If you blink, you will miss it. The island of Grand Turk is only 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. The only way to visit Turks and Caicos via cruise ship is through the Grand Turk cruise port.
For the Carnival Elation second port of call on a five day itinerary, we decided to go with the flow. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to rent a car, or take a group excursion.
A gentleman approached me as soon as we walked through the Duty Free shop. He asked what I was interesting in doing and seeing. He offered us a two hour tour for half the rate of what Carnival charges. We were on a open air tram with people from Chicago and some Jamaicans from New York. It was a good time.
Grand Turk is still recovering from back to back Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The land is not suitable to produce anything. There are two import deliveries every week.
Donkeys and wild horses roam the island freely. There are areas with pink flamingos, although we did not see any during our excursion. We probably saw more donkeys than humans. Apparently everyone was recovering from Christmas parties the night before.
With just over 3,000 residents, most homes do not have addresses. Residents are known for the color of their home or the owner’s name. When two cruise ships are docked, the travelers outnumber the locals.
There is a small airport that offers commuter flights to Providenciales (Provo).
The dry and sunny weather is the perfect combination for sea salt production. Remnants of the low profiting “white gold” that ended in the 1960’s are still around.
I was mesmerized by how beautiful the water was. I have never seen the ocean have a glow like I saw in Grand Turk.
We drove through the capital of Turks and Caicos, Cockburn Town, and made a stop in the “downtown” area for shopping, food and drinks.
After the island tour, I had a few hours to hang out at the beach and enjoy the crystal clear water. I walked along the beach to the popular Jack’s Shack hangout. I was looking forward to seeing their Golden Doodles (one passed away Dec 2nd) digging in the sand.
I wanted my passport stamped, but the office was closed due to the holiday. I spent the rest of the time buying souvenirs and walking around the John Glenn Mercury 7 open air museum. His space craft launched from Port Canaveral, and landed in the Atlantic Ocean, near Grand Turk.
Source: Grand Turk Island