Escape Fun and Sun 2022 - Page 11

No matter how incredible this article makes it seem , no one is flying to Turks and Caicos primarily for Iguana Island . Turks and Caicos is a beach vacation through and through — you know it , we know it , what kind of travel professionals would we be if didn ’ t at least touch on it ? Here are our picks for the top five beaches ( in no particular order ) to check out for yourself .
• Taylor Bay Beach – Tucked into a scenic cove , the water here is calm , shallow and mesmerizingly tranquil . Bonus points that it ’ s typically far less busy than nearby Sapodilla Bay .
• Governor ’ s Beach – Named after the nearby governor ’ s mansion , Governor ’ s Beach is a strip of pristine peach-white sand with shallow , clear water on one side and a shady casuarina grove on the other . You can expect to find vendors selling souvenirs and refreshing drinks whenever a cruise ship is docked on the island .
• Leeward Beach – This beach is a hidden gem ; it can be more difficult to access than others , but the results are priceless . Swimming conditions are superb , and thanks to less development and less traffic , you might find that you have this stretch of paradise all to yourself .
• Grace Bay Beach – This is the world-famous , hallmark beach of the Turks and Caicos Islands . An extensive barrier reef about a mile offshore helps ensure the beach stays flawless ; there are no rocks or seaweed strewn among the pillow-soft white sand . With nearly all the luxury resorts making their home on Grace Bay Beach , this one is more crowded than some of our other choices — but all the better to people-watch .
• Long Bay Beach – Long Bay checks all the same boxes as the beaches above — turquoise water , white fine-grained sand and few swells . Its key distinction is it is the premier place to kiteboard . Due to northeast trade winds , you ’ ll almost always find onshore or side-on wind , and due to the shallow water , you ’ ll be able to stand without drifting downwind . This is the top choice if you prefer your beach days to be more active and adventurous .
The perfect foil to break up a string of beach days , a trip to the Conch Bar Caves is a respite from the sun and an adventure that you won ’ t soon forget . As an underground karst cave system stretching for 15 miles , it ’ s one of the largest in the Caribbean . A tour through the cave will introduce you to underground lagoons , stalagmites and stalactites , Lucayan Indian artifacts as well as a whole host of subterranean fauna and flora including bats , crustaceans and isopods .
Turks and Caicos isn ’ t just a collection of flawless beaches ; these islands are also home to a stunning network of mangrove wetlands , flat water lagoons and tidal channels . These waterways act as nurseries for plenty of sea life ; renting a kayak or paddleboard is the perfect way to explore them . On a good day , expect to spot conches , barracudas , stingrays , juvenile sharks and turtles . Best of all , enjoy the abundant birdlife serenading you as you paddle .
Kayaking the Lagoons of Turks and Caicos
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