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  • Grand-Turk-beach - Spend a quiet day on the white sand beaches of Grand Turk, the capital island of the Turks and Caicos, on Carnival.
  • Carnival-Liberty-Grand-Turk-Island-beach - Explore beautiful Grand Turk Island on your next cruise to the Caribbean.
  • black-necked-stilt-grand-turk - A black-necked stilt on Grand Turk Island.
  • cockburn-town-grand-turk - A slice of Cockburn Town on Grand Turk Island.
  • Grand-Turk-sea - Cruise the Caribbean and plan a day of snorkeling in the waters off Grand Turk, the main island of Turks and Caicos.
  • boats-grand-turk - Houses and hotels line the shoreline on Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.
  • horse-grand-turk - Grand Turk is one of those places where horses, burros and donkeys roam free.

Grand Turk: Sunshine & sweet Caribbean breezes

our guide

The vibe

Grand Turk is one of 40 islands that form the Turks and Caicos archipelago, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. This small island — 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide — is bursting with turn-of-the-century Caribbean charm and a sunny vibe: In an average year, Grand Turk has 350 days of sunshine. Cockburn Town, the seat of government since 1766, is where nearly all the island's 3,700 inhabitants live. 

It was in Grand Turk that Christopher Columbus first made landfall on his initial voyage to the New World in 1492. Today, Grand Turk and the surrounding Turks & Caicos islands are considered among the most beautiful in the Caribbean.

Cruise ships that call on Grand Turk

Top reasons to go

  • Historic 18th and 19th century Bermudian architecture line Duke and Front Streets in Cockburn Town on Grand Turk.
  • There is an outstanding protected coral reef (called The Wall) that drops to 7,000 feet along the west side of the island.
Houses and hotels line the shoreline on Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.
gerandlg / Creative Commons BY-SAHouses and hotels line the shoreline on Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.

Things to see & do on Grand Turk Island

Historic 18th and 19th century architecture line Duke and Front streets in Cockburn Town. The town is known for its long, narrow streets and antique street lamps. Cockburn Town is home to the Turks & Caicos National Museum, located in the colonial-era Guinep House, right on Front Street. The house is over 150 years old and is made of salvaged materials from shipwrecks, including a ship's mast.

On the opposite end of Grand Turk Island is the Lighthouse (the only lighthouse in Turks and Caicos), a pretty spot to explore. In between, you will find lovely beaches such as Governor's Beach, Cockburn Town Beach, Pillory Beach, East Side Beach and White Sands Beach. Just a mile off the coast of Grand Turk Island, you can snorkel and dive in several locations, such as The Wall and Gibbs Cay. 

Fun facts

  • The name "Grand Turk" comes from a species of cactus on the island that has a distinctive cap, reminiscent of an Ottoman fez.
  • U.S. astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, landed in Friendship 7 near Grand Turk in 1962. To commemorate the island's connection to the Mercury space program, there is a replica of John Glenn’s capsule on display at the entrance to the airport.

Docking information

Cruise ships at Grand Turk dock on the southwestern tip of the island at the new pier. You can walk directly into town.  

Free Wi-Fi

  • Froots, smoothie hut in the port facility
  • Osprey Hotel, downtown Cockburn on Duke Street

Logistics

Getting around:  Taxi fares are charged per person, according to set zone fares set by the local government. The island is split into four zones, with charges ranging from $4 to $10 per person. 

Store hours:  Shops are generally open Monday to Friday from 8 or 8:30 am to 5 pm. 

Tipping:  At restaurants, tip 15% if service isn’t included in the bill. Taxi drivers also expect a token tip, about 10% of your fare. 

Safety: Grand Turk is a safe island, with a peaceful past. As always, be aware of your surroundings and lock up your valuables.

Your take

Have you been to Grand Turk? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight for you? Please share in the comments below.

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Overheard

“To see a bit of Grand Turk outside of the cruise center, book a snorkeling or diving trip in the pristine waters off the island. If you want to stay dry, wander the charming old Caribbean streets of Cockburn Town, an area replete with rustic charm. ”

Lonely Planet

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