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Grand Turk Tours
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Beaches in Grand Turk

Pillory Beach

Pillory Beach is is known as a great scuba diving beach because just off the shore of the beach is a 400 foot wall which scuba divers love. About 15 minutes away from the ship Pilroy beach is a great place to go and dive or just relax away from the busier beaches by the cruise ship terminal.

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Margaritaville Beach

This beach is literally only feet away from the ship when you arrive in Grand Turk. The beach is owned and operated by carnival cruise Lines and they offer beach chairs and have excellent facilities all available to you once you get on the beach.It is called margarita beach for a reason because there is a huge Jimmy Buffets Margarita ville right there with a huge swimming pool for you to enjoy if the beach isn't your thing

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Jack's Shack Beach

Just a short walk down the beach from Margaritaville you will find Jack's Shack Beach. A great place to play volleyball,have drinks and take in some water sports.If you like to get away of the crowds and mingle with a lot of crew members from the cruise ship then this is the place.

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Bluff Point Beach

Bluff Point beach in grand Turk is on the west side of the island by the lighthouse. A bit out of the way if you are on a cruise but a nice beach to take a long quite walk on as there are not many people usually around.

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Govenor's Beach

Governors beach in grand Turk has white sand and calm blue waters. it is called Governors beach because you guessed it. it is in front of the Governors house. the beach has some great snorkeling reefs too so be sure to bring your fins if you go here.

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Reviews on Beaches in Grand Turk Post a Review

The Beach front of Grand Turk has been getting very crowded with vendors. I guess its a good thing to offer more choices but the open space on the beach is becoming more limited. I like to go to the smaller spots to hang out because the food and beer is cheaper

Dec 29, 2016

There are alot of great places to relax in grand turk when visiting on a cruise. Just walk down the beach amd you will find them. The smaller local spots jave cheaper beer and services. Same view though. Enjoy

Nov 02, 2016

grand Turg now has icebergs. challenging rock climbing and sliding back into the crystal clear waters. Moon bouncer trampoline and

Sep 15, 2012

Grand Turk will leave you with great memories of fun and relaxation with friends and family. This first class destination is visited by cruise ships weekly. Literally 100 yards from the ship you will find great beaches,shopping and a large resort style swimming pool to enjoy. Who ever said cruising had to be difficult never went to Grand Turk.

May 13, 2012

Jack's Shack Beach! I am one of the piano bar entertainers for Carnival Cruise Lines, and I love going to Jack's Shack to chill out during the day. Jack and Janet are fellow Canadian's that run the place, and I have always been made to feel welcome....even when I forgot my wallet on the ship. They kind of knew I would be back to see them, and of course I was. I highly recommend Jack's Shack!!!

Dec 29, 2010

If you walk down the beach for a few hundred yards you will find Jacks Shack. This is a great plave to hang out and have a really good time

Jun 22, 2010

The beach right off the ship is great. they provided beach chairs and it was right next to the pool and bar. Hey, i guess this is what vacationing is all about!!!

Jun 18, 2010
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Info on Grand Turk

Grand Turk, paradise capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, is tiny - just seven miles long and 1.5 miles wide - but superb for excellent world-class snorkeling, diving, fantastic white-sand beaches and the blissful luxury of peace and quiet.
Cockburn Town (Coe-burn) is its financial and business hub, with an historic section of old wood and limestone houses along Duke Street and Front Street. Governor's Beach, near the governor's residence on the west coast, is best for swimming.
The Turks and Caicos Islands have the world's third largest coral reef system and the best tropical beaches making them ideal for romance, family vacations, ecotourism and activity seekers. They have become so popular that 60% of visitors return over and over again.
Grand Turk (pop 3,720) has many dive operators and schools catering for all types from novice snorkelers to experienced divers. It has a superb coral reef that drops to 8,000ft and is close enough to shore for beach dives.
Starting less than a quarter-mile offshore, in just 25ft to 45ft of water, the coral wall runs the full length of the island with profiles ranging from steeply sloping terrain to coral undercuts and vertical drop-offs. Sponge and fish species are spectacular with manta rays in summer, turtles year-round and whales in winter.

December through April is the whale-watching season when visitors can see up to 2,500 humpbacks passing by either from shore or aboard boats.
The Turks and Caicos National Museum on Grand Turk tells the story of old shipwrecks and the islands' rich cultural and natural diversity with displays spanning the whole of human history in the region from 700AD to modern times.
Most popular excursion, just off Grand Turk, is to Gibbs Cay where visitors can enjoy an uninhabited island, picnic on the beach and feed stingrays who swim right up to shore.

Average temperature is between 85-90degF (29-32degC) from June to October, sometimes reaching the mid-90sF (35degC) in late summer. From November to May average temperature is 80-84degF (27-29degC).

Water temperature in summer is 82-84degF (28-29degC) and in winter 74-78degF (23-26 degC). A constant trade wind keeps the climate very comfortable.

