Turks and Caicos vs. Grand Cayman

Turks and Caicos and Grand Cayman are two of the most non-mainstream vacation choices you’ve probably heard of when talking about vacationing in the Caribbean. While there may be reasons for that, once you explore even just a fraction of these places, you’ll eventually ask why it is so criminally underrated.
Turks and Caicos vs. Grand Cayman

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Bringing up two of the most underrated destinations in the Caribbean is much-needed publicity. Especially as Turks and Caicos’ gorgeous vistas are the stuff of postcards, and Grand Cayman’s fascinating peculiarities are suited for the culture buff. Booking trips to these destinations are like walking around off-the-beaten-path places, you haven’t heard much about them but you know there’s a delight at the end.

Turks and Caicos

Sparsely populated and elusive, Turks and Caicos seem like a well-kept treasure right at the northern reaches of the Caribbean. Characterized by picturesque views and beaches that are nothing short of divine, it’s amazing how Turks and Caicos have veered off the mainstream radar.

This phenomenon is somehow a blessing in disguise thanks to its less-saturated reception, Turks & Caicos has kept its beauty and charm unspoiled, quietly attracting the deeply curious and the incredibly well-heeled.

You may think that the islands are criminally underrated because of how beautiful they are. Best described as a true luxury paradise on earth, Turks and Caicos boasts a ton of features. The island chain’s best draws include barrier reefs, top-ranking beaches, stunning interior landscape, and a wealthy roster of nature reserves. Turks and Caicos are best reserved for the vacationing lot, you can only find a host of luxury accommodations and a few budget ones.

What Makes Turks and Caicos Unique?

Top-Ranking Beaches

Just like most of the Caribbean islands, Turks and Caicos beaches are its best selling point. The difference with Turks and Caicos is the right combination of many exquisite things that make up the beauty of their beaches.

First, Turks and Caicos also has a characteristic fine, soft white sand. This sand came from naturally broken down seashells and hard coral particles. This resulted in a stunning, dazzling white sand with pink and peach tones.

Second, you’ll find an interesting palette of blue in the waters of Turks and Caicos. The different shades of blue that change upon the varying depths are created by the reflection of light. The white sandy bottoms and small white sand particles floating in the ocean create stunning shades of blue. This creates a remarkable water quality unique to Turks and Caicos water.

Third, on top of the beaches’ beautiful natural characteristics, you can snorkel just a few miles off many of the beaches in Turks and Caicos, particularly in the island Providenciales where the barrier reef just lies close.

Check out some of Turks and Caicos best beaches:

Cedar Point

Remote and spectacular, Cedar Point is best reserved for the adventurous. Located at the easternmost point of Middle Caicos, can enjoy the many idyllic views perfect for your Instagram needs.

On top of an endless stretch of crystal clear blue waters, you can also enjoy quirky sandbars, thanks to shifting shallow channels. When making a trip here, make sure to bring your necessities, and plan a trip here that takes hours.

North Bay Beach

Underrated and overlooked, picturesque North Bay Beach is located on the quiet side of Turks and Caicos, in Salt Cay. Despite the calm, North Bay beach is said to be one of the finest coasts in all of Turks and Caicos, so a trip here is definitely worth it.

The beach sports white and peach-colored sands with crystal water and a tiny reef patch for a quick snorkel. You can also enjoy little wave breaks here for stand-up paddle surfing.

Long Bay Beach

Located on the famous Providenciales island, Long Bay Beach is the beach to be in Turks and Caicos. The iconic stretch features fine, white sand, and exceptional, shallow, turquoise water.

The trademark water here seems to go on for miles across the banks of the Caicos island. On top of its natural beauty, the beach also receives constant trade winds making it a famous spot for kiteboarding.

The Caribbean’s Finest Diving and Snorkeling

Just off Grace Bay, you can find the third-largest barrier reef system in the world. This unique feature has given Turks and Caicos a reputable name for divers and marine biology experts around the world. Not only does it add to the island chain’s value, it even adds to its already stacked selling points. The reef system provides more experiences to people willing to go all out on adventures in Turks and Caicos.

Thanks to the already fascinating barrier reef system just off the islands of Turks and Caicos. You can easily encounter a wealth of marine life in the many diving and snorkeling hotspots. This particular abundance has made the islands one of the best places to dive and snorkel in the world. Many of the diving hotspots around Turks and Caicos are also protected because of the value of its aquatic world.

The underwater geography of Turks and Caicos further adds to its already remarkable marine life. The archipelago rests on top of an underwater plateau with a height of around 10,000 feet or 3 kilometers. This has fascinated countless divers because of the impressive transition of its depths.

English and Friendly

The two biggest questions when considering where to travel are the attitude of the locals and the language they speak. This is because, wherever you go and whoever you’ll meet, good communication is always key. And when everything goes sideways you can easily ask for help. The thing about Turks and Caicos is that you don’t have to worry about any of those.

