Friday, September 8, 2017

Turks and Caicos--great place if you love beaches and water

Note: I wrote this post before Hurricane Irma slashed through the Caribbean.  I sincerely hope all the islands affected are able to recover quickly and again welcome tourists. If you are planning a winter or spring trip in the Caribbean, please consider these islands. Tourism dollars till go a long way towards helping in recovery.
Snorkeling is fun at Turks and Caicos Islands
If you love being in, on, or near the ocean, you’ll love Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. Beautiful water, splendid beaches, and historic sites make this a world-class destination for tourists and especially for cruise ships, which is how we arrived there.

Shopping and dining are convenient.
Grand Turk is the largest and political capital of the islands. The cruise center there is a world-class beachfront facility of 14 landscaped acres. Opened in 2006, the $50 million center consists of a pier, recreational area that includes one of the largest swimming pools in the Caribbean, and 1100 feet of beachfront for sunbathing and snorkeling at the foot of the cruise pier. There’s also plenty of shopping, restaurants, and bars, so cruise passengers can enjoy the island without taking an additional excursion.
Lots of fish around The Wall at Cotton Bay.
We chose to go a half mile offshore on a catamaran to Cotton Bay. After sailing across crystal clear turquoise water we arrived at an area known as The Wall, a favorite place for scuba divers as well as snorkelers since the water drops off to 7,000 feet deep. We snorkeled at an underwater coral reef which hosted many varieties of colorful tropical fish including plentiful white and yellow striped fish and a small barracuda.

After snorkeling we headed to the soft, champagne-colored sand of the beach.  We waded ashore from the catamaran (after sampling the crew’s rum punch) and spent a lovely time basking on the pristine beach and soaking up the warm Caribbean sun.
This is the life! Beautiful beach and a drink in hand
Turks and Caicos is part of the Lesser Antiles—smaller islands that are actually tops of undersea mountains. Vikings discovered the islands 200 years before Columbus. History was made there 500 years later as John Glen landed on Grand Turk when returning from his landmark space adventure. There is a statue and museum commemorating that event, which is of interest to Americans, too.

Larry posed beside the statue of John Glen.
Whether Turks and Caicos is a cruise port stop or you decide to spend more time there, you’ll find relaxing easy and water activities among the best in the Caribbean.
Photos by Larry and Beverly  Burmeier

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