Trip Report: First Time to Turks & Caicos

by Ellen Caywood

Conch Shells at Long Bat Beach, Turks & Caicos

One of the most enjoyable parts of this trip was how nice the people were who live on the island. We joined in on a few local activities and had the chance to meet a lot of people. On our first full day in Provo we ran in a 10k road race. Up before sunrise we made our way to the IGA and joined a group of about 75 people for a 5k and 10k race. I’m not going to give numbers, but I will say that I finished despite the heat and humidity, and enjoyed the pancake party afterwards. Our travels fell over Halloween so we packed costumes and made our way to the big party at the Tiki Hut and it was a blast! Outside they had kid’s games and everyone running around in costumes. Inside was music, drinks and food and a great crowd of people.

Conch Shells at Long Bat Beach, Turks & Caicos

Dining out is a pleasure in Turks & Caicos with a full range of restaurants to choose from. The island is known for being a bit on the expensive side when it comes to food, so I was happy to find a great list of suggestions for “local” restaurants. All across the island are local places serving great island food like cracked conch, fritters, fish tacos, rice & peas, plantains and jerk chicken. We were able to swing a couple nights out with the baby and enjoyed the hilltop views from Magnolia Wine Bar & Restaurant and the garden atmosphere of Caicos Café. In the end we enjoyed quite a few meals at our villas as well, because that is one of the big advantages of having a kitchen. We had the villa provisioned before our arrival so we already had a great assortment of foods for breakfast and snacks and drinks for our first night there. There are several markets on the island that have everything you would expect to find at home. For seafood you can go to the docks in Five Cays Settlement. You need to get there before 4 though as we found ourselves there too late…next time! We barbequed 2 nights at our villa and on our final night we had Chef Alex Pelli come in to prepare us dinner. It was so wonderful to relax at “home” with a bottle of nice wine as Alex brought out 4 courses of delicious food – conch ceviche, truffle steak, shrimp frittata and fresh bruschetta.

Conch Shells at Long Bat Beach, Turks & Caicos

As usual, a week went by too quickly. There was so much more we wanted to do – go out on the snorkel boat, spend a day on neighboring North Caicos Island, rent a paddleboard for a couple hours, and try a bunch more restaurants. We went into this trip not knowing what to expect from the island and found out that there is so much to do in Turks & Caicos. It’s a visually stunning place and is occupied by some of the nicest people in the Caribbean. Knowing that we can hop a direct flight and be there in only 3 hours, I think we will be back when our next conch craving hits.

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