Annual rainfall averages 21 inches but there are 350 days of sunshine.

Welcome Center and Cruise Port: A new Grand Turk Cruise Center spans 14 acres with a pier to accommodate two superliners and recreational facilities including a swimming pool, 1,000ft of beachfront, cabanas available for rent through Shorex desk on board or at the center and food and beverage facilities.
The Welcome Center has been designed based on Grand Turk/Bermudian architecture, influenced by the Bermudian influx into the salt industry thriving in the 17th and18th. centuries and including chimneys considered a "must" by the newcomers from the colder Bermuda for the cold winter months, (These chimneys were never used but became part of the island, and therefore our Welcome Center architecture).
A shore excursion pier has also been built for passenger transit to and from prepaid boat and land tours. Three methods of transportation are available from the Center - tours, water taxi or taxicab and car rental.
The highlight of the visit is, of course, the Grand Turk Cruise Center which consists of the pier, the facility and the recreational area.
The pier has been built to accommodate two super post-Panamax class vessels simultaneously, including Queen Mary 2 and other large post- Panamex class vessels.
The Welcome Center is open to the public and to other tourists on the island.
Margaritaville will be fully operational by June 15, 2006, providing food, beverages and Jimmy Buffett memorabilia.
Three methods of transportation are available from the Welcome Center: tours, water taxi or taxicab, and car rental (now limited in volume but expected to grow over time).

Variety of options available, including a new tour to the island lighthouse, nature park and old Victorian prison. Marine-based tours include snorkeling, diving, self-drive boating, deep sea and flats fishing, helmet diving, semi-submersible tours, scuba and power snorkeling and clear kayaking.
Land-based tours include horseback riding, swimming, bicycle hikes, beach breaks, 4x4 vehicle adventures, dune buggy tours and visits to outer islands.

Tourist Info
Visitor Info: Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board Info Office, Front Street, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk opens Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Also has guides to marine parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and historic sites of the island nation. Website: www.turksandcaicostourism.com
Getting Around: Many visitors walk where they are going or check with Yellow Man Car Rental if they need a car. A valid driver's license from your place of residence is required. Remember: Drive on the left.
Buses: Used mainly by islanders but service is patchy.
Taxis: Available but no central agency to call. Hotels can summon one, or you can find them at the airport when you arrive;
Money: US dollar is the official currency. Most hotels, restaurants and taxis accept traveler's cheques. Most credit cards accepted. Two banks on Front Street will cash traveler's cheques and offer ATMs and cash advances on credit cards.
Tipping: Usually 15% for waiters, taxi drivers, maids and porters.
Electricity: U.S. standard: 120/240 Volts/60 Cycles.
Time Zone: EST and Daylight Savings Time observed from April to October.

People go to Grand Turk mainly to swim, snorkel, dive or do nothing but soak up the sun. Other activities include bird-watching, horseback riding, heritage walks and golf.
Visitors can also stroll over to the vintage lighthouse that was brought in pieces from Britain, where it was first built in 1852. It has been restored and still works, guarding the northern tip of the island.

Turks & Caicos National Museum, Guinep House, Front St., Cockburn Town
The country's first and only museum, housed in a 150-year-old residence originally built by Bermudan wreckers from timbers salvaged from ships that crashed on nearby reefs.
About half of the display areas is devoted to the remains of the most complete archaeological excavation ever performed in the West Indies, the wreck of a Spanish caravel (sailing ship) that sank in shallow offshore water sometime before 1513.
It was used to transport local Arawaks who had been enslaved but was designed solely for exploration purposes and is similar to vessels built in Spain and Portugal during the 1400s.
Treasure hunters found the wreck and claimed it was Columbus's Pinta to attract financial backers for salvage. There is no proof that the Pinta ever came back to the New World after returning to Spain from its first voyage.
Researchers from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University began excavations in 1982 and never assumed it was the Pinta. Now the remains are known simply as the Wreck of Molasses Reef.
Only 2% of the hull remains intact but exhibits contain a rich legacy of the everyday (non-biodegradable) objects used by the crews and officers.
The remainder of the museum is devoted to exhibits about the island's salt industries, its plantation economy, pre-Columbian inhabitants of the island and its natural history, including a 2x6m (6.5ftx20-ft.), three-dimensional reproduction of a section of the Grand Turk Wall, the famous vertical reef.

Philatelic Bureau: In Franklin Missick Building on Church Folley.
Open: Monday-Friday.
Ever-changing variety of collectors' stamps and souvenir postcards.

