Category Archives: Turks and Caicos

Top Spots With Kids in Turks and Caicos

We’ve posted before about our recommended peaceful Caribbean destination with kids, Turks and Caicos. Our week of vacation was spent on the island of Providenciales, where most Turks and Caicos resorts are to be found. Here’s a run-down of our top activities and outings with Grace, who was only 10 months old at the time. Although Grace would have been content to stay on the beach and eat sand all day, we got out and did quite a bit. We think these activities would be enjoyable for kids of all ages.

1. Iguana Island – This uninhabited island is a national park just a short boat ride from Providenciales, but with no domesticated cats and dogs the native iguanas have no predators and have taken over the island. They are harmless but fascinating and a short walk around the island’s boardwalk reveals interesting fauna as well as these dinosaur-type lizards.

2. Snorkeling – Obviously at 10 months Grace wasn’t up for this activity, but thankfully we had grandparents along. Our entire group (grandparents, Grace’s aunt and uncle, plus the three of us) took a boat trip to one of the incredible reefs off the island. We chose a glass-bottomed boat so even those who weren’t snorkeling (namely Grace and Grandma) still got a peek at the sealife below. The rest of us enjoyed some of the world’s best snorkeling in the warm clear blue waters.

3. Sapodilla Bay – Our resort was on the north side of the island on Grace Bay Beach. We rented a car for one day and drove to the south side of the island to experience the tranquil waters of Sapodilla Bay, affectionately called “Children’s Beach” by some. We had a little trouble finding the unmarked beach but finally found a small parking area which led us to the clear still water of the Bay. Unlike Grace Bay, which experiences small but constant waves, Sapodilla Bay is perfectly calm. The water is incredibly clear and shallow as well, making it possible to both see and touch bottom even 200 feet from shore. We floated, snorkeled, splashed, sat and soaked up the sun and the quiet of this hidden gem of a beach.

4. Conch Festival – Our visit to Turks and Caicos happened to coincide with the annual Conch Festival in November. Here all the best restaurants in town cook up their best conch (pronounced “conk”) recipes and for one price you get a ticket to try and vote for them all. Let’s just say there’s good conch and there’s really nasty conch. It was a packed event with live music and a conch blowing contest, in which Steve’s brother Michael won second place!

5. Beach time – While there are diversions such as those listed above, the real reason to go to Turks and Caicos is for the beach. The sand is white and soft as flour. The water is warm and the waves lap the shore, never crash. Grace Bay Beach stretches for miles in either direction which makes for great walks. We saw families with kids of all ages and they all seemed to be having a wonderful time.

Have you traveled with your family to Turks and Caicos? What do you recommend?

The All-Inclusive Resort – Good For Parents, Fun For Kids

By nature we are not “all-inclusive” types of travelers. We prefer the thrill of not knowing where or what we’ll eat for dinner until the time arrives, giving us the opportunity to discover a culinary treasure (or to end up hungry and disappointed!). While the latter may not be a big deal for most travelers, when children enter the picture meals, entertainment, lodging, transportation and other travel details are the last things some parents want to think about. The all-inclusive resort solves these problems by taking care of all these details for you (and you pay a handsome price for the service as well).

You won’t find us in a resort for every vacation but you will from time to time. Last Thanksgiving we traveled to the Caribbean island nation of Turks and Caicos. Ah paradise. We actually opted out of our hotel’s all-inclusive option, instead doing a combination of our own cooking, eating at the resort’s restaurant and dining outside the resort. Still the resort took care of our transportation and activities so we were well cared for and had to do very little planning on our own.

If you’re looking for a quiet, safe Caribbean destination we recommend Turks and Caicos. It’s far less touristy than many of its neighbors and it’s perfect for a family wanting a relaxing getaway for everyone. We stayed at the Ocean Club Resort on the island of Providenciales, which is accessed either through New York or Miami. There’s not much to do in Turks and Caicos beyond lay on the beach, snorkel, take a boat trip, scuba dive, or visit an island full of huge iguanas. We were looking for quiet relaxation so the island was perfect for us and the extended family who met us there. Our daughter Grace was 9 months old and loved splashing in the resort pools and digging in the soft white sand. What more does a baby need?

We recommend renting a condo with a kitchen rather than just a hotel room. Restaurants prices in Turks and Caicos are comparable to the U.S. or often more expensive, since they cater to wealthy tourists. Even groceries at the local IGA were expensive (everything is flown in from the U.S.) so we brought a suitcase full of non-perishables. We also brought enough diapers, wipes and baby food for the full week because we had heard these were expensive and hard to find, which turned out to be true. In some ways it was easier to do much of our own cooking and dine in our condo, along with our family in the condo next door. This way we didn’t have to figure out transportation to restaurants, worry about missing our infant daughter’s bed time or care if she got fussy at mealtime.

Do you have a favorite resort destination for your family? We want to know about it so leave a comment here.