Grand Turk

A quaint island reminiscent of “Old Caribbean” before the days of high rises and crowds, Grand Turk is a short 25-minute plane ride from the hustle and bustle of Providenciales (“Provo”).

 
 

To and From

The only international airport in Turks and Caicos is on Provincials, aka Provo, airport code PLS. From Provo there it is a short, inexpensive 25-minute flight to Grand Turk on either Caicos Express  or Intercaribbean Airlines. Both have several flights every day direct to Grand Turk in daylight hours, only. If you have a short layover, now is a good time to enjoy a cold beverage in the air conditioned restaurant and connect with your taxi driver on Grand Turk to let him know you will be there soon.

Once on Grand Turk, Seasongs is a 10-minute drive from the local airport, were a taxi driver to will meet you at baggage claim and drop you off right at the front door. The taxi drivers all know the house as Seasongs on West Road or the “Conch Shell House” on West Road for all the conch shells lined up on our front wall.

Getting to Provo:

Flying from the US?

  • There are nonstop flights to Providenciales from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Boston, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte and Dallas. Carriers are Jet Blue, American, United, US Airways and Delta.

Flying from Canada?

  • Non-stop flights are offered from Toronto on Air Canada.

Flying from Europe?

  • Depending on where you are coming from you can fly through a direct hub via Canada, the US or Jamaica.

Flying from South America?

  • There are flights to Provo from many of the major South American cities.

Flying from the Caribbean?

  • Intercaribbean offers flights from many Caribbean airports, including Nassau, Bahamas,Kingstown, Jamaica, several airports in the Dominican Republic, San Juan Puerto Rico, Havana and Santiago de Cuba, Tortola and Antigua.

FROM PROVO TO GRAND TURK:

In Provo you will pick up your bags and go through immigration and security again. (Tip: Each person is allowed to bring 2 bottles of alcohol, which we recommend as prices on the Island tend to be a lot higher and the local selection is a bit limited.) The two airlines, above, provide this short flight for as little as $39 USD/person/flight. We found that it is best to fly earlier in the day, since these planes are small the luggage space fills up fast. Be prepared, as sometimes, when luggage space is full, the local airlines may ship your luggage on the following flight. In that case, they typically deliver the delayed luggage right to Seasongs within a few hours of your arrival.

Getting Around on Grand Turk:

The basic options for getting around on Grand Turk are:

  • walk
  • bike
  • golf cart rental
  • car rental
  • taxi

It is easily walk-able from Seasongs to the beach, markets, restaurants, museum and some shopping. We are located at the north end of Cockburn Town. A longer walk gets you to the south end of Cockburn Town, which is about a mile away and that is where most of the dive shops are along with more restaurants, bars and Grand Turk Liquor, which has better selection and pricing than most other options. A half mile walk north gets you to Bohio with their restaurant and bar and a half mile walk south gets you to many of the government offices in the middle of Cockburn Town.

You can get everywhere on the nine-mile-long island by bicycle. For many people, riding against the mostly present wind is at best not fun and at worst tedious. Riding into the wind to the Cruise Center is definitely not a good time, especially with the tourist traffic on cruise days. Riding around Cockburn Town is a lot of fun. The buildings and the island block most of the wind and the streets have minimal traffic and even cars travel about the same pace as a bicycle. Remember to ride on the left and look right, British style, or you will be unpleasantly surprised. Ride on the sidewalk on Pond Road adjacent to the salina. Bikes are not allowed on Pond Road in the car travel lanes. Bike riding north of Seasongs will likely involve some travel on dirt roads. This is not a problem on our cruiser and mountain bikes. Traffic is light in these areas. There are some hills on the way to the lighthouse, but this is a good ride. It’s also a fun ride out to the mouth of North Creek or along the windward bluff.

Golf Carts are available for rent on Grand Turk for about $60 per day. This is a lot of fun. It’s a great way to transport dive gear down to the dive shops for the daily dive and they really help to carry groceries or run quick errands. Golf Carts are ridden on the roads right in and among the cars. They are a little slower than cars so you just get passed a lot. Otherwise it is not a problem. Again, you drive on the left and remember to look right.

