Turks and Caicos is the cliché of a beach holiday. It’s sunny and tropical, serene and laid back, and is a once in a lifetime vacation destination. With beautiful beaches, stunning natural landscapes, fantastic accommodation, and friendly people, it’s the ideal place for your next trip.
The islands of Turks and Caicos belong to The Bahamas islands; northeast of Cuba, southeast of Mayaguana and north of Hispaniola.
Despite the popularity of other islands in the Bahamas, the Grand Turks islands don’t get as much love as some other locations. As a result, you might have some trouble figuring out exactly where to stay in Turks and Caicos.
To help you out, I’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos. I’ve included something for every travel type and budget. So, whether you’re planning a family vacation, a solo adventure, or anything in between – I’ve got you covered.
- Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
- A Quick Overview: Top Places to Stay
- Turks and Caicos Neighbourhood Guide
- Turks and Caicos’ 5 Best Areas to Stay in
- 1. The Bight Settlement – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos for your First Visit
- 2. Whitby – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos on a Budget
- 3. Grace Bay – Best Area in Turks and Caicos for Families
- 4. Cockburn Town – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos for Nightlife
- 5. Cockburn Harbour – Coolest Place to Stay in Turks and Caicos
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Turks and Caicos
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
When it comes to deciding where to stay in the Bahamas, not many people choose the Turks and Caicos Islands. Luckily, that means you’ll come across fewer tourists and packed places during your trip. But figuring out where to stay beforehand is still a must if you want to have a stress-free vacation.
Fun fact: What not a lot of people know, these islands might be far away, but they actually belong to the UK. It’s a British Overseas Territory, making it easy for Europeans to visit.
Here are my highest recommendations for places to stay in Turks and Caicos.
A Quick Overview: Top Places to Stay
Short on time? Here’s a quick rundown of the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos.
Best Airbnb in Turks and Caicos: Seafront Home on the Beach
This seafront apartment is a dream come true. No doubt, it is one of the best Airbnbs in the Bahamas. Sitting right on the beach in one of the coolest parts of the island, the property provides a tropical home-away-from-home for up to two visitors. You can fall asleep to the sound of the waves, wake up and enjoy your morning coffee while looking over the water, and spend the day snorkelling in front of your doorstep.
Best Hotel in Turks and Caicos : Coral Gardens on Grace Bay Beach
This hotel is perfect for any type of traveller. Sitting just 15 minutes from the airport, you’ll be off the plane and lounging on the private beach in no time. You can also enjoy a sun deck, outdoor swimming pool, lounge bar, and a lovely garden. Rooms are bright and beautifully furnished, making this one of my favourite hotels on the island.
Best Luxury Hotel in Turks and Caicos: Grace Bay Beach Club
This luxury resort is a bit of a splurge, but it sure is worth it. It boasts 5-star facilities, including a day spa, tennis courts, a private beach, and a lounge bar, so you can truly escape in paradise. The beach and local bars are a stone’s throw away, meaning you’ll never be far from things to see and do.
The Bight Settlement
The Bight Settlement is a lively area where there’s always something going on. It’s filled with bistros selling delicious foods and has lots of traditions that allow you to see a more authentic side of the town.
If you’re looking for a quieter area, then Whitby is the best area in Turks and Caicos to stay in. It’s in the center of the Turks and archipelago and is a lush green area close to all the major attractions on the island.
What will strike you first about Cockburn Town is the history. If you’re interested in the past, this is one of the best areas to stay in Turks and Caicos hands down.
Cockburn Harbor is charmingly laidback, without the bars and restaurants that make other islands so busy. There are only 3 resorts on the island, no casinos, and few water sports businesses.
Grace Bay is based around the beach of course, which is why many visitors never bother to go much further than their sun loungers.
Turks and Caicos are made up of several small islands dotted with tiny towns, most of them along the beach. There are dozens of hotels on these islands, with the majority located in the area known as Providenciales. So prepare yourself to find top vacation rentals in the Bahamas.
This is the most popular part of the island train. But there are also quieter areas where you won’t have to contend with as many tourists and will still have access to amazing beaches!
The Bight Settlement is the first place you should consider for your trip. It’s one of the best places to be if you want to be close to local beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. It offers a range of accommodations at different price points, making it suitable for any travel style.
Whitby is a quieter alternative to the Bight Settlement. This small town is located on North Caicos island and offers beautiful beaches and easy access to some of the many natural attractions on the islands. The lower tourist numbers here also mean that accommodation is usually cheaper than in other areas.
Another popular area is Grace Bay. This is very close to the Bight Settlement and is one of the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos for families. Grace Bay is surrounded by things to see and do, meaning you’ll never run out of things to explore.
And after that, you have Cockburn Town. This is a more local area that still sees its share of tourists, offering the perfect combination of beautiful nature experiences and a more down to earth, local atmosphere. It’s packed with vibrant bars and is the best place to find nightlife on the island.
