Turks and Caicos Vs. Jamaica

If you’re planning your next Caribbean vacation, you might be deciding between Jamaica vs. Turks and Caicos. Sure, both places have beautiful beaches, amazing food, and fun activities, but there are some significant differences that you should consider before booking your trip.

To help you decide where to go, I put together this article comparing the Turks and Caicos islands to Jamaica. I’ll share which place has the prettiest beaches, the best resorts, and the coolest activities so you can choose where you want to go on your vacation!

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Which is Better? Turks and Caicos or Jamaica?

Turks and Caicos has more beautiful beaches and offers a quieter, more relaxing vacation. Jamaica is a popular destination that caters more to adventure seekers, outdoor enthusiasts, and party goers.

If you want a quiet vacation with crowd-free beaches, Turks and Caicos is the best place to visit. The landscape is stunning, and there are excellent coral reefs if you’re interested in diving and snorkeling.

Jamaica also has some great beaches, although they can be crowded as the country is a very popular place for travelers.

On the other hand, there are so many fun things to do in Jamaica (more than in Turks and Caicos), which makes it a good spot for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turks and Caicos has pristine, uncrowded beaches like Grace Bay, while Jamaica boasts famous beaches like Seven Mile Beach in Negril.
  • Jamaica offers diverse outdoor adventures, including bamboo rafting, ziplining, and swimming with horses. Turks and Caicos excels in water sports like diving and snorkeling.
  • Both destinations showcase Caribbean flavors, with Jamaica known for its flavorful jerk chicken and Turks and Caicos offering delicious seafood dishes.
  • Jamaica offers vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and nightclubs, while Turks and Caicos provides a more laid-back beachside atmosphere.
  • Turks and Caicos tends to be more expensive, but both destinations offer options to suit different budgets.

Location and Weather

Turks and Caicos is a British Territory located south of the Bahamas and north of the Dominican Republic.

It’s comprised of 40 different islands, although only six of them are inhabited.

Most visitors choose to base themselves on Providenciales or Grand Turk, as these two islands are the most developed in terms of tourism and infrastructure.

The weather in Turks and Caicos is what you can expect from a Caribbean island – warm and sunny!

In fact, it gets over 350 sunny days per year. The average temperature is 81 degrees, although it can be a little hotter in summer (May to October) and colder in winter (November to April).

However, I’m only talking about a difference of 10 degrees, so it’s not too drastic throughout the year.

Located south of Cuba, Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba and Hispaniola. It has a similar climate to that of Turks and Caicos, although temperatures can be slightly higher (between 75 and 91 degrees during the day).

It’s important to note that Jamaica and Turks and Caicos have a hurricane season from June to November. While storms and hurricanes are rare, you can expect increased rainfall during this time.

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It’s almost impossible to choose between the beaches in Turks and Caicos and Jamaica.

Both places have pristine white sands, crystalline turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees (which I think are the quintessential factors for a tropical setting!). 

There are more beaches in Jamaica simply because it’s a larger country. However, Seven Mile Beach in Negril is arguably the most famous of them all. As Jamaica’s largest beach, there is plenty of space to sprawl out, although you’re never too far from restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels. 

Head up north to Montego Bay, and you’ll find many more desirable destinations with clear blue waters. Doctor’s Cave Beach, Cornwall Beach, and Dead End Beach are just a few places where you can spend a lazy day in the sun. 

Although the beaches in Jamaica may sound tempting, just wait until you hear what Turks and Caicos has to offer. The beaches here are equally (if not more) beautiful, although with not as many people. This makes Turks and Caicos an excellent destination for those who want to enjoy a quiet, laid-back vacation in paradise.

Grace Bay Beach is a popular spot for tourists on the island of Providenciales. It’s considered to be one of the world’s best beaches, with its long stretch of almost powder-white sand.

And if you feel like that’s even too crowded for you, there are many other places or even secluded islands where you can escape the crowds. 

In summary, the beaches in both Jamaica and Turks and Caicos are gorgeous. I would give Turks and Caicos a slight edge for beauty while picking Jamaica for diversity and touristic activities. 

Attractions and Activities

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Before deciding where to go on vacation, it’s important to consider what you want to do during your stay. While both destinations are great for a relaxing beach holiday, Jamaica also caters to those seeking a bit more adventure and excitement on their trip.

Jamaica is one of those places that has something for every type of traveler. With mountains, rainforests, and beaches, the sheer number of possible outdoor activities is astounding.

It’s also home to fascinating cities with beautiful British colonial architecture, insightful museums, and lively local communities.

Here are a few things you might consider adding to your Jamaica bucket list:

Although Turks and Caicos may not have the variety of activities that Jamaica does, it still has plenty to offer – especially if you’re into nature and water sports! 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


If you’re traveling to Jamaica, you’ll have many hotels, guesthouses, vacation rentals, and all-inclusive resorts to choose from.