Scuba & Snorkeling: Some of the finest in the archipelago. Explore the wreck of the HMS Endymion off Salt Cay, sunk in a storm in 1790 and discovered two centuries later by Brian Sheedy, a local diver and inn operator. Two premier dive operators are:

Look out for small art and craft outlets for special items by artists who use the natural environment to create high quality designer mirrors, lamps and fashion items. Beautiful handmade straw hats, bags and baskets can also be bought

Island Group Info
The Turks and Caicos islands (pop: 23,000) cover 193sq miles on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean 575 miles south-east of Miami, 30 miles south of the Bahamas, 90 miles north of the Dominican Republic.
The main islands comprise two groups separated by the Columbus Island Passage - the Turks Group (Grand Turk and Salt Cay) and the Caicos Group (West Caicos, Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos and South Caicos.
Providenciales (nicknamed Provo) is the transport hub of the islands, handling 95% of their air traffic. Since 2000 it has become the fastest-growing destination in the Caribbean.
The islands' beaches, lapped by crystal clear turquoise sea, span 230 miles. The islands are relatively flat but vary from sand dunes to lush green vegetation.
The coral reefs, spanning 1,000sq miles, are home to some of the world's most magnificent and colourful underwater life.
There are 40 islands in all but only eight are inhabited - Salt Cay, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay. Uninhabited are East Caicos and West Caicos plus many other cays.
Stress-free: People on the islands are known as "Belongers" and renowned for their friendly spirit, which helps visitors de-stress, feel comfortable and truly relax.
Tourism is the islands' main revenue but the country is also a major offshore financial center and has a small traditional fishing industry.
The islands are largely self-governing but under the protection of Great Britain. The Queen selects a governor to be her representative in island affairs and he appoints the chief minister who, in turn, appoints minor ministers.
The whole area is truly a paradise, largely shut off from the world and free of pollution and crowds. Even with the tourist boom and the construction work that creates, the beauty and peace of this little island chain remain intact.
The deep offshore Turks Bank is a major transit point for humpback whales, spotted eagle rays, manta rays and turtles. Anglers also fish there for tuna, wahoo and blue marlin.
From late December through April, the entire Atlantic herd of about 2,500 humpback whales pass through the shores on their annual migration to Mouchoir Bank, just 20 miles south-east. Divers can listen to an underwater concert of the whales songs and calls. The islands' salt ponds and inland marshes are also feeding grounds for resident and migratory birds like great blue herons, flamingos, osprey, pelicans, egrets, terns, frigates, boobies and other water birds.
As part of the islands' National Parks system 12 cays have been set aside and protected as breeding grounds. On some smaller islands like Little Water Cay or Great Sand Cay, it is the endangered iguana that is protected.

Group Tourist Info
Currency: Officially the U.S. dollar.
Electricity: 120 volts, 60 cycles, AC. European appliances will need adapters.
Emergencies: Phone 911 or 999 for an ambulance, to report a fire, or to contact the police.
Language: Officially English.
Safety: Crime is minimal but petty theft does happen, so protect valuables and money. Do not leave luggage or parcels in an unattended car. Beaches are also vulnerable to thievery.
Taxes: Departure tax payable when you leave the islands. Also, the government collects a 10% occupancy tax, applicable to all hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. Hotels add a 10% to 15% service charge on top of the government tax.
Telephone: To call Turks and Caicos, dial 1 and then the number. To call a phone carrier in the U.S., dial 0, then 1 and then the number. The international-operator telephone service is available 24 hours a day.
Time: Eastern Standard Time zone; daylight saving time is observed.
Tipping: Hotels usually add 10% to 15% to your bill automatically. Taxis at least 10%.
Water: Government officials insist it is safe to drink but stick to bottled water, especially if you have a delicate stomach.

History & Culture
The name Turks derives from the indigenous Turk's Head fez cactus and the name Caicos is a Lucayan term (caya hico) meaning string of islands. Columbus was said to have discovered the islands in 1492 but some argue that Ponce de Leon arrived first.
Whoever it was, the first people truly to discover the islands were Taino Indians, who left little behind but ancient utensils. Then the Lucayans arrived but disappeared by the middle of the 16th Century, victims of Spanish enslavement and imported disease.
The 17th century saw the arrival of settlers from Bermuda on Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos. They used slaves to rake salt for British colonies in America and were later joined by British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. The economy of the islands centered on rich cotton and sisal plantations with harvests sold in London and New York.
But, due to competition and thin soil, the cotton plantations slowly deteriorated, most of them perishing in a hurricane in 1813. Solar salt became the main economy of the islands.
In 1766, after being controlled by the Spanish, French and British, the islands became part of the Bahamas colony. Attempts to integrate failed and were abandoned in 1848.
London-Kingston ships frequently visited Turks and Caicos so links with Jamaica were well developed and the Turks and Caicos annexed to Jamaica in 1874.
After Jamaican independence in 1962, the islands were loosely associated with the Bahamas for just over 10 years then became a British Crown Colony.
Elections in 1976 were won by the People's Democratic Movement, who were mandated to negotiate independence if they won the next elections in 1980. But the other main political group, the Progressive National Party (PNP), won then and plans for independence were set aside. The Turks and Caicos Islands prides itself on having been stable for 250 years.



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