The final area on my list is Cockburn Harbour. This is one of the best areas to stay in Turks and Caicos for adventurous travellers, who want to see the Bahamas as they were before all the tourists came in. You won’t find as many amenities in this area. Instead, you’ll be treated to miles of pristine beaches and natural landscapes.
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Turks and Caicos’ 5 Best Areas to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. Keep in mind that these neighbourhoods aren’t all close together, so it’s important to find the best one to suit your travel plans!
1. The Bight Settlement – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos for your First Visit
The Bight Settlement is one of the two most popular choices for tourists visiting the islands. There is a cluster of accommodation options in this area at every price point, as well as easy access to beautiful beaches such as Long Bay Beach. It’s also just eight minutes from the airport, which means no long car trips!
The Bight Settlement is a lively area that makes it one of the best Caribbean islands to visit: there’s always something going on. It’s filled with bistros selling delicious foods and has lots of traditions that allow you to see a more authentic side of the town. For example, every Thursday night the locals hold a traditional fish fry that welcomes locals and tourists alike.
This is a fun night with live music and lots of socializing and shouldn’t be missed if you’re visiting at the right time. This experience is a real draw whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Turks and Caicos for your first time or on a return trip, offering great insight into island life.
Luxury Villa in The Bight Settlement: Paradise Villa #4
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Turks and Caicos for one night or for a longer visit, this is a good choice. It’s located right in the middle of the shops and restaurants and offers easy access to the beach, too. The villa has amazing views as well as comfortable furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen, and laundry facilities.
Best Condo in The Bight Settlement: Amazing Home with Private Car
This Airbnb truly has it all. You definitely know you’ve scored a great deal if a car comes with an incredible home – for free! This condo is perfect for your first time on the islands, offering stunning views and all of the amenities you could need. If you want to head to the beach, make sure you pack the snorkelling gear that has been provided by the host. For recommendations on dining or going out, reach out and your host will provide you with all the best hotspots.
Best Hotel in The Bight Settlement: Villa Islander
This hotel is in the best neighbourhood to stay in The Bight Settlement if you want to be close to everything. You’ve dreamed of those dream beach houses in the Bahamas, now here it is. This hotel offers a private beach, free private parking, and a car rental desk so you can explore the rest of the island. The villa itself is fully equipped to suit every type of traveller and is a stone’s throw from the beach.
Best Luxury Hotel in The Bight Settlement: Windsong on the Reef
This hotel in Turks and Caicos is ideal if you have a little extra to spend and want a truly luxurious experience. It offers a swimming pool, private beach, onsite restaurant, and daily continental breakfast. The rooms are stylish and come with private bathrooms and an in-room dining area. Fancy.
Things to See and Do in The Bight Settlement
- Visit the area’s popular beaches like the Bight Settle Beach, Long Bay Beach, or Grace Bay Beach.
- Don’t miss out on the Thursday Fish Fry!
- Play a round at the Provo Golf Club.
- Snorkel through the beauty of Smiths Reef.
- Go kiteboarding in Long Bay Beach.
- Try some Caribbean cuisine at local bistros like Stelle and Mr Grouper’s Restaurant.
2. Whitby – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos on a Budget
Okay, Turks and Caicos isn’t exactly one of the top budget-friendly destinations. But Broke Backpackers don’t have to miss out! Whitby is a quieter, slightly more affordable part of the island, making it the best place to be if you need to watch your spending.
It’s in the centre of the Turks and archipelago and is a lush green area close to all the major tourist attractions on the island. If you’re a little more adventurous and want to get away from resort living, then this is where you should spend your vacation.
This is a quiet area that few tourists ever see, so, you’ll be staying and living among the locals. This is what makes Whitby a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Turks and Caicos on a budget.
And if you get tired of the quiet, then you can travel to one of the other islands to check out the scene via a road causeway that connects North and Middle Caicos. It’s also only a 30-minute (scenic) ride on the ferry from Providenciales and all the popular tourist resorts.
Best Airbnb in Whitby: Oak Tree Guesthouse
Sleeping four guests across two bedrooms, this fully-furnished beach house offers great value for money. It’s perfect for families or groups travelling on a budget and provides a kitchen, laundry facilities, wifi, and beachfront access.
Awesome House in Whitby: Sanctuary by the Sea
If direct access to 8 miles of quiet white sand beaches and views of swaying palm trees sounds good to you, then you’ll love this stunning island retreat. The house is a great choice for couples planning a romantic escape and is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the best restaurant on the island. It’s beautifully furnished with modern amenities and has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Best Hotel in Whitby: Hollywood Beach Suites
This gorgeous three-star hotel offers direct beach access and spacious, well-equipped family rooms. There’s a restaurant on-site, although you’ll also be close to some of the island’s top bars and restaurants. There’s plenty to do here; relax on the beach, snorkel, canoe, or cycle around the island.
