One key feature that Turks & Caicos and Grand Cayman shares in common is that they are both overseas departments of the United Kingdom.
In this article, we compare and contrast these two Caribbean islands to help you make a knowledgeable decision for your upcoming vacation.
As a general rule, Turks & Caicos is suitable for visitors who are interested in white sand beaches, water sporting activities and a laid back destination. On the other hand, Grand Cayman is ideal for persons seeking a more vibrant nightlife atmosphere while enjoying the island’s exotic cuisine.
Read on for more attributes of Turks and Caicos and Grand Cayman. This article was written by a Caribbean national.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Is Bigger
Turks & Caicos is the larger of the two islands having a landmass of 366 square miles.
Additionally, Turks & Caicos is a group of 40 different islands and cays of which only 8 are inhabited.
On the contrary, Grand Cayman is much smaller having a landmass of 75.68 square miles.
Grand Cayman is part of the island group called Cayman Islands. The other smaller islands are Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Grand Cayman occupies 76% of the total landmass of the Cayman Islands.
At the time of publication, the population of Grand Cayman was 67,237 while the population of 39,754 based on worldometer’s statistics.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- What Are The Official Currencies
Despite both island being overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the official currency differs.
Turks & Caicos has adopted the US dollar as its official legal tender for all financial transactions.
On the other hand, Grand Cayman has its own local currency managed by its central bank.
The exchange rate is One Cayman dollar is equivalent to USD$1.20 and Canadian $1.60.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has The Better Cuisine
Both islands offer amazing unique cuisine so truly this depends on your preference.
Seafood forms a major part of many of the dishes consumed on both islands.
If you love exotic meat, Grand Cayman is the destination to visit with the national dish being green turtle stew.
This is often served with sides such as rice, beans, plantains and salad. Based on the laws of Grand Cayman, consuming turtle meat is legal.
The national dish of the Turks & Caicos is cracked conch. Conch is also served stewed, as fritters and in chowders.
The island is also known for its fine dining internationally.
Every November, the Turks & Caicos hosts a food and wine festival where top chefs and wine connoisseur come together to showcase many culinary creations.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Gets More Tourists
According to the website tourism analytics, Grand Cayman received the larger number of tourists compared to Turks & Caicos especially cruise passengers.
The variance between the stop over visitors of the two islands was insignificant.
The total amount of stopover visitors were 502,739 and cruise visitors totaled 1,831,011 for Grand Cayman in 2019.
Alternatively, Turks and Caicos received 486,739 stop over visitors and 1,111,818 cruise passengers for the year 2019.
As a result, visitors may expect more crowds at attractions in Grand Cayman especially during the cruise ship season.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has The Better Beaches
Turks and Caicos Islands have the better beaches with Grace Bay Beach winning many accolades regionally and internationally.
This beach is located on the island of Providenciales and is part of Princess Alexandra National Park.
Due to its calm waters, it is a popular spot for water sport activities such as stand up paddle boarding and jet skiing.
On the other hand, Seven Mile Beach is the pride and joy of Grand Cayman. This beach has also been recognized for its natural beauty.
Nevertheless, there have been some challenges with erosion on Seven Mile Beach which has reduced some areas of its sides and shorelines.
Seven Mile Beach shares its shoreline with several major hotels on the island.
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Which Island Has The Better Nightlife
Grand Cayman has better nightlife of the two islands with the majority of entertainment based on the West coast.
For individuals who prefer cultural activities, there are plays and musicals available.
Additionally, there are a number of bars, night clubs and restaurants in this region.
On the other hand, Turks & Caicos is a more peaceful and laid back island. Nonetheless, one event that the island is known for is its Fish Fry every Thursday nights.
Vendors sell barbecues, seafood and a number of different local dishes. One can also purchase various hand crafted items and souvenirs at this event
Turks & Caicos Vs Grand Cayman- Activities To Try On The Islands
Buggy Island Tour, Turks & Caicos- if you want to enjoy a fun and adventurous way to see the island, consider taking a buggy island tour.
It is suitable for adults and children and is a refreshing way to learn about the history of the island.
There are number of stops on the tour to take pictures, have lunch and visit various attractions on the island.
Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef, Grand Cayman- this attraction is ideal for divers and is located off the coast of the popular Seven Mile Beach.
This ship is a former US Navy submarine which today is home to a variety of marine and sea life.
On a whole, Turks & Caicos is suitable for visitors who are interested in white sand beaches and water sporting activities such as paddle boarding. On the other hand, Grand Cayman is ideal for persons seeking a more vibrant nightlife atmosphere and enjoying the island’s exotic cuisine.
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