Hidden Gems of Turks & Caicos

Get to know us intimately

Written by: Loren Hall

Turks and Caicos is well known for its award-winning beaches and gorgeous weather, but in this small country, there’s much more than what meets the eye. The greatest thing about TCI has to be the people. The people are the life and breath of the nation, usually expressing ourselves through food, song and dance. With a unique culture and welcoming personality, it’s easy to become entranced by the locals – and there’s many ways to immerse yourself in our culture. 

Island Fish Fry is perhaps the most popular. Every Thursday, food and craft vendors across Providenciales gather together to present just a taste of our beautiful culture. At this event, you can try an array of local delicacies, from conch made in numerous ways, to a country-wide favorite – peas and rice. Then, from the craft vendors, you’re able to purchase locally made candles, jewelry and souvenirs. To top it off, Fish Fry also features local bands, showcasing even more of our creativity and talents.

The recently opened Grace Bay Market is also a nice stop if you’re looking for more of our culture. In particular, there are vendors such as “Sugar &” that sell traditional pastries and candies including banana bread, peanut brittle and creamed cakes. At the Grace Bay Market, you can also try your hand at local remedies as well. Bush medicine is a popular solution amongst locals for a number of ailments, and at “Earthly Essentials”, you’re able to purchase these items which can be brewed to make teas that not only taste good, but are good for you as well. Additionally, on Provo its essential to take a trip to Wheeland, where you can find some of the best conch dishes on island, and even watch how they’re prepared.

As for North and Middle Caicos, these islands are known for being the greenest of the bunch and also for having some of the country’s oldest and best preserved remnants of history. In North Caicos, it’s a must to visit the farms, where you can purchase and sometimes even pluck the sweetest of fruits right off the tree. Furthermore, North Caicos is also home to Wade’s Green Plantation, where you are able to tour around and get a better understanding of the country’s history. In Middle Caicos, the biggest attraction outside of the beautiful vista at Mudjin Harbour is perhaps the Conch Bar Caves, where you can find markings left behind by the Lucayans – the first inhabitants of the TCI. For this excursion, it’s best to have a tour guide, for both safety purposes and so that you can get a full understanding of the role the caves played in the lives of its former inhabitants.

Over on South Caicos, the nation’s fishing capital is known as such for good reason. Some of our most skilled fishermen hail from this island, and with most of the local delicacies featuring seafood, fishing is certainly a large part of our culture. When in South Caicos, we recommend a fishing trip, where you can get to learn about our ocean’s ecosystem and understand more about the art of fishing.

With Grand Turk and Salt Cay, both of these islands are brewing with history. Both are quite easy to explore via golf cart, and you can quickly learn about our modern history by venturing around. Another common feature between the two are the salinas (salt ponds), which are a remaining artifact from the country’s time of salt production. In Grand Turk, majority of the historical buildings feature plaques outside that allow you to learn more about its importance. Whereas, for Salt Cay, having a guide is best to provide the background on different buildings.

When it comes to embracing the culture of the Turks and Caicos, getting into the food, the music, the crafts and the history of our people is the best way to do it and the options listed here are just small suggestions. Year round, different events are held across the islands promoting the culture. So if you happen to be here during one of those events, you should definitely stop by and see what the hype is all about.

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Written by: Loren Hall