Best Luxury Hotel in Whitby: Pelican Beach Hotel
Not the most affordable for solo travellers but a great pick for couples, the Pelican Beach Hotel gives guests the opportunity to experience luxury accommodation for a rate that’s much more affordable than other resorts. It doesn’t offer as many amenities as other hotels, but with stylish rooms, beachfront access, free wifi, and an on-site restaurant – I can’t complain!
Things to See and Do in Whitby
- Try the fresh and delicious seafood at local restaurants like Big Josh’s Bar and Grill or the Barracuda Beach Bar and Grill.
- Head down to Mudjin Harbour to see the majestic limestone cliffs.
- Don’t miss out on seeing incredible Conch Bar Caves or the Indian Cave.
- Pack your beach bag and enjoy the nearly deserted beaches in Whitby!
- Take the Crossing Place Trail hike, a historical trail that is used to connect the communities in Middle and North Caicos.
- Visit some of the astonishing blue holes like the Cottage Pond in North Caicos and the Middle Caicos Ocean Hole.
- Take pictures from the Flamingo Pond Overlook.
3. Grace Bay – Best Area in Turks and Caicos for Families
There are two very popular areas in Turks and Caicos Islands and Grace Bay is the second one. It offers a huge range of hotels and easy access to the beach and to local shops, which is why it’s the best place to be if you want a trouble-free holiday. This is where to stay in Turks and Caicos if you want to kick back, relax, and just enjoy the beach and the relaxed atmosphere.
Grace Bay is based around the beach of course, which is why many visitors never bother to go much further than their sun loungers. But if you aren’t the type to just lie around and get tanned, there are also lots of water-based activities to get stuck into such as standup paddleboarding from Princess Alexandra National Park. The nightlife is pretty decent here as well, as there are plenty of bars and restaurants close by.
Cute Apartment in Grace Bay: Coco Apartment
This one-bedroom apartment is just a 2-minute walk from Grace Bay beach, local shops, and restaurants. It has a small kitchen, living room, and a private patio so you can enjoy the outdoors in peace. Up to five guests can stay here, making for a cozy but well-equipped family retreat.
Quiet Condo in Grace Bay: Inn by Grace Bay Beach
This Airbnb offers peace and quiet while still being in the best location. It’s pretty much on the beach and offers easy access to some of the best places to eat in Turks and Caicos. Each room can sleep up to four guests and has been newly renovated to offer a flashy modern kitchen area, a Sonos sound system, and much more.
Best Hotel in Grace Bay: Coral Gardens on Grace Bay Beach
This is one of my all-time favourite hotels in Turks and Caicos. It’s just 15 minutes from the airport and offers a sun deck, private beach, outdoor swimming pool, lounge bar, and a lovely garden. The resort is super-luxurious, offering beautifully-decorated rooms and a whole host of activities to keep everyone entertained.
Best Luxury Hotel in Grace Bay: Grace Bay Club
If you want even more luxury (and why not – you’ve travelled so far already), then check out the Grace Bay Club. It’s close to the beach and local bars and offers 5-star facilities like a day spa, tennis courts, private beach, terrace, and lounge bar. The rooms are fully equipped and come in a range of sizes to suit every travel group.
Things to See and Do in Grace Bay
- Relax on the beach (with plenty of sun cream).
- Take a catamaran snorkelling tour from Grace Bay Beach.
- Try out the local bars like the Infiniti Bar, Danny Buoy’s, and Blu Bar & Lounge.
- If you’re PADI certified, then head out to go scuba diving in the famous Turks and Caicos Barrier Reef.
- Marvel at the beauty of the Princess Alexandra National Park, a pristine marine reserve.
- Take a clear kayak trip through the mangroves.
- Take the ferry across to the other islands to explore the beaches and natural landmarks.
- Eat at local restaurants like Coco Bistro, Provence, and Kalooki’s Restaurant.
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4. Cockburn Town – Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos for Nightlife
Cockburn Town is the capital of Turks and Caicos and is on Grand Turks Island. The island itself is so small that the town takes up nearly all of it – yet still offers an international airport and lots of tourist attractions to see. The convenience of staying on Grand Turk Island makes it a great choice for groups, families, and solo adventurers.
What will strike you first about Cockburn Town is the history. If you’re interested in the past, this is one of the best areas to stay in Turks and Caicos hands down.
Most of the architecture dates back to colonial times and there are also some areas where you can experience a more Bermudan vibe. Cockburn Town also offers all the great beach and nature experiences you’ll find on other islands in Turks and Caicos too.
Best Airbnb in Cockburn Town: Private Beach Cottage
This house sleeps up to five guests and is just a minutes’ walk from your own private beach and from local shops and restaurants. The house is clean, modern, and includes one bedroom, a private bathroom and a small kitchen as well as an outside porch.
