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Less developed and more upscale than many other spots in the Caribbean, this collection of 40 islands, 8 of which are inhabited, gives Turks and Caicos an intimate feel. Many of the islands are surrounded by a natural reef, making the turquoise waters clean, calm and full of sea life. And there’s plenty to do. Turks and Caicos has some of the best underwater sightseeing around, so snorkeling and scuba diving are a must. Whale and bird watching are two other popular activities, and sunsets over Grace Bay are unforgettable.

Before You Go: Need-to-know info

Entry requirements: Passport
Language: English
Currency: US dollar
Flight time (to Grand Turk): About 4 hours from New York City; 13 hours from LA

When to Go: Turks & Caicos at its best

Best weather: The climate is sunny and dry with highs in the 70s in the winter. In the summer and early fall, daytime highs range from 85 to 90, and sometimes reaching the mid-90s in the late summer.
Note: Hurricane season runs from June to November.

What to Do

See the sunset: Try to catch the elusive “green flash” at sunset. This split-second burst of emerald light sometimes happens along the horizon on a clear day.

Get a history lesson: Explore historic Cockburn Town on Grand Turk — some say it’s the spot where Columbus first landed in 1492. On top of that, the quaint Bermudian-style houses will catch your eye, and you may be tempted to take an impromptu walking tour through town.

Go to the spa: Unwind at COMO Shambhala with a wide range of holistic therapies, including hot river stone and Thai massages, acupuncture and marine mud therapy.

Ride horses: Between all the snorkeling and the lounging, go horseback riding on Grace Bay beach, one of the highest rated beaches in the western hemisphere. Plan your equestrian adventure for morning, afternoon or evening under the moonlight.

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