If English is the only language you speak, rest assured that you will be understood easily by the locals. English is the official language of Turks and Caicos, unlike most of the Caribbean, as it is still a British Overseas Territory. You can expect to navigate the ins and outs of the culture and landscape thanks to the lack of a language barrier.

Plus, the “belongers” or the local people of Turks and Caicos are a warm, friendly, and fun-loving bunch. Aside from the obvious lack of language barrier, getting along with the locals is also incredibly easy. Belongers tend to make guests to their islands feel as welcome as possible, treating them as guests to their own homes.

Watersport Hotspot

Head to the famous Providenciales island and you’ll see what the fuss is all about. The iconic Long Bay Beach in the island sports a three-mile stretch (4.8 km) and is the best place in the entire archipelago to do plenty of water activities.

Thanks to the consistent trade winds that blow towards the bay, kiteboarding is a hit sport here. Powerboating, jet skiing, and windsurfing are other famous activities as well.

On the opposite side of Long Bay Beach, you can also do a plethora of other activities. In Grace Bay, you can go paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling cruises, and scuba diving.

Several of Turks and Caicos’ best hotels and resorts are in Grace Bay. Making the stretch one of, if not the most happening area in the archipelago. If you’re not one for water activities you can laze your days away in the many seaside restaurants and bars that line the shores.

Turks and Caicos’ quiet charms leave much of the island unspoiled by mass tourism making the archipelago a special place to explore. While Turks and Caicos may not have as much reception as the other destinations in the Caribbean. These islands have their fair share of worthy appeals that could definitely compete.

The archipelago’s interesting draws and selling points have made it a promising destination. Thanks to its perfect combination of quirky draws, Turks, and Caicos is yet another entry in the must-visit list.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the heartland of where interesting things are in this British Overseas Territory. From mile-long beaches, diving, fishing, gastronomic highs, and offshore banking, Grand Cayman is often in a league of its own. The biggest island in the Cayman Islands packs a lot of punches.

The largest island in this British Overseas Territory is the stuff of a Caribbean paradise. Grand Cayman isn’t as touristy as the same way as bigger names like Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, and many more are. Grand Cayman’s steady yet quiet fame together with all its draws is best reserved for the true well-heeled globetrotters.

What Makes Grand Cayman Unique?

Divine Beaches

With a geographical location as interesting as Grand Cayman’s, expect to find stunning views wherever you go. Blessed with the brilliant beautiful shades of crystal clear, blue waters, and white, smooth sand, Grand Cayman’s beaches are divine. Thanks to its modest reputation, you can still enjoy its unspoiled treasures.

Grand Cayman itself stays true to its name. It has a plethora of beaches in its roster enough to represent the sheer beauty of the fabled Cayman Islands. You will surely find yourself in awe and confused about where to go. Here are some of the best of the best:

Seven Mile Beach

Located on the western reaches of Grand Cayman, the area has lured travelers from all over the world. The Caymans is considered the to be one of the most underrated ultimate destinations. The iconic Seven Mile Beach (which isn’t actually 7 miles in estimate) is one big reason, among the many, why it shouldn’t be. Many of the Caribbean’s most luxury hotels stand along its shoreline, which features dazzling waters and coral sands.

The broad shoreline here is open to the public, so no matter where you stay, you may walk the entire length of the shore. You’ll come across restaurants in the resorts and several beach bars if you take a stroll.

Seven Mile Beach is also home to a diverse range of activities. This stretch offers a lot, from working on your tan while watching the waves come in, or going parasailing. Seven Mile Beach has plenty of opportunities to experience everything Cayman has to offer.

Rum Point

This beach is Grand Cayman’s northside treasure, with a trademark of a more authentic island vibe. On top of classic white sandy beaches and shallow, clear waters, Rum Point is plain perfect. And because of its beauty and safety, Rum Point Beach is ideal for snorkeling and several other water activities.

The beach definitely has tourists in mind. Change rooms, bathrooms, bungalows, hammocks, snorkeling, and volleyball nets are all available here. Rum Point, located 45 minutes from most hotels and the cruise terminal, is well worth the day excursion.

Another way to get to Rum Point is by ferry! This is an excellent method to get here and relax or enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at a reasonable price. If you want to spend the full day relaxing, this is perhaps the greatest beach to visit. A restaurant, bar, bathrooms, gift shop, watersports, beach chairs, and hammocks are all available here.

Governor’s Beach

Located within the Seven Mile Beach, right in front of the Governor’s home, Governor’s beach is perfect for family day trips. Governor’s Beach is ideal for snorkeling, taking a scenic stroll, or simply floating on the water with a cold beverage.

In June and July, beachgoers can relax in the shade while nibbling on the sea grapes that fall from the trees. And, as with all views to the west, you’ll get to see some spectacular sunsets. This beach may get extremely crowded, especially on weekends and around sunsets.

Spotts Beach

Spotts Beach is a private beach with mansions and waterfront condos surrounded by ironshore cliffs and white sand. With plenty of space for a stroll down the beach, Spotts is one of the most famous beaches for downtime. Spotts Beach is usually peaceful because it is located a little further from the main tourist area.

