About Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands
Grand Turk is the largest of the Turks Islands. It is home to the JAGS McCartney International Airport, Cockburn town, and the territory’s capital. The island enjoys a cozy population in excess of 3,690 people, which is actually the second most populous island in these parts. Often referred to as Grand Cay, it is frequently confused with Grand Cayman or the Grand Cay in the Bahamas. This is not the case. Grand Turk is located in the Caribbean, and falls under the administration of the United Kingdom.
Popular Destinations in Grand Turk
As an attractive island destination, Grand Turk offers a handful of travel attractions that include:
Grand Turk Lighthouse: After numerous ships were lost to the island’s shallow reefs, and complaints from trading ports, in 1852 this lighthouse was finally constructed. It is located at the highest peak of the island. Construction of the lighthouse was painstakingly executed by transporting each piece to the island from London. The little wild donkeys that circle this 60-foot tall lighthouse continuously beg visitors for treats and offer up an adorable setting for pictures. A deserted beach and spectacular cliff tops await the visitor that extends their time at this lighthouse by following the path nearby.
Turks & Caicos National Museum: Visiting families will enjoy the collections at this 1850s constructed building. On display are historic artifacts such as crossbows and guns. A ceremonial chair dating back 1000 years and other Colombian artifacts belonging to the indigenous Lucayan people are also featured.
Governor’s Beach: While the White Sands Beach attracts most of the crowds from cruise ships, Governor’s Beach offers the perfect alternative. This calm stretch of beach is situated directly in front of the residence of the British governor, which goes by the name Waterloo. Local musicians serenade beach goers with traditional island music while they lie along the beach shaded by the towering Casuarina trees. Even though this beach tends to be less busy than the previously mentioned White Sands Beach, visitors will do themselves a favor by arriving before 11 AM to avoid the crowds that do decide to venture to this more secluded beach.
Barbie’s: Cockburn’s “downtown” area will happily supply visitors with the ideal place for dinner. Those visitors can make free calls to Canada and the United States, enjoy an ice cold Grand Turk Beer, and kickback to hang with the locals while they wait for their food. Highly recommended are the fried snapper with homemade hot sauce and the platter of conch fries. Don’t let the appearance of the building scare you off.
Colors by the Sea: Only the freshest of ingredients, such as just squeezed lime juice, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, and raw conch, go into the items served here. Highly recommended and perfect for lunch is their famous, refreshing conch salad. Colors by the Sea used to be known as Konky Joe’s, so visitors may still hear it referred to as such.
Luxury Lodging in Grand Turk
Although Grand Turk does not have a bustling hotel scene, there are still some excellent accommodation options available, including:
- Bohio Dive Resort
- Island House
- Osprey Beach Hotel
- Turks Head Inne
Airports In or Nearby Grand Turk
Several airports offer access to the Grand Turk Island including:
- JAGS McCartney International Airport (GDT):This airport is located in Cockburn Town, 3 miles from Grand Turk. The airport sits at an altitude of 13 feet above sea level and has oneasphalt runway measuring 6,300 feet t in length, designated in the 11/29 direction. The airport is moderately busy, and is served by two carriers as a hub to Providenciales and Salt Cay. The low commercial air traffic makes it easy for private and chartered aircraft clients to use the airport.
- Salt Cay Airport (SLX):Located 10 miles from Grand Turk, this is the primary airport serving Salt Cay, and sits at an altitude of 3 feet above sea level. The airport has onepaved runway measuring 2697 feet, designated in the 08/26 direction. The airport is a hub to two local airlines providing domestic transport to Providenciales. Private and chartered flights are easy to schedule due to the low commercial air traffic.
- Providenciales Internationa Airport (PLS):Providenciales International Airport is located 70 miles from Grand Turk. It has one asphalt runway measuring 9,200 feet in length, designated in the 10/28 direction.The airport sits at an elevation of 15 feet above sea level and has a single terminal. The airport is a hub to several airlines providing service to many local and international destinations including Gatwick, London.
- Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP): This airport is located 120 miles from Grand Turk, in the Dominican republic. It is the busiest airport in the country, and is locatedat an altitude of sits 16 feet above sea level and has a single asphalt runway measuring 10,100 feet in length. The runway is in the 08/26 direction, and is used by both commercial and private aircraft. The airport serves more than 740,000 passengers annually.
- Hugo Chavez International Airport (CAP): This airport is located around 130 miles from Grand Turk, and is at an altitude of 10 feet above sea level. It has one asphalt runway measuring 8,700 feet in length designated in the 05/23 direction.The airport sits at an altitude of 10 feet above sea level. The airport is a hub for several local and international airlines providing service to as far as Miami and Port-au-Prince.
- South Caicos Airport (XSC): This airport is located 25 miles from Grand Turk and is located at an altitude of 6 feet above sea level. It has one asphalt runway measuring 5,900 feet in length. The main commercial airline using the airport is InterCaribbean Airways, with Providenciales as the main destination. The airport is also extensively used by private and chartered jets.
- Mayaguana Airport (MYG): This airport is located 125 miles from Grand Turk, sitting an altitude of 11 feet above sea level. It has a single asphalt runway measuring 7,200 feet above sea level, with the 06/24 direction. The airport is within the Bahamas.
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