The first port on our cruise to South Caribbean Islands was Grand Turk, the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands! The island is the administrative, historic, cultural and financial center of the territory, and has the second largest population of the islands, that is approximately 3720 people! 🙂
We reached the islands at around 7am in the morning and we were scheduled to depart from there at 3pm. So we had around 8 hours to go and see the island. After an early breakfast, we left the cruise to see what this island had to offer!!
We took a taxi and went directly to the first place on our list: Pillory Beach. Pillory Beach is regarded as Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the New World. A beautiful white sand beach with turquoise-clear waters! Since we reached there early morning Island time, there were hardly 4-5 people at the beach – which gave us the opportunity to click some people-free pictures of this paradise and swim around at our own pace and leisure!
After the early morning swim, we headed to the Cockburn Town area of the island – to check out the local markets, artists and of course, to buy a magnet for me! While we were waiting for the taxi to arrive, we saw some Salinas or Salt Pans– they are almost everywhere on the island! The water on top of these pans appear as red, hence they are known as Red Salinas! The downtown market consisted of small colorful hut-style stores with handmade sculptures, decorated wooden planks and decorative items made from coconut shell. Everything looked so pretty!
It was super warm on the island, so after walking around the town for 30 mins or so we were tired and sweaty 😐 It was time for another swim now! So we headed to Governor’s Beach. Governor’s Beach is a crescent of soft sand and calm, turquoise ocean waters that fronts the official British governor’s residence. It was very close to the port – we could see our cruise from here and even thought of just swimming till there – jk! By the time, we reached the beach, the sun was out and shinning bright, which made the waters shimmer – such a beautiful site! We spent a couple of hours just lazing around – before we headed back to the port.
The port area or the Grand Turk Cruise Center, is an 14 acres recreational center with swimming pool, shops and a large beachfront area! Once we reached there, we saw a lot of people from our cruise had decided to spend the time just there – and since there were two carnival cruises at the port it was super crowded. We were so glad that we decided to venture out on the island 😉 It was a great place to click some pictures of the cruise and have fresh water coconuts – my all time favorite! Also, carnival had handed us coupons to collect a free bracelet and the port charm from Diamonds International – one for each ports – so I collected my first charm at Grand Turk! 😉
It was 2pm and we were super hungry – so we headed back to the cruise to the awesome caribbean treats that awaited us!