Grand Turk: Beyond the beaches

When we docked at Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, I found myself getting excited seeing the turquoise blue waters and white sandy beaches from the ship. This was Day Two of our 7-day Holland America cruise.

It was a beautiful hot December day.

However, I found the port busy and crowded and the beach a tad too close to the cruise ships. There were two docked that day. I was so dismally disappointed that not even the crystal clear waters enticed me to take a photo of the ocean with the large boat looming in the background. It just destroyed the view! The magic which I initially felt, gone! After my hubby’s gentle coaxing, I did manage to take a few shots though with my phone but tried to avoid that floating monstrosity all together.

Chillaxing on the beach was out of the question.

We did want to explore the city so we tried to find a local tour company that had the price we liked. The ship excursions were just too expensive! Meanwhile, hubby just wanted to snorkel (this was his main goal for this trip) so we left him snorkeling to his heart’s desires while we booked an hour and a half city tour. I was always eager to see the town and its sights and learn a little about its history.

So, what did I see?

  1. Of course, the waters. Grand Turk is the capital and largest island of the Turks islands. The Turks and Caicos is an archipelago in the Caribbean composed of seven islands and lots of smaller ones as well. Tourism is the main industry.


2. More beautiful but less touristy beaches.

3. Beautiful friendly locals (school children).

4. A replica of John Glenn’s Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft (it landed in the waters nearby in 1962) located near their international airport.

Note the huge cruise ship from a distance!

5. Colorful houses and white walls.

6. Lots of conch fritters and rum punches.


7. Vibrant island art.


8. Horses, mules or donkeys. They used to be the only means of transportation on the island. Now, they roam freely and wild. Everywhere!

9. Old salt ponds. Grand Turk used to have a booming sea salt industry but production ended in the 1950s. The shallow salt beds remain.

10. Abandoned boarded up houses and buildings.


11. The Grand Turk lighthouse, the only lighthouse in the country and reported to be on the highest point of the island.


12. And from my hubby’s snorkeling day, lots of fish and the occasional angry moray eel.




There you go. Grand Turk in one hour and a half. I may not actually have this destination on my bucket list but since I was here, might as well make the most of it. You will always learn something new. And there is always, always something interesting to see! Just keep your mind open.