Grand Turk Travel Guide

Browse 7 travel reviews, 4 travel blogs and 561 travel photos from real travelers to Grand Turk.

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Grand Turk Overview

Turks and Caicos got their names from the Turk's head cactus which was endemic to the islands, and the word Caicos meant something like 'island chain'.

Cockburn town is a very small town even though it is the capitol of the country. It is relatively unspoiled by the influx of cruise ship passengers, because most of them stay around the cruise port. The town is named after Sir Francis Cockburn, who was governor of the Bahamas in the early 1800s. Cockburn Town is the oldest permanent settlement in the country.

Originally the town grew up in the area because of the sea salt industry that once operated on Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos. At a time when salt was a valuable commodity, the natural shallow ponds in the Turks and Caicos were easy to adapt for the evaporation of ocean water. Sluice gates could be opened to control the level of the water in the salt ponds. There is no longer salt production here, but there is a small salt museum called Salt House. Exhibits here talk about the ships that were used to build the industry, a tour of the salt canals, and a visit to a working windmill replica.

The Grand Turk Turks & Caicos National Museum has displays on human history in the Turks and Caicos, from Indian occupations starting at 700 AD right up to modern times including the arrival of John Glenn after his historic three-orbit space flight in 1962. They also have a Natural History gallery with displays on the Geology of the Turks and Caicos and Reef and Island Ecology.

They have one of the smallest international airports in the world