Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Grand Turk is an island in the Turks and Caicos, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Turks and Caicos Islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola.
Diving and snorkelling are very popular due to the world’s third largest coral reef being here. Columbus Landfall Marine National Park and the Grand Turk Wall, offer great views of coral and marine life.
In Cockburn town, Duke and Front Streets are lined with historic 18th and 19th Century buildings, Turks & Caicos National Museum outlines the history of the islands and has displays highlighting it’s maritime history.
There isn’t a lot of shopping opportunities here but souvenirs such as handmade items and picture frames made of shells and driftwood make nice gifts.
Gibbs Cay on the Atlantic side of Grand Turk is just a short boat ride away, here you can feed and play with the friendly stingrays which swim right up to the shore.
The Grand Turk Lighthouse is over 150 years old, and stands on the northern tip of the island opposite the cruise terminal. It was built in the United Kingdom and transported here piece by piece.
Governor’s, Bluff Point and Pillory are all popular beach choices.
The disabled cruiser visiting Grand Turk
Where You’re Docked
Ships dock on the southwestern tip of the island, at a pier built specifically for cruise ships; the facility is owned and operated by Carnival Corp. There’s a number of duty-free shops, jewelry stores, souvenir stands, bars and restaurants located in the cruise center. Adjacent to Margaritaville, you can even find a FlowRider. Froots and other facilities in this area have free Wi-Fi.
The port is located near a tourism village packed with restaurants, amenities and jewelry and trinket stores. One of the largest pools in the Caribbean is located conveniently outside of the Caribbean’s largest Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant. You also have direct access to an 800-foot stretch of beach with cabanas and changing rooms. Not long after you disembark the ship and walk onto the beach, you’ll see hammocks encouraging you to pass out there for a while (and it’s tempting).
Good to Know
According to the State Department, the overall crime rate in the Turks and Caicos Islands is relatively low, and crimes typically involve opportunistic petty theft. Exercise a sensible level of caution if walking around at night, and keep valuables in a safe location. The CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations when visiting the Turks and Caicos. If you will be anywhere near caves on an excursion or while exploring, be sure to have an updated Rabies vaccine, as bats can carry the virus. Also be sure to bring insect repellent due to reports of mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Chikungunya.
The official currency of Turks and Caicos is the U.S. dollar. Scotiabank offers two ATMs located in Waterloo Plaza; it’s open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. The ATM is open 24 hours a day.
The island’s primary language is English. Spanish and Creole are also widely spoken.
Shopping is a limited pastime, and this sleepy island is not the place to stock up on mass-produced T-shirts. The gift shop at the National Museum is a great place to pick up straw trinket boxes and other handmade goods. The Shell Shack, open during Grand Turk’s high season (roughly December through April), offers items such as picture frames made from shells and driftwood.
Most restaurants you will encounter in port cater to tourists and provide Americanized versions of bar food and pub grub: burgers, quesadillas and mixed salads, with some fresh seafood on the menu. But the name of the game is conch for Caribbean cuisine, and Grand Turk is no different.
Points of Interest
- Grand Turk- a seven-
Grand Turk Accessible Excursions
Whether your cruise ship stops in
Grand Turk Accessible Guided Tour
This 4 hour accessible