Located about 90 minutes flying time from each other, the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos are next door neighbors.
The main aim of this article is to explore the differences between these two Caribbean islands to help you determine which is ideal for your next Caribbean adventure.
As a general rule, the Bahamas is the perfect destination for visitors seeking white and pink sand beaches as well as a vibrant nightlife atmosphere. Alternatively, Turks & Caicos is suitable for individuals seeking a quiet destination with amazing beaches.
Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national familiar with both destinations.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- Which Destination Is Bigger
The Bahamas is the larger of the two places with a landmass of 5,359 square miles with about 700 islands, cays and islets.
The most populous island is New Providence Island where the capital city of Nassau is located and where over 70% of the total population resides.
Contrastingly, Turks & Caicos is only 366 square miles. It consists of 40 different islands and cays of which only 8 are inhabited.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- What Are The Official Currencies
Despite being an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, the US dollar is the official currency of Turks & Caicos Islands.
On the contrary, the official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar since the year 1966. The currency is issued and managed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and is divided into 100 cents.
Bank notes are available 50, 20,10,5 and $1denominations. Coins are available in 25, 10 and 5 cent pieces. The symbol is B$.
Nevertheless, US dollars and coins are widely accepted by businesses both small and large on the island.
Casinos on the island only accept US dollars and the ATM machines at these locations dispense US dollars.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- Which Destination Receives More Visitors
The Bahamas is the more popular tourism destination when compared to Turks & Caicos based on visitor arrival statistics.
As stated by tourism analytics, in 2019 the Bahamas welcomed 5,429,474 cruise ship visitors and 1,804,184 stop over visitors.
On the other hand, a total of 1,598,557 persons visited the shores of Turks & Caicos with 1, 111,818 being cruise passengers and 486,739 being stop over visitors.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- What Are The Island Hopping Options
Bahamas is the only one of these two destinations that provides visitors with the opportunity to access other destinations via ferry services.
Individuals can travel to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida via the fast ferry service Balearia Caribbean to the Bahamas.
The ferry docks in Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.
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.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- Which Has The Better Nightlife
The Bahamas is the livelier of the two destinations with the main nightlife activities concentrated in the Freeport and Nassau regions.
Xscape Lounge and The Dune Bar are two places to explore for nightlife and entertainment in the Bahamas.
For entertainment both day and night, Arawak Cay located on West Bay Street, Nassau is a must visit stop if you want to delve deeper into local traditional food and drink.
Arawak Cay is also known as Fish fry where you can enjoy a large range of seafood dishes.
Contrastingly, Turks & Caicos is a much quieter and laid back destination.
One of the major weekly entertainment experiences is Fish Fry which is held every Thursday nights.
At this event several seafood based dishes are available for purchase. There is usually a live band as well as vendors selling various forms of souvenirs and craft items.
Similar Fish Fry events are hosted weekly on the Caribbean islands of Barbados, St Lucia and Grenada.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- Which Has The Better Beaches
Both destinations can boasts of having amazing beaches with sand of white and pink colors.
Grace Bay located on the island of Providenciales is the pride of Turks and Caicos and it has won many awards both regionally and internationally.
It 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.
Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk is an exotic beach to visit in Turks & Caicos for its crystal clear waters and light peach sand.
Gold Rock Beach, Cable Beach and Tropic of Cancer Beach are three of the amazing spots to visit for beautiful white and powdery sand in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas is also known for having pink sand beaches with one of the most famous one being Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island.
This island is only 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles and is popular stop for affluent visitors.
The sand on pink sand beach has its distinct pink color due to the presence of foraminifera.
For a unique experience, Pig Beach on the island of Exuma is the perfect for those who want to swim with pigs.
Bahamas Vs Turks & Caicos- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations
Garden of The Groves, Bahamas– located in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island this garden features various wildlife and a variety of flora and fauna.
There is a chapel on site which can be reserved for weddings but also serves as a quiet place for prayer and reflection.
The garden also has a café and a shop where you can buy various local craft and souvenir items.
This attraction is perfect for visitors of all ages and there is a fee for admission.
Kayak The Wetlands, Turks & Caicos– the island boasts of numerous mangrove wetlands which provides a natural habitat for various species such as turtles, stingrays, fishes and birds.
On a whole, the Bahamas is perfect for individuals who enjoy island hopping to Florida, USA as well as a bustling nightlife atmosphere. On the other hand, Turks & Caicos is ideal for visitors seeking a laid back and quiet island with amazing white sand beaches with turquoise waters.
Need More Information
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To learn more about Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the rest of the Caribbean, continue browsing our pages using the search bar at the top.
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