Ah, Grand Turk. Where the sun shines down on turquoise waters and white sand stretches as far as the eye can see. But there’s more to this tropical outpost in Turks & Caicos than its stunning beaches. When you cruise to Grand Turk, don’t forget to make time for one or more of these other great ways to see the island. (And, don’t worry, those gorgeous beaches made our list, too!) In no particular order, here are the top things to do in Grand Turk.
1. Scuba Dive
If you’re a certified scuba diver, you probably already know that Grand Turk is surrounded by the third-largest coral reef in the world. A scuba dive excursion can take you inside the colorful explosion of color that lives beneath the water’s surface—and it all starts just a 10-minute boat ride away from where the cruise ships dock. Oh, and get ready to meet some of the locals on your dive—the area is home to turtles, stingrays, and a whole host of brightly colored fish.
To book a diving excursion, you must present a valid C-Card and must have logged a dive within the last two years.
2. Snorkel & Swim
Even if you’re not a certified diver, you can still explore the reef of Grand Turk with your own snorkel gear or on a snorkeling excursion. Kids 5 and up can usually come along and a guide will provide safety instructions and lead you on a tour of the highlights beneath the surface. Snorkel equipment will be provided on most excursions but bring a towel and any other beach or sun essentials you need with you from the ship. To maximize your time in port, reserve some time for hitting the beach after your snorkel so you can swap stories of what you’ve seen—yes, that means it’s time to brag about your barracuda sighting!
3. Off Road ATV
Rev up your sense of adventure with an ATV excursion that lets you explore the beauty of Grand Turk via rugged trails and paths. You’ll visit salt ponds and mangroves, and traverse the island’s hills so you can scope out some of the best views. Hang on tight and enjoy the views of the water and surrounding cays.
Drivers typically must be 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license. Check for additional safety restrictions.
4. Catamaran Sail
Yes, you just got off a ship. But this one is smaller than your cruise ship and promises a smooth ride! Stepping onboard a catamaran is a great way to explore Grand Turk’s coves and beaches, reefs and marine life. On catamaran excursions, you can sit back and enjoy ocean breezes as you take in the Instagram-worthy vistas, or you can opt to snorkel the reef, swim or just lie back and float in the crystal-clear water. You control the pace but whatever activity you choose, you can count on scenery—and photos—that will make everyone back home green with envy.
5. Segway Tour
If you’re looking for an activity that’s active but still easy for most people in the family, this one could be for you. Combine sightseeing with fun on wheels with a Segway tour of Grand Turk. Once you’ve mastered the easy-to-use Segway, you’ll glide through the historic district to check out Bermudian-style architecture, historic churches and other details of daily life in Turks & Caicos. Then, break out of town and ride on white-sand beaches and see Grand Turk’s Salt Ponds.
Check for age, height & health requirements and wear sensible footwear.
If you’ve always wanted to hang ten, Grand Turk is the place to do it, no experience necessary. At the Grand Turk Cruise Center, you can sign up for a 30-minute body- or knee-boarding session on the FlowRider, which simulates the feel of ocean waves. Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to smile—photographers are on hand to capture your moment of glory, or perhaps a wipe-out to laugh about later.
Height and health restrictions apply.
7. Stingray Encounter
You don’t have to scuba to get up close to a stingray in Grand Turk. Excursions to the untouched island of Gibbs Cay provide an easy way to observe these unique sea creatures, whether you snorkel or simply watch the rays frolic in the shallows. Your visit to Gibbs Cay also includes the chance to try conch, a local delicacy plucked fresh from the ocean and prepared in front of you. Save some time for a dose of reggae and refreshments at a local spot such as Reef Shark Bar & Grill before you return to your ship.
Please check for age, weight and health requirements. Swimsuit and towel required.
8. Kayak or Paddleboard
If you’re looking for a little exercise and want to get out into Grand Turk’s beautiful water, consider a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) tour. Even if it’s your first time trying one of these water sports, you’ll be in good hands and learn proper techniques from knowledgeable guides. Plus, you’ll be getting a workout at the same time as learning more about the history and natural side of the island. Throw in time for a dip or even a snorkel and this excursion is the very definition of a win-win situation.
Not recommended for pregnant women or anyone with a heart condition. Please check for age and weight restrictions.
9. The Yellow Semi-Submarine
You’ll be humming the famous Beatles song as you descend into the ocean in Grand Turk’s semi-submersible craft that lets you view the marine life along a 7,000-foot drop off known as “the Wall.” It’s one of the easiest ways to get underwater—without getting wet! Once you’ve explored what’s below, you’ll have time to chill out up above, on Grand Turk’s famous white beaches, so don’t forget your swimsuit and towel.
10. Beach Retreat
If the idea of a beach umbrella, a cool drink and a good book gets your pulse racing, you’ll be glad to know that a relaxing day at the beach is on offer alongside all the action-packed excursions at Grand Turk. Live the resort life for a day, with a dip in crystal-clear waters, lunch on the sand, or even a nap in the shade. Pack your swimsuit and towel and then all you need to do is simple: nothing. Check out this blog by Two Monkeys Travel for a look at the beach action in Grand Turk.
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.