Most people know of Turks and Caicos thanks to celebrities like Kylie Jenner and other high-profile influencers. But this destination is very real, and beckons tons of tourists each year. It's more than just yachts off the coast, however.

Before you skip Turks and Caicos solely based on its celebrity allure, it might help to know more about the exotic destination. Read on for details on what to do there, where to stay, and why it might be a worthwhile destination after all (even if you're not famous).


Yachting Is Just One Pastime In Turks & Caicos

Though we refer to it as a single place, Turks and Caicos is an archipelago that spans 40 islands. It's a British Overseas Territory and focuses on luxury accommodations and shopping. The fact that the islands are coral means there are tons of opportunities for scuba diving in the reef.

So, even if you're not booking a yacht, you can scuba dive or snorkel, go fishing, gamble at the casinos, golf, shop, hang out at the salon, or explore one of TCI's amazing beaches.

Exclusive kayaking, eco safari, tastings, sportfishing, birdwatching, and water sports excursions are also available if you've got the cash.

Spend Every Season In This Tropical Paradise

TCI, as the locals call it, is a lot like other Caribbean destinations in that it doesn't experience a true winter. At least, not to the seasonal standards of visitors from the UK, Canada, or the US!

Per their tourism website, TCI tends to stay above 74 degrees even in winter. You may want to avoid June to October for the high tourism season, and higher temperatures reaching the 90s, but fall and spring may offer a perfect balance.

There is quite a bit of rainfall here, too, but TCI tends to get a whopping 350 days of sunshine per year. BRB, going to book a flight ASAP.

The Hippest (And Cheapest) Hotels In Turks & Caicos

Want to stay somewhere budget-friendly? That's actually doable on Providenciales; you can stay at the Airport Hotel for cheap. The hotel offers shuttles to the airport plus all the local beaches.

Prefer to vacay more like Kylie Jenner in TCI? Consider Bianca Sands on Grace Bay, a huge luxury vacation villa resort with a private white-sand beach. Yep, that's billionaire-worthy.

On Grand Turk, there are more charming spots to stay, like studios and vacation rentals with names like Sunflower Oasis, Reef House, and Seasongs. *Swoon* There are resorts and private beaches here, too, don't get us wrong, but Grand Turk is by far the more welcoming of the two islands if you're not looking for the star treatment.

Where To Stay On An Archipelago Of Over 40 Islands

Turks and Caicos has seven main islands, notes its tourism site, plus 40 smaller islands and cays (those are uninhabited). It's pretty easy to navigate, too, as most of the attractions inhabit Providenciales and Grand Turk. That's where most of the population lives, though you can still plan excursions to any of the many cays.

If you take an international flight to the isles, Providenciales is where you'll arrive. It's an excellent idea to hunker down here, but Grand Turk is the more provincial option for those who shy away from big crowds.

Grand Turk is home to both historical sights and a luxury cruise ship center... Go figure!

Either way, if you're planning to enjoy more than just a yacht trip off your home base, Providenciales and Grand Turk should top your list.

Sample The Food All Around Turks And Caicos

It might seem like T&C caters to the elite only, but it can be pretty tourist-friendly (and not just to the mega-billionaire types). Case in point: there's a weekly Island Fish Fry in Providenciales. Seafood restaurants from all parts of the island bring their wares, and local bands perform.

Did we mention this happens every Thursday night?! What a way to make guests feel at home.

In addition to the fish fry, you can find delicacies all over here. Providenciales has Via Veneto, Italian with a Caribbean flair, traditional Caribbean-infused dishes at Kalooki's, and even an Irish Pub (Danny Bouy's). And don't worry, there are plenty of pizza shops and ice cream spots, too.

You'll find everything from barbecue to French, Italian, and Asian food on Grand Turk, too. There's also Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville if you're so inclined. Oh, and you can't miss lunch at the Poop Deck Restaurant.

Getting Around TCI

Unlike many other destinations, Turks and Caicos doesn't seem to have a public bus service. And clearly, there are no subway connections between islands. Instead, you can opt for a taxi service, a VIP experience via limo, or a car rental while you're visiting.

Golf carts are also available on Salt Cay, and most of the major resorts offer bicycles you can borrow.

Of course, if you're hoping to go from island to island, things are more complicated. You can ride the TCI Ferry from North Caicos to Middle Caicos and South Caicos. Or, you can charter a boat or schedule a guided tour via watercraft to get where you want to go (and see the sights on the way).

Landmarks To See On TCI

While the beaches are the priority for most travelers, there are other notable landmarks on Turks and Caicos. For example, there's the Grand Turk Lighthouse (obviously located on Grand Turk), Her Majesty's Prison, the National Museum, and Sapodilla Hill Rock Carvings.

For history buffs, Cheshire Hall Plantation (more on that later), Wade's Green Plantation, Yankee Town, and Haulover Plantation might be of interest. There's also the Mega One Titon Shipwreck to investigate!

Another cool spot to spend at least a few minutes at is the Boiling Hole. It's an underwater fissure passage that connects the ocean to the salina pond on South Caicos. Sea salt producers long ago used it to retrieve salt water and evaporate the water. You can check this out near Cockburn Harbour (ask a local for help navigating!).

If you head underwater during your vacay, don't skip scuba diving at the underwater wall off Grand Turk Island!

Bring Your USD Along

Turks & Caicos is so convenient for many big spenders because they don't have to swap currency. The US dollar is accepted here, which is a huge relief for travelers. Tipping protocol at resorts and hotels may involve a default 10 percent, but providing extra tips is always welcome. Think of it like tipping at home, if you're from the US.

Flight Deals To Your Caribbean Destination

Getting to TCI doesn't require a private jet. You can catch a flight from LAX (in California) to Providenciales for under $400 in the slower season (February). But whenever you go, expect long (and connecting) flights, making the trip last anywhere from 9 to 11 hours.

Leaving NY? You can expect flights at half the price, and you'll arrive at TCI in under four hours (nonstop flights are available). Per US News, the cheapest time to visit TCI is between April and May, so plan accordingly!

TCI Sparks Historical Interest, Too

One of the perks of this exotic spot is that it isn't actually that exotic. English is the primary language and despite the epic scenery, it's not too far off from other destinations like the Bahamas.

That said, the islands do have an interesting history. In fact, on Providenciales, there's an old plantation where Americans who were loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War hid out when the Brits left.

You can still visit Cheshire Hall Plantation today (admission is 10 bucks), which has the original limestone buildings complete with ship graffiti.

Too Many Beaches To List On TCI

Honestly, there are far too many beaches on each island to list. Let's just say there are beaches every mile or so that you can stop by to dip your toes in the sand and pose for epic photos.

Multiple publications call Grace Bay Beach the best beach in the world, so it's definitely worth checking out, even if you're not staying at the nearby resort. Leeward Beach is a quiet spot on Grace Bay that could make for a relaxing retreat.

Other notable beaches include Mudjin Harbour, Long Bay Beach, Half Moon Bay, Governor's Beach, North Bay Beach, and Pine Cay Beach.

No matter where you go in TCI, a beach is nearby, as are epic views of the crystal-blue waters.