Tourism is booming in the Caribbean, with Turks and Caicos leading the list of must-see destinations in the region. In 2016 alone, this archipelago of pristine coral islands received nearly half a million visitors from the U.S. and other international markets. There are several reasons why Turks and Caicos continue to boost tourism numbers in the region. Below are just a few reasons.
Growing Culinary Hub
Turks and Caicos hosts the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival, which attracts connoisseurs and foodies from all over the world. The festival not only gathers the best of international and local culinary experts but also provides a training ground for island talent.
While the festival has placed the island on the culinary map, there is more to the Turks and Caicos food landscape beyond the expensive beachfront restaurants and cafes. Here, visitors can book a meal in a fancy dining establishment, eat in a pop-up or enjoy a hot meal in a laid back restaurant to get a taste of the real island cuisine. The local food, which is infused with Caribbean flavors, consists of a wide variety of fresh seafood such as cod and conch paired with grits or cornbread.
Great Places to Stay
Real estate growth in the island also spurred the increase in tourism activity. When in Turks and Caicos, booking accommodations depend on one’s travel budget. From the pristine Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales to Parrot Cay and other exclusive enclaves, there are Turks and Caicos villas, resorts, and rentals that can enhance one’s vacation experience in the islands.
A Taste of History
Even with the impressive property investments all over the Islands, Turks and Caicos have retained an old world charm. There are places beyond the tourism centers where visitors can experience the island’s history and colonial past, including several old plantation ruins and the island’s 19th-century lighthouse. The National Museum also features several shipwreck exhibits, including the oldest in the Western hemisphere. Turks and Caicos is also famous for shipwreck diving. Their popular dive sites include HMS Endymion, a British warship which sank in the 18th century off Salt Cay. The ruins of a Conair Metropolitan plane also attracts divers.
One With Nature
Ecotourism is also one of the biggest attractions in Turks and Caicos. Their land resources, coastlines, and wetlands harbor a variety of unique flora and fauna which are preserved and protected by local laws. Turks and Caicos have several natural parks and reserves. Little Water Cay, one of these protected areas, is the habitat of the endangered rock iguanas. The Cay is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park, which covers thousands of acres of unspoiled coastline.
As Caribbean destination, Turks and Caicos have been known as a prime luxury destination with miles of crystal clear waters and pristine white beaches. But this destination offers a laidback experience as one venture out from the epicenter of beach activities, where the nature and cultural life of the islands can be found.