The Turks & Caicos Islands, a tropical archipelago made up of around 40 islands and cays, are loved for their stunning beaches, great diving, and amazing weather year-round. Although the sun, sea, and sand are all part of its allure, these islands offer much more than just that. Take shopping for instance. Turks & Caicos can be a great shopping destination, particularly for travelers searching for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
Some of the best shopping in the Turks & Caicos can be found on the island of Providenciales (also known as Provo). This is the main island in this territory where most of the luxury hotels and resorts are located. If you’re headed to the Turks & Caicos and want to know where to shop for unique or locally-made items, read on … we’ve got you covered!
Expert tip: In addition to shopping, a Turks & Caicos vacation is the perfect opportunity to do some island and beach hopping. You can take a boat tour to some of the nearby islands from the island of Providenciales if you’re looking for some fun things to do in Turks & Caicos with kids.
The best shopping in Turks & Caicos can be found on the island of Providenciales. There’s a wide variety of shops on this island and many different places to search for items that might interest you. Grace Bay is a popular location to shop on this island. In the retail and dining district, there are some worthwhile shopping opportunities and competitive prices. The retail and dining district is an area along Grace Bay Road where you’ll find many stores and restaurants. The Regent Village and the Salt Mills Plaza are among the popular places to shop in this area.
If variety matters to you then the Salt Mills Plaza in Grace Bay, Providenciales is a great place to start your shopping adventure. The bright shops, cafés, and art galleries located within this space will draw you in as you get set to browse through the various stores. It can help to know exactly what you’re looking for here but even if you don’t, it can be fun to just look around and see what you can find.
Some of the most loved shops at the Salt Mills Plaza include the family-run House of Unicorn. This is mainly a book store but there are other items on sale as well including toys, games, art supplies, and souvenirs. For some artsy inspiration or to purchase some local art to take home with you, you might want to visit Anna’s Gallery, which has some impressive displays. Wellington Collection is also a go-to spot for arts and crafts as well as locally-made jewelry. If you're feeling beachy, you can pick up something to lounge poolside at your resort or on the beach at the Blue Surf Shop. This surf shop at Salt Mills offers brand-name beachwear. Other than these, there are lots of other shops at the Salt Mills Plaza.
Good to know: At Salt Mills Plaza, you can also find a shelter for rescued dogs called Potcake Place. At Potcake Place, you can come in and play with the puppy rescues. It might even be possible to take one of the pups out for a fun walk on the beach!
Regent Village has loads of options for clothing stores, jewelry retailers, gift shops, art galleries, and restaurants. This place is designed to look like a little village and does in the most charming way with palm-lined walkways and gardens. Some of the most popular shops here include Jai’s, which offers luxury duty-free goods, and ArtProvo, which features creations from local artists.
If you want to take home some locally made rum you can visit Flavors of the Turks and Caicos (Fottac). A popular item here is the locally-made Bambarra Rum. A variety of wines are also on sale and you can pick up handmade soaps, candles, and beach accessories. Keep in mind that there won’t be any sales tax, which means this can be a good opportunity to purchase jewelry, liquor, and designer clothing at lower prices.
Expert tip: Beyond shopping, relaxing on beaches lined with swaying palms and the whitest, softest sands is one of the things Turks & Caicos is known for. Grace Bay Beach is one of those beachy locations that you and your family can explore while in Turks & Caicos.
There are a few dozen or so vendors set up at the TCI Cultural Marketplace selling a variety of local merchandise. This is a popular spot for souvenir shopping especially if you’re looking for local arts and crafts. The vendors here offer a range of products at varying prices so it makes sense to look around before deciding what to buy. As with any souvenir and artisan marketplace, knowing what you're searching for beforehand will help you to avoid buying stuff you don’t need and leaving what you really wanted behind.
In addition to local goods, you can also find a wide selection of imported items at the TCI Cultural Marketplace. The TCI Cultural Marketplace is located near the Beaches Turks & Caicos resort. Some of the items that you might want to look for here include hand-crafted baskets, jewelry, beachwear, Haitian metal works, tie-dyed T-shirts, and other works of art.
Alverna’s Craft Market is one of the time-established souvenir marketplaces in Turks & Caicos. It is located in Grace Bay, Providenciales. This market is quite colorful and will catch your attention right away. At Alverna’s, there are quite a few vendors displaying their goods in small huts scattered throughout the market.
If you go to this craft market while in Turks & Caicos, you can expect to find things like wood carvings, woven bags, doll crafts, conch shell jewelry, baskets, t-shirts, and local sweets. Some of these items are locally made while others are imported -- you might need to look closely to see what’s what. There are quite a few items from Haiti in the mix here including some hardwood carvings and sheet metal art pieces. Alverna’s Craft Market is a little further inland as compared to some of the other souvenir shops on this island, but just about 10 minutes from the beach on foot.
