The islands of Turks and Caicos are not all about beautiful white sand beaches and interesting natural rock formations that create stages for adventurous activities. They also feature history and historical attractions that are worth checking out. From rock carvings to well-preserved ruins, here are ten attractions that history-loving travelers in Turks and Caicos should not miss out on.
10 Wade’s Green Plantation
There are so many plantation sites in Turks and Caicos, but Wade’s Green Plantation is the most popular. This well-preserved agricultural site was one of the plantations established by loyalist Wade Stubbs in the 18th century. After its establishment, the plantation would go on to be worked by slave labor, as slavery was still legal in British territories until 1834. Slaves from this plantation make up a part of the native inhabitants of the island today, which makes it even more important to the history of the island.
9 Turks And Caicos National Museum
Turks and Caicos Museum is the most popular museum in Turks and Caicos, and it contains much of the island’s history. The museum is located in Grand Turk, and visitors to the museum will be presented with materials that cover the history of the country from the period of the Taino migration to the time of the European and Loyalist settlers.
8 Cockburn Town
Cockburn town is one of the oldest and most historic areas of Turks and Caicos. It was founded by salt collectors in 1681 and is the oldest permanent settlement in the country. The town hosts the majority of the country’s historical attractions, such as - the Turks and Caicos National Museum and Her Majesty’s Prison Museum. A visit to this city is an opportunity to witness the lifestyle and learn about the history of the country. The town also features some of the country's most stunning beaches and luxurious villas to give visitors an amazing island vacation.
7 Sapodilla Bay Hill Rock Carvings
So many things have been left behind by people who have lived in the islands of Turks and Caicos, and the Sapodilla Bay Hill Rock Carving is one of them. Located in Providenciales, these rock carvings represent the presence of sailors and travelers who, unfortunately, became victims of shipwrecks. As they waited, they thought carving their names on the rock was a great way to pass the time. Most of the carvings date back to the period between the mid-1700s and the mid-1800s, and some even come with names and dates.
6 The Grand Turk Lighthouse
Standing at the height of 18 meters on a cliff, overlooking a scenic waterbody, is the Grand Turks Lighthouse - the most famous landmark on Grand Turk Island. The lighthouse was built in 1852 to aid sailors in the navigation to the island and prevent shipwrecks which had been increasing in the area. Although it is no longer in operation, one can still visit to see the scenery surrounding the area.
5 Her Majesty’s Prison
Her Majesty’s Prison is a historic attraction worth checking out in Turks and Caicos. It is located in Cockburn town, where the Turks and Caicos National Museum is also located. As its name suggests, it was a prison in the past, and it hosted male and female prisoners. Until its closure in 1994, it was the nation’s only prison but now stands as a historical attraction, and one can visit to explore the different parts of the prison and the impressive Bell Tower.
4 Cheshire Hall Plantation
Cheshire Hall Plantation is one of the numerous plantations established in Turks and Caicos by British Loyalists. It was first established by the British Loyalist Thomas Stubbs and then by his brother Wade Stubbs. While it may not be the most well-preserved plantation in the country, Cheshire Hall Plantation stands proof of the history of slave labor and the rich farming business that was once prevalent in the area.
3 La Famille Express
Turks and Caicos have seen a huge number of shipwrecks, but La Famille Express remains the most popular. This shipwreck is located in Providenciales, and it was left grounded in the waters of the island in 2004 when Hurricane Frances ravaged the islands around the country. Today, the shipwreck has become a popular attraction that can be visited with boats and jet skis. The wreck can also be visited with kayaks and paddle boards, although it is best left for experienced paddlers.
2 Grand Turk Salt Salinas
Salt has been one of the major resources that brought settlers to the islands of Turks and Caicos and Grand Turk Salt Salinas features numerous salinas created to produce this resource. With the decline of the salt industry in Turks and Caicos, the Grand Salina and others around the country went out of commission. Today visitors come to the area to see the large red-colored Salinas left in the area.
1 Yankee Town
Located in West Caicos, Yankee Town is a town built in the late 1800s to serve as the settlement for the plantation industry in the area. Today the town lies in ruins and what can be found there are remains of the railroad, machinery, and several stone buildings.