Welcome to Grand Turk
Despite its name, Grand Turk is tiny—just six miles (10 kilometers) long—but it still looms large as the financial, administrative, and cultural center of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The island hosts a deepwater port that's a bustling destination for cruise ships sailing through the Caribbean, which means that the capital, Cockburn Town, can sometimes be deluged with double its resident population in a single day. But it's still worth an afternoon wander through the town, which is filled with souvenir shops and restaurants. Tram tours around the island dodge the numerous donkeys and wild horses that roam freely, and stop at highlights such as the Grand Turk Lighthouse, Crabtree Park, North Creek, and Governor's Beach. History buffs will enjoy learning about the island's once-booming salt trade—the salt flats are now home to resident bird life, including flamingos—and the former US Air Force Base. And though the island may be small, the underwater world located just offshore is an infinite playground for those who enjoy snorkeling and diving. Whether organized or self-guided, snorkeling and diving tours usually focus on the "Amazing Wall," where the ocean floor drops from 35 feet (11 meters) to 7,000 feet (2,132 meters). Gibbs Cay is another popular diving destination, known for its abundance of conch and stingrays. For such a small island, Grand Turk certainly packs a punch.