A Week In Paradise - A sample itinerary to help you plan...
Updated: Feb 7
Have you booked your trip to Turks and Caicos yet? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by all the reviews you are reading on social media and travel sites? Are you wondering if you will have a chance to see all these beautiful Islands have to offer? Well, if so, let us help you map out your first visit by giving you a little sampling of how we fit a few of the “must dos” into our first couple of trips.
Pro tip – If you found a cheap flight, book it! You can plan later!
We totally get it. That feeling of going somewhere you have never been, excited and anxious all in one. Not sure if you are picking the right excursions or going to the best restaurants while you visit. Basically, wanting to make the absolute best of your time on The Island without missing a single thing!
One of the many great things about Turks and Caicos is, we guarantee you will be back for a second visit. So don’t stress too much about what you will and won’t get to see and instead, focus on having a great time with a good balance of fun, sun, relaxation and adventure!
Typically for us, when first visiting the Island of Providenciales, we were determined to see as much as possible (just like you). After a few visits we ended up with a basic itinerary that allowed us plenty of time to be as active or relaxed as we pleased during a one week stay. We always recommend renting a car for the best exploring opportunities, but if you’re not comfortable with that, feel free to pick out a few highlights from the suggestions below and make your way with a taxi service.
Small disclaimer: This is just a small sampling of the many amazing things this Island has to offer. We recommend you get out there and enjoy as much or as little as you want! The week is yours to enjoy, we're just simply giving you a little taste.
So what are you waiting for?! Get those bags packed and lets go!
The busiest day of arrival in Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is Saturday. It is what it is and that’s the day we usually arrive. Be prepared to wait in line for customs, but rest assured, the lines will move quickly, and you’ll be collecting your luggage before you know it.
From there you’ll head off to your villa rental or resort either by rental car, shuttle or taxi.
Once at your accommodation site, you will be tempted to drop the suitcase and head to the beach but don’t! Not just yet anyways!
IMPORTANT TIP HERE: The liquor stores are closed on Sundays! If you want to buy a few bottles of wine or liquor at the shops, you’ll have to do it on Saturday! The restaurants and bars still serve alcohol on Sundays, you just can’t purchase your own alcohol on Sundays (even if sold at the grocery store). For us, this is a must do on Saturday task!
Grab your groceries and your alcohol and then head back to your accommodations. From there, hit that beach and head to the nearest beach bar to fall instantly in love with all the Island Vibes!
If you’re staying at a resort, why not check out the restaurant for your first meal. Talk to the staff, they’ll be happy to answer any questions and share any “local” tips about The Island. And likewise, if you’re staying at a Villa, stroll along the beach and fall into the nearest resort restaurant you find on your travels. Always makes for a great start to your vacation.
Check our our “Day Of Arrival” blog post for how we navigate through day one.
Make a quick breakfast in your room and pack a few snacks for lunch. We usually splurge on our dinner meal, making it more affordable each visit. Nearly all accommodations come with either a small kitchenette or full kitchen so make sure to hit the grocery store when you arrive. This is a great way to save on your vacation. Yes, the groceries are still more expensive than what you might be used to at home, just keep in mind, everything needs to be imported to The Island. Even spending extra on a few in room essentials at the grocery store will free up a little money for all the delicious restaurants on The Island.
Your first full day should most definitely be spent on Grace Bay Beach. There’s tons of beach access spots whether you’re at a resort or a villa rental. Remember, none of the beaches in #turksandcaicos are private, so you can set up for your beach day anywhere you like. DON’T FORGET YOUR REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN. Just sit back, chill and float the day away….with water temps that don't go below 80 degrees you won't be disappointed.
All the resort restaurants are open to the public so if you don’t feel like packing your lunch or a little happy hour cocktail for the beach, no problem, head to the nearest resort for some to go or dine in eats and libations.
Now it’s time for your first day “I’ve been out in the sun too long” nap. HAHA! It’s true, it happens. Have a nap, you’ll feel better and refreshed for dinner.
So here’s the thing with dinner. There are NO bad restaurants on The Island. We have yet to have a bad meal and that’s saying something because we eat our way around the whole Island LOL! All you have to decide is how hungry you are and go from there. We’ll usually head to a different resort restaurant with a view on the first full night, followed up with a sunset cocktail at "our local" Rickie’s Flamingo Café. Don’t be afraid to ask staff or strangers for their favourite spots to dine. Or maybe you already have somewhere in mind that you’ve heard about. You just can’t go wrong. Eat up and enjoy!
