For kids who’ve spent much of the last two years in lockdowns, a family vacation is a precious opportunity to reconnect with siblings, parents, and perhaps even grandparents, away from the distractions of our busy day-to-day lives.
Although we’ve spent more time together as families than ever before, for many of us it’s been with an undercurrent of stress due to the pandemic. We need to invest in quality time to relax, laugh, talk and have fun. It’s important to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and share new experiences.
But let’s not forget, any successful family vacation to Turks & Caicos should also include a bit of well-deserved ‘you time’ and there are many spa and wellbeing retreats waiting to rejuvenate tired minds and bodies…
Safe, spectacular beaches
The Turks & Caicos islands are paradise for kids, boasting a winning combination of gorgeous beaches, exciting water sports and delicious food.
The world-renowned beaches are ideal for curious little feet to explore thanks to the islands’ shallow, calm waters. Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales has 13 miles of pristine soft white sand, clear translucent water with marked safe swimming zones, and is #1 in TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Beaches.
At one end of Grace Bay is Bright Beach with picnic tables, barbecues and a seaside playground for children. It’s also a good spot to try snorkelling amongst the lush seagrass that grows on the ocean floor. Here you might see stingrays, eagle rays, starfish, hawksbill turtles, and nurse sharks.
For those who enjoy a bit of Castaway-style exploring, Half Moon Bay is a sandbar that stretches between Water Cay and Little Water Cay and is an ideal day trip destination for families. It has a beach on the north side and a small lagoon on the southern side. Depending on how adventurous you are (and the ages of your kids!) you can get there by boat, kayak, paddle board or kite board.
Cockburn Town’s beaches offer stunning white sand against the backdrop of Grand Turk’s British Colonial architecture, historical attractions, gift shops and abundance of restaurants. Cockburn Town is the capital of Turks & Caicos and is the ideal destination for families who like a mixture of lively buzz combined with gorgeous scenery. The beaches here are typically calm but can get a bit of surf when the swell is high. The Grand Turk Museum is well worth a visit to introduce the kids to the islands’ history.
Find out more about Turks & Caicos best beaches.
Family Activities in the Turks & Caicos
For adventurous families, there is never a dull moment on the islands and most activities allow you to explore the stunning natural surroundings. Sharing new experiences together is a wonderful way of creating lasting memories as a family.
If you love horses – or have always wanted to try riding them – Provo Ponies on Long Bay beach offers horseback riding along some of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the world.
They take children age 7 and older (all under 18s have to wear a helmet) and tailor their excursions to the age and experience of the riders. The rescue horses at Provo Ponies LOVE to walk in the ocean, it’s pure magic for all!
There is nothing like the excitement of seeing marine wildlife and coral reef up close. With around 40 islands and cays in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, there are lots of incredible snorkelling sites scattered across the islands.
Many, like Bright Reef on Providenciales, can be easily accessed directly from the beach. Bright Reef has snorkeling location markers on the shore, and additional markers along the ocean floor itself, guiding you to different parts of the reef. This site is especially easy to explore with kids who will love to spot the colourful fish, stingrays and turtles.
There are many operators in Turks & Caicos offering snorkelling excursions to suit all tastes.
Kayaking and Boat Trips
My Time Tours offers adventures geared for both adults and children including boat charters and crystal-clear kayak excursions where you can watch the marine life through the bottom of the boat as you float through beautiful mangroves and waterways.
For an experience the whole family will never forget, Deep Blue Charters offers low-impact whale encounters to see the migrating humpback whales that can be spotted around the Turks & Caicos Islands from late January to early March.
There are many other boat trip operators on the islands including Big Blue Collective which offers low-impact ecotours to some of the best and most secluded locations on the Turks & Caicos
Endangered Iguanas at Little Water Cay
For wildlife lovers, the small nature reserve island at Little Water Cay on Providenciales is the best place to see the exceptionally special Turks & Caicos Islands Rock Iguanas.
The cay has two boardwalk trails, preventing harm to the iguanas and allowing easy access for visitors to see these critically endangered lizards in their natural environment.
The Conch Bar Caves
For a completely different day out (and a quick geology refresher), why not explore the Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos, one of the largest cave systems in the Caribbean. The caves are home to some impressive stalactites and stalagmites, as well as small tidal lagoons and colonies of bats. The Turks & Caicos National Trust offers guided tours.
Water Sports for Kids (and adults)
With warm, shallow waters and a Caribbean climate, The Turks & Caicos Islands are an amazing place to pick up a new skill. Kids and adults alike will find lessons available in sailing, kiteboarding, scuba diving and more.
The Provo Sailing Academy (PSA) has several different types of boats available including Hobie Cats, Picos, and Lasers, all of which are great for children to learn in and are very easy to sail.
For teenage children, scuba diving courses are available with the experienced instructors at Dive Provo, Grace Bay Beach who offer a two-day Discover Scuba Diving Resort Course.
Provo Swim School offers lessons for all ages including babies, toddlers and young children.
Family-Friendly Luxury Retreats
For luxury meets family adventure, Beaches Turks & Caicos on Providenciales is a large resort with kids’ camps, childcare, multiple restaurants and pools and a huge waterpark featuring no less than eight slides!
For those looking for a more tranquil vibe in elegant and upscale surroundings, the islands’ finest wellness and yoga retreats also cater for children.
At COMO Parrot Cay, ‘Play by COMO’ offers purposeful, creative activities for kids 12 and under while their parents enjoy some downtime. The programme includes a Plantation Walk, mindfulness exercises and cooking classes. The Play Space has high-energy zones and calm, quiet zones.
Most of the Villas and Pavilions at Amanyaras Spa are suitable for families as they feature open plan layouts, multiple bedrooms and private pools ideal for all ages. This luxurious accommodation offers a chance to reconnect in total luxury and blissful privacy.
Beach Enclave and Coral Pavilion Villa offer larger family and friends groups the chance to experience the vacation of a lifetime in the most exquisite surroundings. You’ll have the option to take advantage of a wide range of on-site services including private chefs, spa treatments, wellness programmes, nutritional plans and yoga.
Turks & Caicos Family Restaurants
The Turks & Caicos are very welcoming and kids will feel at home in many restaurants. It’s always worth checking the best restaurants by island guide to get the inside scoop on the perfect places to eat locally as a family.
On Providenciales, Bugaloo’s and Da Conch Shack are particularly renowned for being family-friendly restaurants. Both offer a relaxed vibe where kids can play in the water or search for conch shells on the beach while they wait for their food to arrive.
Find out more about family vacations to the Turks & Caicos Islands
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