Turks and Caicos: a heavenly oasis where the ocean is more blue than any postcard you've ever seen. This was one of the most relaxing trips I've taken and by far the most beautiful ocean water I've ever swam in. If you're headed here, you're in for a treat and I've got you covered with where to stay, eat, drink, and what to do! Hope you enjoy my recommendations!
Where to Stay
Wymara: A beautiful oasis from the moment you enter, to the amenities. This resort used to be the Gansevoort and was renovated and renamed Wymara. When my fiancé and I went in November 2019, it was down season which meant it was relatively quieter, not as crowded, but the weather was still excellent (mid 80's).
Upon entering, we were greeted with an island favorite drink, the rum punch, and whisked off to our room which they had graciously upgraded for my birthday! When we entered the staff had a special bottle of champagne chilled and a birthday chocolate fudge cake waiting for me! It was so thoughtful and I feel like it's touches like that this that make trips memorable and why I recommend staying here.
Our room was considered the one bedroom beachfront suite- and it was truly breathtaking. All of the rooms feature a kitchen, which we really utilized because we stored our waters, fresh coconuts, and alcohol in the fridge. The room was spacious with a living room, super clean bathroom area, and we were lucky enough to have a bathtub in our room that filled from the ceiling! There was a beautiful balcony where we enjoyed morning waves in serenity and the gorgeous sunset sky- we even took a nap out there one day because the breeze during dusk is perfection.
(Visit @thetravelingcure for the full room tour video on IGTV)
Breakfast was included every day of our stay and was a magnificent spread with an omelette and french toast bar, plus fresh fruit and really anything you could want! It was such a nice way to wake up and start the day, especially because most meals can be pricey in Turks so to have a great breakfast included, it was a treat. We spent sometime in both the pool and beach (the beach is always my favorite) and I will say the beaches in Grace Bay are some of the cleanest, warmest I have ever been in- absolutely magical to be just steps from it when staying at Wymara. I didn't think it was possible to be more relaxed, but then the resort offered us two free 10 minute massages at the spa...and let's just say we were floating after.
Overall, our stay at Wymara was absolutely incredible. The staff was so accommodating and lovely, the hotel was in immaculate and pristine condition, we were constantly being pampered, and by the end of our stay we considered extended for another day or two...but alas we had to get back to reality. We cannot wait to visit again, and I hope you all have the chance to stay here because it was truly worth every cent!
Where to Eat
1. Coco Bistro: This is one of the most coveted restaurants on the island. It has an upscale vibe, with all outdoor seating, and the menu is pricey, but SO delicious. This is must go to dinner spot, but you have to make reservations in advance. We thought we'd wing it because we were visiting during off season, but man was that a mistake. The restaurant was so packed that we had to wait until about 10pm to eat, but it was so worth the wait. The food is incredible- I got the West Indian Style Shrimp Curry and it was amazing. They offer super fresh seafood along with land/pasta options with a Caribbean/modern flare. This is such a special and romantic spot as you dine under their twinkle lights. Don't miss this place! And if all else fails, they have a sister food truck called Coco Van, which is supposed to be more casual, but just delicious.
2. Chinson's Grill Shack: This is the BEST jerk chicken on the island, hands down. A super laid-back spot and great place to grab some beers outside while you enjoy the divine chicken. It has a perfectly seasoned crust and comes with bread and festival (which is almost like a cornbread- a perfect slightly sweet accompaniment to the spicy chicken). I'm literally salivating writing this- you cannot miss this stop! And the cherry on top- it's super affordable and the staff was so friendly! Really some of the best food we had our whole stay!
3. Jack's Fountain: This is a cutie, little outdoor restaurant known for their margaritas! Come during happy hour 4-7 and enjoy some margs along with the best mussels in white wine sauce you'll ever have. The jerk chicken sandwich was good here as well, but paled in comparison to Chinson's. A nice stop post some beach activities for a couple refreshing margs!
4. Da Conch Shack: Great spot for a casual lunch and some conch or jerk chicken. we grabbed drinks on the beach watched the cute, stray dogs (AKA Potcakes) sun bathe.
5. Sui Ren: Amazing Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant located in the Shore Club Resort. This was excellent upscale food served in a modern, funky environment. Make a reservation as it gets busy and definitely try the fresh sushi/ceviche!
6. Thursday Night Fish Fry: Located in the park next door to the Wymara Resort, this fish fry happens every Thursday and is open to anyone. Locals come here every Thursday to eat from the numerous food stands, drink, and dance. This is a MUST if you want to get an authentic Turks experience and listen to live music with the rest of the island. You have to stay until the end so you can see the incredible parade of music and dancing that happens to close out the night. Truly a one of a kind experience and the food is delicious!
