While Grand Turk is most well known for its diving along the famous Grand Turk wall, there are other fun things to do while on island. Here are a few Grand Turk things to do in the lovely waters which surround the island:
Snorkel Boat Trips
If you are keen to see the wall, but diving isn’t your thing, why not try snorkeling? Our snorkel boat trips go to two sites, are two and a half hours in duration, and include snorkel gear. On these snorkel trips, the first site is in shallower water (depths of less than 10 feet) which allows snorkelers to see the reef and marine life up close. The second snorkel site is chosen from one of the over 40 sites along the famous Grand Turk “wall” in the marine park. The wall is actually a coral reef drop-off that begins in depths of 25-30 feet and plunges to depths of over 7,000 feet! If you have never snorkeled before, that is not problem! Your boat captain is also a trained PADI instructor and would be happy to give you some pointers.
If you aren’t certified to dive, but want to give diving a try, a Resort Course gives you the chance to see what diving is like under the supervision of a trained PADI professional. During the Resort Course, you will be taught the basics of dive theory and equipment usage. Then you and your instructor will kneel down in shallow water on a sandy bottom to go over a few skills. Once you and your instructor are comfortable with your basic diving skills, we will bring you out to the wall. That’s right, you get a do a real dive! This isn’t like other places, where a Resort Courses might happen in a pool and/or in a big group, this is a unique, personal experience!
It is important to remember that at the end of the course you will not be certified to dive, so if you are interested in continued diving you should check out the PADI Open Water Course.
If you are staying on-island, you also have the option of going to the nearby islands of Gibbs Cay (note: Cay is pronounced “key”). You can see more information about these trips on our On Island Guests page.
We do not offer trips to Gibbs Cay when cruise ships are in port as our customers find it too crowded when the cruise ship excursion boats are visiting. Also, we do not support fish feeding or harassing the wildlife (you can refer to our Environmental Responsibility statement for more information). However, we do offer snorkeling trips and sometimes stingrays can be seen along with a variety of other marine life.
Even if you aren’t into the beaches and the water, or simply have had enough water activities for one day, there are other Grand Turk things to do on land and we have listed a few of these below:
At the Turks & Caicos National Museum, located in the historic Guinep House, you will find a central exhibit that tells the story of the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest European shipwreck discovered in the Western Hemisphere (dated around 1505). The museum also has a natural history gallery and displays that interpret many historic events as well as the country’s rich cultural and natural history.
Did you know that Grand Turk is one of the best places in the world for bird watching? Some 170 bird species frequent the Turks and Caicos Islands, including great blue herons, flamingos, osprey, pelicans, egrets, terns, frigates, boobies and other water birds. Most species can be found feeding near salt ponds or inland marshes. The birds can be exceptionally easy to view, because they have mostly become used to people, who do not disturb them. Grand Turk has two bird trails: a 15 stop walking trail and a 20 stop driving trail. The official “Bird Guide Cards” for both trails are now available at Blue Water Divers for $5 each. Proceeds from the sale of these cards will fund trail maintenance and protection of the birds’ habitats.
Cockburn Town (pronounced “co-burn” town) is the administrative capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the historic and cultural center of the islands. It is strongly reputed to be the landfall island of Columbus during his discovery of the New World in 1492. The town itself is well suited for a walking tour. Duke and Front Streets are lined with historic 18th and 19th century landmarks that reflect the Bermudan style architecture of the salt era. One of these buildings is now a popular inn, another is the governor’s residence, and others are now government offices, the public library, churches, private residence and fraternities.
Stamp collectors never miss a stop at the Philatelic Bureau, as the islands are known for their colorful and unusual issues.
Grand Turk’s lighthouse was built in 1852 of cast iron pieces imported from England. If you go to the Lighthouse (up on the ridge at the north end of the island), be sure to not just look at the lighthouse itself, but also to explore beyond the building. If you follow the trail which starts just past the lighthouse and go around to the east side of the island from there, you can find some lovely views! Other local historic sites include the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church (built in 1823 and considered the oldest on the island) and the former HM prison, as well as a number of buildings in town which have plaques in front describing their historical significance.
In addition to running Blue Water Divers, Mitch Rolling is an accomplished musician. He has released six albums, five of which were recorded on the island of Grand Turk. His latest release, Songs from the Beach, came out in 2010 and is available for purchase on CDBaby.com as well as iTunes and other online outlets.
Mitch has been playing gigs on Grand Turk for over 30 years. You can see Mitch play on the island of Grand Turk every Wednesday and Sunday night at the Osprey Beach Hotel, and every Friday night at the Bohio. Both venues are beachfront hotels that offer a friendly, casual environment. They are both places where locals meet tourists, and it is always open mic night. Mitch is often joined by visiting musicians who jam, creating a unique evening’s entertainment.
Mitch’s songlist includes everything from acoustic instrumentals to classics from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, as well as some of Mitch’s original songs.
Songs from the Beach – Mitch Rolling: Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, Mitch’s music is now available online! Just click the album cover to the left and you can listen to samples of each song on the album, download individual songs or download the entire album. You can also buy a physical copy of the CD.
Mitch invites you now to listen to some of his music and join his ever-growing family of friends and fans.
Musician Page on Facebook
More miracles of modern technology! Mitch now has a musician page on Facebook. You can visit this page to keep up with Mitch’s music, become a “fan”, sign up for his mailing list, listen to his songs, see photos, join discussions, post comments, and more.
If you would like to have Mitch come and play a personal concert for you, please send us an email. Mitch is widely known for his ability to make up lyrics and songs on the spot, so an evening with him is always entertaining!
The Grand Turk Cruise Center was built by Carnival Corporation at the south end of Grand Turk in 2006. The cruise center is open to the public when cruise ships are in port and you can see the cruise ship schedule here. There is lots of activity near the cruise center when the ships are in port and the cruise center is open to the public. There are shops at the cruise center as well as a large Margaritaville and a large pool (complete with a swim up bar).