A sunny charmer with quaint architectural remnants of a colonial past, Grand Turk has the leisurely pace of a small town and the world-class attractions of a big-time port. You can relax beachside at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, or you can set out on an island exploration, snorkeling the vibrant coral reefs or strolling breezy, bougainvillea-clad Duke Street.
Sip a frosty Turks Head Lager at a beachside bar.
Sample fresh conch, a Caribbean mollusk, after an educational tour of Conch World.
Spend the day swimming and soaking up the sun on Grand Turk’s white-sand beaches.
See historic landmarks, from an 1853 lighthouse to sturdy Bermudan bungalows.
Snorkel the fringing coral reef or dive the 7,000-ft. vertical wall just minutes offshore.
Grand Turk was the site of the 1962 splashdown of John Glenn’s space capsule Friendship 7, and the first landing of Columbus in the new world in 1492.
The Turks & Caicos National Museum showcases the island’s stellar “Message in a Bottle” collection of bottles washed up on these shores during the last 40 years.
Several Lifetime Network television movies have been filmed in Grand Turk.
Within Walking Distance
Carnival cruises to Grand Turk pull up alongside the 14-acre Grand Turk Cruise Center, a self-contained tourism village a 10-minute taxi ride from TCI’s little capital, Cockburn Town. Designed to resemble a colorful Bermudian-style village out of the early 19th century—much like Cockburn Town might have looked in colonial times—the center is planted smack-dab on beautiful Governor’s Beach. Hundreds of lounge chairs are lined up along the beach; you can rent yours with a nifty clamshell sunshade for two.
Take the Poolside Cabana Rental excursion to the world’s largest Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, with a snaking lagoonlike pool. Grand Turk FlowRider Deluxe excursion offers an expanded version of the fast-moving artificial-wave pool for both body surfing and stand-up surfing. Inside the terminal’s main building are shops designed to resemble the quaint wooden “salt houses” of the island’s salt-raking era—look for local island crafts like handmade baskets woven from fanner grass.
Beyond the Port Area
Adventurous types on Carnival cruises to Grand Turk can explore the island with Segway Grand Turk shore excursion. You’ll have the opportunity to see the historic waterfront along Duke and Front streets and soak in the rhythms of Cockburn Town, lined with pastel-hued vintage homes, white fences entwined with crimson bougainvillea.
Embrace your outdoor spirit and explore with Clear Kayaking & Eco Safari or try power snorkeling with Power Snorkel Adventures. Swim with stingrays at Gibbs Cay with Gibbs Cay Beach & Stingray Encounter or combine both with Horseback Ride & Swim. There is so much to see and do here.
Beaches In Grand Turk
The main beach of Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, is Governor’s Beach in the Columbus Landfall National Park. It’s shaded by casuarina pines and is a great spot for snorkeling off the beach. Take the Catamaran Sailaway, Beach & Snorkel excursion to enjoy both. Other top snorkeling beaches are Pillory Beach, fronting the Bohio Dive Resort, and White Sands Beach, to the east of the Grand Turk Cruise Center.
Shopping In Grand Turk
The 45,000-square-ft. shopping area at the Grand Turk Cruise Center is a mix of duty-free jewelry shops, T-shirt and souvenir stores, surf shops, and merchants selling island-made crafts. The Historical Homes, Town and Museum Tour excursion includes a stop at the Turks & Caicos National Museum shop, which has a large collection of books and postcards, and locally made crafts such as woven fanner-grass baskets and silver-top palm bags.
- English is the official language of the Turks & Caicos.
- The U.S. dollar is the local currency of the TCI.
- Grand Turk enjoys a sunny tropical climate, with average year-round temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees F. A constant easterly trade wind keeps the heat from being unbearable. Pack for warm days and balmy, breezy evenings.
- Carnival cruise ships dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.