It’s day one of your excursions! Yesterday you likely watched all the snorkel boats coming and going with their happy guests. We strongly encourage you book a snorkel boat adventure. Regardless which operation you choose, the staff are full of knowledge about Turks and Caicos and they are so much fun to spend the day with. You’ll snorkel at the reef and have a beach day at one of the surrounding Cays. It’s a great way to see many parts of Turks and Caicos in a few hours. We highly recommend a half boat day our with one of the many group charter boats. Even if you don’t want to snorkel, it makes for a great day of fun in the sun and on the water. You can see tons of fish from the boat, the water is that clear. These excursions are great for all traveler; singles, couples and groups. If you’re traveling in a group and prefer a private charter, there are many, private charter services available aslo! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Jojo The Dolphin!
Now you’re likely feeling a little tipsy from your free rum punch and local beers on your snorkel tour…..that’s not a bad thing! Chill for a couple hours on the beach and share your stories from the snorkel trip before it’s time for dinner.
Mango Reef restaurant is our Monday go to. Situated in the Turtle Cove Marina, it’s one of our must visit restaurants every trip. We don’t want to say we have favourite spots, but well, we love Mango Reef. They have a great happy hour, fantastic staff and delicious meals that will instantly tighten your clothes HAHA!! Be hungry when you go! You might even see a shark or two swimming off the dock. And the Mango Cheesecake for dessert is always a fun, sweet treat at the end of a meal.
You had so much fun snorkelling yesterday, now it’s time to keep that vibe going. Head over to Coral Gardens Resort where you can swim around a protected reef area FOR FREE! Just steps off shore is Bight Reef. You can rent snorkel gear from a local vendor on site, along with beach beds and umbrellas. You can spend hours watching turtles swim in and out of the sea grass and tons of colourful fish around the reef. Be sure to stay on the outer side of the red buoys as it is a protected reef. Truly a great spot with lots of amenities and fun vibes.
Somewhere Café is your lunch spot this day! Being the bar attached to Coral Gardens resort, you’re just steps from it at this section of beach. Pop in and out for some great margaritas between floats and dine in or beach side for lunch. Great little spot with a fantastic vibe. Ya, ya, we know we said we usually pack lunch snacks, but the margaritas and nachos are just too good not to enjoy.
Probably time for another late afternoon nap after all that tequila so……sweet dreams!
Tonight would be a great night to head over to The Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club for a pre dinner cocktail and then into the restaurant for dinner. Always a great spot for sunsets and some lux living vibes. Great photo opportunities at Grace bay club during sunset along with a super glam pool and high end lounge area for all you Instagrammers out there!
Okay, so today you have to pack your beach bag and head over to Sapodilla Bay Beach for the day. You know all about Grace Bay beach, so now it’s time to do a little essential beach exploring. Sapodilla Bay Beach is one of our top three beaches on The Island. With just a few essential amenities to keep you entertained for the day (bbq vendors, booze, jet ski, paddle boards, beach beds etc), you’ll fall in love with this shallow water beach. Ask your resort for directions or jump in a taxi. Plan to be there for most of the day, it’s just a fantastic spot. Check out our Beach Day Part 1 for more info on Sapodilla Bay beach.
Wednesday night is Da Conch Shack Night! Always a must on Wednesday nights! Voted among the top beach bars in the world, you can't miss a night here! Live music, toes in the sand, wind blowing through the palms….such a fun night! Pink and blue picnic tables set up the vibe for this true beach bar. All ages welcome! Take a taxi cause you’ll not want to miss this rum punch pitchers! If you haven’t already tried the local conch dishes, do it here! Fresh from the sea, doesn’t get any better. If you’re in a large group, email to make a reservation and you’ll be well taken care of. Such a great spot!
Start your day at Potcake Place K-9 Rescue. So, if you haven’t already heard about The Potcakes, you need to get on it. These mild mannered little Island Puppers are always a highlight when we visit. This is a non profit rescue organization that takes in numerous puppies and kitties throughout the year giving them a chance at a forever home. They %100 rely on tourists to help socialize these little bundles of fun and squishiness! You line up in the morning (we recommend you go much earlier than when the rescue opens for a better chance of getting a puppy) you get assigned a puppy along with a beach bag of treats, toys, poop bags, water and a bowl and wait for it……YOU GET TO TAKE THE PUPPY TO THE BEACH!!! They’ll play with you in the water, nap with you on your beach towel, nip at your feet and all the other great things puppies do! They are the most popular kids on the beach, quite the attention grabbers! It’s honestly, the best way to spend a morning on the beach. After a few hours they’re tired out and it’s time to go back to the rescue for baths and naps. It’s such a fun thing to do. If you’re an animal lover, this is a must do adventure. Oh and don’t worry, you aren’t expected to adopt your puppy after it’s walk. They are however, always looking for couriers to travel the pups to their forever homes in North America. The rescue takes care of all the paperwork, you just simply bring them on the plane with you. If this is something you might be interested in, be sure to stop by the rescue for more details or visit their website. Be prepared for extra attention from the flight staff and your seat mates in flight!
