Turks, Caicos and Canucks?

A "Great White North" escape

photo by toque & canoe

You might think it a stretch for us to post a blog about Turks and Caicos.

If Canadian travel culture is what we’re about, then where on earth does this stunning little fleet of islands fit into the picture?

As it turns out, Canucks travel to the British Overseas Territory (just east of Cuba) in droves every Christmas. This year, along with fifteen immediate and extended family members, I was one of them.

We stayed at Beaches – an all-inclusive, super family-friendly resort located on the island of Providenciales (voted home to the world’s best beaches last year by TripAdvisor.)

Though this isn’t an inexpensive resort, once you’re through the doors you’re in terrific hands.

Three things come immediately to mind about our stay.

First of all, the staff are unforgettable – beyond friendly and helpful. (I’m thinking of Nigel, for example, a Jamaican-born chef who could sing everything from Justin Beiber to Adele to Johnny Cash. The kids loved him.)

Secondly, the food – offered buffet style or a la carte and in Italian, French and Carribean traditions – is excellent. (I confess I’m a lamb lover, and I was thrilled to find trays of rosemary lamb chops piled high at one restaurant.)

Last but not least, there’s no shortage of on and off-site activities. From tennis to snorkeling to morning aerobics classes. (My husband thought the diving expeditions offered at no extra cost were the bomb. He went out ten times over 12 days – returning home with stories of a Dr. Seuss world featuring giant brain corals, huge underwater sea horns, patrolling reef sharks and spotted Eagle rays as big as king-sized beds.)

Accommodation aside, the beaches and the surrounding waters in Turks and Caicos are, frankly, out of this world. I mean, the water really is this blue. My brother-in-law, in the most Canadian of fashions, said it best when he described the ocean surrounding our island.

“The first thing that comes to mind?” he mused. “How about Lake Louise spread on a cracker?”

Anyone who has seen the impossibly tourquoise waters of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies knows what he’s talking about.

How cool is Turks & Caicos?

Let’s just say that when it comes to warm vacations, I’m traditionally a Maui girl.

But these days – as I weather Calgary’s latest cold snap – I’m thinking there’s room in my life for more than one tropical favourite.

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  1. Charmian commented:

    Wow! what an amazing sounding place. I’m sitting here in freezing, snowy Vancouver staring into the blue of that incredible water. Just the kind of winter vacation that can hold you through and until the spring. You’ve got me already dreaming of my trip to Maui in March. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Canoe commented:

    Hi Charmian,
    So you’re a Maui girl too.
    As for the water around Turks, still can’t quite believe it was real…
    All the best and happy travels!
    Kim

    Reply

  3. Jody commented:

    I’ve been mulling over Beaches for years. I’ve read the reviews but somehow, reading about a Canadian’s experience resonated with me. Who knows, maybe I’ll bite the bullet and book a family trip there myself!

    Reply

  4. Catherine Ford commented:

    Oh, Toque and Canoe — we came so close. About when the two of you were babies, the Turks and Caicos wanted to become part of Canada. We would have had a Caribbean island all our own — the Canadian dollar at par, rye whiskey available, the Maple Leaf Forever and all that, The Canadian government saw only a couple of islands with only a few people and more sheep, little business and fewer prospects, We turned them down It is to weep for what night have been, Poutine on the beach; A & W burgers, Tim’s . . . alas.

    Reply

  5. Don E commented:

    Enjoyed revisiting T and C through your account. Yes, the water really is that blue, and must be seen to be believed.
    An unexpected treasure of these sandy isles is the bird life. Along with its famous flamingoes, we were delighted to sample a blend of local talent (egrets, tropicbirds, and the ubiquitous brown pelican) and a surprising array of wee little northern migrants, wintering near the beach as any sensible Canadian would. Warblers, gnatcatchers, and an assortment of sandpipers seemed at home there as they are in our wild areas up here.
    Keep up the good work.

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  6. Philippe H commented:

    Oh how I wish Turks & Caicos actually became part of Canada…

    All of that money that is spent on overseas tourism doesn’t come back to us. However if we did own Turks & Caicos, we would see that tourism money coming back to us. And considering a lot of Canadians travel down south during the winter, Turks & Caicos could see more tourism if the Canadian public was aware of a group of islands that DID NOT REQUIRE A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL TO.

    We’d have so much more freedom.

    Reply

  7. Les commented:

    The Turks and Caicos will become Canada’s eleventh province or forth territory. Let’s make this happen. Write your MP’s!!!

    Reply

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