Stunning Apartment in Cockburn Town: Seafront Home on the Beach
If you want to visit one of the best areas of the islands, your accommodation should be just as good. Definitely not the cheapest but with an amazing location, this seafront apartment is a dream come true. Literally sitting on the beach, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves, wake up and enjoy your morning coffee while looking over the water, and spend the day snorkelling in front of your doorstep. What are you waiting for?
Best Hotel in Cockburn Town: Osprey Beach Hotel
Boasting beachfront access, an on-site swimming pool, and a fabulous bar and restaurant, the Osprey Beach Hotel is a great pick for travellers deciding where to stay in Turks and Caicos. Each room comes with sea views, a balcony to enjoy them from, and air conditioning to keep things cool. When not relaxing at the hotel, guests can enjoy canoeing, diving, snorkelling, and windsurfing.
Best Luxury Hotel in Cockburn Town: Turks Head Inne
This Turks and Caicos accommodation option has truly beautiful grounds, light and cheerful and filled with lots of quirky touches. It’s ten minutes from the airport, offers car hire, and is close to local fishing and scenic spots. The rooms are spacious, bright, and contain everything you’ll need during your stay. Massages are also available.
Things to See and Do in Cockburn Town
- Learn more about local history at the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
- Visit some of the local beaches like Governor’s Beach or Pillory Beach.
- Have a walk on the slightly grim side at Her Majesty’s Prison Museum.
- Head down to the Humpback Dive Shack to take a tour out to see these incredible animals.
- See the Historic Lighthouse Grand Turk and take in the lovely views while you’re there.
- Have a look at the Crofton Coverley House, first built in 1870.
- Check out the Mega One Triton Shipwreck, a rusting behemoth on a beautiful, white sandy beach.
5. Cockburn Harbour – Coolest Place to Stay in Turks and Caicos
Cockburn Harbor is a slightly different choice. It’s on South Caicos island, which only houses around 900 locals. It was once a hub for regional trade and salt exports, but now it supports itself with tourism and fishing.
Cockburn Harbor is one of the coolest places to stay in Turks and Caicos if you have a more adventurous spirit. You won’t find lots of shops and bars on this island, instead, you’ll find a more poetic experience that puts you closer to nature.
Cockburn Harbor is charmingly laidback, without the bars and restaurants that make other islands so busy. There are only 3 resorts on the island, no casinos, and few water sports businesses. This is hands down one of the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos if you want to experience the Old Caribbean before the developments move in and ruin – I mean change – it.
Luxurious Airbnb in Cockburn Harbor: Four Bedroom Villa
South Caicos is a pretty exclusive area, so you won’t find anything run-of-the-mill there. This villa sleeps eight guests across four bedrooms and comes with airport transfers, daily housekeeping, complimentary water sports activities, and a welcome cocktail on arrival. The property is nothing less than luxurious and features an infinity pool, breakfast bar, dining area, and a wine fridge.
Best Luxury Hotel in Cockburn Harbor: Sailrock Resort
It doesn’t get much better than this 5-star beachfront resort in Turks and Caicos. Visitors can enjoy a swimming pool and spa, private beach, and plenty of family entertainment. Each room comes with a terrace and balcony, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV, as well as a private bathroom. There are loads of activities to do here, including water sports and snorkeling. An all-inclusive option is available if you fancy going all-out.
Best Luxury Hotel in Cockburn Harbor: East Bay Resort
This hotel is luxurious and convenient at the same time. It’s on the beachfront and offers an outdoor swimming pool, laundry facilities, babysitting services, car hire, and breakfast each morning. The rooms are comfortable and have a range of essential facilities.
Things to See and Do in Cockburn Harbour
- If you’re visiting between January and April, head over to Salt Cay for whale watching.
- Relax on otherwise empty beaches like East Bay, Long Beach, Bell Sound, and turquoise Plandon Cay Cut Beach.
- Throw on your best hiking shoes and head through the natural landscape.
- Go reef fishing.
- The scuba diving in this area is simply incredible, so make sure you get your license before you go.
- Go paddling through hidden, stunning areas like the mangrove channels of McCartney Cay, Hog Cay, and Middle.
- Creek Cay and East Caicos offer some of the best paddling in the region.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Turks and Caicos
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Turks and Caicos and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
The islands of Turks and Caicos have a lot to offer in terms of natural experience and accommodation. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Turks and Caicos for your first time or on a return trip, you’ll find a hotel to suit your budget, amazing beaches, and natural scenery to satisfy your soul.
And once you’ve visited these islands, chances are that their charms will bring your back again and again!
If you’re still not sure where to stay, I highly recommend Grace Bay. This beautiful region offers pristine beaches, great bars, and a huge variety of accommodation options.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
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