For a beach vacation, most visitors choose to base themselves in Negril, Montego Bay, or Ocho Rios, as these areas have the highest number of accommodation options for tourists.

But if you spend a few days in the capital, you’ll also find a mix of hotels and apartments. Kingston isn’t a big beachy destination (there are some beaches outside of town, but they don’t compare to Negril, Montego Bay, or Orcho Rios), so there aren’t as many resorts or all-inclusives in this part of Jamaica

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In Turks and Caicos, most travelers stay on Provincendales near Grace Bay Beach. This is where you’ll find most of the hotels and resorts.

Grand Turk is another popular destination where you can find guesthouses, boutique hotels, and vacation villas.

There are a few all-inclusive resorts in Turks and Caicos, although Jamaica has a much bigger selection. 

For a luxury Caribbean vacation, you may also choose to stay on a private island. Pine Cay and Ambergris Cay Resort are two of the most exclusive resorts where you can spend a few relaxing days in complete privacy. 


Both Jamaica and Turks and Caicos are great destinations for food lovers. There are many local restaurants serving up authentic dishes, although you’ll also find an array of international places in case you or anyone in your party is on the picky side.

Jamaican food is a mixture of Caribbean, African, and European cuisines and can be summed up in one word – flavorful!

And while most foreigners are familiar with Jerk Chicken (which is something you should definitely order when you’re here), there are so many great dishes also worth ordering.

Try ackee and saltfish (salted cod with local fruit), Jamaican patty (beef stuffed pastry), and run down (coconut fish stew). 

Food in the Turks and Caicos has similar Caribbean, African, and European elements as well, although it’s slightly different than what you’ll get in Jamaica.

Popular dishes include boiled fish and grits, fried conch fritters, and savory crab and rice.

As you can see, seafood plays a vital role in the cuisine here, although many restaurants also have at least one or two non-seafood or vegetarian options on the menu.

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If nightlife is a big priority, then book your trip to Jamaica. This country is a great place to party, as there are many bars, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and live music venues. Most people flock to Kingston or Montego Bay for a night out, although you can also find bars in practically every other part of the islands.

Turks and Caicos couldn’t be any more different in this aspect. While there are a couple of clubs and late-night bars (especially in Providenciales), things are much quieter and far more low-key. Don’t expect to find too many rowdy places.

The primary go-to places here are beach bars, casinos, and local pubs.

And if you happen to be in town on Thursday, you can also head to the Fish Fry at Stubbs Diamond Plaza in the Bight for live music and delicious local foods.

In my opinion, this is one of the coolest events on the island and something you shouldn’t miss during your stay! 

Travel Costs

Cost is a very important thing to consider when planning a vacation. Between flights, accommodation, excursions, and food, your expenses can add up very quickly. 

Turks and Caicos is one of the most expensive areas in the Caribbean. So, for most travelers, a vacation there will be more expensive than one in Jamaica.

Of course, this largely depends on where you stay and what you do, but generally speaking, prices do tend to be higher.

Jamaica is still not considered a budget destination, although prices are generally lower than they are in Turks and Caicos.

You can expect to pay the following prices for your vacation: Here’s a breakdown of the average costs you can expect to pay on your vacation:

ExpenseTurks and CaicosJamaica
Mid-range hotel$200 – $300/night$100 – $200/night
Luxury hotel or all-inclusive resort$500+ /night$250 – $300/night
Meal at a local restaurant$15 – $20$5 – $10
High-end meal$25 – $35$20 – $30
Cocktail$10 – $15$5 – $10
Local beer$7$3
Snorkel tour $120 – $140/person $60 – $100/person
Parasailing tour$60 – $80/personN/A
ATV tour$110 – $130/personN/A
Dunn River Falls AdmissionN/A$25/person
Bob Marley Museum TicketsN/A$25/person

While there are some major differences between Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos islands, it’s hard to say which one is better for vacation.

Turks and Caicos is a great option if you’re seeking tranquility and natural beauty. But if you prefer fun and activity over lounging on the beach, Jamaica might be the way to go.

I hope this article helped to point you in the right direction, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which island you want to visit! 

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If you’re torn between Jamaica and Turks and Caicos for your upcoming Caribbean getaway, here’s a quick summary to help you decide.

Turks and Caicos offers serene, uncrowded beaches and a peaceful atmosphere, making it perfect for relaxation and water activities like diving and snorkeling.

On the other hand, Jamaica caters to adventure seekers with its diverse range of outdoor activities such as bamboo rafting, ziplining, and swimming with horses.

Both destinations have their own unique charm, delectable cuisine, and accommodation options to suit different budgets.

Consider your preferred ambiance and desired vacation experiences to make the final choice between these two stunning Caribbean destinations.