Spotts Beach has an excellent view of the dawn because it faces south. Barbecues and picnics are permitted in the cabanas, which have benches and tables. There is also good snorkeling due to the limited amount of watercraft.

The snorkeling at the barrier reef is fantastic, but it is best for experienced divers. Only those with prior experience can better navigate the conditions of the water here.

Cayman Kai

Cayman Kai’s isolation on Grand Cayman’s northern coast is everything an islander might want. Beautiful beaches are bordered by palm trees, where there are quiet, shallow waves. Cayman Kai may be underdeveloped but it spells rest and relaxation nonetheless.

Cayman Kai’s accommodations have breathtaking views of the water. This makes it one of the best beaches in Grand Cayman. Cayman Kai is a great place to swim and offers a variety of other water sports for everyone to enjoy, young and old alike.

The lagoon and palm trees are also popular with visitors. Cayman Kayaks offers spectacular trips where you may see the Bioluminescence phenomena, which is the production and emission of light by a living thing.

Notoriously Expensive

The Cayman Islands, despite its perfect paradise image, is one of the most expensive places to visit in the Caribbean, if not the entire world. Eggs and toothpaste, for example, are roughly twice as expensive as they are in other nations.

Despite the government’s claims that it is taking steps to curb inflation. Costs such as rent, utilities, internet access, clothing, and food cost more in the Cayman Islands than anywhere else in the world.

It’s best to compare prices like the ones mentioned before. That way you can see how Grand Cayman and the rest of the Cayman Islands fair from the rest of the most famous destinations in the world.

Simple purchases like a dozen eggs can cost around 3 USD in Aruba, another known expensive island in the Caribbean. While it can cost 2 USD in the US and the UK – Cayman’s sovereign state, the same dozen can cost around 5 USD in Grand Cayman.

Important parts of the daily costs of living such as basic utilities can cost a total of around 300 to 400 USD in Grand Cayman. It can only play around 100 to 200 USD in Aruba and the US, and around 200 to 300 USD in the United Kingdom.

By getting a rough yet simple overview of respective costs, you can easily conclude how Grand Cayman is not a typical tropical paradise to visit. Whatever your plans are, budget accordingly.

Culinary Epicenter

Grand Cayman’s love and respect for its food culture have made its culinary scene one of the finest in the Caribbean, often rivaling the best of the best. With the island’s climate and the locals’ love for fusion cuisines, Grand Cayman is bound to be a gastronomic wonder in its own right.

Even though the Cayman Islands are small, the number of restaurants and Cayman catering options available is vast. The number of tourists and expats in the Cayman Islands is increasing year after year. This has had a significant impact on the food of the Cayman Islands, as well as providing flavor to Caribbean cuisine.

In Grand Cayman, you can choose from a vast variety of food and beverage alternatives. From jerk chicken vendors to five-star cuisine and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.

The island’s love for culinary development drives them to become the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”. And with their growing fame, it appears they’re on their way.

The Cayman Islands have over 100 nationalities, resulting in a more diverse range of culinary delights. At the start of the year, there are two major food festivals in Grand Cayman where you can expect people to eat a wide array of meals.

Visit Grand Cayman during January (also the island’s peak season) to experience two food festivals. Cayman Cookout and Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival are the most celebrated.

Offshore Banking

Offshore Banking in Grand Cayman isn’t some shady deal. Nor is it where unscrupulous characters tend to hide their illegally obtained money in the island’s banks. The Caribbean gem has become a financial hotshot. Thanks to the Cayman Islands’ continuous rise in economic development.

It is the fifth-largest financial center in the world. They control about $7 billion in deposits and three-quarters of all hedge funds in the world.

Banking in the Cayman Islands is the cream of the crop when it comes to offshore countries. It’s one of the most expensive areas to start a business, which is why all the hedge funds are based there.

In Cayman, only the wealthy put up shop. It costs more than the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. It is significantly more expensive than Belize or Seychelles. Simply said, it’s not the place to go if you’re looking for a good deal.

You must have some form of a link to the Cayman Islands to create a bank account there. If you’re looking to start an offshore firm or become a resident, you have several possibilities.

In all of the 158 banks in the Cayman Islands, you need only think of a few to open up an account as not all of the banks in the territory offer offshore services. Most of these banks are based in Grand Cayman, specifically in the capital of Georgetown. Banks such as Trident Trust, Cayman National, Cainvest Bank and Trust, and Fidelity Bank can be found there.

Which is Better – Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman?

After much comparison, there are plenty of things that put them together, there are also draws that can set them apart. Ultimately, these draws define each destination. In this sense, Turks and Caicos’ cheaper thrills in comparison to Grand Cayman’s prices give it a leg-up.

Turks and Caicos fine draws also have given it a rather classic flavor to a Caribbean vacation. This is thanks to its dynamic atmosphere and beautiful beaches, which are some of the world’s most beautiful. These underrated islands check every box on the list. You have English-speaking locals, watersports galore, stunning beaches, and its underwater features. Expect to be blown away in Turks and Caicos.