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 the Turks and Caicos is on the island of Providenciales, aka Provo, airport code PLS. From Provo, it’s a quick hop (25-minutes) to Grand Turk on either Caicos Express  or Intercaribbean Airlines. Both have several flights every day direct to Grand Turk during daylight hours. If you have a short layover, that’s a good time to enjoy some island food and a cold one at Gilly’s in the Provo airport 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 Jags McCartney Airport (GDT). A driver can 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, Southwest and Delta.

Flying from Canada?

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

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.) Book your flight on either Intercaribbean Air and Caicos Express for as little as $45 USD/person/flight.

Getting Around on Grand Turk:

The basic options for getting around on Grand Turk are:

  • golf cart rental

  • car rental

  • taxi

  • bike

  • walk

Located towards the northern end of Cockburn Town, Seasongs is within walking distance to markets, restaurants, the museum and some shopping. 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 stroll north along the beach gets you to the Bohio Beach Resort’s beachfront restaurant and bar. A half mile walk south gets you to many of the government offices in the middle of Cockburn Town.

If you like to bike, you can get anywhere on the nine-mile-long island by bicycle. Riding around Cockburn Town is a lot of fun. The buildings and the island block most of the wind, 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. A few major roads, including Pond Road and Lighthouse Road, have bike paths. The road to the lighthouse offers a few hills for a sense of accomplishment. 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. They’re a great way to transport dive gear down to the dive shops for the daily dive, carry groceries or explore the island. 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. Sundays, it’s best to book your ride ahead, as Grand Turk folks 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 also offer sightseeing trips around the islands - just ask!

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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