Grand Turk has long been known as one of the top five diving destinations in the world, with a plunging continental shelf, healthy coral reefs, and great visibility. The whole western shore of the island is a protected underwater park.
More recently, it has also opened a deepwater pier, the Grand Turk Cruise Center, to accommodate even the largest megaships. About 5km (3 miles) from the pier, charming Cockburn Town the administrative capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands has Bermudan-influenced colonial buildings, guesthouses, and a couple of laid-back bars, near miles of public powder-white beaches.
Under the sea Scuba divers will be wowed by the manta rays, whale sharks, and sea turtles, and the beautiful colors of the third-largest coral reef in the world.
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If you're not a diver, snorkeling cruises depart from the cruise terminal to visit sites such as Horseshoe Reef and Round Cay. For nature lovers From January to April, excursion boats follow the Atlantic humpback whales traveling down Turk's Passage trench on the western side of the island, heading for their breeding grounds south of Grand Turk.
Slice of history In the plaza of Cockburn Town's historic district, a bronze plaque marks the spot where Christopher Columbus allegedly first set foot in the New World, on October 14, 1492. top beach On Grand Cayman's southwest coast, Governor's Beach is one of the few blue-flagged beaches in the Caribbean. It's also reputed to have the best snorkeling on the island.