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Antigua and Turks and Caicos are two highly desired destinations for a Caribbean vacation.

Nonetheless, they are quite different from each other.

In this article, we compare and contrast Antigua and Turks & Caicos to help you decide which destination is the ideal choice for your Caribbean vacation.

As a general rule, Antigua is the destination of choice for visitors interested in white sand beaches, Caribbean history and swimming with stingrays. On the other hand, Turks & Caicos is perfect for a visitor who wants to enjoy white sand beaches and turquoise waters as well as water activities.

Read on for further details and explanations on how these two magnificent Caribbean islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national familiar with both islands.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Which Island Is Bigger

Turks and Caicos Islands have the bigger landmass of the two destinations being 238 square miles.

The highest point of elevation is Blue Mountain at 163 feet.

The islands are a group that consists of 40 different islands and cays.

However, only 8 of these are inhabited.

Alternatively, Antigua is a bit smaller being 169.9 square miles with the highest point of elevation is Boggy Peak which stands at an elevation of 1,319 feet.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Does The Currency Differ

The official currency of both islands varies. The official currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean dollar.

However, the US dollar is commonly used on the island for most transactions.

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar has been pegged to the US dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.

This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.

Contrastingly, the official currency of the Turks & Caicos Islands is the US dollar despite being a British overseas territory.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Which Island Has Better Nightlife

Though both islands have a slower pace when compared to other Caribbean destinations, Antigua has the slight edge in the category of nightlife.

Shirley’s Heights Lookout is a well- known spot in Antigua on Sunday evenings for entertainment.

There is usually a live band with drinks and food available for purchase.

Some of the other popular nightlife spots on the island are The Lime and Tryst Nightclub, Bar and Restaurant

Likewise, nightlife in Turks and Caicos is also mainly focused around beach bars and restaurants.

Every Thursday night on the island of Providenciales, there is a Fish Fry where individuals can buy food from local vendors. Souvenirs and various forms of crafts are also on sale.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Which Island Is Safer

Both islands are relatively safe destinations and are excellent options for solo female travelers.

According to the US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council based on a 2018 crime report per 100,000 citizens, Antigua & Barbuda had 12 murders and 2 kidnapping.

Generally the crime rate in Turks & Caicos is moderate when compared to other Caribbean islands such as Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

According to US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council, the number of murders increased from 4 to 10 in 3 years. 

One US citizen was among the victims in 2018 while two US citizens sustained serious injuries from shooting.

Nevertheless, as with every other country due care and diligence must be exercised in both destinations.

Avoid leaving value items unattended and visible in vehicles. Secure valuable items in vaults and safes at your hotel.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Which Island Has Better Beaches

Both islands have amazing beaches but Turks & Caicos gets the edge in this category due to the gorgeous turquoise waters of Grace Bay Beach.

Located on the island of Providenciales, Grace Bay Beach is the pride of Turks and Caicos and it has won many awards both regionally and internationally.

Grace Bay Beach is part of Princess Alexandra National Park and known for its calm and turquoise waters.

It stretches three miles long and there is a barrier reef located about one mile off shore to keep the beach still and safe.

Grace Bay Beach shares its shoreline with many high rise and luxurious hotels on the island.

Nevertheless, Antigua also has amazing beaches and is fondly known as the Caribbean island with 365 beaches being one for every day of the year.

Dickenson Bay is one of the well- loved beaches in Antigua with both locals and tourist alike.

Its shallow and calm waters make it an ideal spot for water sports such as paddle boarding.

To help visitors choose among its many beaches, the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority launched a beach personality quiz.

Feel free to visit the page to find the perfect beach for you.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: Can You Hop To Other Islands

Antigua is the only of the two islands that provides limited island hopping opportunities.

There is a ferry service to the neighboring island of Montserrat from Antigua. Like Turks & Caicos, Montserrat is an overseas British territory.

The ferry named Jayden Sun departs from Heritage Quay from 8:30 am and returns 5 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays weekly.

The price of the ferry is approximately XCD$300.

On the other hand, if you are in Providenciales you can easily find ferries to North, South and Middle Caicos islands.

However, there are no passenger ferries to other islands such as the Bahamas from Turks and Caicos.

Antigua Vs Turks & Caicos: What Are The Unique Things To Do

Unique Things To Do In Antigua

Visit Laviscount Island- enjoy a getaway to a private island which is home to Giant Aldabra Tortoises. Animal lovers will truly enjoy feeding and interacting with the tortoises on this island.

Swim With Stingrays– enjoy swimming and snorkeling in beautiful waters of Antigua with friendly stingrays. There are also amazing coral reefs and several species of fishes that you can enjoy at the pool.

Visit Nelson’s Dockyard- delve into the history of the island by visiting Nelson’s Dockyard where there are modern conveniences such as shops and marina businesses.

This dockyard allows visitors to enjoy the park’s beauty. 

There is also the dockyard museum which provides deep insight into the dockyard’s history and current research on the island.

Unique Things To Do In Turks & Caicos

Kite Boarding– the beach waters and wind conditions makes the island an ideal spot for kite boarding.

Long Bay Beach is one of the popular spots on the island for this activity. There is a kiteboarding school on the island where tutors will provide you with a lessons as well as equipment rental.

Private Island Beach Hopping– Only 8 of the 40 islands and cays of Turks and Caicos are inhabited.

The others are private cays where you can go and enjoy a private beach day on your own island.

This makes the destination unique and one of the many reasons why the islands are favored by celebrities.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Antigua is an exceptional choice for individuals who love exploring the island’s many beaches and hopping to neighboring Montserrat. Alternatively, Turks & Caicos is perfect for a visitor who wants to explore several small islands in a more laid back and peaceful environment.

Need More Information?

Feel free to browse our website for more content on the Antigua, Turks & Caicos and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page.

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Antigua Vs Anguilla ( Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)

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