Turks and Caicos: Experience the Islands like an Islander
While most come for the white-sand beaches and turquoise water, many visitors leave with an appreciation for the cultural experiences the island chain offers.2018-01-24
Featuring breathtaking beaches, beautiful weather, a diverse ecosystem, and an immense offshore coral reef, Turks and Caicos is the kind of place you’ll visit and never want to leave, but there’s so much more to this British Overseas Territory than initially meets the eye. The tropical island chain is home to some of the best kite-flying you’ll find anywhere, as well as the world’s only conch farm. And from late July into early August, 10,000 strong descend on The Turtle Cove Marina in The Bight on Providenciales for the annual Turks and Caicos Music and Cultural Festival, proving one thing for sure — there’s always plenty to do on the islands.
Island Fish Fry
If you’re looking for a cultural experience that’s uniquely Turks and Caicos, then look no further than the Island Fish Fry. Every Thursday evening, over a dozen local food vendors and entertainers are joined at the Bight (Children’s) Park by locals and visitors alike for a night of food, friendship, and fun. The delightful aromas of fresh frying fish fills the air as restaurants from every corner of the island serve up the finest local fare, accented by musical performances from some of the island’s hottest live bands and one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from skilled local artisans, for a weekly experience that’s truly like no other.
Annual Kite Flying Competition
The unmatched beauty of Turks and Caicos’ beaches is well-documented, but did you know the island chain is also one of the world’s premier kite-flying destinations? It’s a point of pride among locals — a point of price they celebrate every April when they host the Turks and Caicos Annual Kite Flying Competition on Easter weekend. With competitions being held on Prodivenciales, North Caicos, Grand Turks, and South Caicos, there are few islanders not somehow involved in the match. And while the event is definitely taken seriously, competition is anything but fierce — the Turks and Caicos Annual Kite Flying Competition is seen by locals as a family-friendly competition for the whole community, with a competitor more likely to stop mid-competition to help an opponent fix a damaged kit than to fight tooth and nail to eek out a victory at all costs.
Turks and Caicos Conch Festival
Equally important to Turks and Caicos as the crystal-clear turquoise water and breathtaking white-sand beaches that attract countless tourists every year is the Conch — the island’s reigning delicacy, unofficial mascot, and top export. Every November, the island of Providenciales hosts the event paying homage to the marine snail that has become such an integral part of Turks and Caicos’ cuisine and culture. What originally began as a way to attract visitors to Blue Hills, a quaint settlement miles away from Grace Bay, has grown into a national phenomenon that will be celebrating its 15th year in 2018 — and one that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Turks and Caicos Music and Cultural Festival
Arguably one of the island chain’s most popular annual events, the Turks and Caicos Music and Cultural Festival has been going strong since the summer of 2003. Originally started to boost tourism during the Caribbean low season, the festival lasts for about a week every year from late July to early August, drawing approximately 10,000 attendees annually. Hosted on the island of Providenciales, notable past performers have included Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, Billy Ocean, John Legend, Ludacris, Boyz II Men, and more.
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