Where to Sip
Somewhere Bar: This was our go-to spot while we were on the island. It is hands down the BEST happy hour on the island (4-7:30pm) with beers listed at $3 and has a great mix of locals and visitors with a really fun atmosphere. As a plus, certain nights have live music and it's an open air cafe/lounge that is located steps away from the beach!
Lemon 2 Go: This is a super cute coffee shop with outdoor seating and their coffee is incredible (get an iced latte)! Definitely recommend stopping by- it's also across the street from a sports bar called Danny Buoy's-so if you're in the area worth trying!
3. Shore Club: Not only is the Shore Club a beautiful resort to stay at, the bar here are amazing. Sea Grapes is the name of their swim up pool by the beach and has awesome happy hour specials- it closes by 7pm, but the other bars like the Rope Bar and Courtyard Bar are available. The Rope Bar was where we spent an evening- it connects to pool area which has a lit fire pit in the evening with a chic esthetic. Definitely recommend grabbing drinks pre or post dinner at Sui Ren.
What to Do
1. Visit Amanyara: There's not enough words to describe the beauty and tranquility at Amanyara. I put this under the "Do" section because honestly, this is more of an adventure/activity than just a place to grab a drink. This exclusive resort costs an arm and a leg to stay at, so we decided to grab drinks here instead...and wow was that an incredible decision. Arriving to this resort is like stepping into a monk's sanctuary- it is peaceful, serene and unbelievably beautiful. We sat in daybeds by the bar, sipping our drinks, watching the sun set over the ocean and it truly felt like a spiritual experience. We left feeling completely at peace as the resort operates in almost full silence, which is a beautiful change from living in a city. Getting here is a bit of a journey with miles on a dirt road leading up to the secluded resort, so if you come, make sure to leave before dusk as the road gets dark with little to any lights to drive on when leaving. Do yourself a favor, and check this place out.
2. Jet ski out to a real shipwreck: Miles and miles into the ocean is an abandoned ship that you can faintly see from the shoreline. The only way to get to it is by boat charter or jet ski. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and once you get there you can jump off the top of the boat (if you're an adrenaline junkie)! If you do so, make sure you wear/bring wet shoes as the boat has broken glasses etc from it. And don't worry, you can't get tetanus from the rust because as we learned from a seasoned charter boat company, the saltwater on the ship counteracts any form of that!
2. Potcake Place K9 Rescue: Foster a puppy for a day! By far my favorite activity- I'm of course totally biased towards this activity because if you didn't know I'm obsessed with my dog Chico, but this was such an incredible experience. Ronak, my fiancé, surprised me with a trip to Potcake Palace (the puppies in T&C are called potcakes) on my birthday and we got to foster a puppy for part of the morning! The puppy is chosen for you based on their temperament and your capabilities, but honestly any puppy (and yes, they're all puppies!) is a good one to get! We were "lucky" enough to get a four month old potcake named...Lucky (get my pun now?)! You get to take you dog to the beach, outdoor cafes, and really anywhere for the morning and show them around so they're not cooped up inside all day. It gets really busy so I suggest getting there 30 minutes before they open to ensure you get a pup that day! He was a little angel and we loved him so much we went back a second day to spend time with him, and almost brought him home to the states, but we didn't have enough time to get vetted though the process! Everything worked out for the best because we saw that Lucky was adopted to a forever home a few months later (and yes, we that obsessed that we kept tabs on him through their Instagram). If you have enough time in your trip, please do this!
5. Snorkel at Bight Reef: Some of the best snorkeling is in Turks and Caicos! The beach right next to Wymara has the best snorkeling on the island and Wymara provides you with equipment, free of charge, so you can take advantage of the beautiful reef. We saw some beautiful fish, eels, and rays while snorkeling there! The reef is right off of the Coral Gardens property and a perk is that you can grab a refreshing beer at Somewhere Bar because it's connected to the beach right by the reef!
Transportation: I suggest renting a car so you can see the island since a Ubers and taxis can get expensive. A car is the most affordable option and most likely you'll get a small "Fiat" type car so beware to feel every bump haha. But to be honest it was the perfect size for getting from here to there and we didn't need anything fancy doing so.
Money: US Dollars and credit cards are accepted everywhere!
Water Shoes: I suggest bringing these because the snorkeling is amazing here, but you'll definitely need these in order to not get banged up by the rocks.
If you need help designing a more specialized trip to Turks and Caicos or for any questions about the island in general, comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to help answer any questions and/or plan a more curated trip for you here!
Can't wait to see you travel through T&C- I know you'll love it as much as I do!