As with most of the islands in the Caribbean, there are some specific items that you might want to be on the lookout for when shopping in Turks & Caicos. As there are no sales or luxury taxes, Turks & Caicos is a great destination to pick up items like jewelry, watches, cameras, perfumes, crystal, china, cigars, and liquor. Most if not all of these items will be available to U.S. and Canadian residents duty-free at select retailers. Aside from these, here are some of the locally sourced items that you might want to keep an eye out for when shopping in Turks and Caicos:
Island-inspired souvenirs are a good buy in destinations like Turks & Caicos. If you sift through the mass-produced tourist souvenirs (and there will be a lot of them!), you’ll be able to find some stores and vendors with locally produced gifts and souvenirs. Some locally made items that are popular with travelers include conch shells and items made from these shells as well as other handmade craft items and locally made art pieces.
Not only will you be able to find locally made art and craft items in Turks & Caicos, but you can also find some pretty creative skincare and cosmetics lines as well. In particular, while shopping in this destination, you’re likely to come across small collections of things like soaps and local skincare products. Some local brands of hand-crafted and boutique soaps can be found at local art galleries in Grace Bay. This includes Lucayan skincare products.
The great thing about purchasing arts and crafts as souvenirs is that these items really give you an opportunity to take an intimate piece of a destination home with you. At many of the local art galleries in Turks & Caicos, you’ll find a diverse selection of paintings, prints, sculptures, and crafts. As the local art circles continue to grow in this region, there are more and more artists coming onto the scene with their creations. If you make a few rounds in the Grace Bay galleries, you’re sure to find something unique and amazing to take back home.
Want something breezy and trendy to wear on a special white night or another event at your Turks & Caicos resort? If so, going shopping for designer clothing and jewelry can be a good option. There are select stores and boutiques in Providenciales that are stocked seemingly just for this purpose. You’ll find something that will have you looking your absolute best in the islands whether you want a figure-hugging style, a flowy silhouette, or something in between.
Turks & Caicos food and drinks can be hard to resist. That's all the more reason to want to bring home a taste of the islands. Since you probably won't be able to take home every single favorite, you can settle for locally made items like Peppa Joy hot sauce, which is made from local North Caicos peppers, or South Caicos sea salt and Salt Cay caramel candies. TCI Coffee Roasters' gourmet coffee and locally brewed Turks Head Beer or Bambarra Rum are also great options to take home for yourself or to share with friends and family.
You’ll be able to use U.S. currency and major credit cards at most shopping centers and resorts in Turks & Caicos. The U.S. is widely used in these islands, so you won’t need to worry about exchange rates. In terms of credit cards, while these will be accepted at most shopping centers, restaurants, and resorts, smaller retailers and vendors may only accept cash.
Expert tip: If you’ll be staying at an all-inclusive resort like Beaches Resorts, you won’t need much cash for your vacation as tips and gratuities are included. It can still help to bring some cash for tours, eventualities, and for tipping outside of your resort.
In some destinations like Turks & Caicos, there are customs allowances and restrictions that you need to be aware of before going shopping. This is important so you don't have any surprises when it comes to taking your items and purchases back home. There may also be limits and restrictions for what you’ll be able to take into your state or country, so this is important to verify.
Restrictions in this case relate to what you can and cannot export out of a country. In the Turks & Caicos, this includes things like conch shells. There is a limit of three mature conch shells that can be exported by visitors returning home from these islands. If you plan on taking conch shells back home with you, you’ll need receipts as proof of purchase. As it relates to arts and crafts made from conch shells and purchased locally, you will be able to export these. Conch pearls are included. Keep receipts with you just in case. For other types of shells, you might need a permit depending on the species and amount.
There are strict rules in Turks & Caicos when it comes to the exportation of coral reefs. No corals of any kind can be legally exported out of Turks & Caicos as these are protected. Additionally, you can only take two liters of alcohol back home, and at least one should be produced in the Caribbean. Lastly, you should check other rules of the US Customs and Border Protection agency. In most cases, you will be allowed to bring back up to $800 USD worth of goods for a trip of at least 48 hours, every 30 days.
If you’re considering a trip to Turks & Caicos, it’s great to know that you can do some fun and reasonable shopping there. There are a number of places you can go shopping in the Turks & Caicos including many options on the island of Providenciales like Regent Village and the Salt Mills Plaza. Shopping at all-inclusive Turks and Caicos resorts between relaxation and adventure is also possible!
Beaches Turks & Caicos features a gift shop on-site that guests can browse. This can spare you from having to go out on the town at the last minute just because you forgot to pick up souvenirs! Before and after souvenir shopping, you can make the most of Beaches Resorts’ quality inclusions (including its many restaurants, water park, day and night entertainment, and more) without missing a beat.
Expert tip: Are you looking for a luxury resort in Turks & Caicos? Beaches Resorts combines luxury, adventure, and relaxation in the best way possible for families. Parents can even get some time for themselves with kids camps and professional nannies that help ensure their little ones are safe and entertained.