TURKS & CAICOS, June 1, 2013 – When astronaut John Glenn returned to earth off the coast of Grand Turk
Six years later the airport opened in the capital city of
Despite the influx of travelers, however, the chain of 41 islands has been extremely sensitive to overdevelopment, choosing to upgrade infrastructure while maintaining its pre-Glenn ambience. It’s a recipe that has made them one of the most desirable destinations in the
So careful have the residents been about protecting their “pristine” image that the main road wasn’t paved until six years ago and only now is the airport in the process of upgrading to accommodate the increase of international travelers.
There are two sets of islands in the archipelago, of which roughly 25% are inhabited. The Turks derive their name from the indigenous Turk’s head cactus while Caicos comes from the Lucayan term caya hicameaning “string of islands.”
Before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 the Lucayan and the Taino Indians comprised the native population.
The Turks make up the northern cluster of islands, while the Caicos are to the south. Most of the tourist activity these days centers around
Amenities include kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, nature walks, parasailing, paddleboarding and, of course, golf. Boasting the third largest coral reef in the world, combined with an abundance of conch, it is little wonder that water activities are among the most popular.
Reef Peepers, one of several popular outfitters in the islands, offers a variety of excursions. Half-day snorkeling programs includes snorkeling, gear, searching for conch, a visit to
You can also try TI Reef Adventure on
Half Moon Bay, also known as
As might be expected in an area so linked to the sea, there is a passion for shellfish, especially conch. It is virtually impossible to go anywhere and not find conch on a restaurant menu in one form or another.
In fact, the Caicos Conch farm is the only commercial conch farm in the world.
Arguably the favorite hangout on
You would be hard pressed to find food fresher than that.
Jerk chicken is also a popular island dish. Smokey’s has the reputation for the best jerk chicken, plus you can play a round or two of miniature golf before or after your meal.
The islands feature a wide range of accommodations that cater to just about any budget. The more upscale properties can be pricey, as with any resort, but they are not what you would term as extravagant. The Sands at
Situated just eighty minutes by air from
Driving can be tricky until you get accustomed to using the left side of the road, but the ability to use U.S. dollars and American electrical outlets quickly compensates for the driving adjustments.
Off-season travel is increasing in popularity for many people, but when it comes to the
In a land of eternal summer and sunshine, it really doesn’t matter when you visit. As a result, the so-called off-season in the Turks provides the same wonderful weather at a reduction in price.
They are the best of two worlds, luxury and comfort amid island life the way it used to be. As John Glenn might say, “the Turks & Caicos are out of this world.”
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Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@magellantravelclub.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his liston Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in
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