Beaches, beaches, beaches. We go to the Caribbean with the expectation of smooth, sugary white sands and crystal blue waters beckoning us to take a refreshing dip, or explore the many marvels beneath the surface. When we think of Turks and Caicos and Grand Cayman, there are two world-class beaches among many to consider: Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, and Turks and Caicos’ Grace Bay.
First, a little background: Turks and Caicos consists of 40 islands and cays (cays are small islands made up mostly of sand and coral – thanks, Wikipedia!). Turks and Caicos is home to 30,000 people, and welcomes 200,000 tourists annually. With 350 days of sunshine each year, it’s the very definition of Caribbean paradise. Grand Cayman, not surprisingly, is the largest of the Cayman Islands. And even though 50,000 people live there, the fact that the Cayman Islands are home to more registered businesses than people makes them a major financial hub – one that just happens to be a slice of tropical heaven.
Grand Cayman and Turks and Caicos are both “get away from it all” destinations, both offering civilized ways to take a break from civilization. On a Grand Cayman or Turks and Caicos vacation, you’ll find myriad chances for serene, secluded getaways – take a sandy stroll on a tranquil beach, get a quiet table in a restaurant away from the crowd, enjoy evenings where it feels like the sun is setting just for you, ushering in the promise of another brilliant tropical tomorrow.
Back to the beach: when you stay at Seven Mile or Grace Bay, it’s entirely possible to spend an incredible day at the beach, every day of your vacation. If your idea of a getaway is to drop your bags in the hotel room and then drop yourself on the sand, either one of these beaches is tailor-made for you. Seven Mile and Grace Bay are both ideal representations of the ideal Caribbean beach, with soft sand welcoming each step you take, and brilliant blue waters that offer just the mix of relaxation and recreation.
When you get off the beach, both Grand Cayman and Turks and Caicos offer a wealth of unique experiences. Grand Cayman and Turks and Caicos both offer spectacular diving opportunities for everyone from novices to expert divers. The exceptionally clear waters off the coast of Grand Cayman make for ideal snorkelling and scuba diving conditions year-round, with spectacular reefs and natural walls for the experienced divers, and the famous Sting Ray City providing a shallow-water attraction that families can enjoy. In Grand Cayman, you’ll find exceptional restaurant dining with lots of choice, and each choice is an uncommon mix of delicious food served by friendly people in extraordinary settings. Notable favourites are Seymour’s Jerk Centre, XQ’s for the best pizza in the Caribbean , and Blue in the Ritz-Carlton for five-star dining including fresh local seafood, all prepared with exquisite gourmet artistry.
Provo Golf Club in Turks and Caicos welcomes you to enjoy their David Feherty-approved golf course as well sparkling hospitality in the clubhouse, all just steps away from Grace Bay Beach. If you’re not a golfer, there’s still plenty to see on Turks and Caicos – a friend of ours enjoyed touring around in her rental car, particularly charmed by the lack of stop signs (in favour of traffic circles) and driving on “the wrong side of the road” (the left side).
So, Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman? Some choices are made to be exquisitely difficult, like, do you enjoy kobe beef or wagu? This is one of those choices. There are no wrong answers. It’s really a question of do you want to relax, or relax?