The Turks and Caicos Islands was recently named one of the top ten family vacation destinations for 2013 by Family Vacation Critic, an online family travel planning guide. In recognition of this award, here are some of our favorite family things to do in Turks and Caicos.
Chill out on the world-famous Grace Bay Beach – the beautiful soft sand and calm clear waters of Grace Bay Beach are the perfect setting for family fun in the sun. The Alexandra Resort has a prime location in the heart of Grace Bay and the Princess Alexandra National Park. In addition to these wonderful natural attractions, the Alexandra Resort offers its guests an expanded set of family services, including the new Pelican Kids’ Club, which offers supervised beach activities, pool time, crafts, games and lunch at Mango Reef. If you want to really enjoy the surroundings consider our luxury, oceanfront four-bedroom penthouse suite. With 3,840 square feet of living space and unobstructed beachfront views, this can be an ideal option for larger families that want to stay together without compromising on space or the views!
Glow with the worms – this unique phenomenon happens every month approximately three to five nights after a full moon and is fun for all ages. It’s a mating ritual of the marine worms – each worm glows near the surface of the water producing a light show that lasts about 15 minutes. The best way to see the event is onboard a glow worm cruise, which generally start a half hour before the sunset. Our favorite glow worm excursion is on the Atabeyra, a 77’, traditionally rigged trading schooner. Visit www.suncharters.tc to learn more.
Scout for Iguanas – no visit to Turks and Caicos is complete without a trip to Iguana Island, otherwise known as Little Water Cay. The Turks and Caicos rock iguana is a critically endangered species of lizard and Turks and Caicos is the only place in the world you can see one! These funky animals resemble mini-dinosaurs and are the only inhabitants of the Little Water Cay. You have to take a boat to go see them and there is a small entrance fee that is well worth it. You can walk along the decked path and see the rock iguanas in their natural habitat. They like to hang out in shallow burrows and blend in with their setting so spotting them is a kind of sport – you’ll enjoy seeing who can find the most.
Giggle at Giggles – One of the islands’ most popular spots for a refreshing ice cream or sweet treat is Giggles, located in the Ports of Call shopping center. With barrels full of loose candy that you can buy by the pound and various flavors of hard and soft ice cream as well as a range of topping options, Giggles is heaven for most kids and a fun and refreshing stop while searching for souvenirs or after lunch or dinner.
Scuba dive without getting wet – See the sea under the sea in a semi-submarine. The Undersea Explorer from Caicos Tours allows you to get down below the waves and see stingrays, turtles, exotic tropical fish, sharks and spectacular coral formations while still being able to talk and stay dry. If you get really lucky you might even spot JoJo – the local resident dolphin.
Beach bonfire – Eating on the beach can be a fun treat if it’s executed properly. Every Friday night Pelican Bay Restaurant hosts a beach pig roast from 5pm until 10 pm so you can enjoy the fun setting, some good food and not have to worry about packing up at the end. The night always includes a beach bonfire, which makes it even more exciting. The kids will love toasting marshmallows over the open fire and parents will appreciate the $5 Bambarra rum drinks.
Go fly a kite – The wide flat beaches and gentle trade winds that are characteristic of our beaches make it a great place to fly a kite. Every year in April there’s a kite flying competition put on by the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board. Typically the event is held on Easter Monday – so if you are planning to come to Turks and Caicos around Easter, be sure to bring your kite. Only hand-made kites can be entered in the competition. There’s a full day of family fun activities and prizes are awarded for the largest kite, smallest kite, most artistic kit and best overall.
We hope this short list entices you to come to our islands with your family. Spring, summer, winter and fall are all good times to visit, so check your schedule and start planning.