Turks and Caicos Vs. Hawaii

When you close your eyes and picture a tropical paradise, you probably imagine swaying palm trees, soft golden sands, and warm blue waters. Turks and Caicos and Hawaii have all those things, which is why they’re two of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world.

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Which is Better? Turks and Caicos Vs. Hawaii?

If you prefer quiet, solitude, and luxury escapes, then you’ll love Turks and Caicos. But if you want to explore jungles, volcanoes, and charming villages in addition to beautiful beaches (all without technically leaving the United States), then Hawaii may be better suited to your interests. 

Curious how Turks & Caicos compares to the Bahamas? Check our guide!

Turks and Caicos and Hawaii are two very different places, and choosing where to go ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Both places have unique features, making it difficult to decide which one to go to.

But after reading this article, you should better understand what the islands offer in terms of weather, accommodation, dining, and more!

Location and Weather

Turks and Caicos is an archipelago in the Caribbean consisting of 40 different islands and cays.

It’s not far off the coast of Florida (roughly a two-hour nonstop flight from Miami), making it a relaxing tropical getaway for those seeking warmth and sunshine.

Throughout the year, temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to the high 80s. It’s nearly perfect weather all year round, except during hurricane season (June to November), when rains and storms can be present. 

Hawaii, on the other hand, is located 6,000 miles away in the Pacific Ocean. It’s comprised of eight main islands, each one varying in elevation and landscape.

For this reason, the weather can be drastically different depending on where you are. It can be rainy on one part of Maui and warm and sunny on the other!

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But generally speaking, temperatures in Hawaii hover anywhere from the mid-70s to mid-80s. It can also be very rainy, especially on Kuaui and parts of Oahu and the Big Island.

Beaches

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I love the beaches in Turks and Caicos and Hawaii, and choosing which one is better is a hard decision.

Turks and Caicos is famous for its pristine white sands, and Grace Bay Beach (on Providenciales) constantly ranks as one of the best beaches in the world.

Most beaches here are secluded, tranquil, and ideal for those looking for peace and quiet.

The beaches in Hawaii tend to be more crowded, although they are also incredibly diverse. There are soft sand beaches, rocky beaches, and even beaches just for surfing.

You’ll also find them in a variety of colors, like Papakolea Beach (green sand), Punaluu Beach (black sand), and Kaihalulu Beach (red sand). 

Activities and Attractions

While Hawaii and Turks and Caicos are great beachy vacation spots, they also cater to adventure seekers and culture lovers.

The main difference between them is the sheer number of activities and tours that are available on the islands.

 Turks and Caicos is not as developed as Hawaii, so there are fewer tour operators and big-name attractions. However, it’s still a fantastic place if you’re into water sports and outdoor fun.

For example, you can go:

  • Boating through the Caicos Cays
  • Diving and snorkeling in the Grace Bay and Leeward barrier reefs
  • Parasailing over Grace Bay
  • Bone fishing in Bottle Creek flats
  • Paddleboarding in Chalk Sound National Park
  • Horseback riding at Long Bay Beach
  • Hiking through the Crossing Place Trail

With the perfect mix of city life, resort towns, and unspoiled nature, the Hawaiian islands cater to all types of travelers.

It’s a very popular destination for tourists, so you can expect to find a wide range of activities to keep you occupied. You can spend your days:

  • Hiking Volcanoes National Park (the Big Island)
  • Touring Kona coffee plantations (the Big Island)
  • Driving the Road to Hana (Maui)
  • Summiting the Haleakala Volcano (Maui)
  • Snorkeling the Molokini Crater (Maui)
  • Surfing the North Shore (Oahu)
  • Watching a luau in Waikiki (Oahu)
  • Boating along the Napali Coast (Kauai)
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Accommodation

Choosing where to stay is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your trip to Turks and Caicos or Hawaii. 

When it comes to accommodation, Hawaii has something for every type of travel style and budget.

