times and consists of scrapping utils such as a screwdriver over a saw blad to create a scrapping sound. When someone plays this music genre, they refer to it as ripping the saw. Still, traditional instruments like guitar, drums and triangle are often used as well.

Junkanoo is another music genre often played on the Turks and Caicos Islands. It was introduced on the islands by returning locals after they had left to find work in the nearby Bahamas.

Barbie's Bar & Restaurant

 

Barbie’s Bar & Restaurant
Conch Shack Grand Turk

 

Conch Shack Grand Turk

Cuisine

The cuisine of Grand Turk and the Turks and  Caicos Islands is typified by seafood, as it is often on islands and countries located by the ocean. Conch is an often used ingredient in their dishes. This edible marine snail tastes similar to clams, even though it is a bit more rubbery. It’s an ingredient they are proud of, since the conch is one of the three symbols on their flag. If you walk into a restaurant and ask for their signature dish, chances are high, it will involve conch.

Over the years, local dishes have been influenced by immigrants from Jamaica and the Bahamas as well. Most conch dishes were inspired by the Bahamas while the flavorful BBQ jerk chicken added another spicy element