The pristinely beautiful Caribbean islands of the Turks and Caicos were originally inhabited by the Taino Indians until Christopher Columbus claimed the islands for Spain. Many of residents living in Turks and Caicos claim that they were the first New World islands ever to be discovered by European explorers, commemorated by a statue on the island of Grand Turk. The islands of the Turks and Caicos have been under the control of a number of different nations, from France to Spain and finally to Great Britain, who currently maintains control of them. Although the islands’ economic development was a slow process, in the late 1600s sailors arriving from Bermuda initiated salt and logging industries that would foster a prosperous marketplace.
With the Turks and Caicos’ increased prosperity and thriving trade, the Bahamas took control of the islands in 1766 until the British regained authority in 1973 and made the colonies a Crown Colony. Over the years, Turks and Caicos have become a favorite getaway destination for noted individuals including Teddy Roosevelt’s family and the Dupont family.
Today, the Turks and Caicos boast a bustling tourist industry, with unique shopping boutiques, gourmet restaurants, a thriving nightlife, and virtually endless recreational opportunities. On the Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales are located several shopping areas that have become favorites with tourists, commonly known as Ports of Call, Central Square, and Market Place.
Turks and Caicos is also an ideal destination for vacationers who enjoy water sports, with locations for scuba diving and snorkeling that have become renowned around the world for their unparalleled quality. The two best known and most-loved spots for snorkeling are Grace Bay and Smith’s Reef. Wherever you choose to go snorkeling or scuba diving, Turks and Caicos gives tourists the chance to swim in its pristine turquoise waters dotted with colorful tropical fish and vibrant coral reefs. The islands also offer some of the world’s best fishing locations, where fishermen are known to hook unbelievably large marlins, sailfish, and grouper. For vacationers who enjoy golfing, Turks and Caicos also features the Provo Country Club, a spectacular 18 hole course that is the only one on the island.
Although Turks and Caicos does feature fewer clubs and bars than some of the other Caribbean islands, it does have several establishments that offer visitors the perfect place to relax and unwind after a full day of snorkeling, shopping, or sightseeing around the islands. A favorite attraction of many tourists is the Port Royale Casino in Provenciales. Turks and Caicos also has several bars and clubs that feature excellent live music, such as Club Med Turkoise, Le Beach Hotel, or the Lone Star Bar.