This is a perfect day to hit the shops and find your Island Souvenirs in and around Grace Bay. Be sure to explore as many locally owned shops as possible. There’s some fantastic jewelers, artisan shops and much, much more! Always keep an eye out for pop up vendors! There’s some fantastic artists on this Island with amazing pieces to share with you whether it be prints, paintings or hand made housewares, we always make sure to bring a little piece home with us.
Head over to Ports of Call Plaza and get your photo taken at “The Mural”. You know, the one you see on all those other peoples posts and say to yourself, “now I wonder where that is?”
It’s your second last night on The Island. Time to splurge at Coco Bistro or Coco Van. Either is sure to be a hit! Dine under the twinkle lit palm grove at Coco Bistro, or at the super trendy, Retro Airstream Trailer Food Truck, Coco Van. Both serving gourmet meals you’ll never forget! Book well in advance if you’re heading to Coco Bistro, reservations will ensure you get a table. And if you’re just wanting some killer high end grub, pull up alongside Coco Van (located off to the side of the parking lot of Coco Bistro). The Big Mac Egg rolls at Coco Van are something else! Yes, a Big Mac can be gourmet! You might also catch a glimpse of the two resident kitties, Coco and Vanna! These kitties tend to dine on Tuna Tartar so be prepared to share if they grace you with their presence HAHA!
PRE COVID THURSDAYS - THE PLACE TO BE on a Thursday night is THE FISH FRY! If The Fish Fry reopens this year, definitely make it a must do on your list! Swap out the Thursday dinner suggestion above and move it to Friday dinner plans.
It’s a bitter sweet day today. Your last full day on The Island….but, I’m pretty sure you’re already planning your next trip! Right??!! Here’s a little tip to start this day. Get up and do most of your packing….nothing worse than that task lingering over you on your last day of fun.
The day is yours! Want one final day to soak in all that turquoise water beauty? Go for it!
Still want to do some Bucket List Excursions? Well, if you’re up for Bucket List, you most definitely should consider a morning with Provo Ponies. These incredibly cared for, rescued horses are living their best life! Book well in advance to ensure a spot. You don’t just walk along the shore of the beach with these horses, you are in the water having the time of your life. They absolutely love the water especially when they get to swim and play along with you! It’s such an amazing experience. Oh, and you’ll instantly fall in love with Turtle…. He’s so handsome….He’s the most adorable gentle giant. If you book a morning excursion, you’ll be back by noon to enjoy the rest of the day by the beach. Best of both worlds if you ask us.
After a long day in the sun you might want to head to a restaurant you’ve already been to (if you’ve already found a fave), or head along the main drag of Grace Bay road and find some more of the great dining options this Island has to offer. If you’ve had enough conch and fresh fish for now (how can that even be???!!), you’ll find some fantastic restaurants to satisfy every palate in the Grace Bay Area. From pub grub to Thai, Italian, French, there’s something for everyone. Eat up and head for one last evening stroll along the shores of Grace Bay Beach and sip a rum punch at your favourite bar. What a fantastic week of memories you have made!
We know you’re sad today, we totally get it……But think of the amazing time you’ve had this week.
If you have time for a quick breakfast before you go. Head over to Hemingways at The Sands Resort for one last meal with a great view.
And one last tip on your travel day. Give yourself plenty of time at the airport. Remember, Saturdays are the busiest day for travel on and off The Island. Even if you end up being quite early, there’s a great little outdoor deck on the upper floor to watch the planes come and go. And….there’s even a bar if you’re in need of one more slushy drink before you go!
We hope you’ve enjoyed your first week as much as we have. Safe travels!!
Any restaurants mentioned in this post are just simply our suggestions. They are not meant to be reviews. Like we said before, there are NO bad restaurants in Turks and Caicos! EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
Keep a watch for our future blog post where we give you “our vibes” about all the restaurants we’ve eaten at! We'll be sharing some cheap eats options as well as sharing some of our local faves! Literally too many restaurants and so little time…..
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