No trip to the Turks and Caicos is complete without familiarizing yourself with the national symbol and local delicacy that is conch (pronounced KONK) — a sea snail that not only appears on the Turks and Caicos flag, but can also be prepared and eaten a number of ways. It’s also the country’s No. 1 export.
The particular type of conch that’s found and celebrated in the Turks and Caicos—the Queen conch—is found naturally in the Atlantic Ocean, from Florida all the way down to the coast of Brazil. And in TCI, it’s wildly popular as local fare—so popular that the country has dedicated an annual festival to marine snail, known as the Conch Festival, where local restaurants prepare their best conch dishes for visitors to try.
The number of ways to prepare conch is virtually endless. There’s conch salad, conch fritters, cracked conch, conch chowder and so much more. You’d be hardpressed to find a restaurant in the Turks and Caicos that doesn’t serve conch in some form
Be aware, if you find a conch in the ocean, it’s best to leave it be. Remember, there’s a living creature inside that beautiful shell. However, Turks and Caicos law allows visitors to take up to three (empty) conch shells back home with you.
But most importantly, make sure you don’t leave the islands without at least trying our famous sea snail for yourself. Indeed, you haven’t truly experienced TCI unless you’ve eaten conch. Here are some of our top restaurants for conch dishes:
Fishermen and women, pay attention: Whether you prefer deep sea fishing, bonefishing, or reef fishing, no doubt the Turks and Caicos should be your next destination. Our islands are an angler’s delight, with something to offer everyone.
The Turks and Caicos are home to one of the longest barrier reefs in the world, which quickly gives way to the Atlantic. The deep blue is just a short boat ride away from shore, and anglers can expect to be fishing in as little as 10 minutes after leaving the dock. A variety of big game fish can be found, including wahoo, tuna, mahi mahi and sailfish (catch and release). If you’re really lucky, you may even catch a blue marlin (also catch and release).
For bonefish lovers, look no further—the elusive bonefish can be found here aplenty. The Caicos Banks offer some of the best flat fishing around, and with the right guide, you’re bound to have a successful day catching bonefish.
If you want to take the whole family out fishing (kids included), reef fishing is the perfect option, requiring less skill than bonefishing and deep sea fishing, and providing more opportunity for a catch. Our barrier reef is teeming with life, and many of the fish there make for a delicious meal, including grouper, yellowtail and various kinds of snapper.
Whatever your chosen fishing adventure, we recommend booking your trip with Panoply. A team with years of knowledge and experience. Half and full day charters are available with fishing equipment, snacks and/or lunch provided. Bear in mind that fishing in Turks and Caicos requires a temporary permit. Ready to book? The fish are biting…