Rental car services are available. There are many car rental companies to choose from on the Island, which are locally owned and offer affordable rates.  Rental car agencies such as Dutchie's Car Rental, Grace Bay Rentals Grand Turk, Tony's Car Rental, and Zoom Zoom Car Rental are all available on Grand Turk Island. For more information and to book a rental car please visit: caribya.com

Taxis are readily available at the airport during daylight flying hours and at the Cruise Center. Otherwise you have to call one for pick up. Generally, it can be more difficult to get a cab on Sundays except at the airport and at the Cruise Center. People in Grand Turk are often in church or spending family time on Sundays and the whole island is a lot quieter then. Two taxis we've used are Gordon (649)332-0888 and Charles (649)243-5886. Cab drivers will offer sightseeing trips around the island for tourists. These are typically expensive and last a couple of hours, but it may be worth it to give you a sense of the place.

Turks and Caicos History

 
 
 
 

Looking Back

Grand Turk has a long and colorful history. The bean shaped island with central ponds is a good fit for Christopher Columbus’ description of his first landfall in the new World in 1492. The local inhabitants soon died out from disease and the actions of the Spanish colonizers. Grand Turk was colonized again in 1681 by Bermuda so those central ponds could be used for salt production. At peak production, over 2 million bushels of salt were exported, yearly from Grand Turks’ docks in Cockburn Town. Grand Turk has been the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands since 1766. The island has been through several economic ups and downs since the end of the salt trade over 60 years ago.  From the end of WW II to 1983, the island had a large US Navy base that contributed significantly to the island’s infrastructure including what is now the JAGS McCartney International Airport, some of the port facilities and the water desalinization plant. In 2008, Hurricane Ike
pummeled the island and almost all of the housing on the island was severely damaged.  Many tourist development projects were stalled at the same time following both the hurricane damage and the global economic recession. Gradually, the island is recovering. The cruise ship terminal is receiving over 300 ships annually. Most of the hurricane damage has been repaired and new construction is once again seen all around the island.

 

Cockburn Town Today

Cockburn Town today is not only the center of government activity for all of the Turks and Caicos but has become a world class dive destination. With less than 200 guest rooms on the entire island, Grand Turk far from crowded. Dinner reservations are unheard of. You can follow the flow of traffic in a golf cart without a worry.  Homes have names instead of numbers for addresses. Almost everything is reasonably accessible with a bike or even simply walking. Grand Turk has become a polyglot culture of Belongers (descendants of the original slaves imported to work the salt industry), Canadians, Americans and British  as well as Haitian and Dominican workers. Almost all of the waters on the windward side of the island are protected in Columbus Landfall National Park. On the leeward side, you can walk for miles on totally deserted sand beaches.

 

Life and Leisure...

Enjoy incredible activities including horseback riding along the beach, biking around the island, exploring the history and culture of Grand Turk at the Turks & Caicos National Museum, people-watching at one of the nearby restaurant bars. If you’re inclined, visit the Cruise Center on the south end of the island (about 4 miles away) when a cruise ship is in for shopping and drinks at the Margaritaville Bar. Then, there’s the diving! World-class diving along the 8-mile long Grand Turk Wall in the Columbus National Marine Park. There are four expert dive shops; dive boats can pick you up on the beach directly in front of Seasongs.

Activities

The island has a variety of adventures waiting to happen! Take a look at what the ocean, the people and the local cuisine have to offer...

 

Diving in Grand Turk has never looked so good....the experience is eye opening and takes you to a place in the world you've never seen before.

Video: Eric Taylor

 

The Cottage

Delight in tranquility almost impossible to find in today’s modern world. Enjoy magnificent ocean views as you drink your morning coffee in the living room or indulge in an evening glass of wine from the outdoor patio. Grab a beach chair and walk 20 yards to Pillory Beach’s pristine, powdery white sand beach and calm turquoise water.

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