A brief overview on all the islands of Turks and Caicos. This will give a basic understanding of the islands so that you can understand Turks and Caicos a better and be able to choose which island is best for you.
Turks and Caicos is actually made up of two separate island chains. The Turks island chain and the larger Caicos island chain.
The Turks Islands lie east from the Caicos island by the deep ocean and only consists of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, Cotton Cay and the very tiny Big Sand Cay. This part of the country isn’t as popular nor is as beautiful as the Caicos Islands.
Caicos Islands consist of the major islands of Providenciales, West Caicos, Pine Cay, Dellis Cay, Parrot Cay, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos, South Caicos, Big Ambergris Cay, Little Ambergris Cay and many small islands. The Caicos Islands are the most popular and where I will start.
Caicos Island Chain
Hands down the most popular island and with the largest local population. Most travelers come here first and there are many all-inclusive options to choose from.
Grace Bay – Most popular stretch on the most popular island. Home to mid range to very expensive hotels.
Sapodilla Beach / Taylor Beach – Southern part of the island below the airport. Home to one of the most beautiful beaches and inner lagoon.
Long Bay Beach – The southeastern beach option that is often windy but also home to exclusive homes and hotels.
Wheeland Settlement – Occupies the western part of the island, with little to no all-inclusive options.
Pine Cay is located just north of Providenciales and home to the more exclusive all-inclusive hotels. The island is more remote but also way less crowded making a truly unforgettable experience. Pine Cay even has it’s own airport to fly into!
This island is like the rest yet has an abandoned hotel project that was suppose to be “The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay.” As of today there are no other hotels on the island.
This island is private and only accessible through booking with COMO hotels or owning a private home on the island. One of the most exclusive islands throughout the Caribbean.
The island is the second largest island in the country, after Middle Caicos, and is mostly home to the local population.
The largest island in the country, and really known for its extensive cave systems. Middle Caicos really doesn’t have any hotels and only has a small amount of the local population.
The biggest island without any real inhabitants. East Caicos is mostly avoided from people although it does have native flamingos, wild ducks and pigeons.
One of the more remote islands out of the Turks and Caicos but known for it’s unspoiled reefs. There are a couple of hotel options on this island and it does have its own airport to fly into.
Big Ambergris Cay
For most of its history Big Ambergris Cay had no population. Only in 1995 was a luxury resort, the Turks & Caicos Sporting Club, established but went under 13 years later in 2008. Only a few homes were ever sold on the island and the home project just wasn’t profitable. The Turks & Caicos Sporting Club shut down in 2009 and the island has been deserted ever since.
Little Ambergris Cay
Like Big Ambergris Cay, this island is completely isolated. It doesn’t have any current population and really can’t support a hotel on the island.
Turks Island Chain
Located east of the Caicos island chain, Grand Turk is actually the capital island of Turks and Caicos. It is less visited though and in my opinion, not as stunning. However it’s where the cruise lines dock, instead of Providenciales, because the waters are deep enough for big ships.
This small island is off of Grand Turk and relatively low-key. It doesn’t have many hotels and only a few locals. If you can get there it does have some gorgeous beaches.
No current population and one of the rockier islands in Turks and Caicos. At one time cotton was grown one the island on a small plantation hence its given name.
Big Sand Cay
Also an uninhabited island that does have some wildlife including iguanas and excellent snorkeling. You need special permission to dock here.
In this overview I covered only the major islands in the Turks and Caicos chain. There are several small islands, like Mangrove Cay, to also explore but all of them don’t support any population and are challenging to get to. I have a Google Map for you to explore the island. I go into all-inclusive resort options across Turks and Caicos in this article here.
Make sure to check out ‘All Inclusive Resorts Turks and Caicos’ article. This article goes into the all inclusive resorts that are on Turks and Caicos.