Tis the season to be jolly - and what better place to get your jolly on than Christmas in Turks and Caicos. The white sand beaches bring a whole new meaning to "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas," and the amazing tropical climate is a much welcomed respite from the winter back home. Accommodation during the holiday season (or peak winter period) fills up fast so make sure you reserve your spot in paradise if you wish to experience a Christmas with more of an abundance of sunshine than snow time.
There's nothing like a genuine getaway from the frost and the sleet to transform your surroundings and your senses into a veritable Caribbean dream land. Board the plane wearing heavy jacket and scarf and - like Superman in the phone booth - become your laid-back alter ego, clad in your best bathing suit and sunglasses. Not only is the weather unbeatable, the West Indies really knows how to celebrate. So if you're looking for something different this holiday season; something other than slippery conditions and hectic shopping crowds, than make this a Christmas in Turks and Caicos to remember.
In the Turks and Caicos cultural heritage, the locals traditionally celebrate a special event called Maskanoo. Occuring just after Christmas on Boxing Day, Maskanoo is a mix of Junkanoo (a Bahamian street parade) and a classic masquerade - and it is one heck of a party. Maskanoo pre-dates slavery in the Caribbean, having been brought over from the African homeland then fused with a mimicry of the costumed balls of the slavery-era. This year’s event will include a raucous parade with vivid dancing and outrageous masks and costumes, along with lively island music, tasty traditional food, and lots of local art and entertainment.
Turks and Caicos is a largely a Christian population (36% Baptist, 11% Catholics), making Christmas a much anticipated holiday in the islands. From beach parties to contests to mouth-watering feasts to tree decorating competitions, there's always something happening over the holiday season. Pick up a unique locally made gift from one of the shops to wrap some presents for your Christmas morning here in Turks and Caicos or bring something back for your loved ones who weren't quite so lucky this year.
Let's find out what's happening for Christmas celebrations at one of our favorite resorts.
Instead of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Alexandra has JoJo the Bottle Nosed Dolphin - a local beauty often spotted swimming offshore. Here the palm trees are decorated with Christmas lights and you may see a few people sporting Santa hats and little else. It's pretty special to go for a barefoot walk on the beach as the sun sets on Christmas Eve and then go scuba diving in the warm clear waters on Christmas morning. And the Maskanoo celebration at the Alexandra is one of the best on Grace Bay Beach.
For those lucky enough to ring in the New Year here at the Alexandra, there is an abundance of means by which to celebrate properly: from bonfires on the beach to gourmet dinners by candlelight to pumping parties with groovy rhythms and booty shakin'. And then there's the Jump Up: the Junkanoo parade rolling through the resort like a whirling dervish of exciting energy, vibrant colours, and pure joy. The band plays from midnight to sunrise so be sure to schedule in a relaxing beach session for New Year's Day!
The Alexandra Resort is probably the best beachfront value on the entire length of Grace Bay Beach. Located on an expansive property, the 91-suite Alexandra is one of the larger resorts in Provo and features amazing service and amenities - all at an affordable price point. The suites are spacious and comfortable with high ceilings, big decks, and fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. The swimming pool is lagoon style and totally blissful; there's an excellent Kids' Club; and tasty restaurants. Enjoy complimentary non-motorized water sports, pedal bikes, and tennis courts. You'll love it here.