There are hostels in small towns, condo rentals in the city, vacation villas near golf courses, luxury resorts on the beach, eco-hotels in the jungle, and more. 

On the other hand, Turks and Caicos is home to luxury resorts and expansive villas that cater to travelers seeking a more upscale experience.

In fact, you can even stay on a private island if you’re looking for the full VIP experience!

On the downside, there aren’t as many budget-friendly accommodation options here, which can discourage many travelers from visiting.

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It’s also important to note that Hawaii has no all-inclusive resorts.

If you prefer to stay somewhere with unlimited food, drinks, and activities, you’re better off at one of the all-inclusives in Turks and Caicos.

Dining

Both places are world-famous culinary destinations that take food very seriously. But because they are located in different parts of the world, cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors between Turks and Caicos and Hawaiian food couldn’t be more different. 

Turks and Caicos cuisine combines Caribbean, African, and European dishes. Seafood is king here, and you’ll find that most beloved dishes include fish, lobster, crab, or conch.

If you’re not a fan of the local cuisine, don’t worry because there are also many international restaurants here where you can enjoy the flavors of home.

Hawaiian cuisine is a fusion of Asian, Polynesian, and American dishes. You’ll find everything from fresh seafood poke and slow-roasted pork to sushi rolls and tropical fruit cakes.

But if I had to choose a destination based on food, I would choose Hawaii purely because they have luaus!

Going to a luau is such a great experience, as it incorporations Polynesian food with live music, dancing, and entertainment. 

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Nightlife

If going out at night is important to you, then I highly suggest booking a trip to Hawaii. Although you can spend a quiet night on the beach or in your hotel, you also have the option to go somewhere more lively and energetic.

Places like Waikiki (on Oahu) are bustling, with lots of clubs, rooftop bars, and live music venues.

But even if you’re on a different part of the island (or on a different island, in general), there will still be beach bars and restaurants where you can spend the evening.

Nightlife is very different in Turks and Caicos than in Hawaii. The islands and generally quieter, with a more sophisticated nightlife scene.

For this reason, there are hardly any nightclubs or venues for partygoers. However, there are quite a few high-end cocktail lounges and dining experiences where you can enjoy a relaxed evening.

Travel Costs

When deciding between a vacation to Hawaii or a vacation to Turks and Caicos, it’s crucial to compare the cost of things in both destinations.

The truth is, you can spend a lot of money in both places. The prices for high-end restaurants, luxury resorts, and private excursions aren’t drastically different in Turks and Caicos and Hawaii. However, Hawaii has more affordable options, giving budget travelers the chance to enjoy a vacation in paradise.

But as a luxury destination in the US, prices for things in Hawaii can be more expensive than on the mainland.

You’ll notice that the cost of things in Turks and Caicos is also more expensive than most places in the US.

Here is a breakdown of what things might cost during your stay:

ExpenseHawaiiTurks and Caicos
Mid-range hotel$150 – $300 per night$200 – $300 per night
Luxury hotel$300 – $1,000 per night$500+ per night
Meal at a local restaurant$15 – $30$15 – $20
High-end meal$25 – $35$25 – $35
Cocktail$8 – $15$10 – $15
Local beer$5 – $10$7
Snorkel tour$50 – $120 per person$120 – $140 per person
Boat tour$50 – $200 per person$30 – $300 per person
Coffee Plantation tour$20 – $50 per personN/A
Luau with food and entertainment$150 – $250 per personN/A
Parasailing tour$40 – $90 per person$60 – $80 per person
ATV tour$100 – $400 per person$110 – $130 per person

At the end of the day, I recommend comparing prices before settling on a location. You may find great deals or cheaper flights to one destination over the other.

Choosing where to go on vacation is hard, especially considering there are amazing beaches, fun activities, and delicious food on all the islands.

But regardless of where you book your ticket, one thing is for certain: you’re going to have an incredible time in paradise, no matter what!