turks & caicos
I finally came to check out Turks & Caicos.
I've been exploring the islands in the Caribbean for the past 8 years and this one has been on my list for a while.
Clear water, great food, and environmental awareness was all found in TCI.
The best thing we did during our week was take a boat tour out to snorkel and explore private uninhabited islands. You really get to see just how beautiful these islands are when you're out on a boat. The turquoise waters go on for miles. It's absolutely stunning. We ended up going to a little sandbar and having lunch. You were only allowed to bring reef safe sunscreen with you which was SO amazing to see that rule in place. Sunscreen is absolutely destroying our oceans and if everybody would switch to reef safe options we'd be doing our planet SUCH huge favor.
Now, let's talk about the puppies..
Stray dogs are such a problem in so many of islands. They are starved and mistreated so badly in some places it will rip your heart out. At least here, they are trying to make changes for the good. There were a lot of cute stray island pups but they were so friendly. They just desperately wanted some love! I spent a lot of my time loving on these dogs which locales refer to as "potcakes" ... (andddddd feeding them & giving them all fresh water) I'm a sucker, I know- but my heart just broke for these innocent babies!! There is this AMAZING nonprofit called Potcake Place where they are helping lower the number of strays by letting tourist adopt a potcake puppy to take home!! They encourage tourist to come and get a puppy to play with from 10am-12pm. They recommend you take them with you to breakfast at a dog friendly spot (Which had the best breakfast sandwich on the island- it's called +) and then take your adopted puppy to the beach for some playtime. So everywhere you go in the morning/early afternoon you see puppies being playing with on the beach.
MY HEART EXPLODES JUST THINKING ABOUT THESE LITTLE CUTIES WITH THEIR SANDY NOSES.
If you fall in love with one you'll then have to file the paper work and if you're a suitable Potcake Parent you'll be one of the thousands to rescue one from the island.
Reason number 1,000,000 to adopt DON'T shop!
Turks and Caicos is often compared to Bahamas and I can definitely see why buttttt I have to say this island didn't come close to being the Exumas.
Okay, it was PRETTY close but Exumas definitely won.
It's very laid back and chill like the Bahamas but I feel like it didn't have as many things to do.
The water is crazy blue/turquoise but not QUITE as clear as the Exumas.
Wow, reading this to myself it seems as if Exumas paid me to write this (they didn't.. i wish) but truly it's just so close but not quite there.
Enough of the "it's better in the bahamas" talk though.
Let me tell you why i DID love Turks and Caicos.
things i loveD about turks:
1. It was soo easy to get to! We flew out of NYC and it was a non-stop flight (3.5 hours) straight to paradise.
2. The food was incredible. Every single restaurant we went to we were amazed at the food. (list below)
3. Um, did you read about the puppies above ^? #potcakes
4. The snorkeling in front of The Coral Gardens was great
5. Sapodilla Bay & Taylor Bay are lesser known amazing beaches.
The water was there was 10x clearer than Grace Bay.
6. There are conch shells... everywhere.
7. You have to see Chalk Sound! Do the drive or kayak around!
THINGS TO KNOW:
1. Hurricane Irma had a few roofs being repaired & some overturned trees but other than that this island is 100% up and running.
2. Get out of Grace Bay. Sure, check it out for the day but this island has so much more to offer than these 8 hotels in a row with a bunch of kids trying not to drown in lifejackets..
3. Italian food is BOMB here :) HAVE PIZZA.
4. You need a car. Unlessssss you're super lame and plan on sitting on Grace Bay everyday and not exploring..(no judgement). Plan to spend around $50 a day on a car and keep in mind that taxis are SO expensive here that it's cheaper to just have the car.
5. Everything is expensive here. About 5x the cost of Jamaica or Cozumel. Groceries are INSANE.. gas is INSANE.. hotels are LAUGHABLY insane.. Get ready to "shell" out the dough.